PJ Weiland On How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
10 min readAug 24, 2023

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Understand the market: Before beginning the process of marketing, it’s crucial to understand the type of book you want to write and your audience. Research books on your topic and genre to gain insights into what appeals to readers. Buy some of these books and read them — see what differentiates your book from the others.

As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing PJ Weiland.

PJ Weiland is a Certified Award-Winning Coach, Speaker, Entrepreneur, YouTuber, Author, Mentor, Marathoner and Philanthropist. Also a newcomer to the sport of Pickleball PJ wrote and published a book in 30 days titled Dinking thru Life, Lessons from the Pickleball Court. Available in soft or hard cover, the book is observant of the many ways the lessons of Pickleball are parallel to those in life.

In her professional role, PJ has helped thousands of business owners, executive leaders and teams achieve their goals in business. Whether its doubling/tripling growth in profitability, improved cash flow, and high-performance teams or strategic planning to improve leadership skills and creating effective marketing plans… PJ can meet you exactly where you are and guide you to get the business and life you deserve.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

In 2011, I took the time to discern my purpose in life. I determined that my purpose was: To inspire and encourage others to reach their full potential. I read a book by a Jesuit priest called, Falling Upward. The book highlights how the first half of your life prepares you for the second half of your life. I felt a connection to share all the learnings and knowledge I had gained in the first half of my life through business and executive coaching.

Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

Although I am very passionate about pickleball, and play often, I don’t consider myself an expert. One day at the pickleball courts, I was speaking with another player. We spoke about how similar pickleball was to life. He challenged me to write a book about the similarities. I thought about it and took on the challenge to write the book, and decided I would do it in 30 days! It took me 3.5 years to write my first book and I did not want this to take that long. I published a daily video about my 30-day journey. The book is based on how the sport of pickleball provides many life lessons. As a business coach I frequently refer to the many, many analogies between sports and business. In many ways how we play games parallels how we do life.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

I am actively building my YouTube channel, as well as researching and speaking about Artificial Intelligence. I am actively working on my fourth book, as I want to accelerate the process for this book and although it won’t be complete in 30 days, as it is much longer. My goal is to complete five chapters each week over an 8-week period. My goal is to complete and publish it in October 2023. That would be my fourth book published in 2023!

Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

This book comes from my own experience on the Pickleball court and in the world. In my experience I have found that Pickleball seems in many ways to mirror life. This book is intended to be fun. It is intended to be entertaining. As a relative newcomer to the game, the addiction is real. I have found the Pickleball community inclusive and welcoming. I couldn’t have written this book without their help. They are the inspiration and the encouragement for this project. My purpose in writing this book is to challenge myself and other Pickleball players to share the parallels that exist in our lives between how we play games and how we do life.

This book is 124 pages of life lessons — here is an example page of one of those lessons that comes when learning the game of pickleball.

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three-character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Tenacity

I took on the challenge of writing this book in 30 days from concept to Amazon. On Day 0, I went public with my commitment and although I did not know how I was going to do this, I was tenacious in believing that I would be successful. I was familiar with the publishing process, but this challenge would be different as it involved an illustrator and things that were out of my control. There were times throughout the 30 days that I had my doubts, and it was unclear whether I would be successful or not, but I kept pushing ahead toward the goal and did not get discouraged or give up. Along the way, there was an opportunity to add a second book to the production schedule and this only added to the challenge! Both books were published within 30 days.

Resourcefulness

The book that I published required me to hire an illustrator. This process was something I was unfamiliar with and required me to source, interview and contract with an illustrator that could meet my timeline. This was a challenge, as I needed to find someone that would be able to meet my design requirements AND be able to work within my very tight time constraints that were self-inflicted! In my first set of interviews for illustrators, no one fit the requirements and I had to cast a wider net and ended up reviewing about 40 illustrators in order to find one that would be able to work with me on this project. I loved the illustrator that I worked with, and she was a great partner!

