Hi, everybody. If you’re new around here, I’m fixin’ to write a best-selling book on fixing work. There’s an agent involved, and I wrote a 74-page proposal based around my core philosophy that you fix work by fixing yourself.
Yes, companies and HR departments should deliver an incredible experience. But if you run your life like a business and take responsibility for your relationships, including your relationship with yourself, you can survive and thrive in just about any employment environment.
The book has stories from my experiences in HR, but it’s not a book about me or HR. The book is about how to fix work in ten steps. It’s written for executives and HR leaders who want to invest in processes, programs, and policies that people employees and customers in the heart of all experiences. But it’s also for employees who are stuck in mediocre corporate jobs and want to challenge themselves and their leaders to think and do better.
I’ve written an intro, market research, an enhanced biography to highlight my accomplishments, a marketing plan, a list of speaking engagements, a chapter outline, and two sample chapters. It’s been a fascinating ordeal — and I’ve learned a lot — but I’m only 22% of the way there.
My goal is to create a modern-day handbook to fix work, but, to sell a half-million books, it helps to be famous. I’m not famous enough for publishers to go, “Yeah, okay, let’s give this kid a shot.”
Also, while I have an excellent voice and strong writing skills, I’m not an experienced storyteller. I’m more of an enthusiastic yeller, and my energy disguises the cracks in communication skills. The proposal is almost there, but it has to be strong to be published by one of the “Big 5” companies and placed in a Target near you.
So, my agent told me I still have a little work to do. How much work? We’re close. Soon the manuscript will go in front of editors who give it a thumbs up or down, but, even if someone buys the script, much of what I’ve already written may not end up in the final book. A book proposal is just an audition. The real work happens once the deal is done and I sign the paperwork.
Even if a brand-name publishing firm publishes this book, there’s no guarantee it will sell. That’s why so many authors you know and see at conferences have purchased their way onto The New York Times Best Sellers list.
(Don’t get me started.)
If none of this pans out, which is a real possibility, I can always go back into HR or publish my book through an academic publishing house or association and still get on the speaking circuit to talk about work. I’m trying to keep a healthy perspective about all this.
When I explain my situation to friends, they always offer book recommendations to soothe my anxious soul. My friend Ryan Arnold encouraged me to read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.
The book tells you to:
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take things personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best
I read this book while traveling and thought, wow, maybe one day someone will recommend Let’s Fix Work to someone who has reached an inflection point in her life! What a dream!
I’m no Don Miguel Ruiz — or Oprah, Tony Robbins, Rachel Hollis, Mark Manson, Dan Pink, or Jen Sincero — but none of them are me. And no one is out there talking about fixing work and addressing a broken employee experience by asking workers to fix themselves.
I’m still optimistic this book can be a big hit. Hope you’re hopeful for me, too!