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EXECUTION Creating a book?

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Andy Black

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@Readerly PM'd me a couple of days ago wondering if I'd ever thought of creating a book out of some of the content I have strewn across the forum and the internet.

It had already crossed my mind so we jumped on a call where we discussed my Google Ads related threads and my more "philosophical" threads.

@Readerly is more drawn to my philosophical threads, and that would be the book I'd most want to see out in the world. Ones that get people untangled and helping other people instead of focusing on themselves, and to do it today or this week (not after creating a logo, business plan, or lots of other unnecessary stuff).

My homework after the call was to create a Google Sheet listing all my more philosophical threads, and share it with @Readerly. I've done some already, and we thought it might be interesting for people to follow along a joint progress thread.

The post below will be where I list all the threads to collate, consider, discard, and bash into shape. So far I've gone through the first 3 of 9 pages listing my threads. It will get updated as I go along.

(I've also got posts from my paid email newsletter to link to as well in the Google Sheet.)
 

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Andy Black

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(I'll keep updating this thread as I link to more threads.)
  1. Clarity of Purpose
  2. Help one person at a time
  3. You don't need to be an expert
  4. How to get started quickly in business
  5. What if you already know enough?
  6. You already know enough
  7. Who have you helped?
  8. What do you need?
  9. Stop Building Stuff
  10. You don't need a website, you need sales
  11. Spend your money on diesel and coffee
  12. Learnings from 700+ PMs with fellow forum members
  13. How to learn to give without wanting anything in return?
  14. Andy's Inbound/Sales Braindump
  15. Sales for the introverted
  16. How to use forums (and Facebook groups)
  17. The biggest landing page mistake
  18. Do you want to learn more, or earn more?
  19. A sales tip for techies
  20. How to be less busy
  21. It's just a forum
  22. (Audio) Freedom, Motivation, & Grow What You Know
  23. How to overcome distractions
  24. Are you a starfish, or a crab in a bucket?
  25. What's the point complaining?
  26. The Most Important Formula in Business
  27. The Need For Speed
  28. Launch & Learn
  29. The biggest lie
  30. Overthinking is the art of solving problems you don’t have
  31. What's Your Problem?
  32. Lack of time?
  33. The biggest landing page mistake
  34. People listen to experts, they follow leaders
  35. How to not be spammy


  36. What's the point complaining?
  37. When your back's against the wall...
  38. PM me
  39. Freedom as an entrepreneur (Amusing PM w/Freelancer)
  40. Earn your fecking stripes
  41. Sales for the introverted
  42. Help one person at a time
  43. "You can't break tackles at marathon pace"
  44. Take my money
  45. Get to the point
  46. The person who'll run with the ball is the person who catches it
  47. What do you want to get better at?
  48. I refuse to spend less time with my kids
  49. Article from Justin Jackson: Just Help People
  50. Open letter to a friend starting a business
  51. A chat with a consultant about escaping the time for money trap
  52. Don't worry about selling your skill or time
  53. Growing your business without spending money on advertising
  54. Finding your focus
  55. Show, don't tell
  56. Are you a man amongst boys?
  57. Sales is a screening process
  58. Time & Project Management in a nutshell
  59. How! vs How?
  60. Yes, but
  61. You can't steer a parked car
  62. Freelance and beyond
  63. Woohoo! One in a row!
  64. Sales solve everything
  65. Start
  66. The first purchase is a test
  67. Whose fault is it?
  68. Show don't tell & Putting the first things first
  69. Do you know what makes you referable?
  70. It's all about processes
  71. "Tell me what you've done and I'll tell you who you are"
  72. You don't need to be on any lists brother.
  73. Quotes to help you start
  74. Harnessing the siren call of busy work
  75. Appreciate the now (37 seconds)
  76. You can go slower than you think
  77. Money can't be in two places at once
  78. You're selling the wrong product (4 mins)
  79. Good manners is smart business
  80. Your marketing centre of gravity
  81. Problems that can't be solved
  82. (Personal Branding Tip) How to build a personal brand in one easy step
  83. Simple explanations
  84. A Quick & Inexpensive Way To Find Out If There Is A Market For Your Products/Services
  85. Are you *already* employed to solve problems?
  86. What needs to have happened for you to be happy with progress?
  87. What uncomfortable thing did you do this week?
  88. What's better than low hanging fruit?
  89. The biggest mistake
  90. The extra twist
  91. Need > Know > Want > Looking
  92. The crowd isn't starving
  93. Silver lining thinking
  94. It's my fault
  95. How to write an About Us page
  96. Breakeven to £1,000/day overnight by NOT split-testing
  97. Get started. Keep going.
  98. New Year's Day every week?
 
