"You don't have to be an expert to be an author, but being an author makes you the expert."
Over the years, as I’ve helped people become published authors, I’ve noticed that one of the main objections I hear is, "I’m not an expert."
I went to university and got a degree, so I guess after a few years, I was an expert of sorts. Recently when I was introduced as a published author, the person I was being introduced to said, "What qualifications do you need in order to be a published author?" I remember my shock when I had the realisation... None! You just need a story, a message, knowledge or an experience to share. This was a pivotal moment that opened my eyes as to what it means to publish a book.
I meet so many people who believe they’re not an ‘expert’ because don’t have a certificate. But here’s the secret: your book becomes your certificate to the world.
In fact, after spending five years at university, I’ve had to look up my degree certificate to check the letters on it. However, when I tell people I’m a published author, their face lights up. They know what it means, whereas they would look at me blankly if I told them what all of those letters on my certificate stood for.
By glancing at your book’s front cover and noting your title and subtitle, a person can get the gist of your knowledge in under four seconds.
In my view, an author is the person who creates an asset. Put simply, they package up and organise what they already know, what they love to do, and love to teach others, and produce a book.
By taking the time to get the mountain of information, aka their intellectual property, out of their head and structuring it in a way that people can understand, they become an expert.
When you become a published author, you’re instantly seen as the author-ity in your topic. Everyone wants to work with the person who wrote the book. By organising what you know and using it to help others, it means you’ve taken the time to explore your topic thoroughly and impart the information in a way people can understand. So the very reason you thought you needed to be an expert to be an author, is why people perceive you to be an expert when you become an author. After all, you know enough to publish a book on the subject.
I'm talking about creating a professionally published book, not a poorly put together eBook full of mistakes with a badly designed cover that does nothing to attract your ideal customers. In fact, I’ve seen people produce such sloppy work that I personally feel they’re damaging their name and brand, rather than creating a specific type of book designed to attract more clients and customers and give themselves massive credibility.
People will pay you for your information. Money flows in the direction of the most organised knowledge. So if you have a book on the subject that’s set up to then lead people to further information in the form of your seminars, products, services and speaking gigs, then you’ve set the stage set for a big business that can be built behind your book.
If I was starting a new business tomorrow, the first thing I would do is to publish a book on the subject. You may ask, “What if you didn't have the story or the expertise?” That's easy. I would interview the experts. This is the exact model I used to create the Millionaire book series. I imparted other people’s expertise, which then gave me credibility by association as the author. Anyone can adopt this method!
It’s the same one Rhonda Byrne used to create The Secret. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series was also published this way. Think and Grow Rich was authored by a poor man, Napoleon Hill, who interviewed wealthy men on their success habits. I hope you’re getting the picture now.
Writing a book is a solid foundation for you to become your very own success story just by sharing what you know.
When people say they don’t have the time to write book, I often think they’ve missed the point. Their book is an asset that can be leveraged, and in fact saves them time. Instead of having the same conversation over and over with potential clients, their book has the preliminary conversation for them.
You can communicate with people all around the globe, in the privacy of their homes, without needing to leave yours.
When I tell people that anyone can write a book, it piques their interest as to the possibilities. I truly believe everyone has a message to share that’s as unique as they are, and someone out there needs to hear it. If you have knowledge and a way to communicate it, then you can absolutely become a published author. Remember: becoming a published author isn’t the same thing as being a talented writer, which takes quite a different set of skills.
I’ve always loved the book Acres of Diamonds, and I feel it’s relevant to this subject. In a nutshell, the book is a allegory about a farmer who sees others going off in search of diamonds, so he decides to sell his own farm and go off in search of diamonds. The farmer who purchased the land later finds that the creek is laden with diamonds, and the land he owns is one of the biggest diamond finds of all time.
So the lesson is this: everyone is already sitting on their diamonds, in the form of their gifts and talents, but often they’re overlooked, because it’s something they do easily and naturally.
You might be waiting for someone else to come along and give you permission to shine, as if their opinion is worth more. But there’s nobody who will come along, hand you a certificate and say, “Now you’re an expert. Go write your book.”
You can succeed no matter where you are, starting with what you already know. Even if you’re not that confident yet, don’t worry, because the process itself is a journey and it’s about who you become as you share your knowledge with the world.
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