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Exactly three years ago, I co-published my first book, a Design Thinking guide for your pocket. I had NO CLUE whatsoever on where to start and how to finish.
Luckily I was naïve and green, and I just went for it.
Looking back, five things made this process doable and most important than that: So much FUN!
And today, I want to share them with you so YOU can take inspired action. Let's hit it!
1. Say yes, figure out how later. (0:58 Min)
This whole Design Thinking pocket guide journey started with a funny misunderstanding, where at the end of it all, I said YES to something I had no clue about and for sure was not ready for (the entire story is available in the video).
Learning: TRUST YOUR GUT. You are ready! GO FOR Opportunities. Or create them..
2. Have a support system (3:17 Min)
In my case, I luckily had a mastermind team who joined the journey after I said "Yes" and ...yep cried for help!
Learning: Have people around you to cheer you on and help you be accountable.
If you don't have co-authors or a team you want to write with, no problem. Have a tribe who you regularly report to and, exchange tips and tricks with. Your process will speed up in no time.
Speaking of time.
3. Even if you don't have time, do it (and go to Mallorca;))
Between the first conversation and the first draft of our pocketbook, there were exactly 7 months. And neither of us was able to work on the book, on a draft, on really anything, until we only had 4 months in total. Ok now, it was only a pocket-size book (239 half pages). But still. It was the first project like that for all of us.
How did we manage?
In January, we went to this sunny, totally quiet Spanish Island (because nobody wants to be there when it's not buzzing hot) and were able to make a draft, divide the work, and write our first real chapter for approval.
Learning: Go somewhere. Away from your daily routines and to-dos, without distraction. Not for too long, we spent under a week there to get things done.
4. Know your ideal customer (5:01 Min)
Why was this all so easy? (Or feels like it in retrospect?) Because we knew who we wanted to serve.
Learning: Before we did any drafting, scribbling, thinking, we defined our ideal customer avatar—the one in need of this book.
We ended up with Justus, a highly engaged manager searching for an easy Framework to get Design Thinking implemented. He was our mascot, our game changer. And whatever we wrote, it was directly dedicated TO Justus. It made our process focused and super fast.
5. Have a framework to fill in and ENJOY LIFE (5:39 Min)
I don't know what I would have done without my two colleagues. Probably nothing at all, or it would have been such a pain with a week result.
Learning: The reason why this process flew by was: we had a framework we created early on in Mallorca.
The outline of the book: In our case 10 steps to follow in the book. That way, we just needed to fill in the gaps in the process. We also had deadlines for all stages, so it wasn't the big chunk that needed to be finished by date xyz. But we would gradually fill it in. That felt very light and easy for us.
Bonus Learning: Plus, and this seems silly, but it's just as important. Despite the work we did, we also know how to celebrate. Even way before any accomplishments. I know, it's a gift ;)
So, whatever it is that makes you happy, treat yourself right: With good food, sunshine, time out, champagne, whenever a chapter is done. I can not say this enough:
Make it enjoyable; the result will be better. The fun you've had resonates, I'm sure. Your motivation stays up, the absolute secret sauce to any creative journey.
So now. Enough of me and my Journey.
Now, it's your turn!
Start with your customer avatar today, the first outline of your book this week. It's not about a lot of time and the perfect circumstances.
It's about getting started.
Have a lovely process, enjoy the ride. And please let me know when your masterpiece is finished! Can#t wait to cheer you on and read it.
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Thanks so much for your time and energy.
Keep on creating and till next time.
Let's rock and move and bring your power to the streets.
With love and admiration