How To Finish What


Promises. Promises. Does the very word make you uncomfortable? Conjure up images of promises forgotten, broken, or never fulfilled? If promises don’t make you uncomfortable, then you haven’t been trying hard enough. Or you haven’t been taking your promises seriously. A promise without delivery is worse than no promise at all.

Promises are, to some extent, uncomfortable because you have to keep them. Sure, sometimes they can be and may need to be renegotiated. But, ultimately, when you promise and commit, someone is counting on you. Someone is, maybe many someones are, expecting you to deliver something.

People are counting on you.

When you say you’ll do something, then you will. You won’t just try to make good on your word, you will fulfill what you have undertaken. Possibly more. Too many people avoid making promises in the first place, fearing the accountability, preferring to hide under a cloak of diminished expectations. How often have you heard (or said) the words, “I can’t promise you that I’ll do it, but I’ll try.” Why would we want to live in the half-light, of such a soft engagement with others and the world?

Take your pulse … Answer the following truthfully:


Start Out and Fail To Succeed

Start Out And Fail To Succeed


It wasn’t going to work out well. They had it completely wrong. We could see it as plain as day.

The narrow runnel of ice they’d chosen went nowhere. A blind alley. A dead end.

But they were in it; and couldn’t see.

Through the Nikon spotting scope, we watched.

Scott Backes and Mark Twight, climbers on the cutting edge, pushing a steep new route up the sheer northwest face of Mt. Hunter. They’d swung their climbing axes in that runnel for nearly the entire day in the arctic cold, finally to discover their error; an error all of us had seen in the light of dawn from miles away.

They re-traced their steps to their tiny bivouac ledge 2000′ above the glacier. It hadn’t been their first dead end. Or their last.

But with a new dawn, they started out again.

They persisted; and they succeeded.

You see, it’s by starting out that you finally discover what works well; and what doesn’t.

You can study books and maps and photographs. You can look through spotting scopes. You can talk to the gurus; and take lots of courses. You can plot and plan and think.

(And, of course, all of this is helpful.)

But there comes a time when you must start.


How To Write A Book With The Help Of Book Yourself Solid

How To Write A Book With Book Yourself Solid


I teach coaches and speakers how to write and publish powerful, client-attracting books so they can grow their business. I prevent them from producing, then self-publishing, the kind of crap that drives intelligent people away.

Even if you aren’t contemplating writing a book at this point in time, the information I’d like to share with you here will help you with your other writing projects — the about me section of your website, your blog posts, and the keynote speech you may be working on.

I’d like to focus on some BYS philosophy as it relates to writing a book, to keep us in line with the outcome we’re after.

So, how do you attract clients so you can book yourself solid?

How do you inspire massive action, a change in paradigm, a veritable movement?

How do you claim the lofty title of expert in your field?

Remember, these are typically the results we’re after by writing our book.

You start by recognizing what you need to accomplish first. You start by understanding the philosophy behind it all. And this is where I’m going to break out my valuable Book Yourself Solid coaching hat. This is where I pull out my sales and marketing guns.

1. There are people who you are meant to serve, and others not so much. In other words, not everybody is your audience.

You’ll never be able to please them all or avoid criticism. Let’s release those brakes right now so you don’t lock yourself up from the get go with writer’s block. Just remember, it takes guts to have an opinion. It takes guts to share them with others; to open yourself up to criticism. I don’t care what you say, how innocuous it may seem to you; someone will decide that your opinion makes you a member of Al Qaeda. Whatever.

2. You must understand the needs and desires of your target market (a.k.a. your reading audience) and determine the biggest result your clients get when they hire you, and the associated deep-rooted benefits.

The deep-rooted benefits I’m referring to are the financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits that accompany that one big result they’re after.

Deliver that one big promise with your stories, demonstrate the deep-rooted benefits as well, and you’re on your way to having a compelling book. And a big, fat business. And here’s a dirty little secret: sometimes you unearth that one, big result and the associated benefits during the writing process. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

3. You need to be aware of your personal brand, that thing that allows you to distinguish yourself from everybody else.

Your personal brand is far more than what you do, or what your website looks like; it’s you, uniquely you.

In a book, your voice, your perspective, and your stories embody your personal brand. The more bold and authentic your voice, the more easily you’ll attract those you’re meant to work with.

