Today marks the first anniversary of my first book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow. How do I feel about that? Pretty darn good. It was a royal pain in the butt to get it written, edited and published, but it was well received at launch and sales continue to exceed my expectations, a year in. I couldn’t be happier.

But here’s the thing. I’ve never worked so hard for so long and invested so much of my emotional being into accomplishing something with such a puny payoff. No kidding. Any writer will tell you, unless you’re a Grisham or a Gladwell, it’s mostly a labor of love. Good thing I knew that going in.

Still, this is a key component of my second half career plan, so it feels good to finally be able to call myself an author. And yes, I do get a kick out of handing out signed copies to friends and associates. Maybe pride is a fundamental deadly sin, but what can I say; guilty as charged.

That said, I’m not one to rest on my laurels for very long. I’m not sure if it’s a gift or a curse, but I’m never content with my accomplishments. Truth is, my goal is to write best-sellers, so while I consider Real Leaders to be a solid first effort, I have my sights set much higher. And I won’t rest until I realize that vision or die trying.

The point is, pride and hubris are not the same thing. It’s a question of degree. Feeling good about your accomplishments is not the same as excessive confidence in your abilities. Whether it’s getting your first book published, helping your kid with a tough math problem, or doing a bang-up paintjob on the garage door, it’s good to have pride in your work. Just don’t overdo it. It can be a slippery slope from confidence to overconfidence.

Anyway, time to get to work on book number two. Stay tuned.

Image credit Epic Fireworks via Flickr

  • WMC

    A buddy of mine wrote a book that came out earlier this year and a few weeks ago he called me and told me some details, some stories, associated with the entire narrative. My friend made the true purpose of his call quite clear. He told me that he needed to get fifty reviews in Amazon to be able to move to the next level or to be able to have his book appear in a different category. Something like that. I’m really not too clear about how things are ranked there. I need to learn. I want to learn about all of this, as I can understand how important this will be in so many ways.

    I obliged my old pal TJC and went onto Amazon’s site, purchased his book, and I am reading it this weekend. I shall write my review asap.

    Today, he’s likely jamming past 50 reviews because he’s got a lot of friends and he’s most certainly unafraid to ask people to act to enable him to hit (his) targets. Actually, I thought about the fact that he did not send me a signed copy and I quickly dismissed this (nice) idea seeing how it could be counter-productive.

    Within the last 24 hours I have reflected on some of what I have learned from you through your writing. Soon I shall go to Amazon to find YOUR book and purchase at least one copy.

    • Steve Tobak

      Reviews help but if you don’t have a publisher, I think it depends more on having a marketing presence (access to an audience that will buy your book) and of course the content itself. If you want to know more about my writing process, check out: Any questions, be my guest.