As told to Kindra Hall
Best-selling author of You Are a Badass whose new book is Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick
I started getting into the whole self-development thing because I was a train wreck! Which is often how most people do it. I was in my 40s, I was living in a converted garage, I honestly don’t even know how I was getting by and I just got really, really, sick of it. One of the ways I pulled myself out of the poverty hole was coaching people on writing their books.
Writing was something I was good at. I used to be a copywriter. I’d write one liners, ads and I’m really good at titles. I love doing chapter titles and book titles. Titles are my thing. Except when it came to You Are a Badass. I could not come up with a good title. It was the one book I’d worked on where the title came last.
So there I was, trying to come up with a title, banging a million things around and You Are a Badass kept coming up… but the thing is, the word badass was a word I personally never used. Honestly, it felt a little bit inauthentic but at the same time, it felt right. So I went with it.
I did not reinvent the wheel with that book. Ninety-nine percent of the stuff I wrote about has already been said and it got rejected by every publisher. Everyone said it wouldn’t sell. We got rejection letter upon rejection letter. Of course, when it finally did get published, it took off. I think the world was really ready for a new voice and a fresh perspective in the self-help world and You Are a Badass just spoke to people in a way other books didn’t. In the end, I realized the title wasn’t for me. It was for all the people who needed to pick up a book with a title different from all the rest.
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo courtesy of Jen Sincero