Pat Iyer's Blog

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To write a book about your business could be the best way you spend your advertising money.

Twenty-odd years ago I stayed for the first time at a Marriott hotel. A book sat on the desk in the room, entitled The Spirit to Serve Marriott’s Way. The title intrigued me, and I started to read it. The story drew me in immediately.

Because I had a busy conference schedule, I didn’t get many chances to continue reading the book. When I checked out, I brought the book down to the reception desk and asked if I could buy it. The receptionist was delighted by my request and said I could take it home, compliments of the hotel.

Although I no longer have that book, I have never forgotten the story of the company’s history and the values that guided its growth. I have always, when traveling, looked for the opportunity to stay at a Marriott hotel. (For many years, the National Speakers Association scheduled their annual meetings at Marriotts, and I’ve had a chance to enjoy their properties during those meetings. And to meet Bill Marriott at one of our meetings.)

That the book succeeded with more than one customer has been evidenced by the publication of later books about the company.

Other business leaders have seen the value of writing about their companies. They include:

Robert Iger, who wrote The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Howard Schulz, author of Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, who wrote Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

Read about these and other books about businesses in “19 of the Best Books by CEOS,” by Drake Baer and Shana Lebowitz.

You Don’t Need to Have a Huge Corporation to Benefit from a Book About It

You may be saying, “My company isn’t Disney or General Motors or Starbucks.” That doesn’t matter. If you have a business, you have customers/clients, and you have an audience. Like any leader, you want those who buy products or services from you to value that relationship.

The history of how your company got started is a story, and people love stories. If your story includes the desire to practice positive values, they will love it even more.

Finally, it has never been easier to write a book about your business and publish it.

And consider the following benefits:

Why Should You Write a Book About Your Business?

Think of your book as a huge business card. People throw away the smaller versions but often have respect for the printed (or electronic) word.

  1. If you give your book to key clients/customers, they will appreciate the gift.
  2. A certain mystique surrounds the proof of authorship. People will think you really care about your business if you took the time to write about it.
  3. Consider the relationship between an author and his or her readers. It’s personal. That relationship can make the reader more interested in your company.

Read more about the Whys in “5 Ways Your Business Will Benefit from You Writing a Book,” by Imran Tariq.

You’re Too Busy to Write a Book about Your Business.

So are all the CEOs named in this post. The chances are good that they didn’t literally write their books. By literally, I mean construct outlines, interview relevant people, sit down at the keyboard and type, and edit and proofread.

Successful businesspeople outsource. You’ll see that many books about particular businesses list the authors as, for example, Joseph Blank with Mary Smith. Because Joseph is the CEO of the company, he most likely told the story, probably through a series of interviews, to Mary, who wrote the book.

As a writer and ghostwriter, I sometimes get my name listed and sometimes don’t. See the cover below of a book I ghostwrote for Greg Williams. In either case, I value the relationship I develop with my client and the opportunity to co-create a book.

By starting and building your business, you are realizing your dream. Take it a step further and share your dream and its journey into reality with the world.

And take the step now and join me for Self-Publishing Your Book – From Concept to Upload. Write your book to highlight your skills and attract clients to your business. 

Pat Iyer mentors authors through the process of writing and publishing their non-fiction books. She’s written and/or edited 49 of her books.