Dr. Gini Graham Scott of The VC Connection: 5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your Industry
Write a book or a series of books. Though we have become a visual culture, where about 80% of the social media content features videos and images, books are still considered a way to express your ideas in depth. You can only feature a small portion of your ideas through videos or films. That’s why over 1 ½ million books are published each year, about a million of them self-published.
As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gini Graham Scott.
Gini Graham Scott, PhD., is the head of several companies, which include Changemakers Publishing and Writing. Gini is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in business and work relationships, professional and personal development, social trends, science, and crime. She has published over 200 books, including over 50 with major publishers, and she writes film scripts and has produced 10 feature films, documentaries, and TV series. She has worked with dozens of clients on books and book proposals on popular business, self-help, and memoirs. Besides creating her own books, films, and other creative projects, including songs and games, Gini helps others develop their own projects, get them published or produced, and promote them, so they can expand their own influence. She has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I was never sure what I wanted to do growing up, since my parents introduced me to lessons in everything, from lessons on the piano to modern dance and horseback riding. I also had my first taste of entrepreneurship at 5 or 6 years old, when I sold worms from acorns in front of our apartment building and offered used comics as a bonus with each purchase. My first marketing lesson came from learning that people preferred the comics to the worms. In a painting class, the instructor told my parents that I used more paper than anyone else in making lots of designs. Then, I had my first TV appearance when I wrote to a show called the Pet Parade and said I had turtles who performed tricks. One trick was that as one turtle walked ahead, I used a piece of string like a jump rope, and the turtle walked across it. For another trick, a turtle crawled out of slipper. Unfortunately, soon after the show, the turtles climbed out of their terrarium and crawled out our 5th floor apartment building window, and that was the end of the turtles.
I also kept changing my major when I started college, because I never knew what I wanted to do. But eventually I found my métier in writing, since I could write about all kinds of topics and was good at it. Then, when I was in graduate school in the late 1970s, I went to an American Booksellers Association conference, met some publishers there, and sold my first book, which was my graduate thesis for a Ph.D in sociology at U.C. Berkeley. It was on comparing a witchcraft and a spiritual growth group, and I sold my first book to Greenwood Press, which was published as Cult and Countercult. After that, I began researching other books starting with books on social groups, then on marketing and business topics, and later self-help and inspiration books. So that’s how it all started.
Then, I started submitting manuscripts and book proposals to agents and publishing companies, and that eventually led to my first company, Publishers Agents and Films, then called Publishers and Agents, because I could similarly send out queries for other writers. This query service began in the days before the Internet and involved sending out letters with descriptions of available manuscripts by regular mail. Then, in 2003 it went digital, and after a reporter for the Wall Street Journal wrote about the company, it suddenly had 40 new clients and was on its way. I had many interests, so I began writing about the different things I was doing in my life or about things that I observed every day. For example, after I went to some workshops in the Bay Area and Esalen on hypnosis and shaman journeying, I wrote a series of books on using creative visualization — Mind Power: Picture Your Way to Success and The Empowered Mind: How to Harness the Creative Force within You, based on my experience in using these techniques to write more quickly and effectively. I also used these techniques to visualize and develop a series of games, and I later sold about two dozen games to various game publishers. Then, after I experienced a few people lying to me, I wrote a book called The Truth About Lying, originally published by Smart Publications in 1994. Two years later, when the film Liar, Liar came out with Jim Carrey, I got a call from the Oprah show to be on talking about my book. I was on several other programs, too, including the Montell Williams show and CNN.
After that, I began to lead workshops on various self-help topics, and those became books, too. So one thing led to another, and I drew on my experience or issues affecting society to turn those into books and games and later scripts for films. At the same time, I continued to write for others, and starting in 2003, I developed Publishers Agents and Films to pitch books to publishers and agents. After a few years, I expanded it to include contacting companies in other industries, since I wanted to contact these companies to pitch my own products and ideas. One of these offshoots was the Venture Capital Connection, a forerunner for the VC Connection.