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Readerly

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I'm excited to help you with this book, @Andy Black!

For those of you who are curious, here's the key bit from the PM I sent Andy a couple days ago. I think most of you would agree with me.

It's hard to imagine that the thought hasn't crossed your mind once or a thousand times: have you considered writing a book? I've been reading your posts here on the forum for a few years now. They always stand out for their generosity, elegance, and wisdom. A book would be a great way to magnify your "diesel and coffee" approach to business. You'd be having coffee with thousands, if not tens of thousands of folks--making real, meaningful connections. Many more would benefit from your insights.
 

Readerly

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We're looking for a hook, an organizing theme or idea for the book.

One we discussed today was "jumpstart." It's something Andy comes back to again and again. I like to think of it as "ready, fire, aim." It's the idea that it's better to just start something rather than overthink.

A question to you all:

What do you think defines the essence of Andy's entrepreneurial philosophy?
 

broswoodwork

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I fully understand that this is just an idea being kicked around, but link to pre-order please?

Edit:
"What do you think defines the essence of Andy's entrepreneurial philosophy?"
Something along the lines of over delivery maybe? I'm so confident in the value that will be packed in the book, that I'd pre pay now even if it took him 5-10 years to condense the million pages of solid gold he's already put out for free.
 
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Bertram

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We're looking for a hook, an organizing theme or idea for the book.

One we discussed today was "jumpstart." It's something Andy comes back to again and again. I like to think of it as "ready, fire, aim." It's the idea that it's better to just start something rather than overthink.

A question to you all:

What do you think defines the essence of Andy's entrepreneurial philosophy?
I just want to jump in and say YES!!!!
Andy Black you have a genuine, distinct voice and your ideas come from such an authentic source of knowledge. It's built on relationships. It's all about relationships.

Yes, the start-up is a very good hook but I think you have a bigger audience and wonder if you might want to hook people on the idea that you are something of a ready listener with great advice to give. I think of your friendly and available expertise as the hook. It's like heading down to the pub on Tuesdays and jumping into a deep conversation over a pint. Thinking of "Tuesday Mornings with Andy," to echo a former outstanding bestseller that was on the NYT list for years.
I also want to see you on the book cover in a really natural, happy moment and believe me that smiling candor will draw female readers just like it works for Richard Branson.

You have so much material. Three books.
 
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Bertram

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We're looking for a hook, an organizing theme or idea for the book.

One we discussed today was "jumpstart." It's something Andy comes back to again and again. I like to think of it as "ready, fire, aim." It's the idea that it's better to just start something rather than overthink.

A question to you all:

What do you think defines the essence of Andy's entrepreneurial philosophy?
The Art of Business by Andy Black.
 

Readerly

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Some of you may be wondering, what's my role in this project?

Andy's the author, of course. I see myself as--what's called in the biz--his developmental editor. My role is to help Andy shape his material into a book. That means guiding him on matters of style, focus, and organization.

Even with nonfiction, the author is taking a reader on a journey. The exposition has a beginning, middle, and end. It forms a narrative arc. The journey should, if it's doing its job well, transform the reader in some meaningful way.

Here's a breakdown:

Style: Every book has a narrator--the person the reader imagines is writing the book, speaking to them through the sentences on the page.

That narrator may not be the actual author in the sense of the physical person. It may be a persona, an act that emphasize aspects of the real person's personality and downplays others. In fiction, the narrator is usually entirely made up. In nonfiction, the assumption is that the narrator is closely aligned with the in-the-fresh person who's name is on the cover as the author. But it's usually an ideal version of that person's self. I'm going down a rabbit hole of literary theory here. Apologies.

Getting back on track: style has to do with the tenor of the "voice" of the narrator telling the story of the book. This would include choices the writer makes with respect to syntax, vocabulary, rhetorical devices, etc.

