Book Review: The Charge by Brendon Burchard

If you’re looking for some motivating ideas to try out this summer, you might like to get your hands on a copy of Brendan Burchard’s new book The Charge.

I didn’t expect to like the book very much, because I thought Burchard could be too pushy and perhaps this type of book wouldn’t be as helpful for someone like me who wants to enjoy a slower way of life, not necessarily speed up and charge.  I found myself pleasantly surprised

Burchard talked about 10 human drives —  Control, Competence, Congruence, Caring, Connection,  Change, Challenge, Creative Expression, Contribution and Consciousness.  Not sure why all his drives start with a letter c, but he manages to share innovative strategies  and inspiring stories to make you want to keep turning the page.

Here is a brief excerpt from the end of the book that doesn’t give away his ideas throughout the book, but gives you a taste for his style of writing.

The Charged Life urges us to transcend our normal ways of thinking and shift to a higher gear by better controlling the dashboard of our own consciousness.  It also challenges us to find a higher purpose and meaning in our own human experience and to rise above our own circumstance and connect with something greater than ourselves, to stretch beyond the mundane to the magical.

It’s a different kind of life, to be sure — a much more consciously designed existence.  But what else is there?  Shall we let our impulses alone control us, or shall we direct our attention and activities to a higher state of motivation, meaning, and morality?  Shall we let the world go spinning past us, or shall we use our presence to slow it down, take it in, appreciate the magic of it all?  And through each day and up to the very end, when we sense those last moments of life, shall we simply and casually wonder about the force of something beyond us, or shall we slip the bonds of our limited senses and choose to connect with and live through divine love?  The choice, as it has always been, is yours.

I ended this book (dare I say) feeling more charged.  He gave me some new strategies to live this summer and beyond with more presence and awareness.  I particularly liked his chapter on contribution.  If you’re looking for some inspiration as we move into this new season, take a look at The Charge by Brendon Burchard.

My Unorthodox Book Marketing Process

A few weeks ago, I published my second book on Amazon, which from what readers have told me, is even better than my first book.  It’s called The Seven Foundations of a Resilient Livelihood.  It’s based more on my experience as a green business coach than on my work with writers.

For this book and others, I’m using a book development and marketing approach that seems to be the opposite to what most non-fiction writers are being advised to do.  I’m writing my books first and developing a platform afterwards, organically. 

The first reason that I’m using this approach is that I want to create books quickly to use in retreats and workshops as workbooks.  There is no cheaper way to create a beautiful, professionally done book for your clients than CreateSpace.  This applies for any business.

I just helped an award winning Manufacturing CEO finish his first book, Don’t Go Into Business to Make Money.  He’s delighted with his book, so much so that we’re also partnering together on creating a video newsletter.  No matter where you live in the world, it is simple and inexpensive to write a book using CreateSpace.  Think about publishing one this year!

The second reason that I’m following this course of book development, is because of John Locke’s e-book,  How I Sold 1 Million ebooks in 5 months  published last year.  He’s been very successful at selling his novels on Kindle, and I wanted to know how he did it.  To my surprise, he did NOT market his books until he had written several of them.  His marketing thinking was that people like to have something else to read by an author, and one book isn’t enough.  He churns a new book about every 9 weeks, and doesn’t claim to be a literary giant.   He offers a practical reason for not worrying too much about sales of your first book or two.  And also shows why ebooks are important.  My instincts said follow his approach.

My final reason for writing books and e-books without much of a platform is that not everything in the world worth doing should be done to become popular.  We don’t have to wait for someone to approve of our message to share them.  My belief is that the people who are meant to read our words find them.  I honor this mystical side of myself by writing what I feel is right to share, not simply things that will sell.

This is not to say you shouldn’t create a social media platform before you write your book or create your art.   There are many ways to share your writing and make a living with your books and ideas.  Keep your options open and follow your instincts. You may be surprised at what type of life you can create for yourself and your books, without a built-in marketing platform before you publish.

So, how about you?  Do you feel you must create a social media platform before you start or finish your book or other writing?  Have you found a way to create a platform for your work that feels right for you?

Paulo Coehlo,Emily Dickinson and the destiny of words

Paulo Coehlo and Emily Dickinson are two of the world’s great writers who have inspired me to adopt a certain philosophy about writing, life and destiny.  I believe:

Our words are powerful beyond our understanding.  

It’s also important to know that you don’t have to be a great speaker or writer for your words to have a lasting impact on the world.  There is a destiny for our words and life that is bigger than we are, and we cannot truly know that lasting destiny in our life time.  

This belief allows me to relax into the sometimes frightening, often daunting journey of being a writer.  With this faith, I published my first journal book Writing Your Destiny a few weeks ago trusting that it would find its “right” audience on Amazon and Kindle, and that my workshops and videos planned for October will attract who they are meant to attract.   My task is to give my best effort to my writing, coaching or anything else I do, and allow something bigger than myself to do its magic through me.

My love and affinity for Paulo Coehlo’s philosophy and writing began when I read his beautiful book, The Alchemist.  My favorite passage in that book is where an angel meets a father from Roman times who has died and come to heaven, and is inquiring about the ongoing success and fame of his son, a successful poet.  The father discovers that it is NOT the words of his son the poet that endure through the ages, but the words of his other son, a humble centurion working at an outpost far away from Rome who asks Jesus to heal one of his servants,  and says words that are read and repeated for thousands of years.  This short nugget of a story within a story continues to influence me. As someone who wants to write “great” stories and inspirational books,  it’s humbling to know that my work may or may not be a lasting help to others.

Another inspiration for detaching from the outcome of our writing is Emily Dickinson, the  famous American poet.   The other day I was reading her famous words:

We never know high we are

Till we are called to rise;

And then, if we are true to plan,

Our statures touch the sky.

It occurred to me that she had no actual “we” in her life.  No twitter followers, no Facebook, no six figure book deals.  Few people in her day even knew that she wrote poems except her limited circle.  I found myself wondering did she know there would be a WE reading her words over a hundred years after her death in 1886?  I suspect she wrote because she had to write, and her highest destiny called to her and gave her the strength and passion to write poetry that still speaks to us.

If it’s part of your life’s calling, find a way to write your destiny. 

Yet, remember you don’t have to write your words for them to be powerful.  Like the centurion from The Alchemist, stay awake to the miracles you encounter in your life.  

May you know that your words are powerful and that you can be a source of goodness in the world.  Be the highest expression of who you are called to be today, and amazing gifts will come to you.  Share the simple truth and love that wants to speak through you.  You never know how your words might change the world!

P.S.: Wondrously enough, and I’m not making this up, yesterday,  I got an email from Brendon Burchard asking me if I would like to receive a free copy of Paulo Coehlo’s new book, The Aleph, immediately after I had just finished writing the rough draft of this blog post about Paulo Coehlo.   Talk about the power of words!  All I can say, is that the world is connected in awe-inspiring, mysterious ways.  I knew then that I had to publish this post so that the right someone would read them.