Do you want a versatile,
imaginative coach who will carefully guide you through writing your book?
Lee Pound and I've spent most of my life doing things most people would
never attempt without thorough training.
becoming a newspaper editor with only six months full time experience,
taking a chief financial officer job with no formal accounting experience,
writing novels and non-fiction books, speaking to large groups with no training in speaking
skills, and putting on a world-class seminar for speakers with no previous
sounds like I'm nuts or crazy, think again. Most of the greatest achievers
made their first splash as complete novices. They had an idea, a passion and
they followed it wherever it took them. Sure, some failed. But many
succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
there is everyone else, the perpetual students who are never quite ready to
act, who take class after class and find guru after guru, only to end up
empty-handed. They dream year after year of writing a book but never start. Meanwhile, they work at some boring job in corporate America
wishing they could do what they really wanted to do. Pretty soon the job
defines who they are and traps them for years.
It doesn't have to be like
doesn't take years of training to be a success. It takes action. It takes a
willingness to risk failure. It takes a willingness to risk rejection. The
only way to write your book is to start writing, submit it to an editor,
take the bad news and go back and do a rewrite. In all areas of life, if you
never hear criticism, you're not risking enough.
I never fell for the corporate America trap. And yes, I never had the fancy
office 50 stories up, the limousine, the power sports car, the big boss
yelling at me, the 20-hour days or week long business trips, office
politics, and the lack of satisfaction.
for smaller companies. I learned every aspect of how a business runs, how to
write news stories, design newspaper pages, give speeches to large crowds,
write fiction, write non-fiction, tell stories, work with shareholders and board members of a public
corporation, coach and edit writers, hire and fire employees. I even took
acting classes. All because I wanted to, not because I had to.
What does this mean for you?
you're stuck in a job you don't like, trying to start a business but can't
get clients, want to speak or write a book to help grow your business and
present you as an expert but don't know how,
think its too hard to make a business work, to hard, too hard, too hard.
you want to work with a coach who's done all this? Wouldn't you want to work
with an editor who actually knows how to edit, a writer who learned writing
from one of the most respected book publishers of the 20th Century? Wouldn't you want
to work with a speech coach who has 30 years experience and actually puts on
high level programs for speakers?
course. And you can.
sure you're asking, how could you have done all that? That's too many
careers that don't work together. Too many skills you have to spend years
be right. In most cases. I just don't think that way. It isn't the training
that matters. Taking action matters, even if you fall on your face a few
times. I grabbed opportunities and then figured out how to do them.
here's exactly how I did it. And how you can do it too.
What about the seminar
business, Speak Your Way to Wealth and Story Magic? How did
happened for one simple reason. I was open to an opportunity. Speak Your Way
to Wealth happened because I walked out the door of a marketing seminar with
a friend, Arvee Robinson, who became my business partner, and we agreed we
could put on a seminar for speakers. A big one. We knew nothing about the
business. We simply set a goal, a vision, and pursued it relentlessly. We
asked experts when we needed information, we hired the best help we could
find, asked nationally ranked speakers to appear, and made it happen.
Speaking in public, the
number one ranked fear.
I never intended to be a speaker. In fact I
might never have spoken in public except for one incident. It wasn't fear. I
simply didn't know you were supposed to be afraid. Among other things I am a family
historian. Over thirty years ago I found some ancestors in Germany, very
difficult to do, and mentioned it at my Genealogy Society. The program
chairman asked me to give a program on how I did it at a monthly meeting.
In front of 150 people.
For one hour.
And like a fool, I said yes, gave the speech,
and started a thirty-year speaking career without even thinking about it.
Writing fiction, everyone's
"want to do but never get around to" dream.
