Well, things are suddenly cooking on the book front and I am working with an agent to create a proposal for the book I have been simmering inside my head for the last 8 months … Escape from Cubicle Nation. (Not surprised by the title, eh?)
I have always known I wanted to write a book, but the process of research and investigation has led me to first identify a unique purpose and message. There are a lot of great books out there that provide excellent information for starting a business, including The Art of the Start, The Startup Garden, Startup Nation, The Bootstrapper’s Bible, Flying Solo and Six Week Startup. These are just a handful – I think I have read every book ever written on starting a business in the last few months.
Where there doesn’t seem to be as much information, and hence where I want to focus, is on the transition period between your first flash of inspiration that you want to do something meaningful and creative with your life and actually quitting your job to start your own business. There are all kinds of issues that come up in this period which include identifying an idea that you are passionate about, ensuring there is a market for it, dealing with the myriad of financial questions including startup capital, self-funded benefits and cash flow, leveraging learning opportunities and contacts within your corporate job, carving out time from your busy schedule to work on your business and dealing with the intense fear that comes from leaving a perceived "stable" environment and entering the unknown wild land of untested entrepreneurship. My audience are creative individuals who have grown up in and been quite successful in a corporate environment, but who have become disillusioned with the current unstable and highly dysfunctional state of corporate organizations.
I have learned so much from the hundreds of comments and questions I receive on this blog, and for that I am very grateful. This interaction is the best part of this whole journey. I feel a fierce kinship with and sense of accountability to all of you out there who have shared your thoughts with me. I want to write something that is going to be both meaningful and useful, thought-provoking and sobering and that makes you laugh (or cry) in all the right places.
The whole endeavor feels terrifying and exhilarating. I will do my best to take my own medicine and not write to appease any large and powerful publisher, but rather to contribute something truly unique and useful.
I share this with you for two reasons. First, to say THANK YOU for all of your encouragement. Each email, comment and incoming link gives me courage to take this work one step further. I feel very honored to have a place on your blogrolls and to see my work referred to in your posts. (And a special thanks to Professor Rao for your door-opening introduction and motivating encouragement to get cracking on writing the book!)
Second, I want to ask your permission to check in occasionally about the book and get your perspectives and feedback. I think I have a sense of what would be valuable to write about, but I won’t really know if I am on track until I get some feedback from my YOU, my intended audience. If you have specific ideas for what would be useful information to include in the book, please share it with me! I will be listening intently.
There is also probably a third, previously unspoken reason to share this with you — ACCOUNTABILITY. If I know that others are aware of my quest to finish my book proposal, it will help keep me motivated to get it done. So feel free to send the occasional email that says "So, Pam, how’s the proposal coming?" or "Seems you have been writing a lot of blog posts lately, how about the book?" I have been known to need an occasional kick in the pants to get things done, so I publicly invite your gentle, or not so gentle, goading.
My goal is to get the proposal done (which includes a couple of chapters) by the end of September. The clock is now officially ticking!