Welcome To The Join Up Dots Business Coaching Podcast With Joshua Lisec
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Introducing Joshua Lisec
Joshua Lisec is today’s guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
He has built his business by bringing the worlds desire for published success onto the book shelves of the world, against staying on their pc’s as unfinished masterpieces.
As he says “If you’re like most of my clients, you know SO much about your topic that you don’t know where to start, what to put where, and how to tie it all together into something people actually want to buy.
Book publishing is worth $120 BILLION globally.
The industry rewards preparation—not motivation.
How The Dots Joined Up For Joshua
I’m a Ghostwriter. AKA, a professional book writer who captures an author’s voice, helps you hone your ideas so they’re publishing-ready, and polishes the hidden gems in your manuscript…all without injecting my own opinions or views into your book.
On top of that, I’m the first and only Ghostwriter on the planet to use writing analytics software (Stylometric Analysis) to capture and authentically recreate an author voice.
When we partner on your book, we’ll get your ideas on paper in your voice.
So is a book a vital part of the business branding, or just pandering to the entrepreneurs ego?
And where do most people go wrong when trying to do this themselves, the writing or the actual process of marketing the book?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Joshua Lisec.
During the show we discuss such major topics with Joshua Lisec such as:
Joshua shares how his dream in college was to be a published author, which has led him after turning down many opportunities to help the world get published.
We talk about the “stay in your lane” advice that so many people get given in their lives which is a crock. You dont just drive in a straight line, so why should your life be that way?
How the talent stack is one of the most powerful concepts that you can bring into your life. Join up your strengths and passions and make something unique.
Why it take as much effort to sell a $50,000 product as it does a $50 product. So ramp up your prices, and provide the right value to the right place.
How To Connect With Joshua Lisec
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Joshua Lisec Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David, Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Good morning to you. Well, good morning, wherever you are. Hopefully it’s nice and warm for you. At the moment, I’m looking out my window. And it’s if it’s beyond freezing, I’ll be amazed. But it’s a lovely crisp day. And it makes me pleased to be where I am talking to today’s guest. Because today’s guest is he is doing something that’s quite different. Really, he’s built his business by bringing the world’s desire for published success onto the bookshelves of the world. Again, staying on their PCs as unfinished masterpieces. Well, you might think that’s normal, but you’ll see later bit different. As he says, if you’re like most of my clients, you know so much about your topic that you don’t know where to start, what to put where and how to tie it all together into something people actually want to buy. Now book publishing is worth 120 billion globally, the industry rewards preparation and and not motivation. I’m a ghost writer, whoo, different topic goes, aka a professional book writer who catches an author’s voice helps you hone your ideas. So they’re publishing ready, and publishes the hidden gems in your manuscript over that injecting my own opinions or views into your book on top of that, and this is where it gets sexy on the first and only ghost writer on the planet to use writing, analytics, software style and metric analysis to capture and authentically recreate an author voice. When we partner on your book, we get your ideas on paper in your voice. So a book is part of the business branding, obviously, just pandering to the entrepreneurs ego. And where do most people go wrong when trying to do this to themselves? The writing the actual process of marketing the book? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start join up dots with the one and only Mr. Joshua Lisec. Morning Joshua, how are you sir?
Joshua Lisec [2:13]
I am pumped to be here Brian early David, how are you?
David Ralph [2:17]
I’m very well I’m very well knowing what Americans like and Americans always try to outdo as English people. I’m looking out my window, a clear blue sky. Very cold bit of snow on the ground. I bet you’ve got about six feet of it up here at the moment, Joshua.
Joshua Lisec [2:32]
Here in the Midwest, it’s more cold than snowy. I believe it’s it would be about minus 25 Celsius. So it’s pretty rough.
David Ralph [2:45]
And is that something because I always think somebody like yourself has created a business. But is I imagined transferable maybe it’s not were discussed that in the show. But does it not make you want to move your family to somewhere where you can wear shorts every day?
