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December 2011

Why You Should Not Share Everything You Know

Blog,Book Sales,Inspiration,Marketing,Power of Story,Publishing,Writing No Comments

Some time ago, I was invited to lead a workshop for the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. It was an honor. During one of the sessions, I heard a speaker, Ron Hutchcraft, make a statement that stopped me in my tracks. He said, “Everyone creates programs to tell us how to evangelize. The trouble is, we don’t need more programs that tell us the how to. We need programs that give us the want to.”  I had never thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense. People who aren’t deeply motivated to want to do something won’t be motivated by programs that teach them how to do it. The principle applies in many areas of life.

Maybe you are a personal trainer and want to write a book or develop a course that teaches me how to tone up my abs or develop biceps that feel like steel pipes. Great! But until you’ve motivated me to want to do that, telling me how is a waste of effort. You can apply the same principle to dieting, investing, becoming a better spouse or parent — you name it.

The solution? Focus on inspiration before moving to information.

I tell first-time authors all the time that their book ought to be 70% inspiration and 30% information. Why? Because the purpose of the book shouldn’t be to tell me everything you know about your subject. It should be to motivate me to want to know more. Big difference!

Notice the rhythm of an infomercial. They give you enough information to make their success claims credible, but far more time is spent saying and re-saying a simple inspirational message. I’m not suggesting you should write a book filled with fluff that repeats the same thing over and over again. I am saying the main focus of your book should take time to compel, convince, move, and motivate me toward a new insight or action.

Don’t impress me with everything you know. Instead, move, encourage, and motivate me to take action!

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