If you knew that by getting up at 5am every day and writing 500-1,000 words, within a year you’d have a book deal, would you do it? Most of us would! That’s exactly what happened to our guest for episode 25, Jeff Goins.
Jeff experienced what many of us go through: he never felt like he knew his “calling”. But one day he listened to a friend, followed his intuition and a year later he had a book deal! Listen in to hear the details on how Jeff made all this happen and so much more…
MORE ABOUT THIS SHOW
Today, Jeff Goins is a successful writer and writing coach. He writes prolifically and he guides others on how to do the same.
When he looks back on his past life experiences, he says he can see how everything led him to where he is today. His roots are in music: he started playing guitar at the age of 16 courtesy of his father, who was also a guitarist. But his dad didn’t just pluck a few strings, he actually was a mover and shaker in the ’70s classic rock scene. He knew Neil Young and even dated a woman from the band Heart.
After his music career, Jeff’s dad worked a number of blue collar jobs to support his family. And to his son he always preached the importance of earning a college degree. Neither Jeff’s mom nor his dad had gone to college, but Jeff followed his father’s instructions. With the help of scholarships and summer jobs, he earned his undergraduate degree in Religion and Spanish.
When he was finishing college, he thought he might become a missionary or work in a non-profit. But one night he saw a music group play and they were part of a traveling organization. This group would tour all over the US, playing at schools, prisons, public arenas, etc. And at end of the show Jeff was watching, they invited musicians to audition to join the group.
So Jeff tried out to be a guitarist for them and landed the gig. He spent the next year touring North America with the band, all the while penning long-distance love letters to his girlfriend.
THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOW:
- The three questions to answer to find your calling.
- When to pivot: how to know it’s time.
- The two steps to trusting guidance from others.
- Activity follows _____ – Jeff fills in the blank.
- Why it’s important to start off with a small audience.
- And so much more!
After a year of playing, he realized he wasn’t a musician and this wasn’t his calling. He had no idea what to do next, but his girlfriend wanted to move to Nashville. So he followed her there; while making the transition to living in Nashville, Jeff sent emails to influential people he admired and respected in the area, hoping to land a job through connecting with them.
As the saying goes, “Fortune favors the brave” and fortune smiled on Jeff. He was offered a job as a writer with a non-profit in Nashville. Though he didn’t see himself as a writer, he took it.
For the next seven years, he worked his way up the ladder at the same non-profit while being mentored by his boss. His writing job grew into a marketing role which grew into a marketing director position. Though Jeff admits he knew nothing about marketing, he seized every opportunity and learned the ropes as he went along. He knew he was biting off more than he could chew, but he did it anyway.
But again it was time for him to pivot after those seven years. He knew he was dissatisfied but when a friend asked him what his dream was Jeff said he didn’t “have one of those”. His friend was surprised, he thought for sure Jeff would say his dream was to write.
The light bulb again went off when his friend those words; Jeff knew he wanted to be a writer and he said as much to his friend, adding the word “someday”.
His same friend said to him: “You already are a writer, you just have to write.”
Those words released something inside Jeff, years of pent up frustration and desire to write. After that, Jeff began getting up every morning at 5am to write. He would write 500-1,000 words on his blog, usually about all the years he had spent NOT writing and how frustrated he felt watching others have his dream.
His audience started off small, and Jeff learned how to hone his writing craft as well as how to develop and connect with his audience.
All of which paid off down the road when his audience grew and grew!
Within a year of starting his blog and 5am writings, he was offered a book deal. One year later his book was published and within a few months, he had replaced his income and his wife’s income.
Though that simplifies his journey a bit, Jeff will be the first to tell you he put in a tremendous amount of sweat equity in that time period. He was a man on a mission and today he is fulfilling on that mission! He is helping his expansive audience craft their message and get it out to the world.
Please join me in thanking Jeff for being a guest and sharing his life’s tale with us. Leave him a comment below or send him a Tweet!
Tweetable: “As you take action you are providentially guided to where you are supposed to end up.” Jeff Goins
- Jeff’s web site
- Jeff on Twitter
- How to connect with influential people
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- Email me with any questions or comments at Grant@GrantBaldwin.com
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