Creating a Book for Your Ideal Client
“I wanted to write it as a manual for the people that can’t afford to hire a coach and make it accessible.” —Kristoffer Carter
Kristoffer “KC” Carter went from being a disgruntled, heavily drinking salesperson in an unhappy corporate career to a successful entrepreneur, author, and coach. This transformation evolved out of two books he read almost ten years ago that inspired him: an Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, and the book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, by Jonathan Fields.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Kristoffer “KC” Carter about his book, Permission to Glow: A Spiritual Guide to Epic Leadership, and how it has changed his life and business.
The Writing Journey
Kristoffer “KC” Carter is also a songwriter, so when it came to writing a book, he was anxious about whether or not he could write 80,000 or so words. He was used to an economy of words with songwriting and poetry. A full book seemed daunting. He worked with a book coach to reframe his thinking into more of a qualitative mindset instead of focusing on just filling pages.
Once he was writing, KC found that writing a book took a different writing practice than writing his blogs or newsletters. He had “fierce accountability” with his book coach, and he already had a great practice of writing each day. But he realized his book “was a lot about spiritual perception and getting into the vibe of things,” which to him meant he needed to meditate and think before he could write. He also became aware that he needed to be gentle with himself as a writer. Instead of focusing on just getting perfect words on paper, he “considered a great day of writing, like a thousand words that didn’t make [him] want to puke.”
Once KC was able to establish a good writing and meditation practice that worked for him, he was able to get into a writing zone that “was almost like a maniac faucet.” Some weeks he was able to write almost 10,000 words every couple of days.
By showing up for his book every day, even on days he didn’t feel like writing or he felt the words were bad, he kept going and finished his manuscript. It’s a lot like a marathon where you just need to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going through the pain and the obstacles along the way.
Living in Integrity with What You Teach
In his book, KC quotes The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, by Gay Hendricks, several times. The Big Leap is one of my favorite books as well, so I asked KC about the connections between The Big Leap and his book. He had high praise for the eloquent yet clear writing but also loved the ideas of attacking your dreams and not settling for upper-limit stuff.
KC also found as he was writing his book that he was dealing with the same issues that he was teaching. “It’s maddening to be a coach and an author at the same time when you’re writing about the topics that you’re fighting through in real-time.” I agree with this, and I always tell my authors that writing a book will transform you first. It will make sure that you’re in alignment with what you’re teaching.
There’s a lot of lip service given to the workaround of becoming a conscious leader. When KC was writing his book, he came up with the Four Permissions in order to have a simple and clear framework around the permissions he would talk about. He also wanted his book to be accessible, so having four clear ideas to follow would make them easy to digest and remember.
A Book-Shaped Hole
His book also was a way to fill out his business, not only to reach people that couldn’t afford to hire a coach but more importantly to be able to reach more readers that are intending to receive learning. A book can serve whatever purpose your business may need: build a community, gain corporate speaking jobs, or obtain a mentor like I did with my book The Art of Apprenticeship: How to Hack Your Way into Any Industry, Land a Kick-Ass Mentor, and Make a Killing Doing What You Love.
Most authors fall into imposter syndrome at one time or another. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing your first book or your sixteenth. Imposter syndrome will come and ask, “Who are you to write that book?” or “Will anyone even care?” So, each of us must find our way to deal with this so that we can get our books done.
I asked KC how he dealt with this. He mentioned that he has a lot of practice with imposter syndrome in many areas of his life, especially since he meditates, which tends to amplify those voices in your head. One thing that helped is something a friend told him once: “The book only gets generated when your ass is in the seat and your fingers are on the keys.” Meaning that it doesn’t help to be thinking and obsessing over it when you should be just writing.
Another thing that helped him is declaring that he was an author. I have my authors do this as well before we start anything. Resistance or discomfort when writing is common as an author, and it helps when we start with a mindset that we are an author and all the challenges we face on our writing journey are normal.
Marketing your book doesn’t have to be something to dread. It’s not about constantly asking people to buy your book. KC and I had a great discussion about the many creative ways to sell books. The best way to increase sales is to sell multiple copies and to sell in bulk to corporate clients if they are your ideal reader.
I tell authors to stop asking people to buy your book; instead, ask them to buy two copies of your book—one for you and one for a friend or coworker. This way there are conversations going on about your book because that is more important than just having people read your book.
There are many challenges and joys on the journey of book writing. Whether you are writing a book for yourself, to help others, or for a business as KC did, that book needs to first transform you. It will keep you in integrity with the ideas and ventures on your journey.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Do you have a business with a book-shaped hole? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. Your message is important, so take action today to write your book!