Focus: What to include, what to emphasize, what to exclude. Ideas and details (elements like explanation, anecdotes, presenting evidence, asides, etc.) should all serve the story arc, the journey the narrator is taking the reader on.

Organization: basically, what should go where. On a bird's eye level, that means the ordering of the chapters to serve the story arc.

So I'm going to assist Andy with all that.
 

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We're looking for a hook, an organizing theme or idea for the book.

One we discussed today was "jumpstart." It's something Andy comes back to again and again. I like to think of it as "ready, fire, aim." It's the idea that it's better to just start something rather than overthink.

A question to you all:

What do you think defines the essence of Andy's entrepreneurial philosophy?
So I was thinking, Andy's favourite colour is red and his last name is Black. And I'm sure many of you are familiar with the terms "in the black" and "in the red."

What about something along the lines of "From In the red to in the black"?

I know that it doesn't maybe captures his entrepreneurial philosophy the best, but I feel like it does capture what his advice can help other people with.
 
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This is so cool. It’s like I’m along for the ride too.


Also... I knocked this thread up last night super quick after our call and added the first title that came to mind of “Creating a book?”

Now I look at it I find it interesting I made it a question, and also interesting that I wrote “Creating” instead of “Writing”. I’ve no idea why I did both...


If I had to put a one word title on a book I’d want to write then it might be “Start” or “Engage”.
 

Readerly

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So I was thinking, Andy's favourite colour is red and his last name is Black. And I'm sure many of you are familiar with the terms "in the black" and "in the red."

What about something along the lines of "From In the red to in the black"?

I know that it doesn't maybe captures his entrepreneurial philosophy the best, but I feel like it does capture what his advice can help other people with.
Brings to mind the famous novel by Stendhal, The Red and The Black. ;)

Andy's last name just lends itself to word play...
 

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If I had to put a one word title on a book I’d want to write then it might be “Start” or “Engage”.
"Start"

That one word takes me back to a simpler and ubiquitously optimistic time that I try to recapture a little bit with my actions everyday. That has my vote!

View: https://youtu.be/BNzWyQPIpVg
 

Scot

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Andy, why not include some summaries of your Andy Talks recordings? Not that I'm trying to get into your book (two time guest.. just saying..) But you've got some GREAT conversations in there full of information that could be valuable too.
 

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“Creating a book?”

Now I look at it I find it interesting I made it a question, and also interesting that I wrote “Creating” instead of “Writing”. I’ve no idea why.

You've already done all the writing.. So creating is more accurate in my opinion.

Honestly, if my business ends up being successful and has a decent exit, I fully intend on working with a writer to essentially turn my progress thread into a book.
 

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It's funny. Once in a while I recall something Andy's written and think "ah, he was right. Again!" Imagine a whole book filled with that.
 

Ing

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Names of people in the title of books ar cool!
But though i wouldn’t putmy name into the title.

„Business built solid“
„The secret of doing it right“
„ I help you to build your business or how to do it the right way!“


...?
 
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Andy Black

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Why not just call it "Launch & Learn"?
To me that's what a lot of Andy's posts are about.
Oh yes... I forgot about that favourite. I used to say that all the time, then recently I've ended up asking folks "Who have you helped?"

I do like "Launch & Learn". It's how I run Google Ads campaigns. It's also what all my progress threads are about (and there's many). Just start, then figure it out as you go along.

I think I have a Trello board somewhere where I wrote up a lot of my favourite quotes/lines. I'll drop them in here sometime too.


Andy, why not include some summaries of your Andy Talks recordings? Not that I'm trying to get into your book (two time guest.. just saying..) But you've got some GREAT conversations in there full of information that could be valuable too.
Blimey... there's a lot of hours recorded in those. And yes, we chatted a couple of times. What were the takeaways from those do you remember @Scot?


The other thing I've noticed is that I "fall into" a lot of things.

I fell into Google Ads back in 2009 when I decided to help an electrician friend get work.

I have what I call an accidental podcast. I kept jumping on calls with people and kept getting told to record them. A couple of years later I pulled my finger out and did so. They're unpolished, but some people get value from them, and even enjoy/appreciate their rambling nature. (Many people have offered to put it onto iTunes but to date I've been happy leaving it on Soundcloud.)

