FINDING YOUR VOICE
Did you ever want to do something but had too many excuses why you couldn’t or shouldn’t?
I used to be afraid of writing, much more than any fear I found around doing comedy or speaking.
Even though I have written 7 books, it wasn’t until recently that I would say I am a writer.
Even when Killing Sacred Cows was released, I wouldn’t call or consider myself a writer – I hired a ghostwriter.
After speaking for almost a decade, coaching, and advising, there was definitely content to share long before Killing Sacred Cows came out, but I was afraid to share it, to write it.
I lost to a nagging
voice in my head
That voice filled me with scarcity, and doubt, and triggered worry.
Do you know what voice I am talking about?
The voice sounded something like this:
- Would it be grammatically acceptable?
- Where would I find the time?
- What if I couldn’t articulate everything I wanted to say properly?
- Where would I start?
- What is the process of writing or publishing a book?
- What if the book wasn’t good enough? (What if I wasn’t good enough)?
- What if it isn’t perfect?
There were answers to enough of these questions to move forward, but again, not as a writer.
Having a book and being a writer are two different things, especially in today’s environment of turnkey self-publishing services and where books are the new business cards.
WHEN THE SELF-PUBLISHED VERSION OF KILLING SACRED COWS CAME OUT, SOME OF MY INITIAL FEARS CAME TO FRUITION.
For example, my wife was part of a book club that read Killing Sacred Cows.
Carrie wasn’t able to attend because she was 8 months pregnant and not feeling great.
Then, on the night of that book club, I got a call. I was on a trip to Chicago when I saw Carrie’s number.
She was hysterical.
She was crying so hard I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
My first thought and worry was that something might have happened to the baby. But then I remembered earlier that month when her mom threw out one of my shirts I left at her house (it said Future Billionaire in fuzzy raised letters) and Carrie was in a similar state.
Hormones with pregnancy can be unpredictable and tough.
When she was finally able to catch her breath, she told me someone in her book club called and said…
SEVERAL OF THE GIRLS TORCHED MY BOOK.
First, they had a problem with the premise – money follows value.
They had the belief you do the least you can to get by.
That is a different philosophy, not my philosophy.
If these girls loved my book, it would have meant I wrote the wrong one.
Plus, a book with zero negative feedback probably didn’t need to be written.
If everyone agreed, what did we learn or confront?
The second comment from her group was about errors, misspellings, grammar, and the like.
A big fear and obstacle for me to write in the first place.
Yet, this didn’t even bother me.
I realized they missed the message and the point; therefore, they didn’t mine the gold nuggets throughout the book.
WHAT SEEMED LIKE A PROBLEM IN THE PAST, BUT NOT EVEN A CONCERN IN THE PRESENT, IN REALITY.
I don’t worry about grammar these days.
I write how I want.
In my style.
In the way I love.
I love writing.
I love connecting with people.
And so I am starting a blog (old school I know).
Warning, these blogs may have more mistakes than my books.
Books have three rounds of editors/editing and a final proofread.
And guess what, even my books have a few errors in the end.
EXPRESSION OVER PERFECTION.
Progress and done is better than perfect and never starting.
Perfection is a plague that destroys prosperity, stifles creativity, and prevents expression.
It is impossible to be perfect, yet I have spent years stuck trying to achieve it (and failed).
But letting the worry go, allowing the words to flow from my fingers to this page, and simply writing has liberated me, and increased my emotional intelligence, my self-awareness, and most of all, my capacity to love and communicate.
For years I have taken time to share gratitude through handwritten cards.
And for the last few years, I have written apology notes to those I have hurt, acknowledged my mistakes, and asked for forgiveness.
Often I write poems for my wife, about my comedy, or just for the sake of writing.
These situations have shown me how to be vulnerable, which in turn allows me to be more expressive and utilize that emotion in my writing.
I have started each day in 2023 writing, just for myself.
This has truly unlocked my ability to love writing.
Gaining clarity around scarcity, worry, judgment, fear, or anything that doesn’t represent me or what I want to be, or the life that I want to create.
Before writing notes, letters, reflections on personal lessons, musings, and the final chapter of Disrupting Sacred Cows, I’ll have to admit, my books sound more like a textbook.
I was coached by AJ Harper, my screenwriter for my play and editor for Disrupting Sacred Cows, in a way that changed how I will write for evermore.
I LOST MY FEAR AND FOUND MY VOICE.
By writing letters, notes, and my daily reflection practice, I have been able to write a comedy special, a play, and Money Unmasked – a book that took almost seven years to complete. And yet, I rewrote 1/2 of it in one week in late 2022 by tapping into my flow and allowing the emotion and feeling to come through to support the concepts, facts, and philosophies.
Early in my book career, the philosophy was to have a ghostwriter or co-author. That created some fantastic works and content but didn’t unveil my joy in writing.
For example, my second book, Portal to Genius was another collaboration where I did a lot of talking and Leslie Householder did the majority of the writing.
She created a fantastic book.
I contributed sure, but without the joy of the writing process.
The joy is in the process.
And so here I am sharing my joy with you.
Sharing my work.
Some of the blogs may talk about marriage and others about creating space for a better life and creativity or yet others about the cost of a broken promise or what I learned from doing a comedy tour.
There will be blogs on saving a life or when I was sued and went to court.
If it speaks to you, connects to you, or adds value to you, great.
Whether you read it or not, that is ok, I have already won.
The win is in the work.
By writing this blog I learned from each story, and each lesson, and even healed from some lingering items in my past. And I get to continue doing that every single week.
Again, I love writing.
But on my terms.
I resigned as a Forbes contributor (or they actually asked me to resign due to a lack of posting/writing).
AND NOW THIS IS A NEW GAME.
A game I invented.
Where I made and chose the rules.
To write for the sake of writing.
Not to add it to my bio to sound cool or important.
Not to get an award or accolade.
But to share for the sake of sharing.
TO SHARE LESSONS FROM MY LIFE IN THE HOPES IT HELPS YOURS.
To do this as part of living a life I love.
Hopefully my sharing will allow you to further unlock your gifts, face your fears, and find your voice.
Do you know someone that might benefit from these insights, musings, and stories?
Amazing blog post, I really connected with this one!
That is great to hear, thank you. Life is a process of discovery and finding oneself. I’m on that path and finally accelerating.
My commitment is to help people with the same issue by helping them change their language. ❤️❤️❤️
By changing their language? Do expand!
Thank you for sharing this work, being truly yourself, and having the strength to publicly share what you’ve learned along your life’s journey.
Your work is helping me change my life. I look forward to continuing to grow alongside you.
Wow, that is great to know and so fulfilling knowing this connected with you. To growing together!!
Hey Garrett, I’m glad you’re still writing and you get to share some of your thoughts with your audience. I also write, and love the process of sitting down and having a conversation with myself, challenging my own views, and discovering mostly unbiased answers to my own questions. Writing is not just typing up words in a word document or writing on a piece of paper, there’s a thought process in which, like you say, you liberate yourself. Whether someone’s listening (reading) or not, you said what you needed to say and it’s there for everyone to see. The more you write, the more questions you ask yourself, then the more answers you’ll come up with. It’s evolution at a personal level.
Thanks for inspiring us to keep going with our own projects and development.
So spot on and well said. YES.