Although my clients may not use the term “thought leader” to describe themselves, the clients I work with to write books, scripts, articles, and business plans or to make connections with publishers, agents, the film industry, and venture capitalists really view themselves in this way. That is because the authors and business developers see themselves as having an important message to share in their work, and they want the visibility and influence that comes with having a successful book, film, or company with a new product or service. I help them realize their dream by working with them as a writer or consultant, so they can write and publish their book or prepare the other materials they need to follow-up, after the publishers, agents, producers, or investors want more information. For example, this additional material can take the form of book proposals, sizzle reels, show bibles, online courses, business plans, and pitch decks. Then, once their book is published or their film or company is launched, I work with a team that can help them promote and publicize their project or company via the traditional or social media.
Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?
My authority comes from my first doing what I later do for others, because I have tested out a system and I know it works. For example, in writing and publishing over 200 books on different subjects, over 50 of them published by traditional publishers, I have provided a model which others can use if they want to write their own books, or I have shown that I can write their books for them.
Also, when I developed Publishers Agents Films (originally called Publishers and Agents), I did so because I was trying to contact publishers, agents, and film industry contacts myself. To make these connections, I developed databases of contacts, and I used a special software which sends out queries from any email and personalizes the names of the contacts to streamline the process of making connections. After sending out queries myself and selling a half-dozen of my books this way, I figured that others could use this system, too. While I continued to sell a few dozen of my books this way, I set up PublishersAgentsFilms to make the service available to others. Later, I did the same thing with the spin offs like The VC Connection. I used the mailings first for myself successfully and then created a website and made the service available to others. So again, my authority comes from successfully doing something myself, while recognizing the needs of others to use the service.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Early on I began turning my experiences into books. For example, I had a series of incidents that inspired my book The Truth about Lying, which was originally published by Smart Publications in 1994 and led to my being a guest on Oprah. The first of these incidents began in 1983 when I was living in San Francisco. I was looking for work and found an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle for travel escorts. The idea of the company advertising this was to pair up individuals with customers who booked a tour for singles, so there would be an even number of individuals of both sexes. The leader of the group, who I called Rex in my book, was a very charismatic guy who could literally sell anybody anything, which is what he did in promoting this program. He presented his company as a branch of a travel company back East which had 38 branches, and now he was setting up this new division on the West Coast. I thought he needed help with developing marketing and promotional materials, so I ended up creating press releases, flyers, ad copy, and other materials for him. Meanwhile, Rex set up a series of events at local clubs to pitch the company to potential travelers. But while he booked some people on trips, after a couple of months, I noticed that none of the planned trips actually occurred, and I also discovered that this supposedly wealthy tycoon was sleeping on the couch in his assistant’s apartment. Also, I learned that Rex was continually going to different banks to get loans, since many banks turned him down. Yet he was very successful in getting clubs to offer their facilities for his promotional events for free in order to get the bar business. Then, the biggest event he planned was set up with a large hall in San Francisco, and he convinced the owners that he would pay for the cost of using the facility the night of the event. He similarly offered the same pay after the event arrangements for the musicians and the caterer. Meanwhile, I had already become suspicious of him, so I had filed a lawsuit for the promised payments I hadn’t gotten.
The night of the event was really a gala occasion with fancy decorations and a lavish buffet. However, instead of the 200 to 300 people expected at this pay at the door occasion, only about 100 showed up, so Rex didn’t have the money to pay for the facilities, musicians, and caterers. Instead, he gave everyone checks that later bounced, and the next day he packed up his car and headed out of San Francisco for Southern California and then Mexico. I also had a friend serve him that night with my lawsuit. And perhaps Rex would have gotten away scot free, but he happened to make an illegal left turn through a light in San Diego, and when the cops stopped him, they discovered there were warrants out for his arrest. Thus, Rex ended up in jail, and eventually was sentenced a few years of prison.
And that was the first of several incidents that inspired my first book about lying: The Truth about Lying, with the subtitle: “Why We All Do It, How We Do It, and Can We Live Without It?”
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I made a major mistake in hiring someone when I set up an office in L.A. to run PublishersAgentsFilms in 2008–2009. At the time, I was feeling very burnt out running the company, since it had become so successful that it was taking much of my time, though I really wanted to write books and scripts. I had been trying to sell the company, since I didn’t want to run it, but a broker who tried to sell it for me said that he couldn’t sell it, because the prospective buyers felt that the business couldn’t be separated from me; they didn’t understand that with some training anyone could run the system. Thus, when I went to L.A. since I hoped to sell my scripts and get into the film business, I hired three women to run the office, based on recommendations I got from friends in the Bay Area. Plus a few people I met in L.A. made recommendations.