I accidentally started a YouTube channel which I guess now has 100 videos on it (I can't figure out how to find out!). I finally got started in video because I wanted to say Thanks to @Lex DeVille. (I'll likely start a YouTube progress thread soon as I'm getting more intentional about YouTube.)

Here's that video (from Jan 2016!!) and it still sums up a lot of my thinking:
View: https://youtu.be/mUs5Gowvnhc


I ended up creating 40+ articles on Google Ads. I already had a few before I joined the forum, and over time I ended up creating more as I tried to help people.

And finally created a course that's sold a bunch of times - because people kept asking me to create one.


I don't know what the takeaway is from this. Go do loads of stuff and good things start happening? Help people and then good things start happening?
 
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Andy Black

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Honestly, if my business ends up being successful and has a decent exit, I fully intend on working with a writer to essentially turn my progress thread into a book.
That's what I love about progress threads. It's not the technical how-to stuff that's fascinating. It's the battles people have with losing control, or how they deal with setbacks. It's how they finally call it a day and start a brand new progress thread. It's how they keep chipping away, and even come back years later with updates. I think they're amazing.

I look back at some of my earlier ones and know I've changed a lot. I'm less apologetic. I'm less bothered defending what I'm doing and why. "I'm doing this. Here's why and what happened. Now I'm doing something else. Here's how it's going."

I've been outside the forum a lot more in the past few months - trying to figure out Instagram (eugh... if I never log in again it will be too soon), Facebook groups (very interesting, but sooo much spaaammm), etc.

The idea of "building a personal brand" used to make me want to puke in my mouth a little, until I realised that it's is just a by product of doing stuff. Now I don't even bat an eyelid for some reason (probably from seeing all the sheenanigans going on on IG and FB). Oh, and I kept bumping into TFLF members in various Facebook groups and it was pretty cool.

I'm going to dig into YouTube over the next two months. If I can help more people by getting in front of the camera and talking directly to them, then so be it. If that means more people get to know my name then so be it too. I'm indifferent to it now, whereas I actively wanted to stay away from it before.

Hence why I now followed up with @Readerly when he PM'd me. 12 months ago I probably wouldn't have. Plus I've created so many threads now I'm losing track of them all and have even duplicated threads without realising.

Anyway... thanks for everyone for engaging with this thread/project so far. We'll have to keep it moving along at a nice clip lest you all get bored!
 

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Blimey... there's a lot of hours recorded in those. And yes, we chatted a couple of times. What were the takeaways from those do you remember @Scot?
The main takeaway for me, between call 1 and call 2 was "talk to your customers", which ties in very well with your "Spend money on diesel and coffee" concept.

First business failed because I didn't understand the fundamentals of the industry from my customers..

Second business is booming because I worked directly with my customers to build our products and brand.
 

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I'd pre-order it! I've gotten lots of Andy's wisdom and philosophy.

Some name ideas:

"Diesel & Coffee: How To Succeed In Business by Building Relationships And Helping Others"

"Just Help People: How I Accidentally Fell Into Entrepreneurship & Found The Meaning Of Life"

"Launch and Learn: Why The Secret To Business Success Is Just Getting Started"

I'm a fan of catchy titles + subtitles that explain the book. I think for a lot of modern books the subtitles are more important.
 

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@Andy Black and I had a great Zoom session this week. A plan for executing the book is taking shape.

Right now, Andy's gathering together links to all the threads he's started here on the forum that are "authorial." By that, I mean threads where he posts an essay of sorts on a given topic, like "clarity of purpose." Then he responds to folks who reply to the original post. Often, Andy's thoughtful responses are just as valuable as the original post.

He's listed all these links in a Google Sheet. I've been going down the list, opening the relevant threads, and copy and pasting his essays into Scrivener.

If you're not familiar, Scrivener is a word-processor designed for producing longer works, like books. It lets you organize the chunks of your projects easily, then shuffle them around, as needed. It also lets you add supporting material like notes, front and back matter, research, etc. When it's time to publish, you "compile" only the text meant for the finished book into the format you want, like pdf, rtf, mobi, or epub.

Here's a screenshot of the project so far:

27194

Anybody else use Scrivener? What do you like about it? I'm new to it, so I'm trying to pick up some tips.

On Wednesday, Andy and I started sussing out the basic structure of the book. To do this, we tried an experiment.

