Whenever you see someone doing a complicated task with grace and ease, you can be sure without a doubt that the person has spent countless hours in preparation. Getting prepared is not the glamorous part, no matter what the task may be. But there will be no glamour realized unless you do sufficient preparation.

Champions prepare themselves for victory. Experts invest in preparation. Figuring out what it takes to come out on top and then putting in the sweat and toil to get there is what distinguishes winners from losers in life. How many times have you read about garage bands that toiled for ten or fifteen years in grungy clubs before they released a hit song that launched them to “overnight success”? It’s a more common occurrence than you might imagine.In our instant-gratification society we downplay all the hard work it takes to reach goals, but that does not change the need for a commitment to readiness.

How many people have you met who think they have a book inside of their head—a story that they should write because it would be a bestseller?

One well-known author speaking at a recent writers’ conference estimated that about one out of every five people he meets at book signings tells him that they have a great book inside that is waiting to get out and wow the world. The author went on to say they may be right—but we won’t know until those people do the hard work of preparing to write their potential bestseller. He argued that what makes or breaks a book is what is done to pave the way for its success, before the first word is written: the research, concept testing, outlining, and other elements of preparation that set apart the great writers from the wannabe writers.

I experienced that in getting ready to write this book. When the idea for the book became clear in my mind, I began asking friends for their reactions or suggestions. Ken Blanchard, the internationally revered management authority, who coauthored one of the best-selling books of all-time (The One Minute Manager) and has written more than sixty books, was one who reflected on this book with me. Ken responded favorably to the idea before adding his warning: “The problem is there are a lot of guys like you who get a great idea, but they never follow through. I’m in business because of guys who have a terrific book concept that could sell a million copies, but they never do it.” Those words were a wake-up call; Ken could have been talking about me! So I started setting aside thirty minutes a day to prepare for the writing of this book. Sometimes the half hour was while waiting for my flight at the airport. Other times it was a half hour while sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. This book is the result of many half hours of preparation involving periods of study, reflection, and note taking. All of that information was then organized and developed into the manuscript. Even if this book never becomes a bestseller, I know I can be proud of it because it represents my best effort to communicate the importance of the theme—and that was made possible by practicing the thirty-minute concept in preparation for the writing phase.


Tommy Barnett is Senior Pastor at Phoenix First Assembly of God, one of the fastest growing churches in America (10,000 + members), with more than 260 outreach ministries. He is also co-founder with son, Matthew Barnett, of the L.A. Dream Center. He and his wife, Marja, live in Phoenix and are the parents of three grown children. Additionally, Barnett is pastor to New York Times Best-selling author and speaker Joyce Meyer, as well as other notable church leaders. www.tommybarnett.org



Excerpted from The Power of A Half Hour by Tommy Barnett used by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher

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