“When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch.” — Anonymous
My book Getting Results the Agile Way was downloaded 20,000 times between Tuesday and Wednesday. I was happy to see my book was featured alongside Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for Self-Help. My book was also featured alongside David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity on Amazon’s Best Seller’s list for Business Time Management. It was also in #10 in the Top 100 Free in Kindle Store list.
I like where it landed. It spans work and life. It spans productivity and personal development.
I gave a talk to 100+, as part of a leadership development program, which helped drive the downloads on Wednesday. Beyond that, I’m still trying to figure out what made the most impact. I do think more people are looking for agile ways for work and life. I think there is also an appetite for a results system that focuses on impact and meaningful results. The fact that it’s a simple system where you think in threes makes a big difference: Three Wins for the day, Three Wins for the week, Three Wins for the Month, and Three Wins for the year. This lets you zoom in and zoom out whether you are in the trenches or taking a look from the balcony.
I do know that many readers of Sources of Insight helped to spread the word to family and friends, so a very big thank you for that.
#1 Best Seller in Self-Help
Here’s a snapshot of Getting Results the Agile Way hanging out with Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
#1 Best Seller in Time Management
Here’s a snapshot of Getting Results the Agile Way hanging out with David Allen’s Getting Things Done:
#10 Amazon Best-Seller’s Rank
Here’s a snapshot of hanging out at #10 in the Top 100 Free in Kindle Store.
Experimenting in Self-Publishing
I’ll be doing more experiments in the near future to learn more about self-publishing. I’ve learned a lot from publishing in the traditional path. I think there is still a lot to learn in terms of success patterns for self-publishing. There are many, many key decisions that shape your success downstream. I’m actually happy that I ran into some early stumbling blocks because that left more doors open for me now. I’m also happy that Getting Results the Agile Way is an “Evergreen” book, meaning that it’s timeless content. So rather than worry about updating the book, I can worry about how to build a better platform of knowledge (training, multi-media, etc.) This means I can also focus more on trying different experiments to improve usage, awareness, and satisfaction (all key metrics for the success of your book and key indicators of impact.)
East Meets West for Powerful Productivity
I really need to thank Gary Lindberg again, a best-selling self-published author in fiction, which is incredibly competitive. He taught me to think in terms of “selling icons” on Amazon, which led to a cover re-design. The cover for Getting Results the Agile Way on the Kindle now features an enso, and is a very simple design. If you don’t know what the enso is, at first glance, it simply looks like a brush stroke in the shape of a circle. It implies a continuous loop, which is great for continuous learning or lifelong learning, which is what Agile Results is all about. If you do happen to know what the enso means, then you’ll recognize that it’s a symbol of enlightenment and elegance. Again, perfect for Agile Results. East meets West for getting results.
Where Do We Go from Here?
I’m still thinking through how to take things to the next level. Over the past four months, I’ve been giving talks to a few hundred people each month. It helps spread the word, but it doesn’t scale. Not to mention, I have to finish building out the book platform. For me, this means several things:
- Getting Started – Although I have getting started material, I think it’s time to revisit and create an even simpler glide path.
- Article Library — Creating more articles for the Getting Results knowledge base on topics such as focus, goals, motivation, priorities, productivity, and time management. Articles are a great way to elaborate on key concepts like The Rule of Three or Timeboxing, etc.
- How Tos – I need to create more step-by-step How Tos for key time management and productivity skills.
- Slide Library — Slides are an easy way to tell the story with more pictures and to focus on specific aspects of Agile Results.
- Video Library — Creating a catalog of videos so that it’s easy to consume the information in bite sized chunks.
- Audio Library – Whether it’s an audio book, or pod casts, there is strong demand for audio. More and more people are using audio as a way to learn, whether during their commute or in the background while they work. Not to mention, some people really learn better when they hear things said a certain way. Plus, voice helps convey empathy for information, and you can really make some points stick deeper or in a more passionate way.
- Training – The other big thing I want to do is create a lot more little training modules. This would make it easy to learn and practice key productivity skills. Doing exercises makes a huge difference when it comes to learning Agile Results. It especially helps with making what looks impossible, possible, and even practical. I’ve had a few different companies approach me with their training platforms, and I’m still evaluating which training platforms to run with. I’m a fan of online, self-paced training, and there are some very good options now.
- Train-the-Trainer – I’m a big believer in training other people to train others on Agile Results. It’s how I scale. It’s also how other people can extend and evolve the system, well beyond where I personally take it. That’s the power of building a system and an ecosystem. It’s also great watching other people really internalize Agile Results when they teach other people how to be more effective in work and life.
- Workshops – I didn’t plan on doing workshops and seminars, but since I seem to be doing more and more, I might invest here to do a better job and to come up with some scenario-based workshops. For example, managing email is a hot topic.
- Apps – I’m a little torn here. While people keep asking me for the app, and I see the value, the point of Agile Results was to rise above a specific app. In fact, the point is to use your favorite tools of choice, and get more out of them through Agile Results. That said, some folks have showed me very compelling apps they have built, inspired by Agile Results, and I have sketched out some interesting apps to tackle very pointed challenges in the productivity and time management space, as well as motivation and focus.
I should elaborate more another day on what it means to really build out a full platform for a book. I have a lot of experience here (I did this for more than ten years.) That’s why when I write a book, I focus less on the book, and more on the “system” inside that lends itself to a platform. This sets the stage for more significant impact because it creates a book you actually “use” and “do” versus a book you just read.
I will openly share what I learn on building books in our digital economy. I would like to see more people succeed in building their books and building their platforms, and there is so much to learn.
In fact, one of the biggest lessons of all is that it’s not always the big “ah-has” that make the difference; it’s all the little “ah-has” that add up.
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Image by Dan Queiroz.