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A strong theme this week has been clients bemoaning their lack of…
* A catchy title
* Clarity on tone or direction
…only to realize the incredible potential that lay beneath the surface—and in each case, the amazing foundation they had in place to build upon:
* The client who bemoaned she had no platform and sent me a mock up for a website unlikely to draw many fans due to a lack of focus: I discovered that she had a 20,000 person mailing list for her “other business” and pointed out a way to merge an event focused around her book theme that was a natural for her business. We also came up with some BIG name celebrities to invite to the event. Oh and did I mention the 200 businesses across the US that she helped get started in a business like hers? Hmm, the ability to duplicate this great event across the country…and, oh, yeah, she’d gotten her home-grown business lots of national PR–from the front page of the New York Times Travel Section to the Disney Channel. Just maybe that is a platform–and an amazing foundation from which to launch this new, seemingly unrelated new passion.
* Another client who’d been struggling for months with a title: I just suggested the two words that he’s all about and voila–perfect title. Neither of us could believe it when we found there wasn’t another book with this title already. He even backordered the URL!
* A client who had no business plan for her potential book and saw her topic as interesting to only a very small audience who lived on the remote island she writes about:
I asked her if she would consider holding retreats on this island paradise as a way to expand her work around the book topic and begin to build a following and she lit up.
So, what gifts are you discounting? What might be obvious to someone else about how you can reach people with your message–whether your book is out there already or you’re just beginning to write it or pitch it to agents?
Whatever feels like your most vulnerable weakness may actually be your greatest strength. Ask yourself these questions:
1. If x were truly a gift, what would it be?
2. What am I not seeing about this situation that I see as a weakness, daunting or an insurmountable challenge?
3. What are my gifts? Is there a creative way to leverage them in this situation?
4. Can I build upon a past success in a non-linear way?
Please share any insights here–or ways you’ve already reinvented yourself to leverage your gifts.