If you read my blog article this week, you’ll know that I’m reflecting on times when people have told me that I could not do something and that’s turned out not to be true.
Is this happening to you? Maybe you have a business idea and you’re being told that most businesses fail or you want to change careers at 40 and people are saying it’s too late.
Whatever it is, I can tell you this: it’s not true. What is true is what you believe.
I had always wanted to write a book…
I decided I wanted to write a book when I was teenager. I wasn’t quite sure what type of book but whenever I had to list my goals, the book was on the list.
As I got older, I did nothing with this until in 2009, when I had an idea of a self-help book that would help people turn an idea into a project and make it happen.
I had been turning business ideas into projects for years so this was something I knew how to do very very well. On top of that, I strongly believed that it wasn’t just the planning that mattered, the key to making anything happen is really someone’s state of mind.
And as I had been a student of personal development for years, I was in a very good place for incorporating techniques for dealing with hang ups in the book. I called it a ‘holistic’ system: part project management but also part personal development.
I was pretty pleased with what I’d produced but then life took over and I put my notes and idea aside.
Every now and then, I would talk about my plan to write a book but I found that people were never very receptive, they would tell me how hard it was to get published and blah blah blah. Quite a turn off.
How I got started
In 2011, I stumbled upon my notes clearing out a cupboard and I thought wow this stuff is good. As I read my notes, I became more and more passionate about my ideas and that was it, I was on my way.
All I needed was to figure out how this stuff is done. And like Marie Forleo, I believe everything is ‘figureoutable’ so I set off to get some advice.
First I needed to learn how self-help books are published and I found several books on Amazon explaining how this stuff works, there was even one dedicated to self-help (there are lots of ebooks and free blog posts as well these days).
Second, I needed to test that there was mileage in my ideas so I started to write my book. At first, I was struggling a bit but I had a real breakthrough when I started using my method and turned my book goal into a project. Why didn’t I think of that before? Doh!
That was the moment things really took off. Doing this allowed me to test my system and refine it and to prove the method works.
Working up the confidence to pitch
Writing the book was great fun but this wasn’t getting me nearer to being published. If you’ve read Make It Fly!, you’ll know that there is an entire section dedicated to dealing with your hang ups. One of my hang ups, like most of us was confidence. What if other people didn’t like my book?
And that little voice in my head, “Who needs another self-help book, there are tons on the market already”.
What really helped me there was letting go of the outcome. I had since found out that I could self-publish so I thought that as my goal was to get my book into the world, if publishers did not want it, I could always self-publish. That took the pressure off.
During all this time, I was obviously mentioning my book at dinner parties and other places. But I was so enthusiastic about my project that I didn’t really notice how people were reacting anymore. My husband tells me that there were lots of rolling of eyes!
But I wasn’t listening to anyone, I had convinced myself this was going to happen. This is probably why, a few months later I started pitching and in June 2012, I was offered a contract for my book Make It Fly! The step-by-step guide to make ANY idea, project or goal take off by Pearson.
Don’t believe what you are told
So you see. I was told that most people failed at this and that turned out not to be true. I’m not saying it’s easy. I had to have an idea in the first place, find resources and then get off my butt to make it happen (turn my idea into a project!).
What I am saying is this: do not believe what other people tell you. Find someone who is succeeding at what you’d like to do and go ask them how they did it. Don’t listen to all the people who have dreams but do nothing about them. Listen to those who do!
What are you being told that’s stopping you in your tracks? Leave a comment.
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