“Whether a yearlong sabbatical, a new business idea, reengineering your life within the
corporate beast, or dreams you’ve postponed for‘some day,’ there has never been a better
time for testing the uncommon. What’s the worst that could happen? I encourage you to
remember this often-neglected question as you begin to see the infinite possibilities
outside your current comfort zone.”
Wow! I just had the good fortune to hear an interview with Timothy Ferriss, the New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek. What a fascinating story he told! Tim had a hard time finding both an agent and a publisher for his book concept. Turned down by 26 of 27 publishers, it’s gone through reprints galore, has been expanded and updated, and is available in 35 countries. Not bad for a first-time author! Tim made a couple of key points that I think can be helpful to us all:
Question assumptions: challenge the usual way of doing things and you can often find an approach that’s far better. Come up with a dozen uncommon questions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Reach out: when writing his book, Tim contacted both Pulitzer-Prize winners and bestselling authors for their advice — and they gave it. This gave him both great ideas and a network of helpful contacts.
Quality still counts: even in a digital world, a content-rich book is your best marketing tool. Two books he likes (me, too!): On Writing Well and Bird by Bird.
Stay focused: figure out what you want from your book — what would make it a success for you — and then go for it. Most of the time, he notes, money isn’t the best answer.
For fun, you may want to check out Tim’s blog: http://www.fourhourblog.com — it’s intriguing. Write on!