Research shows that 81% of people say they have at least one book in them according to the New York Times.
For most of my life I was one of those people. I loved to write as far back as I could remember but gave up that dream when I got older. As I got close to graduating High School I told myself I had to “get real.”
I wanted a high six-figure a year paying job, nice cars, and everything else the “American Dream” involved. I put my dream of being a writer on the back burner to make money and that’s what I did for 12 years.
I guess you can argue that I achieved the “American Dream” because I had a business that generated $500,000 a year. I had all the toys, cars and stuff that go with that lifestyle but I wasn’t happy.
In 2011 I hit rock bottom. I had over $100,000 in debt from the business and poor money management. My wife and I were separated, and everything came crashing down on my head at the same time.
During the lowest point of my life was when I decided it was time to write that book. That decision didn’t make sense but it ultimately changed my life. If you are one of those 81% of people here are four ways a book can change your life.
It can give you clarity
You may have big dreams and big goals. If you’re going to make them a reality you have to see them. You have to know where you’re going and how to get there. Writing a book can give you that clarity.
It can help you put your plan in place and the steps you need to take to get there. All those thoughts and ideas can get out of your head and get on paper where they make sense.
Flush out those ideas and use your book to make them make sense. In doing so you’ll gain clarity about where you want to go and understand yourself better. You’ll understand who you are and where you’re going.
It can be therapy
During the worst times I would take out my notebook and write. I didn’t feel like there was anybody in my life to talk to so I talked to myself through words. Whenever I dealt with a stressful situation I would write about it and I could instantly feel the stress melt away.
All that pent up anger and stress can melt away as you write those words. In your book you can get really honest about how you feel, you can get those thoughts off your chest.
It can provide income
We live in a pretty amazing time. In times past to get a book out to the world you would have to send it to an agent and they would pitch publishers. Your chances of getting your book out to the world were a lot harder.
Today you can self-publish your book through many online portals, such as Amazon, where are no more gatekeepers. Reading the story of Amanda Hocking, who self-published her books and sold over one million copies, is what inspired me to self-publish my first book.
I saw what Amanda had done and it gave me the confidence to take the words I had written in that notebook and publish them as an eBook. My goal wasn’t a million copies; it was to make enough to leave a job I hated.
A book can provide some side income to a full income depending how well you market it. As your online presence grows and more people get exposed to your book your income grows as well.
I ended up self-publishing two books that sold over 82,000 copies and lead to a book deal with a traditional publisher. I started out just trying to provide a little extra income for our family. As I figured out how to market the books I was able to create a full-time income.
Now I know what you’re thinking because I used to think the same thing. “It worked for him but I couldn’t do that.” I was a bread delivery guy who didn’t even join social media until 2011. I had no clue what I was doing but with all the information available online I figured it out.
You can write a book, figure out the best way to market it and create real income. It’s going to take some patience and perseverance but you can do it and when you do your life will be changed.
It can be the foundation to a life of freedom
As you’re reading this there are 2.5 billion people also online. That’s a large number of people that can see and buy your book. The book can be the foundation of a location independent online business.
From that book you can create digital information products and services that can grow to serious income. As my books started selling and people got to know who I was, I created products and services.
Today I’m writing this post from Maui, Hawaii completely supported by my online business. The cool thing is we’re not tied down anywhere. If we want to travel we can and still make money.
We have true freedom, which is something I never envisioned. We can live life on our own terms. You can create this same kind of life and spend your time doing what’s important to you.
The Internet has opened so many doors that weren’t available to us before. Use them to create a life that you love.
Realize that writing a book and creating an amazing life takes time. Here’s the thing, we’re not guaranteed a tomorrow. Don’t come to the end of your life with regret. Write that book and start today. Start right after you read this post.
Use it to gain clarity and as therapy for what you’re going through. Learn how to market your book and start creating income. From there picture the kind of life you want and create it.
Take it one day at a time and keep pushing forward. It may take a while but you’ll get there. We were able to use that income to pay off that huge debt. My wife and I reconciled and are living a happy life.
In the process I created work that I love and lost 165 pounds. What’s crazy is that it all started with that one book. This can be your story too. You just have to take action today.
Do you want to write a book? What would that book be about?
No, thank YOU Isaac 😉
This is another very resourceful piece. Thank you startofhappiness.
Another Great Article Brendan, keep it up! Reading books truly help, it refreshes your mind and educates you within. Great work!
Thanks, Tony! Kimanzi deserves the credit here.
This a great reminder Kimanzi!
When I was in college doing my master, my teacher, told us to take a pledge to read 100 books during 2 years of time, of our choice, of any size, and the knowledge will guide us for the rest of our life. I could see the sense, but could read only 50 books on self-development. Truly the knowledge I receive from those invaluable books shaped the rest of my life.
Can’t agree anymore that writing book can even do more wonder!
Thanks for the inspiration, Kimanzi!
Thank you Brendan for this guest post.
Hi Bharat, 100 books in 2 years! That’s a crazy amount! I wish I could read a book a week… I currently have a goal to read a book every 2 weeks and that is challenging for me!
Great article…! Its been a while since I read a book, really have to start doing it again!
I have a goal to read 24 books this year… 1 every fortnight. It is seriously AWESOME for keeping you focused.
Kimanzi, just WOW.
I never really thought about writing a book; I thought I’d be doing that in 5 to 10 years, if I’d think I should be doing that. But you changed my perspective.
People like Amanda Hocking and yourself truly do inspire when it comes to this game. Internet sure did open a lot of doors for a lot of people.
Enjoy Hawaii! I have some relatives living there. 🙂
Hey Brendan, your site is great–I owe you this for like a month now. 😀 Keep it up!
Thanks, Ethan! Greatly appreciate it 🙂
I too want to write a book sometime… it’s always so overwhelming just thinking about it upfront though! I just need to start 🙂