We’re delighted that one of our authors, Gilbert Eijkelenboom, recently launched his debut self-published fiction book People Skills for Analytical Thinkers. Today, we’re letting you in on our exclusive interview with Gilbert.
So Gilbert, congratulations on your launch! Tell us what the book is about…
Many people working in technology have fantastic left-brain skills: analysing, problem-solving, and data crunching. But in the current age of Artificial Intelligence, more left-brain tasks are being automated. That’s why right-brain skills are becoming more important — numerous researchers have shown that. Communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence are much-needed even for people in analytical jobs. And that’s what people in those jobs struggle with the most.
What makes this book unique is that it’s written in an analytical language. Through data and algorithm metaphors, readers learn how to interact better with people. People working in IT, data science, and analytics will love it.
Awesome, so what made you want to write a book?
When I started my career, I found it difficult to interact well with others. My analytical mind did not help me in social settings. I was overthinking things like “Will this person like me?”, “What should I say next?” and “Is this good/smart/funny enough?”
That’s why I started to read, by now 60+ books about human behavior. I became fascinated with the subject. When I was taking a trip around the world, I started to write down everything I’ve learned since I started working. My goal was to write a 10-page document, hoping that it would be helpful for others. But slowly, it grew bigger and bigger. Until it became a complete book.
How long did it take you to write it?
It took me nine months. I wrote most of it during my sabbatical. I’m not sure if I could’ve done it alongside a full-time job. I have a lot of respect for people who have done that.
What is your day job?
I’ve been a Digital Marketing & Analytics consultant for the last six years. Since April, I’ve had my own company in line with my book. I help analytical thinkers to develop their emotional intelligence. The niche I focus on is Data Scientists, because many are analytical thinkers and they need to interact with the business a lot.
What was your biggest challenge in writing the book?
Writing a book is much more difficult than writing 100 blog posts. It needs to be coherent, according to a set structure. I found it challenging to reach that point of structure. Also, I had doubts whether I had enough to say to publish a book. Now I think I do!
What was your biggest challenge in getting the book ready to publish?
I worked together with people from all over the world. A cover designer in the Ukraine, an editor in the UK, another editor in the USA, a book designer in the U.S., and an illustrator from Turkey. Many things went wrong and the spread of locations made communication challenging. Luckily, I was blessed to have Ameesha as an amazing help throughout the process.
What was your happiest moment in the process?
The early writing phases. As I wasn’t planning to write a book, I had no idea where the journey would lead to. The only thing I was sure about was the feeling in my stomach. It was telling me: you need to keep doing this!
Will you be writing more books, and if so, what would you do differently?
Haha, more and more people keep asking me that! Not for the next two years. I do think this is not my last book though. The second is probably easier too. Next time, I’d work with an editor from the very start.
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?
Writing a book doesn’t start when you start writing a book. You start way before—in your head. Try to write down your thoughts regularly and you’ll have a bunch of content after a year. Starting with a blank page is daunting.
And just a few questions for fun…
What’s your favourite book?
I love Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.
Who is your author alter ego?
Stephen Covey. I believe the topics he wrote about make the world a better and more kind place.
What is your author super power?
I am open and continually ask for other people’s perspectives. This not only gives me a lot of important information, but it’s also how I build strong relationships with the people who help me.
If you could have dinner with three authors, who would they be?
Seth Godin, Ryan Holiday, and Brene Brown.
Thanks Gilbert! We wish you all the success with your awesome book.