Step 1 of writing a book: Clarify your objectives and give yourself a timeline

Writing a book can be a daunting ambition, especially for new writers. Many of us, and I’m guilty of this, do not recognize the intense discipline, hard work and commitment required to publish until we try to do it ourselves.

As I shared, I have had my book somewhat fleshed out in my mind for years, but the most challenging step was to fully commit to a publishing timeline and clear, focused topic. To get there, I had to compile all of my thoughts, memories and notes and doing so was overwhelming. From there, I had to identify key themes and key messages I wanted to get across and engaged several published authors to help me refine my thinking through feedback to get there. Tapping other published authors was extraordinarily helpful in securing the right guidance to help me stay committed but also to understand the topics and book formats readers today are looking for. The knowledge they generously shared helped me develop a clear direction I could then follow as a guide.

Once a high-level book outline was clearly developed, I created a timeline collaboratively with Forbes, my publisher. All parties involved agreed on a 24-month schedule of key dates and gates with clearly defined deliverables.

This all sounds straightforward, right? Well, it is and is not. As Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of 369 Global, sticking to a timeline and meeting cadence is the hardest part for me. I travel for business extensively and am part of several philanthropic and professional organisations, so my calendar is always full and maximised. I learned quickly that if I was committed to the process, time to write and meet with my mentors and coaches had to stay a priority, or my vision would never come to fruition. The most critical piece of advice I can share with anyone hoping to take on the major project of writing a book is taking the time to thoughtfully develop a schedule that integrates into your life and stick to it. Without this commitment and scheduled time it will be impossible to achieve your goal. To do this effectively, you need to be realistic with yourself and take an honest look at your life, commitments and priorities to make time for the process. I am confident that if you take this strategic step and let those closest to you know about your ambitious goal, you will be one step closer to achieving it!

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