Thursday, February 3, 2011

The aim side of ready-fire-aim

A lot of good business folks have recommended the idea of approaching a project with the philosophy "Ready-Fire-Aim!" That is, get it ready, but don't necessarily waste too much time "aiming" the project, tinkering until all your ducks are in a row. With the flexibility of Internet technology these days, that tweaking can be done on the fly.

So what you've seen this week is a tweak on the fly. (My, that sounds a little risque, doesn't it?) After further due diligence I've reversed my earlier thoughts and decided Refuse to be Afraid is indeed the title that my first non-fiction book will wear for posterity.

What happened? Well, a couple of things that a good entrepreneur or author wannabe should consider before pulling the proverbial trigger.
First, I Googled the new name and discovered at least three other books called Free to Dream. Good name, that. But Google "Refuse to be Afraid book" and there's my little effort, with the competitive field pretty much all to itself. Second, I asked some trusted friends. They didn't exactly say I was nuts in so many words, but the message was: You're nuts to change the book's name, especially with its subtitle: Refuse to be Afraid. Free yourself. Dream.

About that pink squirrel? Well, heck, my writing style tends toward encouragement and I think about Reagan's preference for positive word choices anyway. The book is designed to make you aware of your fears, and the way that messages from politicians, advertisers, media and others are crafted to keep you afraid. And that is good to keep in mind. It's a common (and sometimes insidious) ploy: Scratch your fears and sell you their "solution," often at your expense. When the expense is cash, maybe you've got a product you didn't need anyway. When the expense is a piece of your liberty, it's a tad more serious.

But once aware of your fears, you can free yourself, and once free you can dream. That's been my message for most of the five years or so I've been blogging, and on reflection that seems like a positive message after all. Refuse to be Afraid. Free yourself. Dream is more than the title of the book, it's what folks call a "brand" – and it's not time to abandon my "brand." So the title stays put.

This is a book designed to help the reader — that's you, I hope — recognize and face down those nagging doubts and outright fears that are keeping you from living your best life. Maybe you know what you'd like to do but you think you're not ready to take the leap into that new job, that new business, or that date with the attractive person down the hall. What's keeping you back? Maybe you're convinced that sacrificing a little freedom is the price for security. Where'd you get that idea? Time to navigate past the anxiety, refuse to be afraid and free yourself to move on to your dreams.

Yep, it's about being free to dream. But the first step is refusing to be afraid. You'll always have a tinge of fear, that's natural when you step out of your comfort zone, but you need to wrestle that anxious energy into positive action. That's what the book is about, that's its title and I'm stickin' by it.

Now, you have invested your $12.95 plus shipping, or your $3.99 for the download, right? If not, here's a handy dandy link to correct that oversight. (This is what those "brand" folks call asking for the sale.) Did I mention that handsome photograph of the author with his (then) seven-week-old puppy on the back cover? It's downright irresistible; your fears will start melting before you crack the cover.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on the subject. Thanks to all who have already dived into the book, and have I mentioned my next project? Oh, that's a subject for another day anyway.

1 comment:

Anne Elizabeth Mueller said...

I think you've made a good decision. While it is important to be positive, the nature of your book lends itself well to the current title. You do end the title with the word 'dream.' It's the last thing to hit your brain and it sticks.