So I proceeded to train the three women in what to do. Two of the women soon understood how to talk to customers, get letters from customers, write or edit these letters, send out the mailings to publishers, agents, and film producers, and send customers the reports of the companies and contacts who received their queries. However, I didn’t pay enough attention to the abilities of one of the women I hired I’ll call Sarah. Based on a short initial interview, Sarah seemed to have all the right credentials, since she had spent a few decades in running a department with several dozen employees for one of the major TV networks. Thus, she had a long impressive resume. As a result, I didn’t require the usual test of writing a letter for about five minutes to check the person’s writing ability and accuracy. I also didn’t notice that Sarah got huffy with the other women and sometimes argued with them, because I wasn’t around much, since I spent two weeks each month back in Oakland where I still lived at the time and drove back and forth to L.A. Unfortunately, the other women didn’t tell me about Sarah’s behavior.
Then, matters came to a head when Sarah sent out mailings which went to the wrong people and which had hundreds of bounces, because she didn’t put in the codes to exclude emails that had previously been returned. And that’s when I discovered what was wrong. Sarah had early stage Alzheimer’s, so while she could superficially come across as personable and capable, in fact, she was suffering from a cognitive decline, so she was unable to follow the detailed procedures needed to send out mailings. I also discovered that she had also been putting up post-it notes all over the apartment to help her remember what to do, but there was no way to remember all of that information to do a query on a large database to select the individuals to receive a query. After that, I quickly fired Sarah and contacted several customers to repair the damage she had done.
It was an important lesson in understanding the need to not only delegate, but to carefully train, supervise, and monitor what a person is doing and make sure they do it correctly themselves before letting them continue to do on their own what they have been trained to do.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?
A common definition of a thought leader is someone who is an expert in their field and who others look to for their opinions and ideas. They are different from influencers in that they haven’t necessarily built up a large audience in order to influence others. So thought leaders have quality ideas, rather than a quantity of followers, though some thought leaders have built up an extensive following, too.
While thought leaders are viewed as someone who has already gained recognition, I would like to define a “thought leader” more broadly as someone who has a unique idea they would like to share, such in the form of a book, script, film, or business idea. They are someone with a new idea that they are committed to putting in tangible form. Then, they put in the effort to complete that work and share it with others. As such, they have developed their original idea into a concrete form, whether a book, script, produced film, product, or service. Then, to take on the leadership mantle, they need to set up a system for sharing it, such as publishing their book, writing and pitching their script, or producing their film and arranging for its distribution.
While they may not use the term “thought leader” to describe themselves, the clients I work with to develop their books, scripts, articles, and business plans to make connections with publishers, agents, the film industry, and venture capitalists are really presenting themselves in this way. That is because these writers, entrepreneurs, or business owners see themselves as having an important message to share in their work, and they want the visibility and influence that comes with having a successful book, film, or company with a new product or service. I help them realize this dream by working with them as a writer or consultant. Additionally, I help them prepare the materials they need to follow-up after the publishers, agents, producers, distributors, or investors want more information. For example, this material can take the form of book proposals, sizzle reels, show bibles, online courses, business plans, and pitch decks. In addition, I work with a team that can help them promote and publicize their book, script, film, course, or company via the traditional or social media.
Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?
Some of the benefits of becoming a thought leader include the satisfaction that you are recognized for your ideas in whatever form you present them, so you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in what you have done. Another benefit is knowing how your ideas have contributed to others, such as by making suggestions for changes in society if you are writing or creating other projects for social change. Or you might contribute to others by providing advice for self-improvement or personal or professional development.
I think it’s worthwhile to invest resources and energy into becoming a thought leader for two major reasons. One is the personal satisfaction you gain from expressing yourself in your chosen field, whether it’s through a book, script, film, play, work of art, or other type of project. You also gain satisfaction in getting recognition for your accomplishment, especially if you can draw a large audience to what you have to share. The second reason to invest resources and energy is the potential financial rewards you can receive as a result of what you have created. These rewards can be viewed as a measure of your accomplishment, since in general, the more influence and impact you have with your contribution, the greater the financial reward.
Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?
