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The Published Author Podcast

COACHING AND CONSULTING SUCCESS DRIVEN BY FOUR BESTSELLING BOOKS

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Consulting Success, a global leader in coaching and training entrepreneurs. In the past 20 years he’s worked with thousands of clients, and he’s the author of four bestselling books, including last year’s Act Now: How Successful Consultants Thrive During Chaos and Uncertainty.

In this interview, Michael tells the story of how he began coaching consultants, which turned into production courses, which turned into his first book that helped him grow his business. Michael’s journey is not only instructive in the details he provides to first-time authors moving through the world of self-publishing, but the very material he teaches his clients is applicable to authors as well.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Josh Steimle:

Today, my guest is Michael Zipursky. Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Consulting Success; a global leader in coaching and training entrepreneurs. In the past 20 years, he's worked with 1000s of clients, and he's the author of four best selling books, including last year's ACT NOW: How successful consultants thrive during chaos and uncertainty, which is a timely topic given we haven't had as much chaos and uncertainty in the world as we've had the past year and a long time. Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael Zipursky:

Hey, Josh, great to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Josh Steimle:

Thanks so much for being here with us. Give us a little bit more background on who you are, where you come from, and what led you to the world of coaching and consulting and entrepreneurship.

Michael Zipursky:

I guess depends how far back you want to go. But I was born in Toronto. At two years of age my parents took my sister and I to Israel, spent about four and a half years there, came back to Canada, [Inaudible] [00:01:00] Vancouver, at about six and a half years of age, did not speak English, did not know anybody felt like an outsider. Decided the way to prove myself or kind of to fit in would be to try and excel at sports, which I did. So at a young age sports was my life. Everything that I did was around all different types of sports from rugby to track and field which I was very competitive into basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it, I did it. That's kind of what I thrived on. And that sense of competition kind of really still carries through to what I do today. So I think a lot of lessons around entrepreneurship actually came from those years of playing sports. But when I transitioned from high school into university or actually college, I started my first business with my cousin Sam, who is still my cousin to this day and still co-founder of Consulting Success. We've built and sold multiple businesses together over the years. And it was a web design development agency. We then went on to build another company that was focused on branding and marketing. I went over to Japan opened up the branch office for that business, worked with some very large organizations, Panasonic, Financial Times, Dow Jones, Sumitomo, Omron, a whole bunch of other, you know, multi billion dollar organizations helping them to get their products and services into English speaking markets, came back to North America, started another consulting business, this time helping professional services firms do lead generation along this kind of the whole thread that run through all this Joshua's that we were running, consulting and professional services, businesses, making a lot of mistakes, and a lot of lessons learned and having some success along the way. And so when Sam and I, at that point, we were running different companies or doing different things, we were at a family barbecue one summer, and we said, you know, we should do something together again. But this time, we should do it online. Because we've always loved this idea of traveling and be able to live and work anywhere that you want. And so we started Consulting Success really as a way to share our experiences of building successful consulting businesses, but really stories from the trenches, the good, the bad, the ugly, with a goal of helping people to fast track their success, avoid common mistakes. There's no real monetization or business plan around. And when we launched, we just thought, let's put this out, let's share articles and resources. We are both doing other things. I was running another consulting business at that time. And it just really took off. People said, this is great information. It's very helpful. Do you have a course? We said no. But we'll build one. And so we put together a course on how to become a successful consultant. That did very well. This is about 13 years back. And they said this, you know, I've learned my first six figures per year or I just feel more clear or the lots of great success stories. But people said, is there a way to work more closely with you? Do you have a coaching program? We said, no, we don't have that. But we'll launch one. And so we did. So fast forward to today, as you mentioned, we've had over 600 consultants come through our Clarity Coaching program, several 1000 going through our momentum and other training programs. And so all day, every day, we just focus on helping entrepreneurial consultants to really build more profitable, scalable and strategic consulting businesses.