Are you familiar with Donald Miller and StoryBrand? I've read a lot of books on marketing and copywriting. This one stands out. Part of why it resonates for me is that I write fiction too. I love how Miller demonstrates how marketing copy is fundamentally storytelling.

Here is nearly every story you see or hear in a nutshell: A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.
(Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand, p. 20)

One of the sly genius moves of this book is that he practices what he preaches. Even though it's nonfiction, the book itself is "plotted" using the same method he teaches for copywriting. That got me thinking. Maybe we could plot Andy's book using Miller's method.

In the book, Miller gives a worksheet to develop a story for any brand, product, or service. I walked Andy through the StoryBrand worksheet and wrote down his answers. Out of this process, a structure and theme for the book started to take shape.

27195

Here's a sample of the answers Andy came up with:

A character

small business owners, tradesmen, solopreneurs, skilled people who want to go freelance, students, freelancers trying to advance, biz owners trying to figure out new products or services to offer, or where to open a new store

What do they want?

They want an answer to this question: How do I reach the people who want what I offer and who have money in hand?

Has a problem (3 levels: external, internal, and philosophical)

overthinking, "I have this great idea", building stuff, "I'm good at this or I love doing this, so that's what I'm going to sell", perfectionism, working inside an echo chamber with no feedback

Villain

"marketers" giving misleading advice
Google (if you don't know what you're doing)

External

I don't know what to sell.
I don't know how to sell.
I don't know where to start.
I'm wasting money.
I'm wasting time.

Internal

It has to be perfect before I put it out there.
I only have one shot, the "launch."
Naivete -- I have this great idea.
Self-doubt -- I'm not enough. I need to learn more.

Philosophical

When your goal is to help somebody, all the other stuff just disappears.
You can get out of your own way and start the journey.

And needs a guide (this is Andy)
empathy


I've had all the same problems.
I've been through the journey.

authority

employee for lots of jobs
self-employed for 20 years
IT contractor
trained dozens in Google Ads, specialist to freelancers
managed a team of 35 AdWords specialists, 120,000 Euros a day ad spend
helped to build 120,000,000 keywords and ads
TFLF member for 5.5 years, posted over 8000 times, 2500+ PMs, moderator
helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and people starting out

Who gives them a plan
Process


Whatever you plan is or where you're at in your business journey, I'll help you get started.

4 Steps:
  1. You'll learn how to use a tool to find out what people are looking for (what they want). This tool could be Google Ads, forums, or "diesel and coffee."
  2. You'll learn ways to sell it to them.
  3. You'll learn ways to find out if you can make a profit doing it.
  4. You'll do it.
Agreement

(Not really applicable at this point for a book. This usually pertains to money-back guarantees and other ways sellers reduce the risk of buying.)

And calls them to action
Direct


(NA. Again, this is more pertinent to sales pages and pitches. In the book, the call to action would be to act on what you, the reader, are learning.)

Transitional

(NA. An example of this would be a "lead magnet," a free downloadable pdf on a sales page to get a prospect's email address.)

That ends in a success

You'll be able to help other people.
You'll be able to get paid for it.
You'll have a quiet confidence to do stuff.
Your mindset will be: "I'm good enough to go do stuff."

Before your brand, After your brand

What do they (the reader) have?

before: boring job, a good (but untested) idea, stagnant or inconsistent sales, no sales
after: You'll know whether your idea needs a bullet or not (as in, to be put out of its misery). You'll have a plan of action. You'll have real-time market research.

What are they feeling?
before: frustrated, stuck, confused, worried (Will it cost a lot?), anxious, overwhelmed, now knowing where to start
after: clarity of purpose, having lots of aha! moments, clarity of vision, clarity of action, free

What's an average day like?
before: doing lots of stuff, not making any progress, wondering when it will ever work, jumping from thing to thing, thinking I don't know enough
after: helping people and it doesn't feel like work, chatting to people, that first sale, getting that first impression/click/inquiry about this new product/service

What is their status?
before: feel like a wantrapreneur
after: a successful entrepreneur

That helps them avoid failure

spending time, money, and effort on some business idea and it failing
never getting started
felling like you're not enough, constantly studying, building things with no results

Character transformation
From


being stuck, feeling not good enough, desperate, rushing around worrying about the future

To

having the self-confidence in your own ability, the peace of mind to ______, not rushing around, enjoying the present moment

[end]

We could distill these answers into a book jacket blurb. But the main thing now is to keep this story in mind as we set out to organize Andy's material into the book.
 
