It’s so easy to dream.
It’s easy to tell people about your ambitions and what you want to do.
It’s easy to create vision boards, say affirmations and write down your goals.
It’s easy to stand in front of a mirror covered with inspiring quotes. But that’s where most people stop.
The very act of dreaming stops you from achieving your dreams.
Stop dreaming, turn down distractions and get writing
Writing a book has been a life-long dream. Although I did self-publish a mini e-book a few years ago and also co-authored a traditionally published book, this book is different.
This book has been written completely by me, no co-authors. This book will be self-published using professional editors and cover designers.
This is not just a book, but a journey of learning and transformation. From writing all the way to the practical know-hows of how to publish the book and get it into the hands of thousands and millions of people.
The biggest problem I faced was that I knew what my end goal was, to write and publish my own book, but for many years I didn’t know how to get started.
And this is where most writers fall and tumble and never get back up. When we constantly set our sites on the big goal, we sometimes overlook the smallest basic step needed to get started.
Sometimes we feel we need to do big audacious things to get those big audacious goals.
But the truth is that all great success stems from performing small steps, quickly and consistently.
That is how you get to achieving that big goal, whether writing a book or building a business.
Your book will get written one word at a time.
Your business will grow one customer at a time.
It’s easy to think that taking small steps won’t get you to what you want. The media today glamorise so-called overnight successes. You see books selling a million copies and being turned into movies.
Open your eyes and see the Truth. This doesn’t happen overnight. It appears to have happened overnight. It’s just that the media failed to show you the struggle, rejection and countless hours the writer put into the book. You only see the shiny tip of the iceberg.
And this is one of the main reasons for why it took me so long to get started on my book. I procrastinated for years, convinced myself I needed to take endless courses and read more books before i was ‘qualified’ to write.
But the truth is that I was scared to commit. Scared to put in the hard work. Scared of rejection. I was anxious the book may not sell. I was worried about how to market the book, even before I had even written the book!
Doing anything worthwhile is going to be hard. It takes solid effort and sweat to create something of value. And writing a book is a lot of effort but creates a lot of value.
But you can make it easier by starting small. Here are my top tips to help you stay the course:
Before you start writing your book, you need to complete the Pre-Start. This means before you write a single word, you need to first make a commitment.
This means promising to yourself that you will turn up every day and commit to the process of writing the book. Commitment means doing the work, day in day out, even when you don’t feel like it. That is the type of commitment I’m talking about. Having commitment is the first half of the battle.
Do you feel overwhelmed?
This is because you are focusing on too many tasks at the same time. Identify the next step. And do just that. Take it one step at a time. Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.
Still writing your book?
Then focus on writing the next chapter for today. Don’t worry about cover design or media campaigns just yet.
Want to turn your start-up business into a billion dollar enterprise? Focus on securing your first dedicated 100 paying customers rather than chasing national ad campaigns.
Want a six-pack stomach? Then hit the gym for 30 mins today and make sure you eat clean for today. Don’t worry about doing 1000 sit-ups (PS sit-ups don’t work. It’s only good old-fashioned cardio/ resistance training and eating a clean diet free of processed foods/ sugars). Burn the fat one pound at a time.
The key is to break down your big goal into mini-goals. Then tackle one mini-goal, one at a time. Re-read that.
Tackle one mini-goal, one at a time.
My big goal is to: Write and self-publish my book.
Here are the mini-goals I have broken this task down into. Note this covers just the next few steps and not the whole end-to-end process. I will tackle those when I get to it. Otherwise, I know I will get overwhelmed:
TASK: Write the book > Write 1000 words for 30 days
TASK: Editing > Self-edit > Edit one chapter per day / or spend 2-3 hours per day editing the book
TASK: Hire an Editor > Post job description on Up work > Ask for personal referrals / Recommendations > Interview/ decide upon editor
TASK: Finalise book title > Brainstorm ideas > get feedback from friends / family > Decide which title works best
TASK: Finalise book cover > Research covers on Amazon > Find cover designer > Ask friends/ family for book cover designer referrals > Select designer > Prepare Brief of cover design > Review draft cover designs > Get feedback from friends / family > Finalise book cover
Can you see how these relatively simple tasks have many mini tasks associated with them? You need to be clear on how much work is required and not underestimate the time it will take.
Otherwise, this can make you feel de-motivated, especially when you find yourself working on the same task and not seeing any tangible progress. It’s better to check-off small tasks per day than having one big task sitting on your ‘To Do” list for weeks on end.
The Sea may look calm and still from a far, but up close you can see the thousands of ripples running across the surface. These tiny ripples will create huge waves in time.
Do not underestimate or ignore the small tasks. They will all add up to the final goal.
By breaking down your big goals into mini-goals, you can monitor your progress and see how much you are achieving. Writing a book sounds easy, but it’s not (sorry!). Especially if you are committed to doing this properly, investing in yourself as well as in the book with professional editors and designers. The learning curve is tough and the work is hard.
But no dream comes easily and I know that once I have written and published my book, it will be the most life-changing experience I could ever have.
Did this article help you to break down your big goal into mini-goals?