I’m writing a book (and you should too)

I’m going to write a book. The title will be dotcom Secrets.”

It took Russel Brunson 10 years after this announcement to actually write his bestseller.

He announced the book to his friends, bought the domain, paid someone to help with the publishing process, and then… didn’t write it.

But this isn’t a story about procrastination or writer’s block.

Instead, Russel argues that the decision to write the book long before he was ready to actually do it was one his best ones ever.

There was a noticeable shift in his thinking before and after the decision.

My mind started doing stuff that became the book later. I had to become something to write the book. We had to have stories and stuff. I paid money to start it, and then I was doing life but because of that it made me create the book. Just to kind of put it out there. And then start becoming who you gotta become to write the book. You have to earn the book.”

When he had the idea for Dotcom Secrets he had little real experience. In his own words, he “wasn’t worthy of writing that book yet.”

But the book project, always at the back of his mind, gave him a powerful frame.

Could that experiment become a cool story I can put into the book? Would the author of Dotcom Secrets do that?

So all these years, he was making progress not by writing down words but by taking real-world actions.

And eventually, once he had become the person worthy of writing Dotcom Secrets, he did it. At this point, it wasn’t a laborious process that required hours of research. He simply wrote about what he knew and learned over the years.

I guess this is what Robert Pirsig meant when he said:

You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It’s easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.”

It also reminds me of the advice Joe Rogan likes to share:

“Pretend there’s a camera crew following you filming your success story. You’re gonna try your absolute best to work as hard as you can.”

That’s definitely another useful frame. But I think having a book project is a lot more powerful. The book project is real, whereas the camera crew isn’t.

Or maybe that’s just me. After all, I’m unable to read fantasy books too.

But whether you pretend there’s a camera crew or start a book project, the reason these framing tricks work is exactly the same.

It all boils down to this: Who am I becoming?

This is one of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself.

And a book project (or imaginary camera crew), will not only allow you figure out an answer to that question but also help to keep it top of mind.

But there’s an important caveat. The strategy will only work if you’re serious about writing an amazing book.

Writing a book is easy. Simply fill the pages with insight porn and loosely related anecdotes and you’re done.

Only writing an amazing one is hard since you need to become someone with enough earned insights to share. Just like in Russel’s case, this can take years.

Okay so now what about my book project?

The title is Play Permissionless. It’s going be about how I stopped waiting for anyone’s permission and simply started doing the things I wanted to do.

Most people still believe they need a universities’ permission to learn something seriously.

I, instead, designed my own Bootstrap MBA.

Most people believe you need some VC firms stamp of approval or go to business school before you can launch a successful business.

I, instead, simply started bootstrapping businesses.

And these are really just two minor examples of a much larger pattern.

There are so many amazing things we all could be doing but aren’t since we’re waiting for someone to come along and give us permission.

Heck, lots of people are unable to go to their favorite restaurant unless they find someone to go with them.

And it happens with even the most basic things like being creative and writing.

Most people would never draw or write something unless it’s in a structured course where a teacher gives them the explicit permission to do so.

And you know, instead of spending months crafting book proposals and hoping for some book publishers’ permission, you can simply start writing, focus on finding your voice and an audience, and then start selling the book on your own terms.

You also don’t need to hope to be admitted to some exclusive club or pay for some overpriced cohort-based course before you can start making connections with the right kind of people. Simply start sending cold emails and build relationships right away.

There are all these invisible walls and only once you start running towards them you notice they’re not real at all.

My journey is far from finished. There are still tons of invisible walls all around me and only slowly I’m learning to smash them down one after another.

But my book project gives me a powerful frame and serves as a reminder that nowadays there’s absolutely no reason to wait for anyone’s permission.

Would the author of Play Permissionless really hesitate to send that message? Would he be scared to launch that experiment? Would he wait for that reply before moving forward?

So that’s it. That’s my announcement.

And yes, of course, I already bought the domain PlayPermissionless.com.

I have absolutely no idea how long it’ll take me to finish it. I hope it won’t be 10 years.

Written on August 30, 2022

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