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@Andy Black and I had a great Zoom session this week. A plan for executing the book is taking shape.

Right now, Andy's gathering together links to all the threads he's started here on the forum that are "authorial." By that, I mean threads where he posts an essay of sorts on a given topic, like "clarity of purpose." Then he responds to folks who reply to the original post. Often, Andy's thoughtful responses are just as valuable as the original post.

He's listed all these links in a Google Sheet. I've been going down the list, opening the relevant threads, and copy and pasting his essays into Scrivener.

If you're not familiar, Scrivener is a word-processor designed for producing longer works, like books. It lets you organize the chunks of your projects easily, then shuffle them around, as needed. It also lets you add supporting material like notes, front and back matter, research, etc. When it's time to publish, you "compile" only the text meant for the finished book into the format you want, like pdf, rtf, mobi, or epub.

Here's a screenshot of the project so far:

View attachment 27194

Anybody else use Scrivener? What do you like about it? I'm new to it, so I'm trying to pick up some tips.

On Wednesday, Andy and I started sussing out the basic structure of the book. To do this, we tried an experiment.

Are you familiar with Donald Miller and StoryBrand? I've read a lot of books on marketing and copywriting. This one stands out. Part of why it resonates for me is that I write fiction too. I love how Miller demonstrates how marketing copy is fundamentally storytelling.

(Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand, p. 20)

One of the sly genius moves of this book is that he practices what he preaches. Even though it's nonfiction, the book itself is "plotted" using the same method he teaches for copywriting. That got me thinking. Maybe we could plot Andy's book using Miller's method.

In the book, Miller gives a worksheet to develop a story for any brand, product, or service. I walked Andy through the StoryBrand worksheet and wrote down his answers. Out of this process, a structure and theme for the book started to take shape.

View attachment 27195

Here's a sample of the answers Andy came up with:

A character

small business owners, tradesmen, solopreneurs, skilled people who want to go freelance, students, freelancers trying to advance, biz owners trying to figure out new products or services to offer, or where to open a new store

What do they want?

They want an answer to this question: How do I reach the people who want what I offer and who have money in hand?

Has a problem (3 levels: external, internal, and philosophical)

overthinking, "I have this great idea", building stuff, "I'm good at this or I love doing this, so that's what I'm going to sell", perfectionism, working inside an echo chamber with no feedback

Villain

"marketers" giving misleading advice
Google (if you don't know what you're doing)

External

I don't know what to sell.
I don't know how to sell.
I don't know where to start.
I'm wasting money.
I'm wasting time.

Internal

It has to be perfect before I put it out there.
I only have one shot, the "launch."
Naivete -- I have this great idea.
Self-doubt -- I'm not enough. I need to learn more.

Philosophical

When your goal is to help somebody, all the other stuff just disappears.
You can get out of your own way and start the journey.

And needs a guide (this is Andy)
empathy


I've had all the same problems.
I've been through the journey.

authority

employee for lots of jobs
self-employed for 20 years
IT contractor
trained dozens in Google Ads, specialist to freelancers
managed a team of 35 AdWords specialists, 120,000 Euros a day ad spend
helped to build 120,000,000 keywords and ads
TFLF member for 5.5 years, posted over 8000 times, 2500+ PMs, moderator
helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and people starting out

Who gives them a plan
Process


Whatever you plan is or where you're at in your business journey, I'll help you get started.

4 Steps:
  1. You'll learn how to use a tool to find out what people are looking for (what they want). This tool could be Google Ads, forums, or "diesel and coffee."
  2. You'll learn ways to sell it to them.
  3. You'll learn ways to find out if you can make a profit doing it.
  4. You'll do it.
Agreement

(Not really applicable at this point for a book. This usually pertains to money-back guarantees and other ways sellers reduce the risk of buying.)

And calls them to action
Direct


(NA. Again, this is more pertinent to sales pages and pitches. In the book, the call to action would be to act on what you, the reader, are learning.)

