Subscribe in your email box!

Subscribe in your feed reader!

I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

Teaching Through Writing

posted this on Monday, September 26, 2011 at about 9pm.
Book Pages

For years, I’ve known that I had a book me in. I wasn’t sure what that book was, but I knew it was there.

I’d had many starts and even more stops (funny to have more stops than starts, huh?).

The challenge is thinking about the book as a whole and understanding what the end will look like.

I’m not sure how fiction writers think of it… or even how other non-fiction writers think of their book writing process, but I found that once I understood how the book would look in the end, it came pretty quickly and easily.

Earlier this year, I had a very clear vision of what this book should be. I knew how long it needed to be and I knew that it had to be different than any other business book out there. In fact, the only real writer's block I had during the process was when I tried to depart from my original vision and not talk about World War II (curious yet?).

I know there a lot of people out there that devour business books (or non-fiction books in the genre they are interested in). I, personally, don’t. I really have a hard time not getting bored. There are a few out there that don’t bore me (you can read my book to know which I recommend). I usually will devour non-fiction pretty quickly.

The biggest challenge that I had to overcome is that I had to write a book that was going to be of interest to me… it had to be a book that I could sit and read through without my ADD kicking in and taking over.

So, what was the answer to solve this problem?

Why pictures, of course.

Don Elliott, in my office, is a very accomplished illustrator. He knows how to illustrate cartoons as well as more serious images. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed his artwork in my book.

While the artwork in the book is all drawn by him, it really represents how I think of things. When I explain things to people, I like to draw pictures. Give me a marker and a whiteboard and I’ll draw you something that will help you understand the concept more quickly than any thing else.

It didn’t occur to me until the writing of this blog post why that was the case. Really, it comes down to story telling. So, that is why there is another key aspect to my book (you know, I needed to make it work for me). That other aspect is telling stories.

You may not think how the first solo pilot to fly across the United States, the founding of Disneyland or World War II propaganda relate to Web strategy, but they do. You may not see how building a house or Biff’s Cheese Shack relate to marketing your business online, but they do. You may not see how Harley Davidson Motorcycles or high-definition television help you do more online, but they do. In fact, I think that because I was able to tell these stories, the book practically wrote itself. It made it easy for me to convey the message I needed… it made it easy to draw the pictures (in my mind) that made the story work.

I think the single, most important part of the entire book is that it’s different. My publisher (Aloha Publishing) really wanted to book to be more standard. More standard in size. More standard in the language used. More standard in how my bio was written. Originally, they encouraged it to even be in black & white. My response to all that is that standard is boring. There is no intrigue in doing things the way everyone else does it. There is no way to truly stand out on the shelf if I look like everyone else. When you buy your book and see the little picture above the barcode, you’ll now understand why it’s there.

The book will be out soon. We now have approved the final color proof. I’m not sure of the exact release date, but it will be out soon.

Now, I’ve got to get going on my next book (apologies to my wife, kids and employees in advance).

Walt Disney Trivia

posted this on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at about 1pm.
Walt Disney

As I am writing my book, I am writing a fun little story about Walt Disney and Disneyland. 

Growing up in Southern California meant that we had the opportunity to go to Disneyland a lot.

I realized that there as some minor details that I just don't know. So, I have some questions that I need answered to put in my book and I am hoping that someone will do me the favor of commenting on my post here to the answers. The references for the questions would also be nice.

Question 1:

What is the exact date that Disneyland opened?

Question 2:

How many guests came to Disneyland on the opening day?

Question 3: 

What were some attractions that were opened on the very first day?

Question 4: 

What are some attractions that opened within a few years and the dates they opened?

Question 5:

What is your favorite ride (past or present)?

Every Idea Has a Start

posted this on Monday, June 13, 2011 at about 9pm.
Start Of Book

I've never written a book before. I've written a lot, however.

From my days in school writing 1000s of words each week to composing content for multiple blogs and writing content for many Web sites, I have written a lot.

The challenge was writing for the scope of a book... something that has a clear vision in my mind but nothing really to model it after. Writing a blog post is very different than writing a book. In fact, even writing a series of blog posts that are very related is still very different than writing a book.

I have a very distinct vision of what this book should be.

My working title is, "The CEO's Survival Guide to Online Marketing."

I want this book to speak to the CEO. I want others to be able to read it and gain a lot of insight as to how to market themselves online but the primary audience is the CEO.

At first, I thought that I would be able to take a number of posts from the past and just peice them together and with minor edits, I'd have a brilliant book.

Too bad... doesn't work that way.

I had to start with my simple idea and make a simple manuscript. The photo in this post represents part of my outline... part of the organization of my thoughts to getting get the words out of my brain and onto the paper.

We'll see where it goes from here. I have high hopes for myself and what I can do with this book.

An Author in the Making

posted this on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at about 2pm.
ecommerce book

In February, I was teaching an eCommerce class. You know, I deal with this every day and have found some key ways to teach my clients about how it works.

The first problem was that the book was called "electronic" commerce. Now, I understand that the "e" stands for "electronic" commerce, but who calls it that?

The book is pictured here and I should first apologize to Gary P. Schneider that I am the one to point out that his textbook is as boring as it is. I read the first few paragraphs and about fell asleep.

I looked for the credentials of the author and found the problem.

He is a professor of accounting and information systems.

Now, I understand that the first real issue is the fact that textbooks suck. I think that by definition, they are required to suck. Textbooks are too long, too hard to understand and try to teach too much to a group of students that won't need everything by teachers who likely won't have read the entire books themselves.

The second real issue is the mis-understanding of the importance of eCommerce decision making. Too many people think that online marketing is an IT decision, an accounting decision or a marketing decision.

They would all be wrong.

The desision for eCommerce, just like all marketing endeavors, should be a business decision. The marketer's job is to build the strategy and the tactics on how to get the business decision to be sold. The IT people make it work technically and should never decide on any business element. The accounting people need to analyze how it will be paid for.

The problem is that this type of book is written, generally, for the wrong audience. Students spend way too much time learning the tools that are only valid for a year or two at most. By the time the students graduate, the tech they have learned will be obsolete.

So, I am starting to write my own book. The current working title is the "CEO's Survival Guide to Online Marketing." I've been working on it for a couple of months and think that I need to document the proces. So, I'll be documenting my path... first, over the next few posts, I'll bring you up to speed as to where I am and then I'll blog live.

I'll look for any feedback I can get through the process to make sure it is the best product available.

Subscribe to RSS - Book