Compiling what has worked for you and presenting it in a manner which allows others to easily disseminate and use it can truly elevate your organization to a different level.
The odyssey of creating, operating, and growing a small business or nonprofit is an experience completely unique to the person at the helm. Although there’s a certain commonality to the steps taken on the path from initial inception to finalized entity, the distinctive and defining journey of each organization is a compelling narrative that will never directly match someone else’s. Anyone who undertakes such a venture by simply checking off the items on a template will quickly discover that creating an organization is a journey chockfull of twists and turns, and it’s these unexpected events that make for a highly personalized story.
Hopefully, once all the initial struggles of setup have passed and the growing pains of day to day operations are at a manageable level, the entrepreneur will begin to appreciate the uniqueness of the path they’ve taken. The early days of a new enterprise might be fraught with watching YouTube videos, reading how-to books, and seeking mentorship from any credible voice, but the perseverant business owner will eventually come to a place of self-awareness. A trusted voice might have described the solution to a particular problem as being, “all you have to do is….”, but the harsh realities of doing business end up proving that answer to be far too generic.
Having walked through the complexities of resolving the issue has now provided the business owner with a first-person account of what really was needed. Being scrutinous in the examining of cause and effect within the setting of a small business or nonprofit can provide a wealth of wisdom as to how to avoid additional problems as the journey continues. The amazing byproduct of this kind of intentionality is the creation of perhaps the most valuable tool any organization can ever hope to possess – a knowledge base. Instead of simply embracing theories and strategies created by someone else, the entire organization can now draw from proven practices that have been lived out as it pursues its mission.
This type of solid foundation can end up positively influencing every aspect of the organization, from the clarification of policies and procedures to the development of a transparent and genuine customer service model. The astute entrepreneur will find ongoing application for these “lessons learned” within the company, but few will ever go so far as to take the next practical step: sharing the wealth. The whole concept of compiling what has worked for you and presenting it in a manner which allows others to easily disseminate and use it can truly elevate your organization to a different level.
Beyond the pursuit of your mission and the desire to turn a profit – neither of which are wrong – being willing to help others with their struggles will instantly place your business into the best possible light. So many organizations tend to be myopic to such a degree that they never embrace the value of simply being willing to help. Nothing will ever be gained by jealously guarding your success and viewing everyone else suspiciously. The knowledge you’ve accumulated might be the very guidance some struggling startup needs to overcome adversity that might otherwise crush them at the outset.
Certainly, it would never be in the best interest of your company to share proprietary information that’s critical to your operations, or to reveal intellectual property that could permit your competitors to swoop in and steal your market. But the nuts and bolts of simply doing business, and particularly in overcoming the pitfalls that can bring a new venture crashing down, are incredibly valuable to someone overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. For those who do take the step of sharing their knowledge, the obvious outlets might be a YouTube channel or a podcast, but actually pursuing the effort and commitment of creating something in written form can be the most compelling way to tell the tale.
Writing a book might be the furthest goal from your mind, far down the list of what you hope to accomplish with your business. But the prospect of putting your experience into written form can serve a variety of purposes. In addition to being a resource for others who are just starting their journey, you might also discover that by doing so you now have a fresh appreciation for your own story. Encapsulating your experience in the written word can have the tremendous benefit of making everything real and relevant to you again, which can itself be a catalyst to push you forward into new, uncharted territory.
Even if you don’t have any interest in writing about how you were able to do what you do, an extremely valid approach is to focus on why you did it in the first place. If you’re the creator of a small business or nonprofit, you were obviously passionate about your mission to such a degree that you were willing to launch your own venture to bring it about. If you can embrace your story in a way that is genuine, honest, and open, readers are likely to derive motivation and inspiration from what you have to say, even if they don’t necessarily want to try to walk in your specific footsteps.
Approximately 1.7 million new self-published books are released each year, and, according to Statista, 191 million eBooks were sold in the U.S. in 2020. Realistically, a new author shouldn’t enter the realm hoping to make a million dollars, but instead should focus on the task of saying what needs to be said. In a world where audio-based content consumption is becoming more and more prevalent, it’s also important to consider what that can mean when considering the format of a book. According to Toner Buzz, 71,000 audiobooks were published in 2020, so that approach is worth considering as a companion to a standard written-text book or as a standalone version.
Even if you have no desire to undertake the considerable challenge of writing a full length book, don’t overlook the value of something shorter in length. Focus on a key aspect of your organization and write a concise, compelling narrative that will help the reader to better understand what your business is all about. In the process, you can also tell the story in such a way that it helps to trigger in the reader’s mind the realization of a need they’re experiencing and how you are uniquely positioned to meet that need. A simple PDF that you make available to your clients or customers can serve to really show that you’re invested in your interactions with them, and offering such an item for free is the best kind of incentive marketing.
In a world filled with social media, where posts and shares are immediate and yet amazingly temporary, a more disciplined approach to writing can be beneficial to you as well as to those you serve. Whether you’ve ever thought about it or not, you do have a tale to tell, and doing so will help you to discover what the next page of your story will be.
If you would like help telling your story, ValorExcel can help. In additional to coaching you toward your writing goals, we can also assist you with designing custom book covers to uniquely present each book and it's author. We can also help get your book ready for print on Amazon. To get started, fill our our onboarding questionnaire HERE. Lastly, make sure you check our recent video on YouTube by clicking HERE. These videos discuss and teach practical methods to help you reach success.