Brad Meltzer’s Success Formula Decoded

Brad Meltzer is a New York Times best-selling author of numerous books including The Inner Circle, The Tenth Justice, and The Book of Fate.  His newest book, The Fifth Assassin will be released January 15th.

9780446553971In addition to his many thrillers, he has also written two non-fiction books and is the author of two critically acclaimed comic books.  He’s the co-creator of the TV show Jack & Bobby.  If you’ve never read his books, you may have seen him on Brad Meltzer Decoded on the History Channel.  And it doesn’t stop there.  He’s also created his own inspirational clothing line.

In this nine-minute video interview, we cover a number of topics:

  • What thriller writer inspired Brad to be a novelist?
  • How did the library influence his career?
  • How his career changed from lawyer to NYT best-selling author.
  • Where does he get his ideas?
  • What US President shared a private letter with Brad that he wrote for the new, incoming President?
  • How long it takes to write one of his thrillers
  • How he overcomes rejection and models resilience
  • How non-fiction writing is different than fiction
  • How his show developed for the History Channel

Five Success Factors

Knowing Brad and all of his many accomplishments, I decided to write down the first five “success factors” that came to my mind.  These may apply to Brad but clearly are important for success no matter what you do.

1.  Total immersion.  If you read the books or watch the shows, you will see it.  He becomes immersed in his work.

What Three Words Can Shape Your Future?

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Photo by Nico&CO on flickr.

A few years ago, Chris Brogan decided to pick three words to shape his year.  He says that the three words “sum up what you want to work actionably on changing/improving in the coming year.”  In 2006, his words were “Ask. Do. Share.”  This year, he chose “Walt. Ender. Monchu.” I know, not exactly intuitive, but the point is that you select what makes sense to you.

Many others jumped on board and picked three words.  Recently, I was reading Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation and noticed he picked three words (starvation, beyond, student).

MY THREE WORDS

This year, mine are health, love and listen.

1.  Health

True health is not only physical.  Health is something that encompasses the full you:  physical, spiritual, social, mental, and emotional.  It is something you pursue, a state where you keep negative forces at bay.  It’s more than the absence of sickness.  It’s also the presence of well-being.

2.  Love

How to Get Through to Almost Anyone with Soar Selling

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Photo by tgreyfox on flickr.

David and Marhnelle Hibbard have just released Soar Selling, a new book designed for anyone in sales.  And, in my opinion, all of us are in sales and can benefit from learning the techniques in books like this one.  The subtitle is, “How to Get Through to Almost Anyone-the Proven Method for Reaching Decision Makers,” but it’s more comprehensive than that subtitle suggests.  It’s a must read for anyone in the world of selling.

I recently had the opportunity to ask David and Marhnelle about SOAR and their observations of the world of selling.

First, what does the SOAR acronym stand for? Soar Selling

It stands for “Surge of Accelerating Revenue” because when organizations install SOAR… revenue ‘surges!’ – It’s about driving net new business.  Through years of training sales, we have seen client attrition in organizations, mergers, economic shifts, loss of major accounts, etc….as a result, it is critical to consistently drive new business to protect base revenue!  So SOAR is about driving strategic call activity to potential new clients.

As your subtitle suggests, you have methods for getting to decision makers in this book.  It’s impossible in a quick interview to delve into all of the tactics and methods for doing that, so we will briefly touch on that and then hit other areas.  What have you observed is the biggest problem for sales people reaching decision makers?

Multiple, but one of the primary is their “mindset.”  Salespeople often approach making the call with an attitude of “TRY” or even worse…“I don’t think I’ll get through – I’ll probably get blocked or the receptionist is out to get me.”

Mindset and attitude figure prominently in your teaching.  Tell us more about mindset. 

“If you think you can or your think you can’t …either way you are right.”  We teach the techniques of getting through and there is a specific formula SOAR reveals; however, the power of mindset and strategic SOAR mechanics ends up defining results!

5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers

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Photo by garyhutson on flickr.

The other day I shared my annual best book cover list.

Did you ever think that a book cover could teach powerful life lessons?  What’s the leadership lesson from a book cover?  Last year, I shared how they can help with goal setting.  This year, let’s consider what the great book covers teach us.

A great book cover teaches us to:

 

Be expressive.  The best covers communicate.  They may be bursting with color.  They convey ideas but also evoke emotion.  Winners are people who express who they are without reservation.

Be original.  There are many book covers that look the same.  Winners stand out.  Name five people who you would define as winners and leaders.  My guess is that you also describe them as independent and unique.

The Best Book Covers of 2012

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Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?

Admit it.  You’re walking past a row of books when something catches your attention.  You pause for a second, linger just a moment and, before you know it, you’re flipping through it and standing in line at a register.

Book covers can do that.  A well-designed book jacket invites you in.

Readers of this blog know that I love books and am surrounded by them.  Last year, my wife even surprised me with bookshelves in the last remaining room without them: our furnace room!  Yes, devices are terrific and mine get used plenty.  But, I love the feel of a real book and I enjoy the artistry of a good cover.

So, here is my list of best book covers for 2012.  (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2011.) Let me know your favorite.  And, if you see a great one in 2013, leave a comment here so we can consider it for next year’s list.

(See also 5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers.)

Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel

 

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What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

 

Whats Left of Me