“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” (John Mason)
This exact phrase is why my friend, Chris Kent & I wrote a book together! You see, I don’t just play with words. I play with dogs too.
In my other life, I run a social enterprise called Canine Perspective CIC. It was created as a direct result of the success of my first book, Reggie & Me. Our signature programme, Canine Hope, works with survivors of sexual violence and rescue dogs. I love it, I’m proud of it and the fact it combines words and dogs is quite literally me living my dream.
Chris is someone I have admired for a long time, she also runs an awesome social business working with dogs to change the lives of humans. She’s also an author. She’s fabulous!
So, Chris and I were chatting over a cuppa and discussing the number of phone calls we get from people who say ‘I want to do what you do.’
We’d chat with them, talk through their business ideas and never hear from them again. Well, Chris would often get more than one call but she’s much nicer than me! You see, people saw us when we were delivering a workshop or a talk. We were, essentially, spending the day playing with dogs. Brilliant, right?!
They didn’t see the hours upon hours we spent designing the sessions, applying for funding, working in the business, approaching potential clients… you know, the stuff that doesn’t involve talking about and playing with dogs but takes up 95% of the time. They didn’t really want to do what we do.
‘We should write a book, then they can at least give us a couple of quid before deciding it’s too much like hard work.’ I joked.
So, we wrote a book.
It’s a short guide to setting up a social business with the important addition of everything you need to factor in when including dogs in your grand master plan. I trained as a behaviourist so that I could run my social enterprise effectively and Chris has the most incredible background in working with people. We’re proud of our little book and we know that by following the steps, the reader can make an informed decision about their business idea.
We both hear the same phase when people learn that we’re authors. ‘Dogs AND books, you’re so lucky.’
We’re not lucky. We work hard and we create our own luck.
The 95% of time that’s spent planning your book, writing, deleting, editing, rewriting and wondering what the point is (we all have those moments) are absolutely worth it for the 5% of time that’s spent enjoying the author visits, the speaking and the thing that I love the most, the letters from readers (ok, emails… but letters sounds better!) saying that your book helped them.
You don’t have to do what I do, or what anyone else does. Nobody can do what YOU are going to do. Nobody can write what YOU are going to write.
We found inspiration from this one phrase and created a book… what’s going to give you the nudge you need?