Josh Steimle:

That's fascinating. Can you give us some examples of people who have gone through your courses and programs and the results that they've gotten?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, so Elliott, would be one example, left the corporate world, got into the consulting business, figured it would take him maybe a couple of years to get back up to his director or executive level salary. And within about seven months, he had already far exceeded it. But within seven weeks, he was already on track, to hit well into six figures. There's many stories like that of people who have gone to another one transitioned from being a director at the City of Hope, kind of research center there, and university and she replaced her income in a very short period of time, and then exceeded by 30 or so percent. This is all in a matter of months from making that transition. And then others who are running successful, you know, high six figure, seven figure consulting businesses who oftentimes are just feeling very stretched. They don't have good systems. They don't have good processes they've gotten to where they are usually just on the back of referrals their network, they're not very intentional or proactive with their marketing. And so what we really helped them to do and others to do is to put better systems, better processes in their business everything that covers from pricing strategies to marketing systems, to also just thinking about their business model and how to create a business that really supports their lifestyle, as opposed to the other way around, where so many people will build a business and then have to make sacrifices within their lifestyle to try and support their business, our whole kind of value system and thought processes, let's get very clear on what does success look like from a lifestyle perspective first, and then build a business and business model and everything else that supports that, to really make sure that your lifestyle is at the top and not the other way around?

Josh Steimle:

So with the coaching and class, the course that you had going on, at what point did you say I need to put this all together into a book? Is that what happened? Is that where the first book came from?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, like, before you hit record, I think you mentioned something along the lines of like that, you know, [Inaudible] [00:06:04] to talk about why you want to put together a book and I don't know if I it was, initially it wasn't that I wanted to do it. It's just something that I knew that I should do, right? I think you go back in history, you just, you know that having a book is just a really great way to demonstrate your authority, to demonstrate expertise. It's one of these things that can open many doors. And so I think we had started seeing success with the initial course, we thought, let's kind of put something together, that would be an easier price point. But also that would allow us to get the knowledge and the experience. Our whole goal, everything that we do is what helping more people like deep down inside I feel like I'm a teacher, even though I remember I was told by a very old teacher of mine many years ago that I should be a teacher, I was like, no, no, I'm a capitalist, I want to make money. I don't, I'm not here to teach. But I realized that over time, both her and my mother were actually very accurate in seeing and believing that I should be a teacher. And that's really what I spend most of my time thinking about these days is how to help people. And so just seeing the packaging of what a book would allow, that you can reach so many people you can have these channels like Amazon and Bookstores and other places help you to get your book into many people or to be discovered by many people that otherwise might not know who you are, to me and to our company we thought that was a very powerful way of kind of going about things. And so that's really where Consulting Success, which is also name of the first book that that I wrote, and kind of took the course, and summarize, not really summarize it, but put the information you could fit into a book. Obviously you put a lot more into a course. But we put that into a more of a book, version and format and had a lot of success with it.

Josh Steimle:

So tell us more about the success. How was it received? And how did you leverage it to grow the business?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, so we've gone through many different iterations, or end of how the book was launched. So we started off, we actually created the first version of consulting success. It was not available publicly. So we use back then it was called CreateSpace. It's now Amazon, right? What's the -

Josh Steimle:

Amazon KDP.

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, so we use the CreateSpace service at that time, to essentially when somebody ordered our course, we would also ship them out the printed book version of that course. And so we would spend whatever it was, you know, $5, $10, $15, sending the book version, which people really enjoy, because they have now that physical kind of copy to go along and add value to the digital side of the course they were also receiving. So that's how we started it. And we went through a few different iterations of that. I think we got Consulting Success, some may call it consulting Success System, 2.0 was a second version. And then we thought we need to really make an update, it's been a while. And let's now make this available publicly. And so we kind of updated the name, just Consulting Success, the whole book was the whole subtitle behind it. And then that's when we started to launch it publicly and made it available not through our website anymore. I mean, you can still get it there, but just made it available as a book to be purchased. And so once we put on Amazon, we did a little promotion around that to make sure that people knew the latest version was there. But still to this day, you know, years later, we see many sales coming in from all around the world from people that otherwise probably don't know about who we are.

