Thank you, Terrifying Things
I did something terrifying this week.
Something I would never have done if it hadn’t been for a series of other terrifying things I’ve done.
Terrifying Thing #1
First there was starting to write my book in the first place – I’m a publisher, and I’ve been commissioned to write several books before, but that does nothing to blunt the terror of sitting down to communicate your own ideas and passion in 50,000 well-chosen, well-structured words. (In fact it’s worse, if anything, as you know you’ll be judged so much more harshly than your average business book writer.)
It’s turned out to be tough and rewarding in roughly equal measure. And while it’s not finished yet, it’s not far off.
Terrifying Thing #2
Then there was launching The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast, nearly a year ago now. That was designed to force me into accountability for the book, and also as a source of material, getting tips, inspiration and insights from some of the world’s most successful business book writers.
It’s probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, and I can honestly say I love absolutely every minute I spend on it.
Terrifying Thing #3
And finally there was launching my 10-day business book proposal challenge and the online bootcamp for graduates who want to take their idea from proposal to first draft.
I had no idea what incredible book ideas would be born, what amazing people I’d meet, how much I’d learn myself, from those programmes.
So all three of these Terrifying Things have been life-enhancing and business-building, and have brought me so much pleasure and satisfaction.
But now they have also brought me to a whole new level of terror.
The newest Terrifying Thing
In The Extraordinary Business Book Club earlier this month, Guy Kawasaki described how he crowsources input to his book, putting first the draft table of contents and then the full first draft of the finished manuscript up online and inviting anyone who likes, basically, to comment on it.
It’s a way of going about things that makes complete sense to me: openness, visibility, collaboration, connection – these are all the hallmarks of the way I work, and the values underlying my business.
But thinking something is a good idea in theory and actually putting it into practice for yourself – doing ‘the full Guy Kawasaki’, as it’s now known in the bootcamp – are two very, VERY different things.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last three years of my new business adventure, it’s that the magic happens outside, not inside, the comfort zone.
And also that imperfect action beats perfect procrastation (to misquote Truman).
Which is why my table of contents is now up online here.
I’ve already had some superb feedback which has helped me clarify the relationship between the elements and shown me that I need to rethink the section titles (still working on that).
The full draft will be going up in due course.
Terrifying? you bet.
But I’ve come to welcome that flutter of anxiety, the sensation of shrinking inside and vertigo that is how I experience fear. Now I try to breathe into it, to welcome it as an infallible sign that I’m on the brink of a marvellous new adventure.
It’s not let me down yet.
For more Birds on the Blog wisdom on fear, take at look at Patricia Mauerhofer’s post http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/fear-sensitive-successful-womans-best-friend/ and how Elaine Sturgess overcame her fear of flying, quite literally! http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/fear-of-flying-then-its-time-to-fly/