Posts Tagged ‘business’


Friday, January 3rd, 2014

I met with a new client this week, Susie Anthony. Susie is an amazing woman. She was highly successful in her early1154746963_e0eb5e94a6_o thirties, her success culminating with her working for the fifth wealthiest man in the world, a Japanese businessman who was also a Samurai. Working with him, Susie learned a great deal about business, the super wealthy and the ancient wisdom of Japan.  But what she primarily learned was that wealth and power, as attractive as they were, were not ultimately satisfying her soul or her sense of purpose. After a few years Susie  became  addicted not just to the glamour and wealth and power, but also to cocaine.

Susie’s first book, Map to God, explores her journey and explains what she calls “the code”. She approached me with the idea of writing The Super Hero Code which would include stories from fifty or more of the famous business people, actors and visionaries with whom she has worked in the last two decades, sharing their stories as examples of how each individual is, in essence, a hero with their own code which they have followed to reach success in their chosen field and in their life. (more…)

The Meaning of Success

Friday, December 6th, 2013

There is a John Lennon song from his 1980 Double Fantasy album called Woman which talks about the meaning of Bed-In_for_Peace,_Amsterdam_1969_-_John_Lennon_&_Yoko_Ono_16success. John did not have a perfect life and he died much too young. As someone who achieved so much in the world of music with fame and fortune, John was clearly a success. We know he had rocky times with his first wife and later with Yoko Ono, but it seems he was able to navigate those rough patches and reach a new level with Yoko before he died. His song Woman was definitely written for her, thanking her for the guidance she had given him in helping him to wake up to the true meaning of success.

I find this song particularly relevant to my own writing and my own thinking about where we are headed as a species.  The indigenous have told us that we need to incorporate more feminine values into our culture if we are to survive. I believe this is true. I also believe that it is not only possible but actively taking place.

I have experienced extraordinary success in multiple areas of my life. Despite following a relatively conservative path of going to private schools such as Yale and Harvard, and taking a Fortune 500 executive position with Harcourt Brace when still a young man, I have always felt that I have been a pioneer and a risk taker. I started my literary agency in San Diego, California at a time when very few literary agents outside of New York City had any meaningful success. I became an expert on computer books at a time when the majority of book agents and book publishers had little if any interest in such books. I drifted into representing mind body spirit books when such titles were still not mainstream.  Success has followed me in all these areas, but the real success of my business life has been in the relationships I have formed with authors, editors, and publishers.

There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part I like and respect everyone with whom I have done business. The majority of books I have represented have helped people in some way. I have enjoyed the economic privileges that come from representing major bestselling authors, and I would not feel the same about my career and position in the world of publishing and the world at large had I not had such significant and measurable public success.  But in the end the  true meaning of success will be  in what is left behind, in the number of people I have helped, in the good that has come from the books I have helped get published.

I am moving increasingly into the area of public speaking and my own writing. I will continue to agent books but increasingly take on fewer and fewer new clients. I am open to the extraordinary, but the extraordinary will be judged by the impact that can be made, not necessarily by the number of copies that will be sold. I will also continue to use our e-book publishing company to bring new voices to the general public. The newest voices I will be publishing next month will be dolphin voices. I kid you not. I have the honor and privilege of publishing the first book written by dolphins. There will be doubters. Major publishers will probably not want to pick up our e-book.  But be on the lookout for Dolphin Letters: Vital Information from Sea to Land.  Of course there is a human go-between who took down the dolphin communication. I will be writing more about this unique author and book later this month. Suffice to say, the dolphins truly understand the meaning of success. To quote John Lennon again, “Perhaps I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one.”

Imagine and succeed.

The Business of Business

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Thirty years ago when I was senior editor for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishing, I acquired and edited a manuscript Osaka_Business_Park_01from a popular business consultant who titled his successful book The Business of Business is Business. At the time Milton Friedman’s book, Free to Choose, was the number one selling title not just for Harcourt but the number one selling title in America.  It was not just number one for business books, but number one for all titles published that year in general non-fiction.

Both Free to Choose and The Business of Business is Business were written by intelligent men who believed that the least amount of government interference was the ideal. Let businesses focus on making the highest possible profits for their shareholders and all will be well. There might be short term inequities with certain segments of any population suffering economically, but in the long run the market will straighten out the inequities and all will return to balance and society will thrive.

I am in favor of neither entitlements nor the welfare state, but over the last thirty years it seems obvious that world economic patterns and priorities have changed. If we continue to subscribe to the belief that the business of business is only business, our world economy is likely to crumble. I do not go into details in my novel, The Power of Twelve, but I do posit in the novel that a small group of mega wealthy individuals and multinational corporations are controlling the majority of wealth and resources on our planet at this time. (more…)

Unemployment and the Future of Book Publishing

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Life is full of surprises. Life is constantly changing. Good news often brings as many changes as bad news. Sometimes it is hard to know the difference between good news and bad news.images

My wonderful assistant Vanessa recently wed. No doubt this was good news. The bad news part of it for me is that Vanessa’s new husband was just offered a wonderful position in Northern California and she will of course be joining him. Although we continue to go digital, not every function of an assistant can be performed from three hundred plus miles away, so we need to replace Vanessa.

In this modern age the quickest way to find potential employees is to advertise with Craig’s list. Given how much of today’s business is actually digital, the hours required to be my assistant are down to no more than twenty per week. So we put out an ad and in less than 48 hours we got more than 100 resumes. Perhaps half were people fresh out of school, but at least ten were from highly qualified candidates with significant and meaningful work experience. (more…)