We’re busy writing our new book. So far we’ve handed in our first draft and are now working on the second draft. One bit of feedback the publisher gave us: “It will be important to anticipate readers’ objections and head them off.”
So we’ve been building in an “I object” voice to a lot of the text by directly addressing counterarguments that we hear frequently. Of course, we then go and refute those views. But anticipating potential objections is a nice way to show readers you get it.
That way you’re not just bulldozing them, you’re empathizing with them, at least in some small measure. You show that you know what their concerns are and where their fears lie. And you address them head on. Some examples below.
We tell people to just begin. The voice of the opposition:
“It’s just not the right time for me to do that now.” You hear that all the time. But the perfect time never arrives. It always seems like a bad time to start a side business, buy a house, raise a family, or go on a long vacation. You’re too young or old or busy or broke or something else. But if you constantly fret about timing things perfectly, they’ll never happen.
Later on, during a similar point:
“What if the problem is so big that I’m afraid to make a decision?” Then break it into smaller pieces that have less impact.
We advise against business plans. The voice of the opposition:
“Won’t I need a plan to get investors?” First of all, do you even need investors? Remember, this is your company, product, or service. You decide what to build. You decide whether or not you need investors.
We preach the advantages of staying small. The voice of the opposition:
“But I work inside a big company. Does that mean I’ll always miss out on the advantages of staying small?” Not necessarily. Even if you’re not running your own business, you can still seek out a small solution.
Maybe you can start your own department or team and run it as a separate unit. For example, inside big publishing and music conglomerates, there are often editors and artists who have their own imprints.
We explain why you should strive to make money right away. The voice of the opposition:
“But wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about making money right away?” Only if you like living in a fantasy world.
Revenues and profits are the basic building blocks of your business. Worrying about them immediately is the best thing you can do for your business. When babies are born the most important thing for them to do is take their first breath. When your business is born the most important thing to do is take your first dollar.
When you really believe in your point of view, there’s no reason to be intimidated by opposing views. Let those views in and you come off as someone who has true faith and confidence in your own beliefs. Give it a try next time you’re writing something controversial.