The Importance of Having an Aim and a Path – Beginner Self Publishing Course from WriteZero

In the 23 Paths for Authors post, we covered

  1. Every Author must Choose a Path
  2. 23 Common Paths for Authors

Please read that post on The 23 Paths for Authors, if you have not read it yet

In this post we will cover the Critical Need to Have an Aim and a Path

The Critical Importance of Having an Aim and a Path

In the First Pillar of the Beginner Self Publishing Course, we figured out our Internal and External Motivations and prioritized them. If you have not done that, please do so now

  1. Finding Your Internal Motivations
  2. Finding Your External Motivations

From these Internal and External Motivations you need to pick The One Thing that is your most important Internal Motivation

That ‘The One Thing’ will be Your Aim for what you most want from Books & Publishing

That ‘The One Thing’ and your Top 5 Motivations (which you also listed down when reading those posts) will determine your Author Path i.e. which one or two of The 23 Paths for Authors you will choose

Why you need to Have An Aim

Quite simply, you need an Aim or you will be lost

Books & Publishing is like a Giant Maze. There are countless paths, each going to something different

Some paths lead to a good outcome. Other paths get you hopelessly lost in the Maze

If you do not know EXACTLY WHAT your aim is, you will either

  1. Pick a path which leads you through this maze. Unfortunately, the path goes to something you did not want
    1. How strange would that be?
    2. You find the right path in this confusing Maze
    3. Then you find out that the reward you get is something you never even wanted in the first place
  2. OR
  3. You will pick the wrong path and get hopelessly lost in the Maze of Books & Publishing

You MUST have an Aim

You MUST know what you want

Ideally your aim is – The One Thing which is your Biggest Motivation. The most important thing you want from Books & your career as an Author

Make sure you List Your The One Thing Motivation and Your Top 5 Motivations

Please make sure you read these two posts

  1. Finding Your Internal Motivations
  2. Finding Your External Motivations

Please make sure you list down your

  1. Internal Motivations
    1. List down The One Internal Motivation that is the strongest. That is your The One Thing
    2. List down your Top 5 Internal Motivations
  2. External Motivations
    1. List down The One External Motivation that is the strongest. That is not as important as The One Thing (your #1 Internal Motivation)
      1. However, it is still critically important
    2. List down your Top 5 External Motivations

These Internal and External Motivations will determine what your Author Path is

Why you need to Have A Path

After figuring out what is your The One Thing (the one thing that you really, really want from your books; the one thing that will make everything else easy and/or unnecessary) it is imperative to Pick a Path that will lead you to it

Books & Publishing can be a very confusing ecosystem

It is very different from most careers where there is a steady path to progress

  1. You work in a company and the company will lay out your career path for you
  2. You do a very good job and you get promoted
  3. The company tells you what skills you need to focus on
  4. You improve those skills and you make it further up the company

The good thing about being an author is You are Your Own Boss

The bad thing about being an author is You are Your Own Boss

If you do not set a Clear Path for yourself, and if you do not map out a Career Path for yourself, then you are not going to be able to achieve your aims

Benefits of Having a Clear Aim of what you want to achieve as an Author

Here are the 8 main benefits of having a Clear Aim (your The One Thing; your #1 Internal Motivation)

  1. You can build everything around The One Thing
    1. It can be the foundation on which you build your plan for world domination
  2. It helps a lot with prioritization
    1. Does it help you achieving your #1 Goal a lot? Then it is high priority
    2. Does it help you achieving your #1 Goal a bit? Then it is medium priority
    3. Does it not help at all in achieving your #1 Goal? Then it is zero priority
  3. It gives you immense peace of mind
    1. One of the biggest problems in professions such as writing and music where there is a lot of randomness, is the lack of a concrete goal
    2. By setting a clear #1 Goal, your The One Thing, you remove all the ambiguity
  4. You can Create a Beautiful Vision of Your Future
    1. If you don’t know what you want, you cannot envision where you want to be
    2. On the other hand, having a clear goal gives you the ability to envision your success and your journey
    3. There is nothing as motivating as Seeing Clearly in Your Mind’s Eye, you achieving your #1 Goal
  5. It gives you a huge advantage which less than 1% of authors have
    1. 99% of authors are living in a haze with no clear idea of what they want from their writing career
    2. You immediately become part of the 1% that has a good idea and can actually get there
    3. To fully envision how much of an advantage this is
      1. Imagine a marathon
      2. 99% of the runners don’t know where they are running to
      3. Only 1% know where the finish line is
        1. It’s a priceless advantage
  6. Writing down your The One Thing brings a lot of things into play
    1. Your subconscious can start thinking about it
    2. The Universe (if you believe in manifestation) starts moving things to get you what your heart desires
      1. Note: You still have to work hard for it
    3. God (if you believe in God) knows what your aim is, and will help you
      1. Note: God helps those who help themselves
    4. You have a target you can aim for
    5. Writing it down gives it a solidity
  7. You can avoid letting your lower priority Goals derail your #1 Goal
    1. Most people work purely by urgency i.e. What is Urgent
    2. Once you set down your #1 Goal, your The One Thing, you will know that it always gets priority
    3. Instead of spending most of your time chasing low priority, urgent things
      1. You can focus on the Highest Priority Goal – your The One Thing
      2. It is people who can focus on their The One Thing, even when low priority urgent things are trying to distract them, who are successful
  8. You can build your daily schedule around your The One Thing
    1. This is one of the measures of how committed you are
    2. If your life is built around something else, and you are trying to fit in your ‘The One Thing’ into the nooks and crannies left in your schedule
      1. Then you are almost certainly going to fail
    3. True Commitment is when you build your Entire Life around your The One Thing
      1. You start doing it and everything else will begin to fall into place automatically