Perspective

My book is all about perspective. The perspective of life through the lens of the sport of pickleball. I needed to outline the many aspects of pickleball and draw parallels to what happens on the court to what happens in life. There are so many lessons that can be learned, and I wanted to cover them all. My hope is that those that read my book, relate to the parallels both on the court and off and can maintain their perspective and not take them or the game too seriously.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

The process of writing a book in 30 days is very closely aligned with my brand as a business coach. I help business owners and executives set goals, create plans, then execute and achieve more than they may have thought possible. This book was an example of self-accountability. I went public with my goal, then provided daily accountability check ins along the way. This is very similar to what I do with my clients. The topic of pickleball for the book and the lessons we learn added another dimension to the creation process. It made the process more lighthearted and fun. It was a way to remind myself and others that work should be fun. It doesn’t have to be tedious when you do something you love.

I am also a local celebrity in my pickleball community! It is a conversation starter and a way to connect with others on the pickleball courts. It also allows me to meet new people and talk about what I do as a business coach. On the courts, it is not unusual to sign a book that a fellow player bought online!

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

One of the first questions I ask someone who is considering writing a book is ‘why?’. Like any goal setting process, it is important to understand what you want the book to achieve for you. Are you writing as a memoir? Is it to gain credibility? Will you use it for marketing or are you looking for an additional source of income? Once you understand the purpose of the book then you can evaluate if the effort and expense is worth it. If you plan on using it for marketing, what does that look like? How will you use it to attract clients? How many clients do you need to get in order to offset the effort and expense?

I have written three books and they have all served different purposes. My first book was thought leadership and client acquisition. My second book was to build my brand through the writing process. My third book was for an additional source of income.

A book serves as a tangible manifestation of one’s ideas, experiences, and expertise. It establishes you as an authority on the subject. It can help position the author as a go-to expert in their field. In my experience books open the door to speaking engagements, workshops, consulting opportunities, and broader media exposure.

Writing a book, especially in the context of thought leadership, can create myriad opportunities for personal and business growth. It’s a commitment, both in terms of time and resources, but the potential rewards in establishing credibility, expanding reach, and opening new avenues of growth make it a venture worth considering.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

There are three elements to writing a book: Production, Publishing and Promoting. Many writers feel like getting the book published is the goal, when in reality promotion and getting it in front of your audience can be even more work than production and publishing. It is important to realize that just because your book is published doesn’t mean that it will sell. It needs to be promoted. Don’t overlook the use of a press release to get your book in front of your audience. Look for both traditional and non-traditional means of promotion. I contacted one of the top websites for locating pickleball courts to collaborate with them. I had to find them, as they were not seeking me out. Local bookstores and libraries can be great resources for book promotions.

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging an expert?

In general, you might have a natural connection to your audience — use that connection to promote your book. For a broader reach or for areas outside of your sphere of influence use a professional to promote your book. There are a lot of people that will offer to promote your book, do your homework, make sure that they have the connections and reach that you are looking for. When you hire a professional it is important that you still work your own network and don’t just rely on them. You have connections too.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Understand the market: Before beginning the process of marketing, it’s crucial to understand the type of book you want to write and your audience. Research books on your topic and genre to gain insights into what appeals to readers. Buy some of these books and read them — see what differentiates your book from the others.

Understand your audience: Once you have a clear understanding of your market, then get clarity on your target audience. Make sure that your working title and introduction speaks to your target audience. This will provide you clarity and be sure that the tone, style, and content of your book matches your audience.

Match your online presence to your book: Make sure that you have a website, web page or social media where you can send your audience to learn more about your book. This should reflect your brand and serve as a central hub for all your promotional activities and give readers easy access to purchase your book.

Get on Amazon: Given the dominant role of Amazon in the publishing world be sure to include your book on Amazon. Choose strong keywords and categories to ensure your book reaches its intended audience on the platform.

Leverage connections: Send copies to bloggers, critics, and readers who are passionate about your topic and can generate buzz. Positive reviews and ratings can significantly boost the book’s credibility and appeal to a wider audience.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would like to have the major players in Pickleball express an interest in meeting me for lunch or breakfast….USA Pickleball, Franklin, APP, AARP, Selkirk, Joola, Pickleheads, Pickleball United, PPA, and some of the professional tennis players and actors that have taken up pickleball: Tom Brady, Gary Vee, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Durant, McEnroe, Agassi, Roddick, Chang.

Visiting my website: www.dinkingthrulife.com has information about my book, my 30-Day challenge, and my coaching business.

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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