Joshua Lisec [3:03]
You know, sometimes it does, but my wife is that is the type of person where she she likes the cold. She likes the chili. She likes the windy. So if I could jab right back at you, we thought what’s the coldest rainiest place we could go? This is the question we asked ourselves for that for our honeymoon. So it came to London. your honeymoon? What? Why? Oh, and rainy and April? Yeah. Why? I can’t
David Ralph [3:27]
imagine. So let’s talk about your business. Because that’s why we’ve got you here you obviously a quite a Sparky, perky person, you can just hear it. It’s 545 in America at the moment in the morning, and you’re up and about, you’re ready to go. Is it a business? That is the right business for you? I tell you what I’m asking that more and more that I’m seeing over the time, you can build a business that will fail. And more often than not, it’s because it’s the wrong business for you. It doesn’t play into your talents, your strengths, your personality. Is this the right one view?
Joshua Lisec [4:02]
I believe so. And I’ll tell you why. When I was back in college, few years ago, my dream was to become a published novelist. I wanted to promote my books and tell stories, blah, blah, blah. And that’s exactly what I did. Most people go through life, I think it’s 82% of us, we go through life and say I want to write a book someday. Well, before I was 20, I wrote two. And I got both of them published through a publishing house and Washington DC accomplished Reno two times over a lifelong goal for most people. And as I was going about promoting those books, business professionals in my network that saw me promoting my books, they thought, hey, this good, maybe I’ll check out his books read them. They read my novels. And they came back to me and said, You know, I want to write a book, too. I don’t want to write a novel. But I want to tell the stories of my life that have been meaningful to me, and maybe other people can learn from those lessons. Can you help me out with that? I thought, well, no, I’m a novelist. Why would I want to do that? And yet they were persistent. They kept saying, you know, Joshua, I would really like someone to help me with with my book. And you’re the guy want to help me with my book, because I want to be a compelling read, like it’s a novel, a page turner story. And eventually I caved in. And that was going on about eight years ago now. And it was probably the best decision I’ve made in my in my professional career is pivoting from writing my own works at helping other people because in a way it it sort of became addictive for me, because what storytellers love to do, we love to tell stories. And most of all, we love it when they resonate with people. So every day, I’m talking to industry leaders, I’m talking to billionaires, I’m talking to philanthropists, executives, investors. And when I am writing something that’s deeply personal to them. And this is a story and weaving it in such a way that it’s a page turner, the first one reader who gets to see that work I’ve produced is, of course, my client, and to see those moments where they’re, they’re choking up, right, they’re actually tearing up a little when they’ve read the chapter, and they say, Joshua, I couldn’t have read this written this better myself, I’m reading this. And it’s like, you’re inside of my head, I can’t even tell that even I work with a ghost writer, this is exactly what I want to say this is the best version of this story. So it wasn’t playing a for me, I wanted to be a novelist, but it’s just so rewarding and fulfilling both personally and professionally, to work with, work with aspiring authors and help them get their books out there. into the world. So I think it’s a great fit in terms of a profession for my existing talents. And also my my desire to have stories written that resonate with with people on a on a deeply emotional level. And then, of course, when I see all of the, you know, glowing five star reviews that my clients books gets, that’s even and more rewarding, because you know that, that that praise does reflect back on the work that I’ve done for them. So it’s it’s a rewarding, fulfilling job. Plus, I get to say that I’m the first certified Ghost Rider in my state, and the only one who does it the way that I uniquely do it. So it’s a it’s a great fit, I have to tell you,
David Ralph [7:20]
what interests me about what you were saying there was that moment when the first person came to you and said, You know, I want your help. Because I think most of us and I’m, I’m putting my hands up here big time, Joshua, most of us will move forward in a path without actually taking but dots with us and taking the skills that we’ve already got. When I was a corporate guy, I was a trainer, I used to stand up doing training, I used to do coaching and mentoring. Then when I moved into this, the last thing that I wanted to do was bad. I thought, well, I’ve done that. It’s not what I want to do, I’m moving forward. But now I just see that income stream are everywhere, but so closely linked to what I’m doing anyway, why not do them? Do you look at yourself now and think the same thing? I don’t know why I was pushing back on that, really? Because it was so close. Was I scared? Was I nervous? Why do you think he did that?
