Are you a C Suite executive with a desire to write a book? Do you have a legacy to share? Do you have a rags to riches story to share?
Before you write a book, you need to find a focus for it. This means you need to narrow down your subject.
Say you are a person who started a company against all odds. You took risks, you made enemies, you overcame challenges. You revolutionized an industry. That’s a huge subject. You could write a broad overview, but such a book may not have the impact you want. This raises the first question to ask yourself.
What Impact Do I Want This Book to Have?
Do you want to provide useful information for people in your field? You may have learned or developed specific techniques that help people with the kinds of challenges you overcame. Your experience may be that these techniques work for a range of startups. Whether the reader has little or lots of business experience, he or she can benefit from the use of these methods. That’s your focus, reinforced with stories.
Do you want to write a call to action? Do you want to run a mastermind or offer to coach other executives? You want this information to inspire them to action. To facilitate this, you may include examples of how you achieved success in your business.
Who Is Your Audience?
In a book where you share what you’ve learned about business, you have a potential audience of those who could benefit from using it. Describe your ideal reader.
She is an entrepreneur seeking solutions to common challenges of running a business. Open to learning, she wants to take a successful path. She cares deeply about her clients and is always on the lookout for new techniques.
Place a picture of a person who represents your ideal reader next to your computer, and glance at this picture when you are creating your content. The photo will help you stay focused on your reader. (I heard this technique from John Maxwell, a successful entrepreneur who spoke to the 2019 National Speakers Association annual meeting. Staying focused on his reader helped him write over 60 books.)
This focusing technique is used by writers of both fiction and non-fiction. Stephen King is exceptionally focused. He writes for his wife. You don’t need that kind of laser focus, but if you write for a specific—though imaginary— individual, you will find your writing becomes equally focused.
Once you complete your book, seek a professional editor to polish your work, find the holes in your manuscript and help you present your expertise in the best light.
Pat Iyer is a professional editor and ghostwriter and one of the original 100 C Suite Network Advisors. Connect with her at patiyer.com.