What My Book Is Going to Be about (and Why)
I’ve tried to write a book at least five times in the past.
What I’ve done in the past is just sit down and write every day, and then see where it leads.
I can do that. Easily. I’ll happily write a thousand words a day or more, and pretty soon I’ll have 60,000 words and no clue where I’m going.
And then I’ve stopped.
Of course, it’s the stopping part that’s done me in.
But I don’t think this approach is right for me. I work best when I know where I’m going.
I want this time to be different, so I signed up for a book publishing program with Scribe, and the first step is to join a 2-day workshop in Austin, where I believe we’ll nail down the audience, pain, value, and outline of the book. I imagine that’ll make it super easy to write the damn thing.
After all, writing is super easy for me. I just sit down, listen to the voice in my head, and start typing. The challenge is keeping up, and not losing the ideas because my fingers get in a tangle.
The challenge for me with writing a book is that I’m great at responding. If you stand in front of me and ask me for my input, I’ll know exactly what to say, and how to say it. I’ll monitor your response and see how it connects with you. And then I’ll modify based on what I observe. I’ll notice your body language, I’ll see what the deepest root cause I can get to is, and address that. I’ll make you move. I’ll challenge you or make you cry or laugh.
But when I sit down and I have to come up with stuff, whether it’s for a book or a course or a talk, a draw a complete blank. I just don’t know what to say that will be valuable. And then I tend to complicate things and make them too big or too generic or too I don’t know what.
So I’m hoping that having a clear outline will make the difference here.
I have sooo much to say, so much experience, I’ve been around the block so many times, that it’s hard for me to nail down what to focus on. I can talk about spirituality, love, purpose, thoughts, emotions, business strategy, drama triangle, politics, science, health, relationships, masculine, feminine, leadership, the nature of reality, marketing, diet, and so much more. That’s why I love being responsive: I can just bring whatever’s relevant up right there.
So here’s what I’ve settled on.
I start with: What do I want the book to do for me?
Well, I have a bunch of businesses and projects I’d love to work on. I want to create a resort somewhere beautiful to host events and guests. I want to build a hotel and rental high rise property in New York City. I want to run transformational programs. I want to become a special advisor to the president of the United States on conscious nation building, and change the way we approach politics. And I want to create software to support all of these things. And a marketing agency to support each of the other businesses. And if you look at my hands, my Human Design, my Wealth Dynamics profile, and my Gene Keys, these are exactly the kinds of things I should be doing.
So how do I do all of that?
Well, I’ll need some really great leaders at every level of each of these projects and businesses, to execute for me.
My model is Richard Branson. His Virgin group now comprises about 300 companies. I asked him how he can possibly run that many companies, and his answer was: I’m a really good delegator.
My role is to be the creative visionary, and I need teams to execute for me. The sooner I realize that, and get over my ego’s resistance to that idea (hello, self-worth issue), the better.
So what I’ve decided is to write a book about leadership.
And here I get another visit from my ego, because it feels a little presumptuous for me to be talking about leadership. After all, what am I leading? A team of 15 people, a customer base of about 1300, and a email audience of maybe 8,000, not all of whom are terribly engaged.
But hey, we all gotta start somewhere.
And leadership, to me, is not really about the size of your company or audience. Sure, I want to have a massive audience and a big company, though not necessarily a big team.
To me, leadership is about the complete picture.
It’s about knowing yourself. Knowing who you truly are. About loving yourself and loving what is. About knowing the truth about your thoughts and emotions. About your purpose and design. It’s about having healthy relationships, healthy boundaries, overcoming your family dysfunction, living in integrity, integrating the masculine and the feminine, getting out of the drama triangle. It’s about your body and your health.
If you’re super financially successful, but your relationship to yourself or your spouse or your kids is fucked, what good is all that money? If your health is suffering, then what good is the money? If you’re overweight, what is all that fat hiding? What pain and beauty are you covering up?
At our core, we’re all spiritual beings. We’re all pure awareness. We have thoughts, feelings, a body, bank accounts, and all of that, but at the end of the day, we are just the awareness. Everything else is just illusion. Given a different set of senses, we’d perceive the world completely differently. There are good indications that our awareness, our spirit, has been inside different bodies in the past, and will be inside different bodies in the future. There are even better indications that past and future are just illusions.
I think these things are important to remember as we go through life. All of this is just a dream. Let’s have some fun with it.
