A year or so ago, when podcasting was just starting to get big, I set about finding out what it would take to start my own podcast.
It was THE thing to do at the time and it looked like a great marketing strategy – everybody loves podcasts! (Don’t they?)
I imagined it would be relatively easy to do (it’s just recording audio, right?) and wouldn’t take up too much of my time. Also, I’d done a bit of radio when I was at the BBC and loved it, so I thought having a podcast would be fab.
How wrong can you be!
After a lengthy conversation with a podcast expert, I began to realise it wasn’t going to be the quick and easy way to raising my profile and attracting clients that I imagined.
First, there were all the tech requirements: equipment, software, audio editing, quality control (this all added up to an investment of time and money I hadn’t bargained for). After that, I had to think about the marketing, producing a podcast consistently and deciding on a podcast style and format. On top of that was the whole business of finding people to interview, thinking about topics to talk about and organising it all.
And then it dawned on me…
Speaking isn’t my favourite mode of communication anyway (yes, I love to talk, but it doesn’t come naturally to me).
And then I also had to admit that I never listened to podcasts and I didn’t even want to.
And above all…
I’m a writer!
All this time I was going to be spending on a podcast wasn’t going to get my book(s) written. Okay, it looked like the perfect strategy to get noticed and grow my business, but deep down, I didn’t think it would work out like that.
And there was big reason for that... I wasn’t going to love it. Being on someone else’s podcast: great! Doing my own… not so much.
It’s easy to see other business owners diving into the latest big thing and convince yourself you need to be doing it too. Look at me! I got sucked in by the idea of being able to say, ‘I’ve got a podcast’, but the journey to that place – and living there – wasn’t what I truly wanted. I knew it was just going to drag me down.
It's the same with writing a book.
If you don’t like writing (or reading), can’t see how a book is going to get you where you want to go in your business and can’t even think what to write about, my advice is to go and do something else.
Because in the end, if you’re not doing work you love, it’s going to drain you. That book (or in my case that podcast) is going to become an albatross around your neck. It’ll make your days feel like weeks, it’ll place a massive ‘STOP’ sign on your ability to action other projects and it’ll loom over your working horizon at every moment of the day.
It just isn’t worth it.
Maybe it seems as if my job is to persuade you to write a book. But if I need to persuade you to do it, I’m not sure it’s right for you. Deep down, there must be a big WHY. A sense of purpose and a desire to do it.
Before you plan to write a book, consider why you’re doing it, what you’re going to get from it and whether you want to do the work. If the answer is no – or even ‘not now’ – trust your intuition. Something inside is saying ‘no’, and that’s fine.
Of course, there are exceptions. You might not consider yourself a writer or particularly relish the idea of writing a book, but you might still want to do it. Maybe that’s because you have a vision for how you can use that book in your business or have a message you need to share. That’s fine.
If you’ve got a big why spurring you on, you have a purpose that’ll motivate you to keep going. Having the vision, purpose and desire is what matters. And if you still want to do it after you’ve found out what’s involved. Go for it.
If not, set it aside or simply decide ‘no, not for me’. It’ll clear the way to other more productive projects that move you forward much faster.