Benefits of Choosing 1 or 2 Author Paths

From the 23 Paths for Authors we’ve listed in the 23 Paths for Authors post, you have to pick 1 or 2 as Your Author Paths

Please Note: Ideally you pick only 1 Path. If that is not possible, pick 2 Author Paths. Under no circumstances should you pick 3 or more Author Paths – that is a recipe for disaster

After you pick your 1 or 2 Author Paths, you will see a lot of benefits

  1. Your chances of success go up drastically because all your focus is on One Path
    1. Instead of spreading yourself thin, you can bring all your ingenuity and creativity and focus on your One Path
    2. This greatly increases your chances of success
      1. Please Note: Writing books and selling books is still hard. By greatly increasing your chances of success we mean they go from 0.1% to 20%
  2. Focusing on One Author Path brings so much laser sharp focus and clarity that you will see all your results accelerate
    1. Most authors are focusing on 4 to 10 different paths
    2. They are human and spreading their energies across so many different paths means they are achieving very little forward progress
    3. You, on the other hand, are focused on your One Path and can really make progress
  3.  Focusing on One Author Path removes all distractions
    1. With 10 paths you have 1,000 different things you could do
      1. There will always be some benefit (however small) in one of the 10 paths
    2. With One Path it is a binary decision – either it takes you further along your Path, or it does not
      1. If it does, do it
      2. If it does not, ignore it
      3. You focus all your time and energy on The Right Things
  4.  You Maximize the Utilization of Your Time and Energy
    1. In life, the vast majority of our time is spent switching between different goals and tasks
      1. Think about the time you spend driving to work and back home
      2. The time spent on errands
      3. The time switching between your roles at work, home, etc
    2. It’s the same with being an author
      1. If you follow a lot of different paths, 50% of your time will be wasted just switching between different paths
    3. If you can focus on One Main Path, and follow that, you maximize the efficient utilization of your time and energy
  5.   By focusing on One Author Path you minimize your headaches
    1. Every Author Path has its joys, which usually only arrive after succeeding, and its headaches, which are worst at the beginning
      1. Starting on 5 to 10 paths means 5 to 10 times the headaches
      2. Starting on 5 to 10 paths also means you drown in the headaches and never reach the parts that are amazing and full of joy
  6.  It is very easy to measure progress when your focus is on One Author Path
    1. If you have 6 different author paths, you will be unable to even measure progress
      1. Not only will you be torn between 6 different paths, you will not know how far along each path you are
    2. Pick One Author Path and you can easily assess progress and can easily course correct if going astray
  7.  You can only reach expertise if you are focused on 1 or 2 Author Paths
    1. Each path requires a lot of work to become an expert
    2. If you focus on 1 or 2 paths, you have enough time to actually become an Expert in that Path
    3. By Expertise we mean knowing the path very well and understanding how to become successful
  8.  You can only outpace the competition if you are focused on 1 or 2 Author Paths
    1. There are hundreds of thousands of authors walking along each Path
    2. If you try to walk along 5 to 10 different paths, you can never be among the front runners on any path
      1. People who are focused on one path will always be far ahead of you
    3. If you focus on one or two paths, you will be able to be among the leaders
      1. Books & Publishing is like every other business
      2. The front runners usually win
  9. Picking 1 or 2 Paths to focus on leads to a virtuous positive cycle
    1. You can devote more energy and focus to your One Path
    2. This leads to faster and better progress
    3. This encourages you and you do better and better work
    4. The focus on One Path means you develop expertise faster and make more breakthrough discoveries of how things work and how to get results
    5. This leads to even better results
    6. This motivates you further
    7. Before you know it you are an unstoppable force of nature

Having a Laser Focus on One Author Path is the Key to Success

Closing Thought – The More Clarity you have about Where You Want to Go, the Higher the Chance You Get There

It’s that simple

  1. The more clarity you have about where you want to go
  2. The better you map out your path to getting there
  3. The stronger your master plan for getting what you want

The higher the chance you will have a beautiful journey and reach your destination

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