Becoming a thought leader through writing a book or other materials from blogs to promotional videos and films can help a business grow by increasing your visibility, credibility, and authority. Moreover, expressing your ideas in multiple media can reinforce your message and call more attention to what you do. This can also provide more validation, so people hiring you can feel confident that you can do the work they are hiring you to do.
For example, I have worked with clients who have written books with tips on how their clients can use their methods to do something themselves. Then, clients have hired them because they realize how difficult it is to do that kind of work. I have also written my own books on how to turn your blogs into books; how to write, produce, and distribute your films; and how to increase your impact and influence by sharing your message in multiple formats from books and blogs to PowerPoints presentations and videos. These books provide individuals with a step-by-step guide for what to do, which has led to book sales and to people hiring me to do it for them. Similarly, I have worked with clients to help them write books and develop promotional materials based on their workshops, seminars, and consulting in different fields, such as being a life coach, sales trainer, or publicist. While they have sold books through Amazon and other online retailers and through online and in-person workshops, they have gained even more success by signing up people for one-on-one consulting and coaching. Other clients in the trades have written guidebooks about how to do it yourself, and then have gotten hired to do the job. An example is one client who created a book on remodeling kitchens and distributed them for free through local banks and service organizations.
In short, expressing yourself in various ways can help you present yourself as a thought leader. Then, doing that can help you demonstrate your expertise and increase the visibility of your business, resulting in more customers and clients, and therefore more sales and income.
Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.
1. Write a book or a series of books. Though we have become a visual culture, where about 80% of the social media content features videos and images, books are still considered a way to express your ideas in depth. You can only feature a small portion of your ideas through videos or films. That’s why over 1 ½ million books are published each year, about a million of them self-published.
Through a book you can express your ideas in detail. You can also include stories about your experiences or those you work with, along with research or reports from other authorities to support your ideas. Then, after the first book, consider writing other books every two or three years, so your ideas are considered fresh and gain more attention.
For example, I have written a series of books on topics of interest. Then, I have set up workshops and seminars on them, and I will be turning some of these books into online courses and webinars. Since my books are on multiple topics in the areas of business, self-help, and personal and professional development, so are my talks. I have also worked with trainers so that they can lead some of these programs, which is a way of expanding my influence.
2. Create a series of informational and promotional videos. These videos are a way to highlight the main ideas that you present in your books, workshops, seminars, and other materials. Then, you can link these videos to your books or website. These videos are also a way to promote your message, such as by posting your videos on YouTube and using the social media to call attention to your videos and books.
Ideally, develop a series of videos to appeal to different audiences and continue to create these, so you repeatedly engage your audience, which increases your visibility and credibility. You can easily create these videos in about an hour or two by getting stock photos or video clips. Then, get a music clip or two for the background, write a short script, narrate it yourself, hire a narrator, or use text-to-voice technology to create an audio file. Finally, use a video editor like Camtasia to match the photos or video clips to your script, add the music, and the narration, render it, and you’re done. That’s what I have done for many of my books, as well as for clients. Then, given the high demand for these videos, I set up a company to make these for clients at MyPromeo (www.mypromeo.com).
As an example, I have created a series of videos for a book I wrote on knowing about your personality type and that of people you meet or work with to better communicate with them for an improved professional or personal relationship. The unique aspect of this system is that the different personality types are characterized by different types of popular dogs. For instance, German Shepherds are the aggressive leader type; Pomeranians are the social people person type; Golden Retrievers are the supportive helper type; and Border Collies are the smart researcher type. Think of the system as combination of Myers-Briggs, Color-Profiling, and the DISC system for personality typing, but with dogs.
3. Use the social media to build an audience for your ideas. Today it’s important to have a presence on at least one or more of the major social media, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. As a minimum, set up a personal profile. Additionally, you can create one or more business pages or groups to build an audience. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you can use a virtual assistant to put up posts for you. You can find VAs in other countries with lower prices for routine postings through sites such as UpWork and Fiverr. You can use various posting services, such as HootSuite and Buffer, to send out a single post to multiple outlets, and you can schedule a series of posts for the next few days, which makes it much faster to do this posting rather than doing it individually. I have been using both virtual assistants and these posting services myself. I have typically used them in combination with sending out press releases with the help of a publicist I have worked with for over 10 years, Jana Collins of Jones and O’Malley. Additionally, I have used the social media to promote the articles I post on Medium by writing a brief announcement with links to each article.