Josh Steimle:

And what's kind of the hook for the book. What is the reason that people are triggered and say, oh, I've got to read this, this is something that's going to help me solve x problem?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, so the book is really meant for the early stage consult. It's best suited for the person who is looking to transition from the corporate world or whatever area of employment that they are in. They feel like they have expertise. They can help people or help organizations, but they don't know how to actually package that position it, place value on it, price it and actually just think about running the business, like how to monetize their expertise as a consultant. And when we use the word consultant because these days, many people use the word consultant for us. Our world is meaning consultants or people that work with other organizations. So it might be a nonprofit, might be a multibillion dollar company but they're all organizations. And so consulting success, the book, the whole idea behind it is, if you want to figure out how to monetize your expertise, if you want to take the knowledge and skills and experience that you have, and figure out really how to package it, and then present it to the world in a way where you can generate, not only a viable but a very profitable business, while avoiding many of the common mistakes that people make in launching their business whether it's around who their ideal client is, that not having an effective message that gets people's attention, how to think about marketing specifically from a consulting perspective, or leaving potentially 1000s and 1000s of dollars on the table, because they don't have an optimal pricing strategy. That's really what we cover in the book. So it's for that early stage consultant, or the person transitioning in that wants to get started the right way, and really accelerate kind of the success, they can see and feel a lot more confidence that they're doing the right things in the right order.

Josh Steimle:

Got you. So that was book number one, right?

Michael Zipursky:

Correct.

Josh Steimle:

So then book number two, what's that? And what was the inspiration for that?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, so that was the Elite Consulting Mind. And that really came, you know, after working with consultants for many years, we started to see that, you know, the biggest challenge that people were having was not through a lack of knowledge. It was through a lack of action and so our belief was that it wasn't a strategy and tactics, that was actually going to be helpful for people to be successful, it was mindset. And so what we identified in the Elite Consulting Mind was 16 of the most common mindset, kind of challenges or situations that consultants face. So for example, pricing, marketing, really narrowing in on a specialization, dealing with certain clients situations. So we identified 16 of these from our own business, but also from many of our clients and their own stories and situations, and we capture them. And we shared those stories. So there's a lot of narrative and storytelling in there. But there's also a lot of best practices. So you learn about what are these common mindset challenges and blocks and then how can you see them from a different perspective and then based on that, how can you then take what's the action to overcome that or to take that next step. And that's what we found is for many people, when they understand what those mindset blocks are, and see how to actually overcome them, now they can start taking a lot more action, and we take more action, you make more progress, you make more progress, you're seeing greater results, that gives you more confidence, and now you're going to be more likely to go take more and more action. So it's like this loop that just feeds itself. And very often people are stuck. It's not because they haven't read a book or taking a course, it's because something is holding them back from taking action. And that's what the Elite Consulting Mind is all about, is really help people to overcome that.

Josh Steimle:

A lot of this sounds like the advice that I give my students that I'm helping to become authors, it's the same type of thing. It's, I mean, when we talk about writer's block, whenever if somebody comes and says, Oh, I'm stuck, I've got writer's block, it's like, it's not because you don't know how to write, it's not because you don't have good ideas. It's that something in your mind is bugging you, and you need to work that out. And then the writer's block will go away. It sounds really similar. Did you find that at during your author journey of writing these books that you were applying the advice that you give to consultants and coaches to yourself as an author?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, all the time. I certainly encountered many roadblocks or mindset, kind of, you know, blocks that would might get in my way. But what I've always tried to do and more so on an ongoing basis, Josh is to identify signs that might hold me back, then I'll look at well, what's so for example, in the book, I personally don't love spending a great deal of time, like doing a lot of fine tooth and comb like editing and nitpicking. So I'll get something to help with that, right? Or I'll find wherever there's resistance, I'll always try and find someone or something that can help to overcome that resistance, rather than being held back. Because that's one thing that I've learned, and I'm a very big believer in is the power of imperfect action. And, you know, it's interesting, I was just reading a book over the weekend. And I see this consistently, really well received books, bestsellers, and you still find grammatical or spelling mistakes in them. But they're successful. How can it be, you know, for I think so many people, we have this belief that we need to be perfect. And that holds us back from taking action. And but you can find so many examples and stories around you have people companies, books, whatever it might be that are extremely successful, but there's still some flaws inside of them. My choice and decision has always been to just accept that there will be some flaws, there will be some aspect that isn't going to be perfect, but getting it out there is much more powerful than just waiting for it to somehow be perfect if it ever can be.

