Almost 20 years ago, I started writing a book for my two boys that captures a few of the things I’ve learned along my journey. My family loves Gibbs from the NCSI TV Show and we joke about the “Gibbs Rules” all the time. When I finally had some time to work on the book, I decided to put my thoughts in the form of rules.
As an example, Rule #1 is “Make the World a Better Place” and Rule #99 is “Ignore the rules sometimes”. Other rules include: Spend money on experiences not things and Never let others define you. Each rule has stories from my life, parables, jokes or some mental framework that brings the rule to life and makes each one actionable. Note that I don't have a full 99 rules - there are lots of rules that are intentionally left blank so I can do a second edition in 10 or 20 years.
This book is inspired by and written for my boys but there’s been so much interest from others that I expect we’ll be making it widely available.
I’ve written a few books and they tend to sound too serious. One reviewer said of an earlier book, “it reads as if it was written for CEOs”. In this book, I’ve tried to balance my default style and inject some humor (or at least some whimsy). And, in all cases, I want to avoid sounding too serious or too deep. I took a lot of inspiration from Mark Twain while I was writing this. I would love a cover that somehow captures that folksy, whimsical style we associate with Mr. Twain but also reflects the important insights and lessons about life.
An additional theme that can might inspire ideas is that our family spends a lot of time up at an old farm a few hours outside of town. There are acres of fields, woods and countless trails. I think of the trails as a bit of a metaphor for our life's journey. In fact, early drafts of the book played on a metaphor of navigating the trails. It was a bit forced so I played it down but it might spur some ideas for the covers.