Failure is constant in life and in business. In this second installment of Anchor Day, Ken Courtright shares how writing his first little book catapulted into something bigger. Despite failures in book sales, through the help of others, he was able to penetrate into the virtual world and impact global businesses. Learn how a few failures do not mean total defeat.
Listen to the podcast here:
Anchor Day 2
This is the show in which I drop nuggets here and there, things I picked up during the week, during the month, meetings I’m in and anything I hear or see that I think could help another business owner. I write it down and make sure I blog on it. We were doing our Digital Footprint Conference in LA and I gave a talk called the Success Wheel. While onstage, I realized there are little bitty nuggets of this talk that could be broken out and expanded on. There are some stories here that I’ve never told before that have strong lessons for business growth. This is called Anchor Day number 2. I previously cut Anchor Day number 1. I’m going to go through a couple of poignant days in my life and our business career. These are pivot days. These are things where decisions were made that altered the course of the history of our business by far.
I’m going to take you back to the year 2000. In 2000, we had at that time a couple of thousand clients. We were a growth consulting company that walked in, knocked on doors and helped people put up electric signs or banners, get on the radio or grow their sales force, whatever it took to grow their business. We got paid in multiple different ways. It was a fun time, but I had thought after eight years of growing thousands of businesses, we had clients to the likes of MCI WorldCom, McDonald’s, Harrah’s Casino and big banks. I had started accumulating a lot of nuggets or a lot of stories that were stories of how we help people grow in one industry that could be overlapped in other industries.
I began writing what became a 400-page book titled Today’s Growth: Bridging Yesterday’s Guerilla Marketing with Today’s Technology. This is the year 2000 when texting was called SMS. We were on dial-up internet. It was an interesting time. People were getting T1 lines and PRI lines. It was an interesting time in our society. I remember sending I don’t know how many publishers, and 100% of them chat back, “No, thank you. Sorry, this will never make it.” One of them said, “It can’t make it because it’s just a case study after case study and it’s terribly boring. There are no storylines.” Through the criticism, I was being taught a big lesson about the book business.Your company’s success could be about the books you're in and not the books you read. Click To Tweet
A few years went by, it’s 2004, I had still done nothing with it. I decided in ‘04 to cut the book in half and add some stories, sent it out again, but I got exactly the same. This one was even stronger, “It was too many case studies and still boring.” This time though I have to say, “I finally got some positive feedback.” People said, “Great growth nugget case studies, but it was poorly executed.” It was a blow to the ego. In 2008, finally I had some kids. I knew I had a song in me that I had to tell, so I decided to redo it. As some of you know this story. I bumped into a gentleman named Todd Krause. He convinced me, “To write that book would be crazy. You should take that book and make it into a website,” which is now called TodaysGrowthConsultant.com. That website began passing a lot of the biggest consulting company websites because of how I was writing content.
From 2008 to 2012, I still haven’t written a book and it was somewhat haunting. I would see these people go on stage, talk about this, talk about that and promote their books, and I had no desire to go hawk a book and promote a book. I’m not going to do it and I’m never going to do a book tour. However, I wanted to tell the stories of how we grow businesses in a book format. I knew there was something magical there. In September 2012 I said, “This is stupid. I’m doing this stupid thing.” It took a few months. I connected with a girl, she helped me, we got it into CreateSpace of Amazon and I made a physical book, not an eBook. It’s called Online Income: Navigating the Internet Minefield. It’s the story of our first 200 websites. What went well? What didn’t go well? I ended up busting the internet marketing space, talked about all these companies running around and telling people to buy links and use link farms.
People of the industry of internet marketing didn’t care for me because I exposed a common gray hat technique that almost every major organization was using. I wasn’t part of the club. I’m definitely still an outsider in the world of growing websites, but here’s the bottom line. I released in March of 2013 this little tiny book and the cover is fantastic. It’s a figure of me walking across a desert into a laptop. If you’ve never seen the cover of my book, Online Income: Navigating the Internet Minefield, I urge you to go to Amazon to check out the cover. I met with the designer many times and he nailed it. It’s partly done by us and partly done by another gentleman, but after the cover, the rest of the book physically is terrible. The spacing, the font, paragraphing and the structure, it’s got 22 grammar errors. It’s awful.
That book changed our company’s life. We exploded after that book. Outside of the structure sucking, the chapters, the content is fantastic and I’m not saying it because I wrote it. We sell, I don’t know how many dozens of copies every month from our website, but the content is excellent. It’s the true teachings of, “How do we do this? What went well?” It’s the physical structure. It looks cheesy but I’m making a point here. I was going to redo it. I want to model the book. I still now am considering it. I want to model it after the little red book on selling or something. It’s a thick cover. It’s heavy in your hand. The papers are parchment paper. It goes against all of my teaching of the concept, don’t get good, get done. I could’ve got fancy. I could’ve taken an extra 4 to 6 months and had the perfect book with the perfect cover with the perfect chapters and the perfect spacing. It would’ve cost me an extra $20,000.
This book cost me physically almost nothing. I didn’t get good, I got done. That book immediately started opening doors as soon as people realized, “This was a real book.” A few people started reading the book, some reviews came out and people told people. All of a sudden, I’m getting calls, “You want to write a book with Brian Tracy? Can you come to speak on our stage? Can you talk at this event?” All of a sudden, I realized something I heard from Greg S. Reid, author of 54 books. He said, “Do you guys realize the core of the word, authority, is author?” I’m like, “Wow.” “I want you to understand the power of that book. It’s not now, 2016, it’s not just about the five people you associate with. I’m willing to say that the success of your company could also be about the books you’re in, not the books you read.”
This is Anchor Day number 2, writing my first little book as cheesy as it was. If you haven’t read it, I recommend everybody go read it. If you don’t have the $8, send me an email at Ken@IncomeStore.com, I’ll send you a free copy. Read the book, it’s excellent. The stories are great, but the key is I want you to physically hold this cheesy little book so you can understand that little book, little match of a pure explosion to a company that was already a seven-figure company. We have doubled every year since that book has come out. I’ve done multiple books, I’ve got a show and we do big events. Everything came after that book. What is the point of this show? You might want to consider writing a book. I hope this helps. Take care.