How to avoid the all-or-nothing Club

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'Anyone can write a book.'  Reading a sentence like this on LinkedIn strikes me because- not many professionals demonstrate that they can actually write a book themselves. After all, many more authors hire a ghostwriter than you suspect. As an author of eight books in different genres, I still don't find it obvious to write a book. Anyone can become an author though. I discussed the difference with my publisher in my podcast and he could clarify the difference in a let's say 'diplomatic' way: The author is the professional with the idea, the IP on what is written. The writer is the professional who is experienced in writing. When you are a published writer, then you are both. 
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I came across the same phenomenon in several other variations:
-> 'Everyone has a personal brand ' 
-> Anyone can give a keynote 
-> Anyone can become a podcast host 

And what strikes me the most is that those who make such a statement like 'everyone XXX' often have a business in it too. 
'Everyone has a personal brand ' (selling LinkedIn training courses, online content writing, or personal branding).
-> Anyone can give a keynote (a public speaking coach).
-> Anyone can become a podcast host, conduct interviews (a podcast expert) 

Everyone has a personal brand.
Anyone can write a book.  

-President Obama

The all-or-nothing club

Everyone can/does/has/is
Everything is/can/will be

These are all words that belong to the vocabulary of the all-or-nothing thinker. The black-and-white thinker for whom shades of grey are not good enough.

When we encounter people who operate in an all-or-nothing thinking pattern in our (personal) dealings, we feel uncomfortable with such a person after a while.
All-or-nothing thinking is a common cognitive distortion that involves viewing the world as a binary. It divides experiences into "black or white" categories and "right or wrong." It is often linked to negative thinking, anxiety, and low mood. It's a pattern of thoughts that is usually based on something other than facts. Control fallacies, overgeneralization, and global labeling are common cognitive distortions that may lead to negative thinking. It may make you see your world more negatively than it is. 

When you raise children, you hold them accountable for generalizations because you want to teach them nuance, understanding, empathy, and many more. So why, then, are we so quickly told that Everyone can do X; does Y wants Z, or is A? Because in marketing and sales, unfortunately, all-or-nothing thinking scores. And especially in coach-land. Why?
Anyone can write a book.
Anyone can give a keynote.
You immediately remove the main barrier, namely the fear that something would not suit you. If you secretly dream of your book but don't dare make it work, this is what you want to hear. 

Example: Everyone has a personal brand.
If you ask yourself, 'why would I need a personal brand' and someone can make you believe you already have it, then it's just a matter of doing something with it. And so, what is stopping you then?That puts an end to the sense of scarcity that these skills are only for natural talents and people gifted with a strong network or lots of money. 

The reverse also works.
Example:Without X, you will never be able to do Y. Therefore, come to Z.
Causing a sense of scarcity to make one believe you have no choice but to make a particular choice. This one is used more often. It seems like 'everything' is a race against time. 

The role of all-or-nothing thinking in thought leaderschip and personal branding? 

What has all-or-nothing thinking to do with personal branding and thought leadership?

Well, in your personal branding, you do NOT want to belong to the 'everyone- everything-always-or-never club' at all.When you go all-in for your personal brand and thought leadership, you go for what is sometimes called a Category Of One or a Niche of One. 

You want to create your own category, your own niche; you want to be distinctive. Because you can add nuance, you can look at things differently….YOUR way.
Refrain from being tempted by these techniques in marketing and content writing courses. They work; yes, they do. But as personal brand, a thought leader, you want to be better than this. 

So, as far as I'm concerned:
Not everyone can write a book, give a keynote, or needs to become a personal brand. That is totally fine. This is not to say that you can't try.

Find out if you can do it and excel at it. I'll be more than happy to be your mentor and guide in your thought leadership journey. 
P.S. If you're ready, I have 3 ways I can help you make the next step

  1. Read my book. 
  2. Book a 25 min advising call with me to get an answer on your most prominent questions. 
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