Whom do you trust?
In our society today, trust is in short supply.
Politicians, the media, corporate America, and other major institutions all face an ongoing and severe erosion of trust. But there’s one subcategory of people in society who have perhaps even more trust than ever.
I recognized him as soon as I entered the café he had chosen.
He was a nationally known politician. And he had destroyed his career in a highly public and deeply embarrassing manner.
Time had passed; he had learned his lessons, and his rehabilitation process had begun. Part of that process was writing a book, which was why we were meeting.
His first question to me was simple yet brilliant.
“What’s a book for?” he asked, as we settled in to our discussion.
Here’s what I told him.
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.
I know that may seem crazy—the idea of starting a book without knowing exactly what the topic should be.
Many of my clients wondered the same thing.
They knew they wanted or needed a book for business or personal reasons, and they weren’t sure exactly which book to write.
The good news is that helping you figure that out is part of my job.
It’s almost impossible to be objective about your own intellectual property, your own life experience, everything you’ve learned in your job.
The first part of the BusinessGhost book-writing process, therefore, is where the client and I meet, typically on the phone for an hour to 90 minutes, and work through this very issue.
Here’s how we do it.
“I put an additional $5 million under management in six months, thanks to the book you wrote for me,” my client, a financial advisor, told me.
“So I’m calling to thank you. But I’m also calling to apologize. When we first met, I didn’t like you. I thought you were slick.”
I’ve been called a lot of things in my time, but slick was a new one.
“I’m happy you’re having all the success with the book,” I said, laughing, “But how do you figure I’m slick?”
Let’s face it—the Internet has almost biblical power to raise the humble and lower the mighty.
That’s a fancy way of saying that if you can work the algorithms, Google doesn’t care whether you’re a huge wire house or a one-person firm.
The Internet, because it offers buyers so many choices, tends to turn pretty much every seller of goods and services into a commodity.
And commodities are judged primarily, if not entirely, on price.