Your Questions on All Things The Gift of Struggle Answered!
After announcing my first book, The Gift of Struggle, I have been humbled and grateful for the out-pouring of kind words, congratulations and interest. First of all, I want to say thank you for your support and well-wishes! It’s pretty special to have such a great community of friends and partners on this crazy journey.
I thought I would compile the most frequently asked questions I’ve been getting over the last week or so and share my answers! Without further adieu, let’s get into it!
1. When did you first get the idea to write The Gift of Struggle?
Writing a book wasn’t on my list. Over the years, I politely dismissed a few encouraging “you should consider writing a book” comments. Then I got a very direct “you need to write a book!” from an accomplished author. That was the first step of the journey that started in early 2016.
Initially, I struggled big time…pun intended. I asked an insane amount of questions to some great people who gave me much needed guidance. I’m grateful.
2. Why did you write it?
I’m a champion for the Underdog. I wanted to write something that gives potential leaders what I needed most – hope. I want people to view struggle in a new light – as a source of empowerment. They have more potential than they realize.
I also wrote it for the amazing climbers in the Populus Group community. They have lived this journey with me – the good, bad, and the ugly. We are unwavering about the way we climb as one – we share a passion to give more than we take and if our gifts of struggle and our imperfections help others, I’m happy.
3. What’s it about?
The book is about leadership. I believe there has never been a greater need for compassionate leadership. Largely because we over-complicate what leadership is.
We all struggle.
Every struggle teaches us something. That’s the gift.
Leadership is sharing those gifts.
I worked very hard to share my journey in a way that helps people identify the gifts in their struggles. The book is more about your journey than mine. My stories simply guide you.
4. Who should read it?
If you’re an aspiring leader who wants to make a difference and you want your story to matter. Please read it.
If your leadership journey has caused you frustration and angst…and you know there is a better way to lead, then my book may help you take control of that climb.
If you want to lead with more heart to help those that matter to you…then pick it up.
And to the contrary, my book isn’t for everyone nor is it a checklist of answers on leadership. If that is what you’re looking for, my book may not be for you. I am brutally transparent about my mistakes and struggles. I also call you to action with questions that will help you self-assess who you are and who you are becoming. If you want to be challenged to be a better version of you…then give it a go. If not, that’s cool too.
Leadership is an inside job – I’m told my book will make you reflect deeply while making your hamster wheel spin about your leadership choices.
5. Where did you write most of the book?
I wrote the first 2 versions of the manuscript at Georgia’s Bakery on Main Street in downtown North Bend, Washington. I had a favorite table by the window and they took amazing care of me!
The final version was written in The Barn. A place you can expect to hear a lot about!
6. Favorite snack while writing?
I ate way too many doughnuts and cookies at the bakery and chased them down with some amazing caramel vanilla lattes. I regret nada!
The journey from the second to third manuscript was rough…is red vino a snack? ; )
7. How long did the process take?
3 years, 8 months, 27 days, and 15 hours…..
Just kidding. A little over 3 years – this was a side hustle while giving my all to Team One and Team Two at the wonderful community at Populus Group.
I took my time and I didn’t want it to impact my family. That’s sacred to me. Roslyn kept me in check when I digressed!
8. Hardest part of writing a book?
The kind truth along the way about my writing.
The first person to read the manuscript has become a dear friend; she said to me, “get ready to eat your own children.”
It was her way of telling me that others won’t love my writing as much as I do. Feedback that was brutal at times. I listened the best I could and applied everything I learned. My intent was to give the reader a voice…it’s what I’ve always wanted. I think we all want to be heard.
9. Most rewarding part?
I have two…a photo finish!
The first was when my wife, Roslyn, read the manuscript late one evening as I was finishing writing the book. I went to bed. She nudged me a couple of hours later to tell me how proud of me she was and how much she loved the message. Her review is the most important one of all to me.
The second was when I showed the first galley copy to my 10 year-old son Santino early one morning. I hadn’t told him about the book, so I showed him the copy. His eyes became the size of golf balls when he saw my name. Then same when my other two, Griffith and Sofia, saw it. I want them to be proud of their Dad.
10. Did anything surprise you?
How much I would eventually love writing. I think I’m addicted now… : 0 A few less doughnuts next time. Scratch that – life is short, I’m not cutting back on doughnuts or vino.
11. Where can I get a copy of the book?
This part is a big “gulp” for me…it will be in over 1000 stores in June. That’s beyond nuts to me. It will be right in front of you at Hudson’s in 193 airports in June. Pick it up but don’t forget the peanut M & M’s for the flight!
Barnes and Noble is putting it in 300 stores. Great place for coffee….and a doughnut? And of-course our amigos at Amazon and other online retailers. You can also pick it up at your favorite independent bookstore.
Oh yeah…audio too! That will be a serious blooper reel. ; ) All the options are here:
12. I’ve had some struggles, and they kinda stunk. What advice do you have about finding the gift?
I would tell you that you’d be crazy to want to struggle. But even more crazy to think it won’t happen over and over in your life. It could happen tomorrow.
You don’t get to choose when it knocks on your door. Ask yourself this:
Will I be ready to welcome it and treat it like the family member I love?
Will I treat it like the annoying guest I hope goes away and can’t take the hint to leave?
I have chosen kindness, good manners, imperfection, and to be a student of struggle.
I hope this book encourages readers to also become students of struggle. Look for lessons from your journey. Look back on the struggles of your past with a new perspective. What did you discover? How did your struggles change you for the better? I want you, anyone reading this, to share the gifts of your struggles. It could be with a partner, a team member, anyone. I believe when we’re open and share with each other, we all grow. Keep an eye out for more information about sharing our gifts in the weeks to come. #teaseralert!
Together, we can climb higher.