Monday, July 16, 2018

Interview with author William Higgins

Find out more about William Higgins and his book, Your Road to Damascus

The seed for this book was planted many years ago. Bill’s journey down his road to Damascus began as a senior in high school when he had his personal encounter with the risen Lord. Immediately upon graduation from high school he faced his first crossroad when contemplating what to do vocationally. He joined the U.S. Air Force because he really wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. It was while in the service that he began to see how his own internal GPS (God’s Positioning System) was calibrated.

As he began to follow the direction of his internal GPS, other crossroads led him to Biola University and Talbot Seminary where he earned a B.S. and M.A. respectively in Christian Education. Upon graduation, the next three destinations on his journey led to local churches in the U.S. and Canada where he served as a Minister of Christian Education for almost 10 years. These were opportunities to use his organizational, curriculum development, instructional design and classroom facilitation skills. These were delightful years.

Bill faced another crossroad at the last church he served when he resigned and then found himself in his prison years. For four years he traveled a dusty, pothole filled road as he consulted his roadmap. During this time he viewed the world from the prison cell of under-employment. His perspective through the cell bars was as an owner/operator of a commercial janitorial business. These were four tortuous years as he saw one opportunity after another disintegrate. These years gave him the ability to relate to others experiencing the same employment imprisonment.

At the conclusion of these four years, Bill faced another crossroad and selected a new direction in his vocational travels; looking to apply his skills and experience in the business community. He made stops along the way as he worked for about six years in three industry leading organizations as a Director of Training & Development, attaining the position of Vice-President of Corporate Training at one stop.

It was also during this time that he took a parallel road into the field of Career Coaching. He has spent over 20 years working with individuals and small groups as they struggle down their own roads to Damascus and conduct their own job searches.

While continuing as a career coach, where he has worked with over 5,000 clients, Bill also embarked down another path by starting his own consulting business, MindWare Incorporated ( MindWare pulled together the specialties of career coaching, instructional design, and technical writing. IN this capacity, Bill has worked with many Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous smaller organizations of a for-profit and non-profit status.

Bill’s writing experience has been primarily in the area of technical and curriculum writing of a proprietary nature. He has written literally hundreds of technical documents and curriculum courseware. This stop, writing Your Road to Damascus, is his first venture into writing for public consumption.

What inspired you to write your first book?

It was sort of a confluence of factors. The primary initiator was a client I was working with at the time. He was an ex-pastor looking to make a change since he was burned from the work in the ministry. We were making progress through the traditional program, and toward the end it dawned on me that there had been nothing of faith that was a part of the program. We spoke of what God might be doing, and prayed together, but there was nothing in the program itself that spoke to how one should approach a job change on the basis of faith.

That just didn’t seem right. I thought back to other clients I had worked with whose faith was an important part of their lives, and we had offered them nothing that incorporated their faith. I thought back on my own experiences as well, and realized no one had done it for me either.

With that thought I did a Google and Amazon search to see what I could find, and found absolutely nothing. There were a few Christian oriented books on careers, but nothing specific on a job search.

Well, this started my creative juices flowing and I felt the prompting ofbGod to consider taking on this project, not knowing exactly where it would lead or what it should include.

At that point, about two years ago, I started doing biblical research to see what I could find that would speak to a job change. I tried to think of biblical personalities that had made a job or career change in the Bible. And there were quite a host of them. I selected Joseph, from the Old Testament and of coat-of-many-colors fame, and Saul of Tarsus, before he became the great apostle Paul.

These two became the backdrop of the book as we follow them through the change that they experienced and draw principles and strategies from their lives. Then we integrate those with cutting-edge techniques and guidelines for the contemporary job seeker and you end up with Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search.

All of these factors came together to result in Your Road to Damascus.

What books have influenced your life the most?

One was called Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Postman & Weingartner. The book was all about what teaching should be about; helping kids learn to be “crap detectors” and learn how to learn as opposed to memorizing facts that will soon be out of date. This book helped me to think about what was really important for people to learn; was it facts to use at the moment or principles, guidelines, and techniques they could use for a lifetime. Your Road to Damascus does just that. It is a book readers will refer to many times over their lives as they change jobs. It’s not a one and done kind of book.

Another book was Leadership and Dedication by Douglas Hyde. This book compared the communist movement to Christianity, and found Christianity lacking. Communists demanded much; Christians (not Christ) demand little. Communists demanded hard work; Christians soft peddle work for the church. Communists demanded exposure to ridicule; Christians don’t demand any exposure. Your Road to Damascus doesn’t paint a rosy picture to say if you just do thus-and-so the prison doors of unemployment will swing wide open. What it does is paint a picture of adventure, so unemployment is part of God’s plan to equip us to serve.

