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In September, 2016, Alissa knew it was time to begin writing a book. She knew it would be a challenge, but didn’t know it would be the most difficult thing she’s tackled to date. So we’re flipping the script in this episode of Maximize Your Strengths! Host Alissa Daire Nelson is our guest today, and colleague Cari Twitchell interviews Alissa on her experiences as she tackled writing her first book.
About Alissa Daire Nelson
Alissa Daire Nelson is a certified Strengths Strategy coach who leans into her top 10 Strengths on a regular basis. They are all pertinent to some of the challenges she met during her book-writing journey, as well as to how she overcame them.
Alissa’s Top 10 StrengthsFinder Strengths
- Living in your Strengths is not a linear process. While you might know your Strengths really well, it doesn’t mean you will not hit your own potholes.
- Procrastination hits everyone. And it is a huge pitfall for Activators—with an impending deadline, Activator usually steps up.
- Stay true to yourself and to your word. If you do not have your word, you do not have anything.
- Writing a book is not easy, even for highly-published authors!
- It truly takes a village. When you are ready to tackle your own big goal, make sure you reach out to a community for support.
Listen in now!
Time-Stamped Show Highlights
- [2:29] – The challenge of writing a book
I would say things to myself such as, “I don’t’ know enough. I’m not an expert enough. I’m not good enough. I don’t have enough to say.”
- [4:02] – Cari’s impressions of Alissa’s book-writing journey
I’m really curious to find out, “What caused those bumps in the road, and how did you overcome them?”
- [7:01] – How Alissa’s Strengths break down by domain
Futuristic and Strategic are both Strategic Thinking Strengths. Activator and Woo are both Influencing Strengths. Positivity is a Relationship Building Strength. I do not have an Executing Strength in my top 5! The first Executing Strength I hold is Belief at number 8.
I had no problem getting started with this book! It wasn’t difficult to make the commitment to get up and go. Because I have failed on my own deadlines in the past, I decided to make that my own public commitment. That made these deadlines external.
- [10:36] – Why a book, Alissa?
My Futuristic has no problem envisioning the future. I have always seen myself writing not just one book, but multiple books … Writing does not come easily to me; however, I knew it was an important move for my business. I also wanted to provide a very low-cost service or product that people could benefit from.
- [12:57] – Alissa’s initial steps
As I sat down to write, and I knew all of this stuff was in my head, and it’s on a topic that I feel passionate about, I couldn’t actually write it. I couldn’t get it onto paper.
- [15:17] – Alisa’s first big stall
- [16:34] – The Strengths that helped Alissa overcome her first big hurdle
I am a recovering perfectionist. I like things done really well. But I know perfection is not perfect. And I know that done is better than perfect. But when it comes to writing, I’d say, “This is garbage.” And then I’d delete it. And then I’d keep doing that!
- [19:06] – Overcoming perfectionism
- [20:55] – The Strengths that others brought to help Alissa complete her book
Sometimes you need to partner with someone else of the same Strength. Cari brought Strategic to help change the conversation. Cari also brought Achiever, and has been instrumental in giving me checklists, and in small enough segments that didn’t feel overwhelming. Jeff has Analytical, Deliberative and Intellection in his top 5. From a technical writing piece, a poke-holes-in-my-logic, to we-need-more-info… Those were really helpful! I could trust that he’d analyze what’s missing.
- [24:13] – Resources and knowledge for those looking to write and publish a book
- [28:33] – A taste of Alissa’s new book, “What Competition? Setting Yourself Apart So Your Competition Is Irrelevant”
- [30:40] – Parting words of advice for entrepreneurs facing big goals
Reach out to a community—not just one person, but a group of people. You have people that know you, that you trust and that are different than you. When you get stuck, you cannot get out of the quicksand on your own!
Selected Links for This Episode
- MYS episode featuring Cari Twitchell
- MYS episode featuring Jeff & Heather Coughenour
- Honorée Corder’s website (to get two free chapters from her book, “You Must Write a Book”)
- CreateSpace (all the resources self-publishers need)
- How to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck blog post