Josh Steimle:

And that's definitely the case with books. You see a lot of authors who they were fine, they're fine, they're fine. And then they never get it done. Never gets out there. And an imperfect book is better than the perfect book. Alright, so that's books number one. Number two, what was book number three?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, so you're setting us up for the perfect segue because book number three was the the classic like the textbook, imperfect action in practice. So here we were, it was I guess, March of 2020 maybe it was April of 2020, somewhere around April of 2020, COVID just started a rage right in North America and what we started seeing all around us was a lot of people specifically in our world consultants who had no idea what to do, you know. It's like a deer staring into the headlights of a car, fear, uncertainty. And I was sitting one morning, early in the morning on a sofa downstairs in my house, and I just decided I'm going to start, I'm going to write a letter to our clients about what I thought they should do, what we were doing, the mindset and how important taking action was and what they should be focusing on right now, given what was happening in the world. And given that this was very uncertain times, but really how to, you know, push beyond those challenges. And so I wrote that letter. And I emailed it later that day to all of our clients. And the feedback was tremendous. Like, it was this really resonates, thank you so much. I really needed to hear this to read this. I had a couple of clients saying, this is fantastic. I need to share this with my clients, can I do that? And so that started to make me think, well, there's something in this message is really resonate with people, I need to share more of it. So I started sharing this message on LinkedIn, on other platforms. Again, really great response. And I thought, you know what, this is great. This is my perspective, but I'm just one person. What I really want to do is I want to ask other successful consultants and experts, but I know who I trust, that I know are doing great things. I want to hear from them how they're handling the situation, how are they currently making adjustments in their business to deal with the COVID situation, how are they thinking about the kind of the future or what they're going to be doing from now. And so I interviewed a whole bunch of consultants and thought leaders, put that into the book. And so ACT NOW: How successful consultants thrive during chaos and uncertainty we launched it in about five to six weeks from concept to having the book out on Amazon. And so you can I'm sure there's some things that are wrong with that book. But we had, you know, 1000s of people who access that book, who just said, this is really timely, this is very helpful, because it was just a rallying call. The goal, as you know, Josh, and for most authors, not just necessary to make money directly from the book, this was really like, we want to help the industry, because people right now at that time were stuck. And we want to help to get unstuck, to get back to, you know, building business and doing the things that are most meaningful for them so they can have the impact they want to have. So yeah, that was about five, six weeks from concept out in the marketplace and I think still, many of the lessons that are in there today are still very valid.

Josh Steimle:

And that's amazing, because this is only possible with the miracle of self publishing, right? I mean, if we were still running the publishing industry, the way it worked 30-40 years ago, it'd be impossible, you just couldn't do a book like this this quickly.

Michael Zipursky:

I completely agree. I think there's a lot of benefits of self publishing, still lots of benefits of traditional publishing. But yeah, I've often thought as well, that for me, oftentimes, I'm not planning a book, like a year or two in advance. Most often, when a book, when I see the concept for the book, it's because I want to write it or I want to start developing it now. And not, I don't want to, I don't want to have to wait a year or longer for it to get into the public. And so that's where I think the power of self publishing is really there.

Josh Steimle:

Was it hard to learn the system? I mean, you started out with your first book back when it was CreateSpace. Now it's Amazon KDP. But you've been through it more recently, as well. What are some of the things you've learned about self publishing, about the system, things that you didn't know, when you were getting started that you wish you would have known or that you think somebody getting started today would like to know?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah. So the technical side, I think anyone that should never hold anyone back, and the number one reason for that is that there's a lot of resources that can help you with that. I mean, I'm sure Josh, do you guys have a lot of resources for your community, and clients to help them with that, but there's plenty of resources, if you go to some web sites like Fiverr, or Upwork, or whatever, you can find people looking to help you to convert a file or to get it ready for KDP or, you know, someone to design your cover, these are things that you don't need, you really shouldn't worry about yourself, because that's not the best use of your time. One thing that I've certainly learned, and I think I knew this even when we got started, but it's just become more and more apparent over time, which is that writing the book or creating the book, and the design and all those pieces, that's just one part of it. I really believe the most important part of writing a book is the marketing the promotion of the book, because you can have a great book, but if you're not marketing and promoting it, then you're not going to get into the hands of the people that you want to make an impact on. So having a very clear plan on how are you going to market your book? How are you going to use the book, what do you want to accomplish with a book. Are you actually trying to generate revenue from the book directly? Do you want that book to support some other cause or some other program that you have? Thinking kind of strategically through that process I think is incredibly important because otherwise you just go into creating a book, and then you finish the book, but then there's no momentum around like you don't really have a good plan for what to do with it. And so I think planning all that stuff upfront and getting really clear on it is incredibly important, especially the promotional part. Because oftentimes, that's stuff that you need to be thinking about and working on and setting up in advance, whether it's going on podcasts, sending emails, having partnerships, all that stuff, oftentimes, you know, should be happening months before the book is actually ready.