Transitional

(NA. An example of this would be a "lead magnet," a free downloadable pdf on a sales page to get a prospect's email address.)

That ends in a success

You'll be able to help other people.
You'll be able to get paid for it.
You'll have a quiet confidence to do stuff.
Your mindset will be: "I'm good enough to go do stuff."

Before your brand, After your brand

What do they (the reader) have?

before: boring job, a good (but untested) idea, stagnant or inconsistent sales, no sales
after: You'll know whether your idea needs a bullet or not (as in, to be put out of its misery). You'll have a plan of action. You'll have real-time market research.

What are they feeling?
before: frustrated, stuck, confused, worried (Will it cost a lot?), anxious, overwhelmed, now knowing where to start
after: clarity of purpose, having lots of aha! moments, clarity of vision, clarity of action, free

What's an average day like?
before: doing lots of stuff, not making any progress, wondering when it will ever work, jumping from thing to thing, thinking I don't know enough
after: helping people and it doesn't feel like work, chatting to people, that first sale, getting that first impression/click/inquiry about this new product/service

What is their status?
before: feel like a wantrapreneur
after: a successful entrepreneur

That helps them avoid failure

spending time, money, and effort on some business idea and it failing
never getting started
felling like you're not enough, constantly studying, building things with no results

Character transformation
From


being stuck, feeling not good enough, desperate, rushing around worrying about the future

To

having the self-confidence in your own ability, the peace of mind to ______, not rushing around, enjoying the present moment

[end]

We could distill these answers into a book jacket blurb. But the main thing now is to keep this story in mind as we set out to organize Andy's material into the book.
Thanks so much for your time @Readerly. We chatted for two and a half hours, and I’m intimidated by the amount of work you’ve done already and have to do. 30,000 words copied from the first 30 threads I linked to?! And that’s only a third of the posts I listed. Then @Readerly will read through everything from start to finish. Phew... that’s a lot of reading.

At the start while going through the storybranding exercise we were a bit confused because I thought we were helping someone like my electrician friend from my founding story.

Then everything clicked into place when I realised people from the forum had said they’d read/buy the book. The book is for people who already like the threads I’ve written, and we’re collating and summarising them in an easier to read format, maybe with an overarching storyline running through it.

As soon as I had my “clarity of purpose” about who I was helping then some of the fog lifted.
 

Readerly

Yes and
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I fully understand that this is just an idea being kicked around, but link to pre-order please?
If I recall, Amazon Kindle won't let you set up a book listing to take pre-orders unless you upload the actual book file first.

Hey @Andy Black. What do you think about setting up a page where people interested could give their email addresses to be on a list to be notified when the book is out.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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Favourite quotes/one-liners.
(I'll attribute them later on. Some are mine, most aren't.)

People refer you if you turn up on time, have manners, do what you say you’re going to do (or let people know if things slip), and you’re competent. (Dan Sullivan)

Your market is a demonstrated cashflow, not a demographic.

You can go slower than you think.

Spend your money on diesel and coffee.

You're selling the wrong product.

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest to you.

Who already has your customers?

You can complete a project by dropping it.

Show, Don't Tell.

The person who'll run with the ball is the person who catches it.

People listen to experts, they follow leaders.

Tell me what you've done and I'll tell you who you are.

Landing pages don't convert. People do.

You don't learn until you launch.

You can't steer a parked car.

Money can't be in two places at once.

Help the people in motion.

Money is proof you helped your fellow man.

You can't invoice for input.

I am enough. Because I say I am.

Good things happen when you move at pace.

Sales is a screening process.

Find out asap if the person in front of you sees the value in what you do, or just the cost.

The most important formula in business is R+R=Profit.

Time management is a myth. It’s all about prioritisation.

A project managers job is to pass a test.

It’s the job of the business owner to ask good questions, and get someone else to answer them.

Your lack of planning is not my emergency.

You have to eliminate to focus.

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.

You can get money from customers or investors, but not both.

You can get money from customers or investors, but not both

Hell yeah, or no.

If it’s not a hit, switch.

If you can make it free then you can vaporize your competitors’ business model.

What will you do to make a sale this week?

You don’t need a website, you need sales.

They’re not clicks, they’re visitors.

If you’re calling it traffic then you still don’t get it.

There are no f*cking secrets.

