Let’s tell the truth: I am a lousy businessman.
To be sure, I run a great ghostwriting business.
We have a phenomenal team of writers, many of whom have been with me for a decade or more.
We do outstanding work for our clients, and we strive to provide outstanding service and not just great work.
But with no false modesty, the business might have grown a lot faster if it had anyone else at the helm.
I’m a writer guy by nature, a lawyer by training but not by inclination.
A mentor figure who is still in my life sat me down in a Dunkin’ Donuts 23 years ago, took out a single sheet of paper, and showed me how to start the business that has evolved into BusinessGhost.
At first it was writing classes, which led to people saying consult with me, which led to people saying, just write it for me.
So that’s how I backed into ghostwriting, almost 400 books ago.
For the first 17 years of the business, it felt like a badge of shame that I have had to work with others instead of just focusing full-time on my own writing.
I admit it. I was embarrassed. It felt like I was taking in washing to pay the rent.
Then came Shark Tank, which was actually an intervention performed on me, on national television, in which the Sharks explained to me that I had “done what .0001% of writers had ever done, which was to create a successful business around writing.”
It took 17 years and four Sharks, but I finally “owned” my success as an entrepreneur.
The business has grown from two writing classes a week to 85 books a year.
Along the way, I’ve taken Sandler sales training, customer service training from Disney, entrepreneurship lessons from Strategic Coach, and have worked with coaches and other experts to fill the gaps in my business acumen.
The result: We are now an internationally respected ghostwriting firm with two New York Times bestsellers, 16 national bestsellers, and delighted clients on five continents.
If I were a better businessman, all this success might have come sooner.
But if I had been that much better, this whole thing might have come from the head and not the heart.
I still have my limits, my weaknesses, my shortcomings—ask any person on my team.
But despite me, we write and publish damned fine books.
And there’s nothing lousy about that.
New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin is the CEO of BusinessGhost.com, the world’s leading provider of ghostwritten business books and memoirs.