Our most recent book; The Book on Business from A to Z: The 260 Most Important Answers You Need to Know. is the third in our series. We wrote it to be a quick, reliable, accurate reference for those who are very good at what they do, but can’t know everything they need to know about what they don’t do every day. It covers the 10 most important questions on each of the 26 most important business subjects so every manager or leader at any level can return to it as they need a rapid response to a challenging situation.
Tell us something about yourself.
I started my first company manufacturing skateboards at 12 years old, spend time working in production during undergraduate school, then marketing for companies like Johnson & Johnson & John Harland, then 18+ years in commercial banking & now 16+ years in Management Consulting & Training.
I started writing during my banking career, continued it as my sideline career continued (teaching corporate finance at UCLA Extension) and expanded it when I went into consulting. My first book was specifically written for my University students; that lead me to my second book [a collaboration] (where our brand THE Book on… got its start) which has lead me to this compilation. The next 3 books in the series are in various stages of development. The books are designed to synchronize with my consulting & training. The trick is to keep them in balance.
When you ask a professional speaker “what we might find interesting about you” be careful. You may get more than you bargained for. Let’s see; I have spoken in 23 different countries over the last 16 years & still only speak English with any effectiveness; my favorite participation sport is road cycling; my undergraduate degree was in Sociology; I like long walks on the beach…….
What inspired you to write this book?
I broke with my original business model for this, my third book. All of the others in the series have been, & will be, two-person collaborations. This is a compilation of 20 of the smartest, most effective experts in their chosen fields so that we could cover the entire spectrum of business knowledge needs in a single volume. I aspire to bring true business acumen to the worlds’ business.
How did you choose the title?
The series is, as I mentioned, THE Book on…, and this book is on BUSINESS. I was out riding my bike 1 afternoon & it hit me; From A to Z: the challenge was coming up with the “right” subject titles that would fit the letters of the alphabet. It took some time but we got there but the table of contents came together. The 10 questions per subject was the easy part; that is how we got to 260. And, of course, our readers are interested in the answers more than the questions. So, THE Book on…BUSINESS From A to Z: The 260 Most Important Answers You Need to Know
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published?
I knew what I wanted the book to be, so self-publishing was the only way to go. From there, every obstacle that could be there was. Publishing is significantly different from writing, editing, conceiving, etc. The amount of time it has taken can be measured in the hundreds of hours.
How did you overcome them?
Strategy, persistence, focus, diligence, stubbornness, doing, re-doing, re-doing the re-doing, leveraging social media, speaking everywhere to expose the target market to the book……….
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t. It isn’t easy. In fact, writing comes very hard to me. Not the actual writing itself but the writing that I will allow others to see. I studied math in school; not English. This is an evolving process that will take a few more decades before I gain my stride.
How did you get started?
I began by writing the notes for training I was providing; this was followed by developing narratives for loans I was presenting for approval; then longer manuals for public training courses; then more detailed case studies and eventually I thought I could bring some of this together into a book. Then the real work started.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Sit down, focus, avoid distractions, write, take a break, write some more. Discipline & a routine really help.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Since what I write is non-fiction, the characters don’t really coming into play except for case studies, so it is a non-issue.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
1) Herding cats is a piece of cake compared to 20 busy, independent industry experts. 2) Everything takes longer than long to get done right. 3) Editing is a never ending battle & will never be perfect. 4) Write, write & write then edit, edit, edit. 5) Publishing is a whole different animal & should be left to professionals. Don’t try this at home.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Explain to my co-authors, so they really understood how much work they would need to contribute to make this a legitimate success for all of us.
What types of books do you like to read?
Primarily non-fiction & important biographies. A well-written book is a wonder to consume. Who are your favorite authors? Michael Lewis would have to be among my favorite authors based on his casual, almost conversational style that stealthily educates the reader on the facts. Also, Doris Kearns Goodwin as she is just a masterful story teller about people.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Our next book will be THE Book on…Process: The Never Ending Quest for Perfection. It covers Continuous Process Improvement as it applies to both service and product-based companies. It will cover the concepts, models, tools & real-world cases studies to go beyond what is already in the marketplace.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Do what you do best & hire the rest.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect reader for our book is the manager or leader who wants/needs to know more about a specifics business subject now that outside of their expertise or core competency. It is designed to be a desk reference rather than a bedtime story.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?