For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write a book…but the problem was I didn’t know what to write about. Nothing popped into my head as a subject I thought I could really speak to with passion, or that would create impact. But, when I started The Morning Upgrade blog and podcast, it became really clear to me that writing a book on personal development would be the next logical step in helping others…and the evolution of the Morning Upgrade brand.
As I’ve been going through my own personal development journey, I’ve become even more passionate about helping other people. Essentially, I think that investing in others is the ultimate goal of personal growth…work on yourself and then start to inspire others.
So Why Did I Decide to Write a Book on Personal Development?
After I had been blogging for several months, it occurred to me that I was already writing about personal development on a weekly basis. It only made sense for me to compile a lot of the topics I touch on here on the blog and put it into a handbook for others to read…and I wanted to slant it towards upgrading your life and business with personal development.
My book, The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon: How to Use Personal Development to Upgrade Your Life and Business is written with entrepreneurs in mind but isn’t exclusively for them. Whether you have your own business or would consider yourself an entrepreneur, this guide is designed to help you implement personal development into your daily life. And truthfully, anyone can benefit from the info.
Aside from always wanting to write a book, I believed that writing this book would help to further the mission I have here at The Morning Upgrade. I wanted it to be easy and quick to read, and full of personal stories and advice…similar to the way I write on the blog.
The difference between the book and the blog is that the book is a clear roadmap for you to incorporate personal development into every area of your life including your day to day, parenting, and running your business, whereas the blog deals with individual topics.
I Wrote a Book I Would Want To Read
One of the most important things in personal development is to become aware of personal growth concepts. That’s why the meat of the book is full of tips and advice that you may not be aware of…or maybe you are aware, but need a refresher. Each chapter is full of practical things you can do to move the needle forward in your life (assuming you take action, daily).
Also, I wrote a chapter in the book that acts as a companion to my Morning Upgrade cards. If you’re looking for more information on how to fully use the cards, I highly recommend you read my book.
The Journey I Took To Write This Guide
Just so you know…I take my own advice about getting outside of your comfort zone. Writing this book was no easy task for me. For one thing, I had no idea how to publish it, get a cover designed, list it on Amazon…or where to even begin with writing the text.
Besides getting outside of my comfort zone on the whole process of writing my first book, I had to get over putting myself out there. It was very uncomfortable for me because what if everyone thought the book is bad? But I stuck with it because I knew it was going to help people.
Here is a look at what it took for me to write my book…I’m sharing in case YOU are looking to go through the same journey
Create a Framework for the Book
A lot of people think the place to start with writing a book is naming it…but actually, it is better to write what’s on your heart and then title it later. So, I started by creating the framework, or outline, of the book.
The outline was super basic to begin with. I wrote a few sentences at the top of my document focusing on who I plan to write this book for and the main purpose behind it.
Then I wrote very simple words for each chapter I wanted to put in the book. Here is a look at what my basic outline was:
- Morning Routines
- The Power of Habits
- Introducing Personal Development to Your Kids
- Injecting Personal Development in Your Company
When you create a framework for your book, just put it down on paper. Don’t worry about getting it perfect or if you’ll even keep it in that order later on. Actually, after I wrote the entire book, I went back and added a new chapter. This part of the process is just to give yourself an idea of the main concept you want to write about in each chapter.
Outline the Chapters
Before I started writing the chapters, I outlined them with the main bullet points I wanted to cover in that chapter. As part of the outline, I also wrote down a few notes about a personal story I wanted to include in that chapter.
For example, in the morning routine chapter, I put in my outline:
- Story of why I doubled down on my morning routine and personal development (2017, clients leaving).
It made sense to me that the book should have personal stories of how I apply personal development in my life and why it’s so important to me so that readers can relate and apply the info to their own lives.
The rest of the outline was just the main key points I wanted to cover in the chapter. For example, in the mindset chapter I knew I wanted to talk about meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, etc. I wrote down those keywords with a short description to remind myself of the most important things about each of those actions that I wanted to point out.
Determine the Big Idea of the Chapter
To help me make sure I drove home the points I wanted to make in each chapter, I wrote a few sentences that I called the “Big Idea.” Basically, this was the core concept that I wanted the reader to walk away with.
Later in the writing process, I actually re-worded the “Big Idea” just a bit and made it the chapter summary that is featured at the beginning of each chapter. I decided to put a summary at the beginning of each chapter to set the tone for what the reader was going to learn.
Fill in the Chapter Outlines
Once I had the “Big Idea” and the bullet points for my chapters, I tackled a chapter a week. I’d look at my outline and get everything out of my mind about the bullet point. I didn’t try to edit as I went…rather, I just got it all out and cleaned it up later.
Add Quotes and Additional Tips
After I wrote the core text of the book, I went through it and looked for ways to add more value for the reader. I found some of my favorite quotes to put at the beginning of each chapter. I thought this would be a good way to inject motivation for the reader.
The other thing I did was add “Tips to Get Started” sections all throughout the book. This was my way of spurring the reader on to take action on what they just read. It’s not enough to just absorb…you have to take action.
Title and Cover Design
I decided on the best title for the book based on what I wrote. I titled it, The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon: How to Use Personal Development to Upgrade Your Life and Business. Then I sent the title and a few concepts to a designer who created the cover for the book.
It took a few revisions and edits, but the designer finally came back with a cover that I felt represented the book well (energy and excitement).
Formatting the Text
In order to submit your book to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you have to format your text in a specific way. I found someone who has experience in this and had them turn my document into an acceptable format.
The great thing about KDP is that all you have to do is upload your document and then it is printed on demand. That came in handy after I initially released the book because I found some things in the text I wanted to update…which made it easy to make the edits and submit the new document.
List It on Amazon
One thing I was concerned about was offering my book for sale on Amazon. Amazon is notorious for being complicated for product sales; but getting my book on the site was actually pretty easy. You just add your bank info for royalty payments…and then submit your book info for approval (sales copy, book files, and design files).
You can buy a copy of my book here.
What I Learned in This Process
One of the biggest things I walked away with from this process was learning that you don’t have to worry about getting things perfect. Done is better than perfect. If you believe in what you’re doing, then push past the feelings of discomfort.
I know it’s easy to let the fear of the unknown stop you, but I really hope you will push past that fear. I like what Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figure-outable.” Don’t let your inexperience or lack of knowledge stop you. Find a way to do what you’re passionate about…there are people who need to read what you put out!
Good luck – reach out with any questions.
P.S. Amazon Live Interview!
I was honored to be on an Amazon Live Broadcast with D. Scott Smith who does a regular show introducing new books. You can check out that interview in the video below.