By: Michael Aun
Every now and then an opportunity presents itself in the book business. About a year ago, a longtime friend Jerry Bellune invited me to join in on an anthology book project. “Behind the Mike” appears in The Lexington Chronicle-The Dispatch News out of Lexington, SC.
Publishers do not usually see out writers… it is generally the other way around. I am blessed. It has happened to me on five of the 11 books with which I have been involved.
Richard Narramore, an editor with John Wiley & Sons, called me late on a Friday afternoon to ask me to write a book for him. Thinking it was one of my friends pulling my leg, naturally I proceeded to hang up on him.
Fortunately for me, he called right back and gave me his number and asked that I call him back. What an idiot he must think I am! I called and was pleasantly surprised to learn he was not joshing me.
“We know you speak on customer service,” he said. “We know you are a Certified Speaking Professional, a member of the CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, a member of the Legends of the Speaking Profession, and the 1978 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International… but we do not care about any of that!”
Now he had my attention! “Then why did you call me?” I asked. “Those are the only noteworthy things I have ever done. “We found that you run a successful insurance and estate planning business for some four decades. We are tired of contracting people to write books about things they have never done. They are just doing book reports.”
With that as my entre to John Wiley & Sons, I wrote the “It’s the Customer, Stupid!” in less than a week. In fact, I had been writing it for some forty years in my syndicated weekly column “Behind the Mike.” Richard told me it’s the fastest turnaround on any book project he had ever had.
The pleasant surprise about anthology books like “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies” is you get a wide variety of ideas from a dozen different sources, all of which can help you in your business or professional practice.
Jerry Bellune, one of the co-authors of the book, offers some sage advice in the prologue of the book. “Read with a pen and highlighter handy,” counsels Jerry “so you can revisit those ideas. Marginal notes on ideas our experiences trigger in your own imagination and keep a notebook handy to jot down the greater detail the ideas you want to pursue.”
Jerry is a little more civilized than I was in my early days of chronicling and saving data. In the pre-computer days, I would simply tear out the pages that I wanted to retain and would file them in one of 15 filing cabinets in my office.
I would cross-reference the material in my journals, recording the “power ideas” in my own periodicals. Lo and behold, IBM comes along in the mid seventy’s and introduces the first personal computer. It changed the way most people gathered and stored information for future use.
Whatever method you use, you need an information-gathering-storage-retention system. My mentor and grandfather Eli Mack would always say to me (pointing to his head) “This is not a filing cabinet. You do not have to remember everything… you just have to remember how to find it when you need it.”
Jerry references Dan Kennedy, who wrote “No B.S. Direct Marketing.” Dan produced and designed my first four audio learning systems in the early eighties. Dan observes “Pretty much everything you think you know about marketing is wrong.”
Jerry observes “Kennedy is a contrarian as are all mavericks.” That’s one of the main take-away points of the entire anthology book.
This book could also have a sub-title. My choice would be “Shoe String Marketing” because many of the profound ideas contained therein can be implemented for little or nothing.
Next week we will share some of the ideas of our co-authors.
To Order A Copy of Million Dollar Strategies, Call Riverbanks Press at (803)-331-6695.