4. Create a regular series of articles or blogs. The main difference between articles and blogs is that articles appear as features in magazines, online publications, and on websites with bylines. A blog is more like a posting that appears on your website or as a guest post on someone else’s website. The content can be the same, though sometimes blogs tend to be more personal, such as sharing your day to day activities.
You can use these articles and blogs to further increase your visibility, credibility, and authority by having a continuing presence with your current audience and by expanding your audience as new people discover your series. These articles and blogs can be a way to attract attention to your books, workshops, seminars, courses, or other materials. They can also be an excellent way to create your books by combining a number of articles or blogs into a book. In this case, it is helpful to outline the topics you want to cover like chapters in a book, so that after you complete the series of articles or blogs, you turn them into a book. I have done both. In some cases, I have taken chapters or sections with several chapters from my books to create a series of articles or blogs, and then I have posted links to Amazon where people can buy the complete book. In other cases, I have listed a variety of topics to write about and turned them into chapters of a book, such as for a series of books I wrote on writing, producing, and distributing a film.
5. Turn your book into an online course or webinar. This approach is ideal if you have a non-fiction topic. Today, the earnings from online courses and webinars is even greater than for selling single books. Selling books through courses and webinars is much like the way speakers use books for credibility and engage in back of the room sales to sell their books. But the big money is in the charge for attending the workshop or seminar.
Even if you are not a speaker, you can turn your book into an online course or webinar using video, text-to-voice technology, and other tools. The way to do this is to think of your book as the title of the course. Then, you turn chapters into modules which feature a series of short videos presenting different parts of each chapter. There are a number of online platforms that feature online courses, such as Teachable or Udemy, or you can set up the course on your website or put private videos on YouTube. Then, use the social media and traditional publicity to draw attention to your course. That’s what I’m doing in turning a series of books on writing, distributing, and producing films into a course for a film school, where the books will be included as part of the course. Once the course is up and running, I will be promoting it with the help of a virtual assistant doing social media postings and with a publicist setting up articles and interviews with the print and broadcast media.
In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.
I am especially impressed by the work of Malcolm Gladwell, a Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker. Besides being a staff writer for the New Yorker for over two decades, Gladwell has written six books based on current social issues. These include The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, published in 2000; Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, published in 2005; and Outliers: The Story of Success, published in 2009. Others are David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, published in 2014; and Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know, published in 2019. His first five books have been on The New York Times Best Seller List. I’m especially impressed by the way he has taken research in the social sciences and psychology and made it of interest to a general audience. Also, he has been consistent in the type of books he has written and in publishing a new book every four or five years. The lessons that can be learned from his approach are to focus on a particular subject area, and then to consistently come out with new material to build on your previous work on this topic. That way you develop a brand identity and stay current.
I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?
When I first heard the term “thought leader” about ten years ago, it seemed to refer to a more rarified type of individual who was at the top of their field as a well-known leader, speaker, expert, or authority. But in the last few years, I have heard the term more generally promoted by marketing people who are seeking clients who want to be considered thought leaders in their field. So I think the term has become democratized to refer to anyone with ideas who wants to build their platform. That’s the way I have used it here. I think it’s fine to continue to use the term, recognizing that it has evolved, as occurs with other popular terms. So now the term has become synonymous with other terms that acknowledge a person’s impact or influence based on their ideas. For example, some synonyms might be an “expert”, “authority”, or even “influencer”, since the term “influencer” doesn’t have to refer more narrowly to social media influencers, who have many thousands or millions of followers.
What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?
My advice to thrive and avoid burnout is this. Allow yourself time each day to take breaks from whatever work you are doing, so you have a chance to relax or do something different that you like doing. For example, you might use about 10–20 minutes to engage in meditation or physical exercises. You might have a snack and read the daily paper. You might shift from one work project to another one that involves less concentrated effort. Or perhaps email or call some friends or family members during your break-time. I do all of these things to break up my writing or editing on a particular project. Then, I return refreshed and ready to go on for another hour or two.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Now that video has become such a popular and powerful way to share ideas and highlight more in-depth materials on a topic, I would encourage educating everyone in creating and using video. Then, individuals can use these videos to create a dramatic introduction to a book, course, article, or other materials on a topic. Also, they can turn the highlights of their research, writing, or other projects into videos.
