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For as far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write a book. I even had the book idea: It would be about writing client proposals. And why not? My work colleagues always referred to me as the “Proposal Queen”—the go-to person when the company needed to respond to client requests. Then why did writing a book remain so elusive?
In his book Rejection Free for Authors, Scott Allan writes that we often dream of becoming writers “but can’t get past that fear of being rejected by critics.” We may also struggle to explain why we want to write.
Over the years, I harbored a lot of self-doubt about becoming an author. Mind you, this fear was not about the contents of the book. My concern was that other procurement professionals might just come across my book and read it. And oh my goodness, what would they think? I have high regard and respect for this profession. What if my colleagues decided my book stinks? How would I handle the negative reviews? All this anguish made me wonder if the benefits of the work would be worth the cost.
Then it hit me. Every APMP professional should write a book. Yep. Everyone. Here are three reasons this is important.
I recommend that you set aside at least 20–30 minutes a day dedicated to writing your book. It is this kind of discipline that will stand you in good stead and help you avoid falling off the wagon.
It’s Hard Work
Writing a book is painfully difficult. The real pain begins way before the writing. If you have insecurities about your ability to write a book, those beliefs can hold you back so that you never get out of the gates at all.
Once you get over the mental obstacles, you need to set aside time to put pen to paper, every day. I recommend that you set aside at least 20–30 minutes a day dedicated to writing your book. It is this kind of discipline that will stand you in good stead and help you avoid falling off the wagon.
The really hard work starts after you complete the first draft. Tasks such as content editing, formatting, cover design, making decisions about publishing options, book marketing, and promotion take even more time.
Remember: Writing a book would not be worth doing if it were easy.
It Enhances the Role of the Profession
We need to elevate the bid and proposal profession in the business environment. Rather than being relegated to the proposal back office most of the time, you will get invited to sit at the executive boardroom table to discuss win strategies—if your book is good. You will also get to interact with the client more and not just respond to a proposal with minimal client knowledge and understanding.
Most APMP professionals are passionate about what they do; however, all that knowledge often is contained within the profession. There is a hunger out there for our kind of expertise. The world wants to hear from us. Leave your mark on the world by telling your story.
It Boosts Your Credibility
You are an authority. You are an author. Authoring a book will propel your professional APMP career, your credibility, and your personal brand in unimaginable ways. Your clients and work colleagues will seek you out as the go-to expert in the field. They will never look at you the same way again.
We all need this kind of social proof that what we do matters. Writing a book is a big deal. That is why all APMP professionals should do it.