Josh Steimle:

So what are some of the action items that you've instituted in your launch plans for your books?

Michael Zipursky:

Yes, so one is, and we have a good sized email list. So we'll plan that out in advance in terms of what we're going to be doing, if we're doing any kind of giveaways, if we're tying the book into some other, you know, launch. So for example, the fourth book that came out was called the Future Of Consulting. And that's all all about really how to future proof your consulting business. And what we saw with that book was okay, we're kind of getting near the end of COVID. Hopefully, who knows, I mean, at the time of recording, we don't know what's happening with it. But we start seeing a lot of people who were very excited about things reopening. And it's almost like they forgot about all the lessons that have been learned during the COVID time. For example, let's say that you're a speaker, and 100% your business comes from in person speaking or delivering workshops. COVID hits. You're out of business. Well, what can you learn from that lesson? Well, maybe you need to look at diversifying your revenue streams and channels, maybe you want to start bringing things online. So there's a lot of these different lessons that could that have been learned. And I think one of the biggest lessons for any business owner is to start to identify areas where you're overly reliant. And so you want to kind of stress test your business. And that's, I think, again, the big lesson that we could learn during this COVID time. So the future of consulting is all about from a consulting perspective, how to start implementing some of these best practices to really future proof your business, because we're going to have other health challenges in the future, or economic challenges in the future, who knows what's going to happen in the future. But if you start to think about how to future proof your business, then that can really set you up for success. So that was the book, The Future Of Consulting. And what we did with that one to kind of bring this back to your question, Josh, is that we tied it into the launch of one of our online programs. And so we had many different kind of joint venture partners who are also sharing this book, because we gave it away for free to all of their audiences. And so we had several 1000s of people who got the book, which is great, they got the book for free, they could, you know, go and get the Kindle version or paperback version later on for a nominal cost. But we tie that all into as a way to get that in front of a lot of people. So that's one thing that we did. Send emails to our list, social media, getting on podcast to talk about the book as well. So that we planned in advance, you know, leverage live streams on LinkedIn, or videos on YouTube. Those are the kinds of things that we did. And the only other one was some minimal but targeted advertising on channels and kind of platforms like Facebook and, and LinkedIn, Instagram, things like that.

Josh Steimle:

So with all these books, is there any one thing that you've seen that has benefited your business the most, where people have come in from that one thing and said, hey, I found your book this way. And I want to work with you.

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, this is, I think, Perry Marshall shared this with me many years ago. And so I'll give him credit for that. I really think that was helpful. I'm not 100% sure. But regardless, he's a wealth of knowledge. So he deserves a credit. But he shared with me that in your book, if you give people resources, or you give them a real reason to go to somewhere else on your website, so book buyers are some of the best buyers there are. If someone is shows enough interest to go and buy your book, download your book, whatever might be consumed, even part of your book that shows a level of intent. Some of the just clicks on a link and signs up, like for a free, you know, guide, they don't necessarily have the same level of intent because there's not as much friction, but for somebody to go and pay for your paperback or hardback, or hardcover or your Kindle or whatever it is, they actually have to take out their credit card or click the button like that there's a transaction of money. And so that's one way to qualify, and that that's why typically, book buyers are going to be some very good customers or clients for your business. And so what we found is that by actually inserting into the books, additional resources that people can get, we're able to then, you know, leverage the channels, let's say of Amazon to get greater distribution, then bring those people into our world because they read in the book, many of them won't necessarily go from the book to request more information from a page that we've set up for them. But just because they've read the book or gotten it, they're now more familiar with the brand and who we are, they're more likely to come on, come to our website, reach out and inquire or even sign up for some of our different programs. And we hear this a lot, you know, on enrolling calls, people say oh, I listen to your podcast all the time, or I read all your books, or I read this book or whatever. And so we know the book has or the books have a big impact on the business. We can't necessarily say like, oh, yeah, so um, you know, purchase this book. It's not like an ad right online, you can't necessarily attribute that they clicked here, went to this page sign up here. But we know the same as with the podcast, we know that from a long term, kind of, you know, value creation strategy, it's a really, it plays a really important role.

