We’re in Uncharted Territory—How will You Make Your Mark?
March 17, 2020
With the health crisis created by COVID-19, we find ourselves in uncharted territory in every area of our lives—as citizens, parents, and leaders.
Most of us have never imagined a situation quite like this one, and as we grapple with our individual response to what’s happening out there, we also find ourselves struggling with how to protect our families, keep children who are out of school occupied, support our friends and neighbors, and lead our organizations—all from our own homes.
But even with all of those additional considerations, we may have less to do than ever before. As the US and other countries around the world begin to promote social distancing, we’re not traveling for business, meeting up for in-person social engagements or even making our daily commute to work. That’s freeing up a lot of hours, maybe for the first—and only—time in our adult lives.
As our Founder & CEO Adam Witty recently wrote to our Members, What will you do with this opportunity?
There are many ways to harness this downtime to launch your career and/or business to the next level, all from the comfort of your couch, home office, even your bed (pajama pants are not only welcomed, but encouraged). There are multiple social media posts making the rounds that share some of the great achievements made during periods of mandated downtime. Derek Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law wrote on Twitter,
“Isaac Newton discovered calculus while in quarantine.
William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine.
You will learn how to unmute your computer’s microphone during a Zoom meeting while in quarantine.”
That may indeed be true, but as you can see, there’s the potential to do so much more.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely already considering one of the most powerful options to turn this global business lull into an opportunity for transformation. Is this the time to write your book?
Whether you’ve already started in on a first draft—perhaps one you’ve let fall by the wayside over years of increasing personal and professional responsibility—or writing a book feels more like a pipe dream than an actual possibility, this is your chance to bring it to reality. Just think about how much you accomplish in a single, typical day. With significantly more time on your hands for once, you can do this, too.
Making the decision to do so will have a tremendous impact on how much you can achieve for years to come. But you don’t have to do it all at once. If staring at that blinking Word cursor feels too daunting, start off with good old-fashioned paper and pen—heck, reach for a pencil if ink feels too permanent.
Start by considering a few key questions and making some notes:
Are you an expert in more than one area? What specific topic—or topics—are you thinking about telling? After all, they say everyone has one book in them, but some people have even more.
Who is your audience? Is your message meant for other leaders in your industry, employees or practitioners looking to move up the ladder and achieve the same level of success or members of the general public interested in learning about a particular service or honing a unique skill?
What kind of approach would you like to take? Do you plan to get your point across through vivid stories based on client experiences, a highly readable step-by-step how-to guide or a gripping business fable that keeps readers turning pages?
With all this in mind, consider the topics you’d like to cover, and break them into chapters. Once you have a list, make some bullets on what you’d include in each one.
When you’ve finished that task, step back and congratulate yourself! You’ve made real progress. And if you need help with this piece, you know whom to call.
If you’ve already got a working draft, this is the perfect time to dig in. Read through and reevaluate. How does the book flow overall? Does the structure need some tweaking? Does the content need updating? Do you have anything to add? Are there any sections that are less relevant than they were before, and could be trimmed, replaced with more timely examples, or cut entirely? Need some guidance on how best to proceed? We can help with that too. Just fill out this form to schedule a call.
And once you’ve taken the steps to make this downtime a period of incredible opportunity by starting or picking up a book project, sit back, relax, and turn on the television or your favorite streaming service. Even Shakespeare took a break from time to time.