Mali Maeder

Why I am about to publish my first book

Or, sometimes you have to throw out the first pancake

Every entrepreneurial and business guru I have ever admired says the same thing:

“Every entrepreneur should write a book.”

I put this quote into search on Medium and four stories popped up. I put it into Google and I had 22 million hits in under a second. I won’t even attempt to list all the reasons that were cited here, but feel free to browse this search and choose a few that resonate with you.

I have read through the reasons “they” say entrepreneurs should write books. Many make perfect sense, and I agree with them. Lots of them just don’t seem to apply to me, and that’s ok.

Here I will tell you my reasons for publishing my first book.

I have known for a while I wanted to write some books, and in fact have started six of them. Yes, six.

I have finished zero of them. Yes, zero.

Something that might seem obvious to you but that I had to learn the hard way was that if one doesn’t focus on finishing one of one’s books, but instead tries to write six at once, one is not likely to finish any of them. It only took me four years to come to that realisation. (You may choose to stop reading now as clearly this writer is not the sharpest tool in the shed.)

I was trying to blame it on my plague of ideaphoria, which I have written about previously as being a real challenge to productivity. From the outside it may look great that a person can come up with six ideas for six different books. What is not obvious of course is whether those ideas are any good or whether that person will actually finish writing any of them. Ideaphoria is only a gift when combined with finely honed self-discipline. Oops.

So I have decided to put away five of the six false starts, and finish my first book. I am on schedule to finish the final draft this week. A little bit of design jiggery pokery and by the end of the month it will be a completed pdf ready to ship. It will certainly be version 1.0, but it will be done.

Reasons I am writing a book, and why I am writing THIS book:

  • It will take me to the next level of my confidence and ability. I have to finish at least one of my books. One. Just like getting started writing this blog weekly without fail, has, over the past six months, given me confidence and practice in writing and sharing with the world, I am sure that finishing and publishing this book will catapult me to the next level of confidence and productivity. Even if it is rubbish. It just will. It has to.
  • I refuse to believe the last twenty years were for naught. I chose start (with finishing) this one because it is based on all that I learned about management in the 20 years I was in the career I was doing before I became a solo over-forty non-techie female founder of a tech startup two years ago. I learned a lot, came up with some useful and transferable tricks of the trade, and figured I could boil them down into a pretty simple and practical model that others could use. I didn’t want to just bin them. Many of those lessons were learned through blood, sweat, and tears, and I didn’t want it to all be in vain.
  • It’s time to put up or shut up. One of the lessons I share about my recent journey to becoming an entrepreneur is “Just Start”. I wouldn’t be here now with my tech startup if I hadn’t taken that first step three years ago. And I realised that my procrastination with getting at least one book done and “shipped” (as Seth Godin taught me) is that fear of Just Starting- to be an author, a writer of books, when I had absolutely no confidence in the quality of what I was churning out. It doesn’t matter. I have to just start because you never know where it may lead.
  • I have come to terms with the fact that there always has to be a first pancake. I reminded myself on the back of my lesson of Just Start of the age old lesson of “sometimes you have to throw out the first pancake”. And Anne Lamott’s lesson of the need to create that oh so painful “shitty first draft” (you can’t edit a blank page!). And Tim Ferriss’ brave sharing of his really crappy first drafts with the motivator to “start small with baby steps and iterate”. And Michael Hyatt’s encouragement that when you think you have nothing unique to say remember that two people experiencing the same thing do so through completely different lenses of life experience, and …. well you get the picture.

So I kicked myself in the pants and have been powering through the final draft of my first panca-, er, book. Yes, I have been crippled by doubts about what I have included, what I have left out, how I have ordered it, whether it will resonate with anyone, if it has been nothing but a waste of time, and a whole host of other concerns. But it will be done. It will be published. It will be shipped.

Then I can get on with pouring the next pancake. Which by contrast will be light, fluffy, perfectly round, and the nicest shade of golden brown. I can taste it already. Better get back to writing.

I write about how I became the founder of a tech startup as a non-techie, over-40 female with no entrepreneurial experience, and all I am learning along the way. You can see more here: If you think this might be helpful for others on their entrepreneurial journey, please recommend and share by clicking the heart.