Josh Steimle:

You've mentioned your email list a few times. Can you talk a little bit more about the importance of getting people onto the email list? And then how you nurture that?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, do it right away, start now don't wait. I think you talked to most entrepreneurs and business owners, and they'll tell you that one thing they wish they would have started sooner is collecting email addresses, you know, having it's an incredible asset. So we talked about actually, in The Future Of Consulting book, that, again, I interviewed several experts and consultants and thought leaders and creators for that book. And one of the big themes that stood out amongst the most successful was that they had a community. And that's really what your email list can be is it's a community, because you have when you want to launch, let's say, a new program, whether it's something that's free or paid, or whatever, you have a direct channel to access those people. And that's very, very powerful. If you don't have that, then something happens, you know, how do you get in touch with the people that you want to serve? How do you make an offer to people that you want to be your clients or customers. And so the sooner you have that email list, the better. And so my recommendation for every entrepreneur, regardless of what industry you're in, is find a way to start building a list of your ideal clients. And that's going to require you to really deliver a lot of value first, where you're giving, you know, 95, 99% of the value. But every once in a while, a small percentage of those people will go yeah, this is, you know, this is free information. This is great information, I resonate with what this person is saying. And now you have that direct channel to reach those people. And they're going to become your clients and your customers.

Josh Steimle:

Perfect. So we didn't really give you a lot of time to speak about the fourth book that just came out. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, so it's really just kind of, as I mentioned, there Josh, that we saw a lot of people who threw their options, were it to me, it felt like they were missing a big opportunity through the challenges that COVID provided, which was how to really future proof your business, how to look at where you are weakest, where you're potentially most reliant on one source of income or one channel. And then I went out again, and interviewed colleagues and friends who are running successful businesses themselves, and looked at what are the common themes amongst them. Community building was one. You know, leveraging the online kind of channels and platform in terms of courses or programs was another. And so we distilled down all this kind of these best practices and then shared in The Future Of Consulting in the book, what those practices were and what people are actively doing in their businesses. It's a very short read. It's not as long as some of the other books. But again, this was about taking action. It was both connecting it to a launch that we had at that time, but it's still available on on Amazon and other platforms for people.

Josh Steimle:

So first of all I want to talk about this book a bit more to is a lot of the people that I work with, a lot of the listeners to the show, when they hear about a book that's based on interviews, they get interested in that because they say, well, then I don't have to write it. I can go interview other people. And I can create a book around those interviews, which is exactly how I got my start to. My very first book was a compilation of interviews. What are some of the pros and cons of writing a book that's based on interviews? And what were some of the differences in writing that versus some of your other books?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, I mean, it definitely saved a lot of time, because I think one of the greatest challenges that authors have is content, right? Coming out with the content, coming out with the ideas. And so I really love the kind of the concept, or the approach of going out tapping into the knowledge and expertise that other people have. And then bringing that back in you, as the author and the creator still get to decide what ends up in the book or doesn't, you can kind of weave the pieces together. But I think it's a really powerful opportunity to not only save yourself a lot of time, but also to pull in best practices and knowledge and insights that are coming from other people. To me, that's just such a powerful way of delivering greater value. That's not only your opinion and your thoughts, but you're also getting, seeing what other people are doing. And especially when you start seeing that there's a lot of similarities amongst these same people, that's the best practice of success, right? When you can identify what's working for many people, there's a reason that it's working. And so that's really what I've tried to do both in Act Now and in the future of consulting. Just the other thing that I'll mention is Michael Hyatt [ph] I wrote many years ago talked about this concept of 10/80/10. And I find that to be a very powerful principle when you're thinking about content creation. So this might help some of your listeners and clients as well, which is you start off as the kind of the creator behind this. You start off the first 10% is the idea of the strategy. So with your book you get very clear on like what you want the book to accomplish? What do you want it to cover? What are the themes, you know. What's the hooks, all that kind of stuff, you plan all that out and you might create a bit of an outline around that. Then 80% part is where you can bring somebody in to actually help you to do a lot of the heavy lifting. So this might be like a ghostwriter, or just somebody to take maybe interviews that you've done and to kind of assemble them, but they do a lot of heavy lifting that that 80% and of course, these percentages don't have to be exact, it could be 70, could be 80%, whatever. But the idea is, they're doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you. And then the final 10% is where the magic happens. Because this is now where you come back in, and you start editing and reviewing, and you work with that person or whoever it is that you have to really refine it so that it's still coming through with your tone, with your voice. It still incorporates and includes everything that you feel is important for the book to have. But you're saving yourself a lot of time. And so I think that's an approach that especially for those people who just don't naturally feel like they are good writers themselves or don't want to write you could still use this approach to create a book and get one out there a lot sooner than just trying to toil away for years.