I had a conversation with Yanik about this while on Necker. A lot of people focus on the business success first. They have tremendous success, make a ton of money. I chose a different route.
Sure, I achieved business success to the level where I have financial freedom. I can do whatever I want with my time, I can go wherever I want to go. My income is recurring, and my team’s taking care of things. What more could we ask, really? Okay, I could be on a private jet instead of flying business class on Delta. I could be on a yacht, or have my own private island in the Caribbean. But those are just minor tweaks.
But my focus has always been on personal growth. Enlightenment through entrepreneurship. And that focus has led me to improve by leaps and bounds in that area.
I wanted to have a deep, intimate, loving, nurturing, challenging, sexually satisfying relationship with my wife. That’s been quite a journey. Both of us grew up in deeply dysfunctional families with zero role models for healthy relationships.
I wanted to be emotionally healthy. This, too, has been a journey. I’m a deeply sensitive person, but I was completely shut down emotionally, so first I had to learn how to feel, and then I had to learn to not feel quite so much, while at the same time feeling even more deeply.
I wanted to be physically healthy. Another journey. I always hated working out or moving in general. I would have preferred it if everything could be done just in my head.
Throughout it all, I had a vision behind it of a life that was healthy and strong in all areas, not just one or two. And through perseverance, an incredible partner, and amazing helpers, I made that vision a reality.
What’s the point of achieving the outer success if you don’t all the other pieces figured out, right? If your health is shit, what good is billions in the bank? If your wife is unsatisfied, what good is billions in the bank? If your emotions are in a turmoil, what good is billions in the bank?
Without all the other stuff, the money is meaningless. And once you figure out all the other stuff, you don’t really care about the money, because you know it doesn’t matter. But you might as well go make it anyway, just for fun.
I’ve always been deeply competitive when I’m behind. Last night, Nomi and I played cards for a little bit. I was super tired, but she really wanted to stay up and play cards, so I obliged, slouching against the couch. The first hand, I won easily. Second hand, I thought I had it locked down, so I got sloppy, and lost. What happened next was super interesting: Suddenly I perked up, my mind got clear and focused, and I wasn’t at all tired anymore. I wanted to win! And I did win the next hand, despite having to hand her my best card.
Whenever I feel like I’m behind, my competitive instinct is to roll up my sleeves and get to work. When I was in college I’d get scared I wasn’t going to pass the exam, then go head down into my books, and by the time I looked up and went to the exam, I got a straight A. Same thing with other areas in life. I felt so incompetent and inadequate when it came to career, I just got down to business and worked on it, and by the time I looked up around me, I realized I’d surpassed most of my friends.
Same thing with all of the other essential life skills: thoughts, emotions, drama triangle, integrity, spirituality, and so on. I just got to work because I felt inadequate, and by the time I looked up, I realized I’d figured out all this stuff that very few other people ever do.
At the end of the day, comparing is useless. No matter how successful you are, there’s always going to be someone more successful. Even if you’re Jeff Bezos, maybe you look at people who are more successful in marriage, or maybe you envy Steve Jobs for his charisma. I’m just speculating, Jeff seems pretty chill but you know what I mean. If you want to find someone to compare yourself to to make yourself feel bad, there’s always going to be options.
So back to the book. I want to write about leadership in the sense of figuring out all of these pieces. It doesn’t mean you have to master all of them right now, but you have to at least put them on your radar, and start integrating them, one by one, bit by bit. It’s a journey, not a destination. We’ll always keep improving in all areas, but if you’re not even aware of them (and most people aren’t), then you’re just not in the game yet.
So the goal of the book would be to attract the people who will go on to be leaders either in my businesses, or in other businesses, based on the same principles.
I’ll want to run training programs where we work on all of this online and in person.
We think that life’s about what we create out there.
It’s about who we become. How we are transformed, by the process of mirroring ourselves in an outer world that, ultimately, only exists in our own minds.
You know the saying "I'll believe it when we see it?" Well, the reality is, our beliefs shape what we see. We see it when we believe it. Literally.
So really, it’s about how we use our projection to evolve ourselves.
It’s like throwing some paint on the canvas and allowing the painting to touch and transform us, then doing it all over again.
Who we become in the process is ultimately irrelevant as well, since all we are is pure awareness.
But just like in a good game, you’re not going anywhere but you’re still having a good time playing. So is the journey of life.