Once created, their videos might be shared in various ways, so they don’t get lost among the millions and millions of videos on YouTube. For example, a new website might be set up that is devoted to informational and introductory videos, with these videos organized by topic and with links to a more complete book or discussion on the topic. There might be groups, much like on Facebook and Twitter, where individuals can lead a discussion based on their book. They can then invite group members to submit other ideas inspired by their video. Another possibility might be setting up an annual competition in which individuals submit their videos in different categories for awards. These might be offered for the most powerful video, the most creative video, and so forth. As the movement grows, these awards might be given out to videos in different languages.
I have made these recommendations based on my own experience in creating a variety of videos on different subjects. This include informational videos with highlights from different books and films I have published or produced and other kinds of promotional videos.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
What immediately comes to mind is Nike’s quote “Just Do It,” which was coined in 1988 as an advertising campaign. This helped Nike increase its share of the domestic sports shoe business from 18% to 43% in the next decade from 1988 to 1998. Its sales increased from $877 million to $9.2 billion in sales around the world.
Although that quote didn’t directly inspire me to do what I have been doing from the early 1960s to the present, it represents the philosophy I have followed through the years. From early on, I decided what I wanted to accomplish. Then, I did what I needed to do to make that happen.
For example, I used to be very afraid of speaking, but I wanted to get a job as an assistant professor at West Georgia College near Atlanta, so I joined Toastmasters and learned how to speak in public. Though I still wasn’t fully confident, I went for an interview and using the techniques I learned at Toastmasters, I acted as if I was confident, and I got the job.
I also gained success as a game designer beginning in the late 1960s. While I was working as a research project director in advertising, I designed a series of games. I also set up and ran a club called The American Games Association which provided a way to test out these games. However, this was a time when women weren’t expected to run companies, so I introduced myself as an assistant to the president who I named David Franklin, and I went around the country meeting executives at the major toy and game companies. I also began to go to toy fairs and gift Shows in New York, where I lived at that time. I acted as if I was confident and knew what I was doing, with the result that I eventually had two dozen games published by different companies.
In the same way, I began writing books and creating workshops based on them, starting in the 1970s and 80s. Though I had never done such workshops before, I just decided to do it, and I acquired the knowledge I needed to do it.
This same approach worked when I began writing scripts and decided to produce films. I did what I needed to do to learn how to produce short films and make contacts in the film industry. Later I found the funding and team to work with to make feature films, documentaries, and TV series.
In short, “Just do it,” has been a guiding principle throughout my life even before it became the Nike slogan. Today I still use that principle in deciding what I want to achieve and determining what I need to do to make that happen. Then, I take the necessary action to achieve that goal. It is a principle I teach to others in the workshops and seminars I give today on writing books and scripts, creating films, and applying these principles to whatever one wants to do in their life.
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
I would love to meet Joe Biden. I admire him for his qualities of care, compassion, empathy, and a desire to help others. His approach is to be inclusive and accepting of others, and he embraces the differences of all people. Also, I admire his determination to do what is needed to achieve his goals. For example, he suffered from stuttering as a child, but he learned how to overcome that affliction, and he chose a path in politics that required him to speak to other leaders and to large groups. Additionally, he has shown strong organizational skills in bringing together a skilled team, and he welcomes having successful, accomplished people around him, such as in choosing Kamala Harris to be his Vice-Presidential running mate.
He has also been bringing in skilled people for various roles in his administration, such as Chief of Staff and the head of his Transition Team. Additionally, he has stayed calm and steady and encouraged the American public to do the same, in spite of Trump’s efforts to discredit his win and withhold the funds and access to White House offices from his transition team. He has found work arounds to get the needed information. At the same time, he has shown a sense of humility and wisdom in not trying to brag about his win as a challenge to Trump. And he has been ready to reach out to show he wants to accept everyone, including those who didn’t vote for him, in order to have as peaceful a transition as possible. I think his kind of leadership is very much needed at this time, when we need a healer in chief to bring together our fractured nation.
So, for these many reasons, I would very much like to meet with Joe Biden for lunch or breakfast, or just for coffee.
How can our readers follow you online?
My online links include these:
Publishing and Writing: www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com
Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.