July 6, 2024

Whenever someone in one of my mastermind groups (or anyone else) says, “I should write a book,” my first reaction is, “there are no shoulds.”

Since the notion of “writing a book” has so many permutations and dimensions…and there are experts everywhere (some good and some not so good) to coach you on how to do it…the subject gets a lot of press in the circles I hang around in.

And simply put, it’s closer to a “should” than many other things you can do.

Whether you are ready to write a book or not, I can say with confidence that “writing is a should”…whether to yourself (e.g. journaling) or for others (e.g. blogging, composed emails, even Facebook posts).

I also understand that there’s self-doubt regarding whether you have something worthwhile to share.

Let’s begin today with the premise that you do.

This Henry Ford quote sums that up beautifully:

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

If you have ever thought about writing a book…or if you are already an author of one (or more) …the first thing you need to know is that making money on book sales is mostly a fool’s errand.

But that does not prevent a book from being profitable.

I know that many of you might have gotten a large advance to write a book…and even others reading this today have collected royalties in many thousands of dollars…but regardless of your situation, what I want to share with you today is that writing a book is always a means to an end whether there are dollars flying through the door or not.

Whether it’s your magnum opus…or a 60-page how-to lead magnet…or an e-book…or a book that you want to spend millions of dollars to get to #1 on The New York Times bestseller list…

…it’s always a vehicle to share your wisdom and to share your story (which are often the same thing).

Which leads to many profitable endeavors, beginning with the satisfaction that you did it.

I hate when people call it an expensive business card…because it’s much more dynamic than that.

Yes…you need a “why” to write a book…but don’t get stuck there…and continue to explore “writing as a should” and use that as your incentive.

I got lucky with my first book because it was handed to me on a silver platter (well, the initial manuscript was) by my good friend and direct mail savant, Craig Simpson.

He did the heavy lifting by assembling the work of six legends of “advertising” …then bringing it to me for a heavy dose of editing and organizing…and when he said, “you are the only person I would do this book with, Brian…and if you say no, I will do it myself,” how could I refuse?

As you know I aspire to the great Mark Ford’s philosophy:

“Flattery doesn’t work on everyone, but it works on me.” 🙂

At the time Craig came to me with the bones to what eventually became The Advertising Solution, I thought I couldn’t write a book.

I learned that I could (under the right conditions).

From there, writing my second book, Overdeliver, was much easier.

But for years I was already writing/journaling to myself (and then others with this weekly blog)…so I had a 30-year head start.

Writing was always a “should.”

And I was inspired by this quote from Soren Kierkegaard to finally get it written:

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

My take on that quote as it pertains to writing a book:

You can’t live in the past…but every experience we have in life is meaningful, instructive and possibly worth sharing with others.

You also don’t need to “invent” anything…just present your take on what has already been invented.

When I wrote “Invention is overrated” I stressed innovation and “connecting the dots” as a skill …and that being the messenger for that innovation, or that connected tapestry, is as satisfying as being the inventor.

Always with full attribution to the original source.

Satisfaction comes in many shapes and sizes.

All of this made writing Overdeliver a “should.”

When I was assembling the book from previous blog posts and interviews (Gene Schwartz says, “I don’t write copy, I assemble it,” a topic I wrote about here), I assumed it would be about my expertise, which in case you are not aware, is in direct response marketing.

Well…at least I pretend to be an expert in that corner of the world. 🙂

But what I found from studying my previous writings and “understanding life backwards,” (i.e., sharing my experiences in the marketing world), I wasn’t writing about marketing as much as I thought.

And…the engagement with my audiences was much more pronounced, and dare I say “engaging,” when I was talking about anything but marketing.

How does that happen?

I realized that the shared area of a two circle Venn diagram (with one circle being “Direct Response Marketing” and the other being “Personal Development”) was much larger than I ever thought.

This was an epiphany for me while “assembling” Overdeliver.

Obviously, I wasn’t the first author of a marketing book to figure this out…but in case you thought you were a one-trick pony in marketing (or anything else), you’re not.

How you grow and learn, how you adapt to your environment, how you attain the values you end up owning, are all part of the puzzle called “you”…in addition to whatever job or career you have chosen.

We are ALL experts in personal development.

I recall when I was looking for a title for the book, I got some push back from people I respected in marketing circles on two counts:

  1. Overdelivery is dangerous… because once you overdeliver, expectations are raised…which will lead to eventual disappointment
  2. Overdelivery has nothing to do with “marketing”

I’m so glad I ignored those people who encouraged me to come up with a different title.

Regarding #1, I live for that “danger” …because it encourages me to always raise the bar…and if I miss on overdelivering on top of immense overdelivery (once in a while), so be it.

Life is long.

I’m always living it “forwards.”

And there will always be more time to overdeliver once again.

In fact, whenever I am interviewed about the book, my standard line is, “when you title a book Overdeliver, you better begin from the jump overdelivering on the bonuses that come with the book”… which I did with OverdeliverBook.com.

And in the P.S. today, there is an additional overdelivery for you…just piling on. 🙂

Regarding #2, thank goodness the title didn’t have the word “marketing” in it.

A title that was under consideration was Measurable Marketing …how boring is that?

Note: The subtitle to Overdeliver has the word “marketing” in it (Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing) …but the book is essentially about how to overdeliver in business and in life…with some marketing stuff in there too.

I urge you to check out the P.S.

I am not making a case for being a personal improvement guru…hey, I’m not even a marketing guru…but none of us can ignore the impact we make when we make our work our play…and our play our work.

And focus on the ever expanding shared area of the two circles of whatever Venn diagram represents your life…one circle for “work” (i.e. your career, vocation) and one circle for “play” (i.e. your life and story).

As far as whether you “should” write a book or not, there are still no shoulds.

But you need to know that sharing your wisdom and cumulative experience with millions–or dozens–will always be a bestseller.



P.S. There’s a big difference between thinking about writing a book and writing a book.

And there is even a wider gap between writing a book and then getting people to read it.

Kindle and Audible have helped increase overall readership of books…but an “invention” by my good friend (and marketing genius) Jason Fladlian, has made it even easier…more compelling…and actionable and useful too.

He calls it an “E-Class” …where the author presents his or her book on a webinar, video series (anything for that matter) …with exercises, interaction and intense engagement.

Kind of like an “Oprah Book Club” on steroids (with the author). 🙂

When I held the first “Overdeliver Bootcamp” (i.e., “E-Class”) last year I didn’t know what to expect…but I knew the experience would be enlightening for me and the attendees, leading to deeper understanding of the principles inside my book…and selfishly, for me to learn “what I missed” while writing the book that would add new insights and expanded thinking.

It was all that…and a lot more.

So of course, I’m doing it again…with six (6) live calls between July 16th and July 30th, all recorded, with in depth study of the “10 Chapters of Overdeliver.”

PLUS, two additional live calls(that’s 8 in total) with my Titans Xcelerator Mastermind included with the “Overdeliver Bootcamp” at no extra charge.

The link is available right now for registration…but attendance will be limited to 60 (and we sold out last time) …so click here to read about the agenda and to sign up.

Having engaged with so many of you over the years…about my book…and a wide variety of other topics…this is an opportunity for us to meet and learn from each other…up close and personal (on Zoom).

Let’s read my book together.

Click here and I’ll see you on July 16th!

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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