Give yourself the green light.

What do the following books share in common?

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. (It was originally titled Healing the Artist Within.)

The Martian by Andy Weir. (Now a major Hollywood film.)

Double Persephone by Margaret Atwood. (She also wrote The Handmaid’s Tale. Maybe you’ve watched the TV version on Hulu.)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. (A classic children’s story.)

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. (Ever heard of it?)

The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer. (It’s probably in your kitchen right now.)

Women and Shame by Brené Brown. (Later retitled I Thought It Was Just Me…But It Isn’t.)

A Time to Kill by John Grisham. (He sold the first edition out the trunk of his car.)

All of those books were self-published.

Some of those authors chose to self-publish because they couldn’t find a literary agent or publisher who believed in their project. Or because they grew weary of dealing with unfairness and gender discrimination in the publishing industry.

Instead of waiting around and hoping for a book deal, they decided to take matters into their own hands and release their own work.

Others self-published because they wanted to own their intellectual property completely and didn’t want a publisher to eat up the lion’s share of the profits.

Quite a few of those authors self-published but then ended up getting a lucrative book deal…later.

The self-published book caught the attention of a major publisher who said, “We’d like to offer you a deal to re-release the first book that you wrote—or a deal for your second book.” (This often happens.)

Moral of the story:

If you’re waiting around for someone to believe in your project and give you the green light to proceed, you might be waiting a very long time.

Instead of waiting, take back your power.

Give yourself the green light. Release your book independently. Get your work into the world.

Once your book is out there, it creates a ripple effect, and there’s no telling where that ripple may lead.

The ripple could lead to new clients, media appearances, speaking engagements, a television or film opportunity, new friends and colleagues, a new career path, all of the above, or who knows what?

First step:

Just write the book.