Okay, it was mine too, for years. But one day,
soon after I got a computer, an idea I'd kicked around for years suddenly
wanted out and I wrote, for six weeks, every evening, typing, typing,
typing. And when I was done I had a novel, 680 pages worth.
showed it to a friend. And reality hit. I have to admit I wanted praise and
never expected her answer, which was, "You should take a class in writing
I needed a mentor. Getting a good one is tough. You may never work with the
best in your line of business. Whoever you work with, you will find him or
her in the place you least expect. You must be ready when the opportunity
I went to
writing conferences, classes, writers groups, met writing teachers, other
writers, conference leaders and made many new friends. My writing skills
gradually improved and in the fall of 1989 I started a new novel.
months later, the UC Irvine Extension class schedule arrived in the mail. I glanced at
it and set it aside. A few days later I noticed it on my desk under a pile
of papers and opened it to the writing section. I took one final glance at
the writing classes and noticed one on dialogue. The teacher was Sol Stein.
The name was vaguely familiar. I read his bio. Owner of Stein & Day
Publishers in New York. Who could pass up learning from one of the premier
publishers of the twentieth century?
up. Ten weeks later, after one
of the most breathtakingly excellent classes I had ever experienced, the
forty members of the class asked this question: What do we do now? Sol Stein responded with a proposition. He would set up a small seminar,
about 15 members, which would meet in his living room in Laguna Beach for ten
Monday nights every winter and learn writing. “Send me the first three
pages of your book,” he said, “and I will tell you if you are in or
how I learned story skills.
years of sitting in Sol Stein's living room in Laguna Beach, I learned to write in ways I had only
imagined possible. Sol featured one chapter from my novel A Gathering of
Strangers in his video program,
Stein on Writing, filmed in a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in
Corona del Mar, California. Imagine my excitement, sitting beside Sol Stein,
discussing my chapter and having it used as an example of how to do it
right. What a thrill!
What about that chief
financial officer stuff. Where does that fit in?
that I went from editor to CFO? I thought so. Most people are. Most editors are congenitally
unable to do numbers much less operate at such a high level in the
financial field. Wouldn’t you want to learn writing from someone who
understood your business as well as writing skills? Of course you would. And
of course you know how hard such a person is to find.
those twenty years, I made payrolls, paid bills, managed
salespeople, editors, and other managers. I have seen rapid sales growth and
I have managed financial difficulties, including taking three corporations
through a successful Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a feat so difficult that ninety
percent of companies fail when they try it.
watched employees work, listened to their problems, observed several
successful sales people and many others who failed. I watched managers lead
well and lead poorly. How much is that experience worth to you?
“Wait a minute,” you ask. “How did
you go from editor to chief financial officer? Don’t you need special
training for that?”
no. If you know how to learn when the opportunity arises, if you know how to
plant the seeds with the decision makers, if you are willing to take
advantage of an opportunity at which you may fail, then no, you do not need
that’s what happened. The opportunity arose. I took it and figured out how
to do it later. I became chief financial officer of a public corporation ten
days before the 10-Q was due. I had no idea what a 10-Q was or that it was
due. I discovered that a 10-Q was a document required by the federal
Securities and Exchange Commission and that not filing it was not an option.
So I figured out how to do it and did it. A few months later I managed an
audit by Ernst & Whinney, then one of the top eight accounting firms in the world, working with people
who audited Fortune 500 corporations. And came through with very few
changes to my financials.
one more secret that can help you take your business to a new level, a level
you never dreamed possible. And what might that be? After all, I’m a writer
and a chief financial officer, both occupations usually filled by introverts. What else
can I bring to the table? So here it is, the last secret:
You don't need fancy
training. You don't need years of experience. You simply need to tell
yourself a different story about what you want and how you will get it.
As you can see, I thought
in a way that brought opportunity. I told myself a story that was so vivid I
could believe it and make it happen, every time.
After reading this, do you have more
excuses for not starting to write your book, for not reaching for success
for your business?
Call me now at 949-246-8580 to see how
I can help you make your book a reality.
Wishing you great success,
PS: Wherever you are now in your business, I'd
love to help you get to the next step.