Why coaches should write a book

The following is a guest post from Sunday Times #1 bestselling author Michael Heppell.

It’s the smell.

There’s nothing like it.

The first waft makes it real.

All further wafts are good, but that first sniff… it’s life-affirming.

I’m talking about the magical moment when a coach opens the first box of their newly printed book.

A book they wrote. Using their fingers on keys. With ideas from their brains. Over countless hours. Through many moments of doubt.

And there it is, with your name on the front.

There’s nothing like it.

Why haven’t you written that book?

Your book?

The one that positions you as an authority in your coaching niche and will help you get coaching clients.

The one you’ve thought about, the one tucked away in your synapses just screaming to make the transition from your brain box to paper?

There are probably many reasons, including not having enough time (hint: you do) and being unsure when to start (hint: today).

But I’d have a cheeky tenner on the following being top of your list.

You don’t think you’re good enough to write a book

I’m sure millions of books haven’t left the authors’ minds or made their way onto paper for fear of not being good enough.

The truth is (lean in now because this is a writer’s secret), all authors go through this.

Whether you’re Stephen King, JK Rowling, or Agatha Christie, almost every writer believes, at some point or another, that they’re not good enough.

The trick to breaking through these self-doubts is to focus on ‘the work’.

And the work is writing.  

One… word… at… a… time.

By doing the work, you will quickly discover that you’re much better than you think.

The wedge of doubt diminishes, your confidence rises and guess what? You are writing.

Here’s something you could do right now to overcome that wedge of doubt:

Write a short 500-word essay, paper or blog post.

As soon as you’ve done this, leave it for 24 hours.

This 24-hour rest period is essential before you read it back.

Then edit, chop and change to your heart’s content.

I guarantee that it will be much better, and you will be imbued with a sense of hope.

Get help

It can be a lonely pursuit, writing and publishing your book.

So much is trapped in your head.

You can’t talk to family and friends – they don’t get it.

Google searches bring up the titans of publishing – too out of reach.

If you email Tony Robbins for his take on writing a self-development bestseller, don’t expect a reply.

Where to start?

It’s essential to surround yourself with other people who are also on the journey.

New writers like you, can share the ups and downs. Or the authorcoaster as I call it.

These highs and lows can be taken in your stride when you have a team of people who are on the same journey.

But you know all this. You’re a coach!

Anyone who tries to do something on their own is a fool. Right?

Of course they are, and you are no different.

Who not how’, should be the mantra of writers, especially new writers.

At school, my English teacher, let’s call her Miss Lumsdon (because that’s her name), wrote in my final school report…

‘Michael will never do anything with the English Language!’

That didn’t bother me. I was going to be going ‘up’ in the world!

My dad had a roofing business and I was joining to be an apprentice slater and tiler.

Fast forward a few years, and I had to write. 

I became a youth worker, fundraiser, and eventually a professional speaker. All of these required me to produce words—writing. 

And yet Miss Lumsdon’s report kept sneaking into my mind from goodness knows where. 

Could I do this?

Who’s your Miss Lumsdon?  

We all have one. That person who knocked our confidence.

The one that sits deep inside and creates the wedge of doubt. 

[This is where, for legal reasons, I point out that this is a metaphor]

One day, I realised a simple truth.

Miss Lumsdon hasn’t a clue who I am.

What I do.

Why I write.

I’d bet you fifty quid she has no recollection of writing that school report.  

So I decided she had to die, and I killed her there and then.

Quite a twisty plot for a fiction writer. 

Pupil kills ex-teacher for dodgy school report from 1983 – shocker!

Time to kill your Miss Lumsdon.

Put your Sherlock Holmes deerstalker on and hunt it down.

Laser in on the limiting belief or negative criticism from bygone years and ZAP!

You’ve got this!

But can you, or should you be arsed to do any of this?

Is it worth it?

The time, effort and energy?  You know I’m going to say yes. But why?

I wear T-shirts that say:

It’s not the book you read that will change your life. It’s the book you write.

I couldn’t agree more. 

It’s difficult to describe the feeling of holding your own newly published book. 

Your work, with your name prominently printed on the cover.

And the smell – don’t forget the smell!

Plus, here is the bigger point

Your book will be there forever

It can be your legacy

Long after you’ve typed those final words.

In 2020, when the world locked down, sales of my book Flip It how to get the best out of everything, soared.

Yet, it had been first published and hit the top of The Sunday Times bestselling list back in 2009.

Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

But it gets better.

When I pitch for a job, I send a couple of my books. Does that increase my chances of getting the work? You bet!

If I had a pound for everyone who said, ‘I read your book’. I could buy Newcastle United….probably.

Another point is, you’ve read this far.

What does that say?

It’s your call to discover more about writing and putting your message in print. 

You’re a coach and a writer who needs to become an author.

Writing, publishing, and selling your book is no longer a should; it’s a must. 

That’s the point. 

No regrets

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave this world with regrets. 

As a coach, you know that setting the goal is the easy part.

Achieving the goal is tough.

Those who don’t achieve their goals (through quitting) end up with regrets.

But have you noticed how they justify this with excuses?

‘I was too busy.’

‘I wanted to make sure my idea was fully formed before I started to write.’ 

‘It looks like someone else is writing about my niche.’

This is because making excuses is easier than writing a book.

I’ve coached over 1,000 people on how to write, publish and sell their books. 

One of my favourite interviews in my Write That Book Masterclass was with book marketing expert Mike Alden.  

There’s a brilliant quote from Mike that sums up the difference between those who talk a good game and those who do something about it. 

“A lot of people say, ‘Yeah I have a book in me, I’m gonna write a book.’ And you can say, ‘Well guess what, you didn’t, and I did.’”

Enough of the rah-rah, time to do-do.

I invite you to discover how ready you are to write, publish and sell your book. I’ve created a simple quiz to identify exactly what you need to work on to write, publish and sell your book.

It’s free. It’s here.

There’s no spammy funnel, just cracking advice to help you on your author journey.

It’s time to Write That Book.

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