It’s nearly midnight on a Friday, and there you are: sitting on the living room couch, a cup of hot tea in your hand, and your dog (or cat) snuggled up beside you. You need the dog/cat, the tea and any other comfort you can get. You are, finally, about to read through the first full draft of your book. Sure, it’s a business book, but it’s a book about YOUR business, and everything about your life is on display there. Reading a badly written paragraph, you’ll hear the devil cackling at the humiliation you’ll feel when everyone, everywhere, can read your thoughts and do a full-scale inventory assessment of all your life’s decisions.
WHY did you do this? What on earth possessed you to make yourself so vulnerable? It had seemed like a good idea at the time; after all, your business is your pride and joy. When the idea to start your business had first crossed your mind, you had the sense to grab it and begin considering it when others would have waved it away. You saw the merit and the questions. But instead of giving in to doubt, you kept searching, resolving problems, seeing new possibilities. People shook their heads, and some days you feared they were right, but you kept on breathing more life into it every day (and so many countless nights) until it began to pulse with its own energy, attract the interest of others. Your business grew in ways you’d never expected, until here it is, today, a thriving business that supports not only your family, but many others, too. A business that was once a concept now makes a difference for its investors, employees and customers. Of course you wanted to tell this story!
So, just as you set out on the task of building the company, you set out on the adventure of writing about it. You committed yourself to sharing an honest, authentic tale that engages others on every level. You found a brilliant team who could act as your champions, help you find the essential moments of your journey, and bring them to life. For a year you’ve been exploring with them, watching your ideas, thoughts, the beauty of your life bloom into language. You’ve added layers to your understanding with every conversation. This understanding becomes part of you, adds a dimension to your relationships and the way you think about your business. In turn, it has opened up new avenues of communication and possibility.
As you share your new way of seeing with others, those of like minds are inspired by your humanity and your energy (because this self-inquiry always brings a new burst of energy), and they are drawn closer.
This is the truest benefit of sharing your story: meeting new minds, finding new links between people and sometimes between unlikely people. In writing the book, you’ve brought your deepest humanity to the forefront, and sharing that has had a magnetic effect. You’ve heard authors talk about this benefit often, and they’ve likened it to that glorious feeling of breaking the surface of water after a deep, joyful dive.
You recall that before you dove you stood at the end of the board, vacillating. Your business was growing, yes, but hardly at the Fortune 500 level. Was it hubris to imagine anyone would be interested? Surely a book would reveal you as an ordinary schlub, and your company, your gorgeous invention, as a mediocre idea. You’ve got plenty of problems already, so why take on another? Maybe next year, you told yourself. You reasoned that you’d be older and wiser by then.
And still, you’re a person who takes the leap. You dove into business, you dove into writing the book. A step, a jump, a flight over and into a new element. So here you are, with the manuscript on your lap, the tea, the dog/cat, the cozy couch, and the courage to face whatever it is you are in the process of making.
You’ll have grown through the writing process, considering your values, understanding them in all of their aspects, capturing them in vivid language so others could take them in. After all this work, you’ll be a far better representative for the company now that you’ve wrestled your unique mission into words.
Even better, you will be filled with grateful pride, knowing that you recognized the worth of your story, looked back over the path that brought you here, and, in so doing, clarified the path ahead. You’ll have taken it seriously, having made this investment in yourself and your company’s future. You told the world that you and your mission matter by your actions, and you proved it, page by page.
Make 2019 the year you engage on the deepest level with your central ideas and beliefs, the year you attract allies and supporters through the clarity of your vision; make this the year you write your story.
Every one of us wants to touch the lives of others. When we fully share our stories, we offer more of ourselves and welcome more from others; we open a door to understanding, learning and collaboration. It’s nothing less than the first step to making a real difference in the world.
If you’re interested in writing your book and publishing it through Conscious Capitalism Press, you can find more information here.