THE STORY OF SUCCESS MADE EASY
Honoree's Note: I've known and admired Ron Martin, one of my mentors, for over a decade. We met while I was living in Hawaii. Ron is one of those people who lives an authentic, no-holds-barred, making-it-happen kind of life. If you've ever said to yourself, "I'm going to do it 'one of these days' this post is a must-read for you!
***After you read this post, be sure to visit me at my new home here.***
It was a lazy Saturday afternoon out at my beach house in Haleiwa, Hawaii. I was sitting on the lanai “talking story” with my client, the famed artist, Wyland. He said, “So Ron, when are you going to write a book?” My response was, “One of these days.” Wyland said, “Have you ever opened up your day timer and at the top saw the words, ‘One of these days?’” I thought, “WOW that’s heavy.” He then said, “How about right now?” Hoping to end this conversation I said, “I wouldn’t know where to start.” Wyland said, “Stand up,” which I did. He then took the chair and table from where we were sitting and dragged them out on to the lawn by the ocean. He went into my closet, picked out a hat and shirt and said, “Put these on, and sit there.” He then set up the table and went out to his car returning with his camera. He took this picture and said, "Okay, you have the cover, I am going to go home and write the foreword. All you have to do is start on chapter one." Wow, how do you get out of that?
I decided to devote two hours every Sunday morning and see where this went. It was 1996 and I was still “non-computerized” so the next morning I sat down at my desk with pen in hand staring at a blank piece of paper for a good 30 minutes before the title came to me; SUCCESS MADE EASY. I wrote that down and started writing a Table of Contents. When my two-hour commitment was up I faxed what I had written to my secretary and asked her to type it up and fax it back to me.
The following Sunday morning I edited what she had typed and started on Chapter One. That’s the way it went for the next 10 months, edit, write, rewrite and fax. In what seemed like no time I had a manuscript about three inches thick. I found a retired high school English teacher and engaged her to help me with spelling and grammar.
When I thought that I had it finished I sent the manuscript off to Wyland for a read. He called me back a few days later and said that he had sent a copy of my manuscript to his friend Spencer Johnson who was willing to spend 20 minutes with me discussing the book.
I knew of Spencer from his famous book THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER so I was eager to meet with him expecting high praise for my book. That 20 minutes became two hours as he pointed out all of the things in there that he didn’t think anybody would be interested in. He said, “You have to write the book the reader wants to read, not the book the writer wants to write.” I left Spencer’s home quite disappointed, but determined to “fix it,” so I began tearing out pages and when done it was half the size. I sent it to Spencer again and he called saying, “Now you have a book” and he agreed to let me acknowledge him in the book.
Next I hired a graphic artist, found a publisher and ordered 5,000 hard cover books. I was looking at a $20,000 investment at this time and thought that all I need to do is sell 1,000 copies at $20 each and I’ll have my money back. I engaged a distributer to place it in bookstores priced at $23.95, and began offering “Pre-Publication” copies signed and numbered with a special seal for $20 each. I sold all 1,000 of them before my 5,000 books arrived.
Feeling pretty good about myself, I started writing RETAIL SELLING MADE EASY, then SALES MANAGEMENT MADE EASY. I co-authored PUBLIC SPEAKING MADE EASY with Pam Chambers, a known public speaking coach in Hawaii. All of this was done long hand. 10 years later I wrote E-MAIL ETIQUETTE MADE EASY on my computer. What a difference that made.
I continue to sell thousands of dollars a month worth of books and the first two have gone into several printings. All of this happened because Wyland didn’t accept my “One of These Days” excuse. I now teach that, “One who wants to finds a way, one who doesn’t finds an excuse.” Excuses are often times easier to find, but the rewards are nowhere near the same as finding a way.
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