The other day I went to a Barnes & Noble and looked at the bestselling business books. I was surprised when I saw this:
That entire row underneath ‘Best in Business’ are all books written by Stephen Covey (all except for one). Covey was an international bestselling author who passed away in July 2012, and yet, his books continue to sell and influence lives, even after his death.
Curious if this was just a Barnes & Noble thing, I went to Amazon.com and looked at the bestselling business and self-help books. Sure enough, Covey’s book was in the top 10 for both best seller categories:
Stephen Covey influenced people through his writing while he was alive, and he’s still influencing people (through his writing) even though he is dead.
Writing allows you to influence people while you’re alive, and after you die.
And it’s not just Stephen Covey who’s influencing thousands before and after death. Lots of people have impacted the world through their writing – while they were alive, and now, even though they’re dead.
Peter Drucker’s The Essential Drucker has greatly influenced my understanding of business, as well as thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers around the world. The book is a collection of Drucker’s writings on business and management. Although Peter Drucker passed away in 2005, the book continues to be read by thousands.
Maya Angelous’s debut memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings continues to sell and touch lives, even though it was first written and published in 1969. Maya died in 2014, but her books continue to be read by many.
Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People was an influential, bestselling business & communications book in 1936(when he wrote it), and continues to be one this day (even though he died in 1955).
Stephen Covey. Peter Drucker. Maya Angelous. Dale Carnegie. All people who influenced others through their writing, and whom continue to do so now, even after their death.
Want to influence and impact others? Write. It will make a difference in people’s lives – both now and after you die.
Why couldn’t you be the next Stephen Covey or Maya Angelou? There’s no reason why you couldn’t be. The only way you’ll know is if you start writing today.
A few practical ideas on how to get started writing, publishing, and influencing others:
- Start writing 15 minutes each morning. If you wrote 250 words each morning for one year (365 days), you’d have a 91,250 words written – enough to publish two non-fiction paperback books (all within a year). Do that every day for ten years, and you’ll have 20 books written.
- Start a blog, and begin writing and publishing content weekly. Share your published posts on social media and through email, get feedback, and see which people respond to your writing. Share your stories, expertise, and other useful insights you have. Write for an audience you’d enjoy becoming friends with and helping.
- Create a new folder on your computer (or in Google Docs), and write one page every day. No one needs to see your writing yet. When you’re ready, start publishing the posts on a blog and/or in a book.
What will you write about? What will your message be? How will you be remembered?
Whatever it is, just start writing. You can pivot and adjust your message / what you write about as you go. The important thing is to get started.
The world is waiting for your words.