Should I Interview Myself For My Own Business Book?

By New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Levin

Survey says… not the best idea.

 

It sounds so efficient—you just kick back with a voice recording app on your phone and dictate all the keys to the success you provide your clients.

 

But in reality, it’s not that simple.

First, I applaud you for making the decision to have a business book, which is the ultimate marketing tool. Your competitors all have websites that look alike and white papers that nobody reads, but you are on the way to becoming a published author.

 

So far so good.

 

The problem is that when people interview themselves, they mean well… but do they ever find the time? Most often, not. Books all too often fall victim to the “tyranny of the urgent.” In other words, you want to get the book done… you intend to get the book done… you committed to getting the book done… but no book.

 

Why not? Because if you’re like most people, you awaken to a crammed email inbox with all kinds of hair-on-fire problems. The hour set aside for a self interview? It just vanishes.

 

Next, even for those who have the discipline to make that hour stick, the results are seldom as good as when another person does the interviewing.

 

At BusinessGhost, our writers are highly experienced business writers who understand that their job is to “stand in the shoes” of the reader and ask you the questions that you might not even be aware of. There’s just nothing like talking things through with an intelligent, engaged listener who can actually pushed past and say, “Wait a minute! I’m not sure I understand that!” Or, “Is that true in all cases?”

 

Or best of all, “Wow, that’s fascinating—tell me more!”

 

This leads to a vital point, something I’ve seen countless times in my quarter century as a ghostwriter of business books. All too often, authors are unaware of just how exciting and unusual a particular point of information or approach to problem solving might be. Of course they minimize its importance—they figure, “everybody knows that!”

 

I’m sorry. Everybody doesnt know that.

Most businesspeople are unaware of the ideas and approaches that separate them from the pack. Or they are so modest that they minimize their own uniqueness. Or they figure—and I’ve seen this over and over again—“if it’s that interesting, people will ask me about it.”

 

But that never happens. People have no way of knowing that you know so much more about a given topic. And then on top of that, even if they did, how exactly are they going to get in touch with you and ask you for a few more paragraphs?

 

Having a trained, interested, enthusiastic interviewer is essential to getting the best possible book, and making sure that the book happens at all!

 

And there’s one more reason why having an interviewer makes for a better book and a better experience—It’s simply fun.

 

When was the last time that someone said, “I’m devoting 10-12 hours over the next couple of months to making time to listen to you and only you. I want you to explain exactly what you do and how you do it—What makes you successful, what makes you great. Why people hire you, and why people come back for more.”

 

Those words probably don’t sound familiar. Your spouse is glad that you’re successful, but he or she probably doesn’t want to hear all the nitty-gritty details.

 

Your teenage kids? Fahgettaboudit.

It may sound crazy, but it’s simply fun to be able to discuss in detail the inner workings of how you became successful and how you successfully serve in your field. It’s actually thrilling to have someone listen so deeply, intently, and empathetically. It’s not a therapy session, although it can feel that way! The goal of each session is to come away with enough material to write a truly outstanding chapter.

 

Can you interview yourself to create your own business book? Of course you can. But all too often, the road to never getting the book finished is paved with the good intention of self-interviewing. The better course—bring someone in who can bring out the best in you, and who can get across the depth and fascination that your approach to your work can provide.

 

After having written, edited, or planned more than 700 books, I can assure you with absolute certainty that when it comes to interviewing, two heads—yours and the interviewer’s—are far better than one!