Josh Steimle:

That is great advice, because there are a lot of people who they want to be authors, but they don't necessarily want to be writers. For yourself did you enjoy writing before you got into writing books? Was that something you were already doing?

Michael Zipursky:

Absolutely not. So I'll give you, I'll take you back for a minute. So I actually did not read a whole book until I was about probably 16 years old. And then I think the first book I read was either the Godfather or Shogun, and it opened up my mind. I was like, wow, these novels are amazing. And then I actually became kind of a gracious reader, and still love reading to this day. But writing is not something that I excel at, again, English was my second language, which I know was surprising for many people, but because I've been here so long. But no, I did not really enjoy writing at a stage in my life, I really enjoyed writing poetry that I did enjoy writing. But I've done both with with books, I've done some where I've written everything, I've done others where I've done the 10/80/10 approach and for me, I mean, there's there's something obviously very intimate and enjoyable about being 100% in control of that process. But I think it's important for each person to decide what is the goal of that book, or of that product? What do you how do you want to, like what do you want to serve and, and based on that you can decide what is the right approach. I think the most important thing for in my mind, Josh is that people take their ideas and the value that they can contribute to society or the impact that they can have and that they get them out there into the world. They're not doing anybody service by just holding on to those ideas. And so you hear sometimes for people that have spent years with a book idea, but they've never gotten it out. And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, if that's if at the end of the day, they get out a great book, and it serves, has the impact they want to have fantastic for them. My personal belief, though, is that for a business purpose, if you're running a business, you're entrepreneur and you want your book to support your business, then you're going to be much better served by trying to get that book out a lot sooner. And so whether that is you writing it, or somebody helping you to write it, just choose a path that is going to kind of the path of least resistance that will help you to see the result that you want in the shortest time possible.

Josh Steimle:

Right. Well, Michael, we've gone through a lot of stuff really quickly here. Are there any final tips that you have for first time authors just getting started?

Michael Zipursky:

Yeah, well, I mean, first thing, I would encourage everybody to leverage what you have going on, over there, Josh, do a lot of resources for authors. And even people that may not be writers yet, but want to get a book out, I would leverage people like Josh and others who have that experience who can give you a path to get you there a lot sooner. And my biggest recommendation would be don't overthink it. Again, I'm a big believer in this idea of imperfect action. And I see a book like, you know, a piece of art in the sense that when you're first drawing is not going to necessarily be as good as the drawing that you do in five years from now. Your first book doesn't have to be as good, you know, or you don't expect necessarily to be your best work. It might turn out to be but it might not. I think the most successful artists, whether they're musicians, you know, fine artists, writers, are those who really take this mindset of being prolific at their craft. They're constantly doing it. They don't look at just one thing as being the end all be all. It's really about taking the ideas they have, developing that intellectual property, putting out into the world and building upon that. And the more of that you do, I think the more successful that you'll become at that craft.

Josh Steimle:

Fantastic. Michael, if people want to connect with you, learn more about you, your business, where's the best place for them to go?

Michael Zipursky:

So consultingsuccess.com is home to hundreds of free articles, videos resources. We also have the Consulting Success podcast. We've also compiled some of our most popular articles and resources and best practices for anyone who wants to start a successful consulting business as well as grow a successful consulting business. So whether you're just getting going or you're already running a high six figure or a million dollar consulting business and you want to take things to the next level, we've compiled some of our best resources. And that's available as a blueprint guide. You can go to consultingsuccess.com/blueprint to get access to it right away.

Josh Steimle:

Awesome. Thanks so much, Michael, for being with us here today on the Published Author Podcast.

Michael Zipursky:

Josh, thanks for having me.

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