How a 20 Second Conversation in NYC Led to a Book Deal
Sounds unlikely, right? But it’s true!
“Don’t talk to me unless you have a ground-breaking book idea”.
How would you respond?
Yes, part of me was intimidated by the six foot giant otherwise known as Matt Holt of Wiley Publishing fame – but I knew if I didn’t make my pitch then and there then I might just miss my opportunity.
So what if I had just been rejected by the producer at The View!?
You know the show, the one that stars Whoopi Goldberg!
So what if my ego had taken a slight dent?
It was now or never. Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and show it who’s boss… especially when that bull is your own fears.
I had just been rejected by one of the biggest producers in the world that had the potential to put me in front of millions in one hit.
What else was there left to lose?
I was rejected and shock horror, it really wasn’t that bad.
Seconds after I thought, “Screw it!” and walked straight up to Matt.
It was over in just 20 seconds.
Now, 20 seconds is an incredibly short time to make an impression and present a pitch but I did it and this is why it worked.
If you’re ever going to take notes now is the time to do it with my top 5 tips to elevating your success to an entirely new level. Whether it be a book deal, pitching to the media or making a sale. These tips will serve you well.
But before we dive into them, check out this Entrepreneurial Halloween Horror Story I filmed exclusively for Entrepreneur Magazine.
Let’s just say, a few things went wrong on this trip!
That actually happened!
Now you’ve laughed at my misfortunes, here are the tips. 🙂
1. Have an opinion.
My opinion was my own – not a copy of anyone else’s and that made me original. And I showed him that my opinion mattered. No one is going to make any kind of offer to someone who can’t think for themselves and that are too afraid to stand out. There are enough carbon copy people in the world already so why add another one? I was different. I said what I needed to say and that was enough… and all in less than 20 seconds.
Know your pitch and know it well.
2. Create a strong personal brand.
This made me both marketable and memorable at the same time. I had a niche in which to capitalise on and that’s what I was going to do. I knew how to do it, too. Marketers love this as it gives you a real edge to your business. I had carved out a position for myself – done the hard brand development work – so all that had to be done was to market it, not start it from scratch or overhaul it – a nightmare for any publisher or TV producer for that matter who is trying to workout just where you fit in their world.
Give them a strong, but unique stereo-type and they will know exactly where the opportunities are for you within an instant. This is the science of influence working at its best.
3. Be engaging.
It’s easy to become bland and tongue tied when you are nervous and overawed by the person in front of you – he was 6 ft. tall and I was completely jet lagged! I looked like a pipsqueak in comparison. Despite my nerves I was able to fully engage Matt within my 20 second conversation and convince him I was worth backing. Some elevator pitches are longer than this and simply don’t need to be. If you can’t get your message across in one sentence, you’ve already lost the game before you’ve entered the field.
The art of successful marketing is in understanding that it is a process of subtraction, not addition.
Market the essence of what you do, not what you do itself.
4. Be fearless.
I proved to him (and myself) that this was the case. My confidence was unwavering. This was because I released fears of what others thought about me in that instant that I got rejected. Not to mention, I completely let go of the outcome. What was to be, was to be. And whatever that was, it would be perfect.
Despite the fact he scared the crap out of me I wasn’t going to let it get to me. I had spent thousands to get to New York, I wasn’t going to allow fear (myself) to get in my way. I’d come way too far. He had laid down his rule right at the beginning of his presentation but I had confidence in my idea and brand that had strategically been crafted to engage and be noticed.
If you don’t believe in yourself, then you’ve already given them a reason not to believe in you. And, if you can’t believe in yourself, at least believe in your idea and present it with passion. Separate yourself and the idea and you’ll suddenly release your fears of being rejected because it’s no longer about you, instead it’s about the validity of the idea that you present and how relevant it is to them.
5. Be well-packaged.
I knew who I was and where I was going. No additional work was required to get up to speed with who I was and what I was offering. All the hard work had already been done, i.e. my marketing material and the verbal and visual representation of myself.
Publishers and TV producers want someone who is already packaged up and ready to take to market, thereby reducing the time it takes to generate a return on their investment. Not many authors truly understand how critical this is to their success in not only signing a contract, but making their books bestsellers.
Sometimes a bit of courage is all you need. My time for “what if’s” had passed and it was time for action.
I had just been rejected by one of the biggest TV producers in the world.
And it’s because I was rejected that a book deal was done and Flee 9-5 was born and has just become a bestseller.
You can get to the same point of readiness that I was in when I had my life-changing 20 second conversation. In Flee 9 -5 I show you how to do it so you can take advantage of opportunity just as I did.