Every author’s nightmare is that they work for months or years creating valuable information, crafting their words to make the message accessible, and putting it all together in a well-designed package … only to discover a horrible, huge glaring typo makes it into print.
When I published my book “Networking on Purpose” in October of 2013, I knew there would be little things that weren’t absolutely perfect. I didn’t let that worry me.
Done is better than perfect!
But now, 2 ½ years after making it to #1 in two categories on Amazon, selling copies around the world including Spain and the UK, and getting great reviews, there’s something that has started to really bother me.
I may have made a terrible miscalculation in the way I wrote it.
How is that possible? I worked so hard to make it USEFUL and VALUABLE to readers.
The Networking Book Result...
I was so pleased with how it turned out, both inside and out.
The foreword is by no one less than BOB BURG, a New York Times best-selling author and a great networking inspiration to me.
The introduction includes the all the important journalistic “W’s”... why I wrote it, who would benefit, and what they would get out of reading it.
It’s written with very little fluff.
Yet it’s full of nuggets that you can pull out and develop into a whole networking strategy in itself.
I even summarized the entire plan from page 15 to 20 (in the print version). A really sharp, motivated business person who had some experience with networking could take those five pages and run with it.
And still… I worry that it’s gone completely WRONG.
Because most people don’t finish books.
A mathematician used the highlight feature on Kindle to estimate the finish rate for ebooks and found that books like “Lean In” and “The Great Gatsby” were finished less than 27% of the time.*
In a 2015 study, Kobo (an ebook reader which is a big deal outside of the U.S.) revealed that readers finished even best-selling books less than 63% of the time.*
These include thrillers, romances, and mysteries!* You have to read to the end to find out whodunnit and people still don’t finish.
That’s where I miscalculated:
I put the most important part of networking at the END of my book.
It made sense to teach networking this way...
Networking incorporates a sequence of events that play out when you set out to add new connections to your network.
I wrote the book to specifically walk you step-by-step in a straightforward way through the very simple actions that you repeat over and over to build your network.
The “last” of the five parts is give value.
Giving value is the foundation of all networking. If you don’t have anything of value to anyone else (you do - everyone does), or if you’re not willing to give value before you expect to get, or if you don’t know how or what to give …
Then you’re going to struggle with your networking.
You’ll be one of those people who get frustrated because you’ll do all kinds of “networking” but you’ll never get anything out of it (you always do even if you don’t recognize it).
And it’s not just GIVING value ...
It’s knowing what you have - what knowledge, what expertise, what ideas - that you can offer as value to other people.
You can and should START by figuring out what you have to offer your network.
But I didn’t put that at the beginning of the book.
I didn’t “scream” at the reader in the intro: For heaven’s sake, please finish reading this book!
I didn’t insert little encouraging messages, “Keep Going!” and “You’re Almost There!.”
I guess I should have. If people only get through 50, 60, or 70% of my book, they’re stopping right around page 83 which is the end of Chapter 4: Meet People.
That’s before Chapter 5: Stay Connected.
(Ironically “staying connected is where most networkers first drop the ball, in the follow up or lack thereof.)
But that’s not as important as Chapter 6: Giving Value …. which starts on page 115. 78% of the way into the book.
HAS ANYONE EVEN READ THAT CHAPTER?!
I saw this coming. I actually anticipated this problem.
I don't see though, how it would have made sense to write it any other way. You've got to start everything with mindset, which is basically the first part. And, there's a lot of "mind junk" to address with networking and the negative connotations that it's picked up over the years.
In the conclusion, I wrote:
"In a way, I wrote this book backwards ... each part is more important than the previous."
And if you look at chapter size, I devote more space to "give value" than anything else.
So in the end, I wouldn't change a thing about it.
BUT... let's make sure YOU get the value I intended you to get out of my networking book!
If you have a copy sitting on your shelf, and you haven’t finished or started reading it, I’m going to make it really easy to “get to the end.”
START at page 115 / chapter 6.
Read - truly, thoroughly read - those last 27 pages. Even if you haven’t read - or won’t ever read - any other part of the book.
Make notes in the margins.
Share the ideas.
Find YOUR value.
P.S. If you did read any part of the book, and found it valuable, would you write a review on Amazon? That would give me a great deal of value. Thank you!