Just ten years ago, however, neither was well known outside of his specific niche. So what changed? They wrote books.
In 2003, Seth Godin published his breakthrough book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. The book focused on the importance, for business owners, of becoming indispensible to their customers. The success of Purple Cow launched Godin to international fame, and set the stage for a string of bestsellers. In addition, Mr. Godin has become an investor in several businesses and has mentored many individuals. His books have been read by hundreds of thousands of people—and through his blog and additional platforms he has impacted hundreds of thousands more.
In 2007, Tim Ferriss published The 4-Hour Workweek, a book focused on the challenges posed by the information overload that most business owners experience. The solutions-oriented book quickly found its way to the top of the bestseller list at both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ferriss followed up this effort in 2010, publishing a self-help book focused on improving personal performance.
Of course, there have been many bestsellers in the past decade, but Godin and Ferriss stand out in part because of the way they have used their platforms to transform the lives of their audiences. They’ve helped business owners and individuals become more productive, more efficient, and more focused.
I’ve taken the same approach with my books, albeit targeted at a different audience. Through fiction, I’ve written stories designed to help young women build self-esteem and confidence. I believe that stories have the power to inspire, and that through the role-model-worthy heroines I create, my readers can boost their own strength and determination.
How can you transform lives? What lessons have you learned that you would like to impart to others? What do you wish you had known long, long ago? If you think about it long and hard, you may realize that you have a lot to share with your audience. If that’s the case, a book gives you the opportunity not only to transform lives around you—but also to transform your own.
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[Image: Flickr user Ozyman]