Born in Atlanta, Phil Kimble went to school in Utah, lived for 2 years in LA, then moved back to Atlanta. He and his wife Julie live in Conyers. Mr. Kimble is an avid motorcyclist and competitive distance runner. He’s here today to talk about his nonfiction book, The Art of Making Good Decisions.
Congratulations on the release of your book, The Art of Making Good Decisions. When did you start writing and what got you into nonfiction?
I started writing about six years ago, when I saw a need for a particular book and no real product for it. I had experience and training in the subject, and I decided to create the product. My first book was on youth coaching (Coaching the Whole Child), where I saw there wasn’t much in the youth coaching genre that addressed the personal needs of the child.
In this book, I was watching my daughter struggle with a life decision about a college major, and I wondered why it was such a difficult challenge for her, why she couldn’t use decision models I have used in my professional career. On the other hand, I saw in my professional career many instances where the only thing that was considered was the metrics of the choices, and wondered why the people involved couldn’t be more intuitive.
On both sides of the coin, it appeared that way too much time and emotion was invested in the struggle of a decision because of their narrow approaches. If there was a way both the subjective and the objective could be wrapped together in the decision process, such an approach would be beneficial to both the individual and the organization. The quantitative principles in the book are simplified and easy for the subjective person to apply, and the subjective principles are flags for even the most rigid organization. Hopefully both will benefit.
What is your book about?
The book is about decision-making. It’s about the structure of making a good decision, from the valuating of the choices, to the implementation of the decision and the sticking to it. It applies to any decision one might have, from making a commercial purchase, to professional decisions, to personal relationships.
What was your inspiration for it?
I saw in my non-professional activities a lot of poor approaches to making a decision. In my professional career I was experienced in quantitative applications, and saw how modified versions of structural approaches could be helpful in group and personal settings.
Who is your target audience?
Pretty much anyone who either struggles with decisions in general, or is facing complex decisions. Individuals are either emotional or analytical in their approach to making decisions, and alone the singular approach is insufficient. Hopefully those who tend to make decisions based mainly on emotion will be able to apply some objectivity, and those who tend to make decisions based solely on metrics will be able to apply some subjective, emotional aspects.
What type of challenges did you face while writing this book?
For me, the greatest challenge was finding the time to create a sustained focus. I am a business professional, and my time with that, as well as other extracurricular and community responsibilities simply limited my time to work on it. It was difficult to ramp up, work a while, put it down, and still have the motivation to revisit it on a later date.
What do you hope readers will get from your book?
Understanding of how to navigate a decision, and how to feel confident in the decisions they make. Hopefully, the process will give them the confidence and passion and energy to push through the difficult aspects of any worthwhile decision.
Did your book require a lot of research?
Not really. Once the outline was established, I had to research supporting data, and obviously, I ended up having to rewrite some of my thesis when I found I was mistaken in my assumptions. But that was refreshing in a way, in that I learned some things I previously had not known.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Write because you enjoy it. Don’t write because you feel obligated to write. Write because you enjoy the process: the research, the resolution of ideas, the learning of new concepts, things you didn’t previously know. That will trump any commercial success.
What has writing taught you?
That the conception, the development, the building of a manuscript makes it somewhat like a living object. It is enjoyable to see it grow, it is enjoyable to refine and polish it.