What are your current projects?

We are in the marketing phase of Your Road to Damascus. That includes; email distribution, direct mail, website promotion, press releases, online catalogs, and more. We are reaching out to pastors, large churches, Christian colleges and seminaries, Christian bookstores, financial planners, career coaches, and others.

In addition, I am beginning to formulate thoughts for the next book; Your Road to Arabia: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Career Change as well as other versions of Your Road to Damascus directed to graduating college students, separating military personnel, legal offenders, and entrepreneurs.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I am so happy with the way everything has come together, I can’t think of anything I would change. I am very pleased with the cover design, interior layout, the book trailer, and all the content that I can’t think of how it could be better. Naïve maybe, but so pleased!

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I am wordy. I love to write and put so much into writing that I burrow into the details to an extent that only I would probably read it, and if it was from someone else, I probably wouldn’t do it either.

I am working on that, but for now it is what it is.

What has been the best compliment?

Some of the best compliments come in the endorsements I have received. Here are only a few:

“Mr. Higgins has written a tour de force. Your Road to Damascus is destined to be a benchmark to help believers understand that God is at work guiding them on their career change journey as He wills for them. I know of no other scripturally based source that provides the Lord's guidance through opportunities to grow in faith, and discover God's direction in their career choice.”

David W. Cole, Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
Coinstar, Inc.

“Your Road to Damascus, is an indispensable resource–the only one I know of–to help people find biblically grounded, spiritually insightful, and practically useful answers to their questions. It will become an important resource I will use in my ministry to help people find answers to both their spiritual and vocational questions.”

Dr. Scott Dudley, Senior Pastor
First Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, WA

“When it comes to helping people search for a job only God knows more than Bill Higgins….and that’s why I love this book. When you read Your Road to Damascus you’ll receive God’s guidance and Bill’s practical advice to find the job that is meant for you. A powerful and essential book for anyone looking for a job.”

Jon Gordon, Best Selling Author of
The Energy Bus and The Seed

“Your Road to Damascus dynamically demonstrates how a Christian can make a job change and see God at work in the process. Powerful, practical, faith-based advice on how to search for a job with confidence.”

Josh D. McDowell
Author and Speaker

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

  • Make title of book engaging and exciting.
  • Have a short synopsis of book (a paragraph or two).
  • Be able to list the selling features.
  • Promote the reader benefits.
  • Be able to explain how yours is different from other similar books.
  • Know shat the market is like for similar books (search Google, Amazon to get a sense).
  • Describe your target audience.
  • Understand you own purpose in writing (income vs. pride vs. catharsis vs. something else).
  • Develop a comprehensive and targeted marketing plan (advertising, promotion, et al) with at least 10 points.
  • Know where you are planning to sell:, B&, online book sites, your own website.
  • Get a website to sell your book.
  • Use a copyeditor (I will send some tips I provided in interviews).
  • Hire a professional to do cover design.
  • Hire a professional to do interior layout.
  • Secure an ISBN.
  • Be sure you get it copyrighted.
  • Produce an ARC (Advance Reader Copy-not final edited, complete with typos, et al) for anyone to do a review:

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

That I am a cup more than half-full kind of guy. I dream, and dream big. Nothing is impossible to accomplish. I tackle big projects, and fail more often than not, but if you don’t go out swinging you’re going to go out anyhow.

This book, Your Road to Damascus, was one of those dreams. It started as a project, but has grown into much more than that. It has grown into the key to the church’s ministry to the unemployed in their midst. It has grown to the Christian college’s answer to the question of how to prepare graduating seniors to enter the job market. It has grown into the tool that the Christian community needs to catch a glimpse of God’s vision for the adventure and plan He has for their times of unemployment and job loss.

And that’s exciting!

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

That I am a cup more than half-full kind of guy. I dream, and dream big. This is also somewhat exasperating at times when I don’t have the skills or knowhow to make the plans happen. It is frustrating. It is disappointing, and it is costly. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Probably nine out of ten of the people reading this interview will experience a job loss or purposely set out on a job search, or someone close to them will find themselves in that situation.

Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search will speak to you as no other book on the market can. I can say this because there is no other book on the market that can say it captures God’s perspective on a job search. Using the biblical principles and strategies that are captured in this book, I can confidently say that this book does.

When you read it you will find hope, encouragement, inspiration, renewal in your soul, and revival in your spirit. You will see that God is at work, and He’s not finished yet.

I want to thank the Broowaha owners and readers for the opportunity to share a little about my journey and the birth of Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search. It has been a pleasure sharing these thoughts. I hope that you find them inspirational and motivating.

About the Writer

Novel Noise is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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