Today I want to write about the power of memoir for your business. I did a FB Live on my page (still available to watch as a recording my page and on my you tube channel) about it and made me realise how passionate I am about memoir. Maybe it is because I just polished mine and I now see the beauty of how related it is to my own business and how writing it has been an incredible journey to see my own beauty and the power of my journey. This could not have happened even six months ago as my business has pivoted substantially in the past few months, taking a whole new turn and bigger purpose.
But first I want to define what a memoir is and what it isn’t. Memoir is not an autobiography. It is not an account of one’s life story. And it is actually not about the author at all. I bet that surprises you. Memoir is about a slice of your life, an experience, that has transformed you. It could actually fit in the time frame of a a single month or span over years. It is not linear in the way it progresses because it is a story and it needs to be told as one. A memoir is told according to the universal rules of story: the only difference is that YOU are the hero, and yet it is not about you. It is about the universal experience that you went through. Does that make sense? For example the memoir that I just finished about the death of my father is not about me or about my father. The Universal theme underlying the story of the last months of my father’s life is that it is never too late to make peace with your dad. That is a universal theme. The details don’t matter so much as the way the story unfolds and the transformation that I experienced which brought me closer to my dad than I had ever been.
Why write a memoir?
Why write a memoir for your business? Most people think writing a book does not bring revenues. And in truth, it starts with an investment not only in money but also in time. This leads people to neglect writing a memoir with the purpose of furthering their own business and I need to say this is a big mistake. Why? A memoir can reap benefits for your business before you even finish your first draft. The ROI might not be measurable but believe me, you will have more clients and you will become more successful. And the reason is that memoir is an act of self love and it increases your self esteem. This has an immediate impact on your business. Through the writing of memoir, you address visibility issues and mindset issues, which is also crucial to run a business. It will take your business to the next level EVEN if you never publish it. And this goes against the beliefs people have about writing memoir.
The two phases of writing memoir
People hold back from writing memoir because they do not realise that writing memoir is a two part process. They clump the two parts together and it trips them.
- Phase one of writing your memoir is an intimate experience between you and you (and if you hire a coach, your coach – which I believe is essential when you write memoir because it is the HARDEST genre to write – not that I want to put you off – I like to be ambitious for you). It is you exploring your life, your story, deepening your understand of why you do what you do and it is only in the act of writing it that you will make sense of your life. Everyone in marketing tells about the power of story but I believe that none of the exercises marketers encourage you to do to create that know like trust factor will go as in depth as what you will do when you write your memoir.
- Phase Two is the public phase. It is when you start marketing your book (if it is self published) or think about pitching it to agents. This phase can only happen when you have done massive work on your visibility and this cannot be rushed. It depends on how much you work on yourself. And it may never happen but this is not a good reason to hold back from writing your memoir. If it helps, pretend that you are writing fiction. But please get on with it.
Benefits and dangers of memoir
I have already outlined some of the benefits of writing a memoir but let’s go deeper:
- increased clarity about who you are
- laser focus on what your business is about and what part of your story matters to it
- increased sense of self worth
- increased business as a result of the mindset work
Now here are some of the dangers:
- doing your memoir on the cheap (it is the most difficult genre and I believe it is probably not wise to embark into it on your own)
- publish it too soon
- not having enough reflective tools to make sense of the story
- making it about you
I have a free meditation to connect to the energy of your book that will help you find the why of your memoir (which I believe is the first question every aspiring memoir writer should ask themselves). You can listen to it here on my thinkific platform, for free.
(c) Ange de Lumiere 2018