You cannot water yourself down in the pages of your book, be generic, or politically correct. You’ll lose the reader you are meant to serve.

You’ve got to tell it like it is, and be wholly you.

Are you woo-woo and spiritual? Terrific, we need to know that.

Are you just way too analytical for your own good? Fantastic. We need to know that too.

Potential clients will want to know if they can connect with you on an emotional, philosophical, or even spiritual level; they need to know what you stand for, and the stories you choose to tell will allow them to determine that.

4. Your job is to build trust and credibility.

In order to build trust and credibility you have to become and establish yourself as a likeable expert in your field, build relationships of trust over time, and develop brand-building informational products.

The right book will do all three jobs.

To build trust, you have to let people know you through your stories. Sometimes this means telling personal stories, the kind that leave you feeling vulnerable. To build credibility, you‘ve got to get crystal clear on your message and the unique process that you offer. And, let’s face it, a book is an informational product. One that can be turned into a 6-week course, or a webinar series, or the basis for a Mastermind group.

5. All sales start with a simple conversation.

Often, the first conversation we have with people is thorough our book.

Think of your book as a convenient conversation. What stories do you tell potential clients to get them up to speed, to help them decide if they should work with you?

What stories do you tell to show them that you have the solutions to their very personal, specific, and urgent problems? Think of all the time you could save by laying it all out just once! Instead of repeating yourself like a broken record. What a perfect entrée into your sales cycle.


About the author:

Ann SheybaniAnn Sheybani is the author of How to Eat the Elephant: Build Your Book in Bite-Sized Steps. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Harvard University.  One of our certified Book Yourself Solid® coaches, she’s also a book coach with a sales and marketing bent. She helps speakers and coaches create powerful, client-attracting books.

You can learn more about her services at

You Could Care Less. You Could Care More

You Could Care Less


Care more about why you’re doing what you’re doing right now. Care less about how well you’re doing what you’re doing right now.

Iterate more frequently. Re-iterate. Then do it again.

Do it well now. Do it better next time.

Get better at doing. Do more.

Care less. Care more.

Care less about typos.
Care less about the 10% of folks who’ll never like you.
Care less about the anonymous douchebags and their anger issues.
Care less about unsubscribes.

Care more about the message. Care less about the medium.
Care more about the content. Care less about the platform.
Care more about the sentiment. Care less about the technology.
Care more about your buyer numbers. Care less about your follower numbers.
Care more about your ability to sell. Care less about your color scheme.

Care less about the short term. Care more about long term.

Care less about more. Care more about better.

h/t to Jeff Goins for making me think about this. He got everything he wanted this year, and it wasn’t as thrilling as he thought.


About the author:

Matthew Kimberley is a partner at Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide and often drinks thinks too much.

There Will Be Blood … And Obstacles

There Will Be Blood

Have you put your “totally unrealistic” dream on the back burner because you can think of 10 problems right out of the box?

I was watching a fox and her two kits bound across the field this morning as Walt and I drank our first cup of coffee. In the upper pasture, a herd of dairy cows had formed a battle line, like a division of black and white soldiers. They were waiting for Ben, our neighbor’s border collie, to march them toward their morning milking. Just beyond, a five-minute walk down the gravel road, the North Atlantic crashed against the cliffs of Low and High Islands.

Joy. Peace. My brand of heaven.

I used to believe set-ups like this landed in the laps of the rich, or those lucky ducks that win the lottery. No effort necessary. One day they meander on the scene and, WaBam!, they have life just the way they want it. Never occurred to me that I could possess such a place myself. Even if I thought it possible, I wouldn’t have had a clue where to begin.

Those of us raised in dysfunctional households tend to scratch our heads at the concept of  “process”. We don’t get that something worth having usually takes effort, time, and perseverance. That there are lots and lots of little steps, obstacles galore, and moments when you’re sure your efforts were for naught. And I’m talking ALWAYS. Most of us throw our hands in the air when we encounter the first problem. Because we don’t believe that we have the ability to affect outcome. We tend to feel lost and helpless.

See, we were trained:

  • To accept what we got without complaint
  • To ignore problems
  • To hunker down until the storm passed
  • To hit resistance and immediately fold if we knew what was good for us.

No one in our household troubleshot solutions. No one implemented improvements. No one stuck their hand out and reached for more. Dreamed big.

Picture perfect was the fodder of Hollywood and TV.


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