The One Habit Of Wildly Successful Business Writers

“The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” was a ground-breaker back in 1990. Not because it embraced the idea that business success was about principles, although that resonated.

It’s because Stephen Covey made it simple.

“Begin with the end in mind” and “think win-win” brilliantly demonstrate the one habit of wildly successful business writers: simplicity.

Simplicity speaks to us.

It seeps into our memory and plants itself.

And it sells.

10 million copies in this case.

Stephen Covey did what every wildly successful business writer must do.

He boiled down his wisdom into a single, emotionally compelling, big idea. In this case—that any one of us can create the life we want. All of his advice, his bromides, revolved around that one simple idea.

He influenced millions to create better lives for themselves.

He started a movement.

And so can you.

What’s your big idea?


  • I can’t claim to be “widely” successful but I can say that I’ve found the business writing path that works for me. For example, two new books are due out soon. The first is “Live Smart after 50” written with co-authors from the Life Planning Network. The second is “WORK” – a multi-generational guide to working in the U.S. in the 21st century. Work will be co-produced by Kelly Services (Fortune 500 firm) and Career Partners International, the career and talent management firm with the largest global footprint.

    So here’s my advice as a piggyback to Covey’s. Write for others with very large/established distribution networks in your field of interest. Retain authorship but offer them the copyrights. Make your money by advancing subject-matter reputation/expertise as well through well-compensated keynoting. In other words – don’t try to make money off of the books (e-books or otherwise); make your income off of what the books do for you! It’s fun…it’s good work and it’s profitable.

    So, Rochelle….we continue hand-in-hand into the future. With fond Aloha, as always…Carleen

  • Ah, thank you Carleen for sharing your –quite wildly successful–strategy here! As you so rightly point out, one has to create the optimum business model for their writing. It’s rare (but wonderful of course) that business writers make their money from book sales. Rather, it’s the speeches, the workshops, the consulting, the alliances that generate the real bread and butter. As always Carleen, you remain the bomb!

  • I advocate simplicity; people just refuse to give you much time to make a case.
    The big ideas I offer often become signature platform issues for clients, particularly those in or seeking public office.

  • Brilliant Corey–your big ideas become your client’s platform. Elegantly simple, although never as easy as it appears. Isn’t that the beauty of simplicity in the end?

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