If it’s not a B2B play then it’s a B2C play.

The biggest lie is that it’s not that simple. It is that simple.

What if you already know enough?

You don’t need to be on any lists brother, it’s already within you.

Who can you help?

Business is simple. Add value. Get paid.

If money was no object, what work would you be doing? What’s stopping you?

Don’t automate too soon. Welcome the high friction, it sharpens your sword.

Engage the market in hand-to-hand combat.

Talk To People FFS.

Move faster dammit.

I am speeed.

If you’re providing a marketing service then your clients don’t pay you, their customers do.

Your infrastructure needs People, Processes, and Technology, in that order.

Learn the skill. Sell the skill. Scale the skill.

Yes, but.

Overthinking is the art of solving problems you don’t already have.

Hurdles are stepping stones in disguise.

If you’re not encountering new problems then you’re stuck.

There are a million different ways how. Don’t ask how. Focus on what needs done and why.

Ask better questions.

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.

If you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing.

20% will pay 4 times as much.

80/20 squared is 64/4. Which 4% of your customers accounts for 64% of your profits?

I’m doing it anyway.

Stop asking for permission. Just f*cking do it already.

I’ll show you how. I’ll work with you. I’ll do it for you. I’m doing it anyway. I’ve already done it, so you want it or not?

Sales happen when the right people get to the right offer at the right time.

What’s better than low hanging fruit?

Are they searching with a cup of coffee in their hand, or their phone and credit card?

Feed the starving crowd.

Darken the page.

Figure it out.

If your still talking about the same thing a month later, then you’re a wantrapreneur.

Find out if it’s got legs, or needs a bullet.

The internet is just one big lead generation machine.

Consider product-founder fit.

Your About You page should be about them.

Everyone’s tuned to WiiFM.

Are you an action-taker or course-taker?

Wisdom is earned.

Stop trying to impress an invisible board of MBAs.

You can have anything you want in life if you help others get what they want.

You have to give to receive.

If you complete the transaction then it won’t come back to you in other ways.

Give thanks.

Talk to everyone.

Enjoy the journey.

You can’t break tackles at marathon pace.

Are they street-smart?

Be wary when someone tells you how great you are and how much they look forward to working with you. You’re being set up.

How you do anything is how you do anything.

They aren’t a customer till they have a custom of buying from you.

If you want to move fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go in a team.

If your only growth strategy is to increase prices then you’re a consultant, not an entrepreneur.

The fun is in the squiggly bits on the map.

A stream with no rocks is a stream with no song.

It’s all part of the rich tapestry of life.

Keep moving.

Woohoo it’s Monday! It’s like New Years Day every week.

Woohoo, one in a row!

Don’t make them think.

Go on the B of Bang.

If your comfortable you’re not moving fast enough.

Procrastination stops you starting. Perfectionism stops you finishing. Both are fear of shipping.

Ship.

Stop looking where you’re going. Look where you want to go.

Keep doing the right thing and the results will follow.

Nothing’s so f*cked up you can’t f*ck it up more.

It’s not really repeatable until someone else can do it.

Stop building stuff.

Business is about building relationships.

Dump it. Delegate it. Defer it. Do it.

It’s not about what *you* want.

Be wary of people who say “you need to”.

Want to be known as The XYZ Guy? Help people with XYZ.

Stop asking people to PM you FFS.

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Catch them when they’re good.

Praise in public. Criticise in private.

It’s my fault.

Stop following the herd if you want to see less arseholes and smell less BS.

The lad who washed your windows didn’t need an MBA, a business plan, or a website.

If no-one’s paying you then you don’t have a business, you have a hobby.

The person who speaks first loses.

The single most important skill an entrepreneur can have is to control the silence.

State your price then STFU.

It’s the extra twist that makes all the difference.

Sometimes a problem shared is two people with the same problem.

Who’s got my money?

In a two sided marketplace, start by getting the people who want to give their money away.

Fulfill demand that’s already there before generating more demand.

If everyone’s selling shovels then who’s left to dig for gold?

Not everyone who can do can teach. Teaching is a skill itself.

When you give a few books away it leaves space for new books to come in.

“I don’t have time” is a polite way of saying it’s not as important as what I’m doing right now.

Be curious, not furious.

Be the type of person people want to buy from.
 

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