Joshua Lisec [8:19]
I think the initial pushback for me is that I hadn’t quite understood the possibility that my skills or my my natural inborn talents actually had. Here, here and here in America, as millennials, you know, millennial generation, we, we were always told that you get one skill, you get one career, you get one degree in that and you just stay there for 40 years. So I had sort of that one track mind that various thought leaders in society, were saying this is what you want to do, you want to stick with one track, you want to stay there, and you don’t want to get out of that lane. stay in your lane is the is the phrase, well, that is piss poor advice, whether it’s for a young person, for a middle aged individual who’s thinking about restarting a career in a different industry. I recently read a book that I wish I would have read, you know, many years ago when it first came out by the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, Scott Adams. And the book was called How to fail it almost everything and still win big. That’s a kind of a catchy title. And there’s a concept that Scott introduces in that book called the talent stack, which is that most people try to build up one talent, they want to be the best at one thing, whether they want to be the best Python programmer, they want to be the best, let’s say thriller, fiction, novelist, whatever the case may be. But in this book, Scott introduces the idea that if you combine a few above average talents, not like excellent top of the world, the best 1%. But if you’re like in the top 10%, maybe in a few different skills that are somewhat unrelated that other people don’t have, then you can have a unique talent stack, that no one else has an offer that to your clients, and you become a unique experience. It’s a it’s a truly interesting way to build a unique selling proposition through your personal brand. So for me, what that looked like, and this was unintentional, is I had the accomplishment of being a two time published novelist. That of course, means I had the talent obviously, to write a page turning, thrilling story. I also have a business communications background in marketing, promotion, writing direct response, sales pages, sales letters that have done extraordinarily well. I’ve been published all over the internet, on how to write compelling copy for your business for your product launches. And then when you combine that kind of promotional mindset, that that marketing mindset, and you add it into the the talent, the art of ghost writing and creating material and someone else’s voice, throw in a project management talents, make everything come together to successfully produce the deliverable that’s now available in 60 countries worldwide. That becomes quite a compelling talents deck that a lot of my clients are, either when they talk to me, they’re like, Joshua, I’ve never spoken with someone who writes books. Yet, the so much more, right? Yeah, this is this is this is amazing. So that’s a piece of advice that I wish I would have gotten at least 10 years ago, the idea of the talent stack, and that if you have these seemingly disparate or disconnected talents, all woven together, and if you’re aware of them, you can combine them into an incredible personal brand, that no one else in your industry can match. I’m sure you have your own unique talents that David, I mean, you said you’re the trainer, how many other trainers have, you know, five years going super successful podcast that that helps people, you know, dig into their their past? I mean, that right, there is example of two talents and your talents back.
David Ralph [11:58]
Yeah, I think you’re absolutely. And now I would say there’s about five or six talents that I’ve got, which have always been with me, but I couldn’t see the avenue for it. So for our for our listeners out there, this talent stack, great idea. How did I decipher in your way, Joshua, what their talent stack is, because most people will just look at you blankly by so sort of programmed of doing what they need to do, the alarm goes off, they have a shower, by brush their teeth, get on the train, they go to work, and they sit in an office. And they always say I haven’t got any talents. I just do this. How do you think they would go about it?
Joshua Lisec [12:36]
You know, that’s an almost identical question to one that I get a lot from offers, which is, you know, Joshua, I really want to write a book, I want all the benefits that come from writing a book and having the book on my industry. But I don’t know if I have, you know, enough ideas. I don’t know how I don’t know if I have enough unique lessons. So it’s that same sort of self questioning that I get. And on the issue of talent stack, I think it’s the same as you have enough good ideas to write an entire full length book. And that is, I always like to reference what’s called the Dunning Kruger effect. It’s one of the many cognitive biases that trip us up and hold us back without us knowing it. So for any of there, any of you who are suffering from this, we will we will solve this for you once and for all. So the Dunning Kruger effect goes like this. The people who are most competent at what they do tend to be the least confident in their capabilities. Whereas the people who are least competent tend to be the most confident in their capabilities. And I’m sure we can all think of about 10 happy, sleazy marketers, who don’t know crap about their industry, yet they have these massive marketing budgets, and they fleece a lot of people, yet the best kept secrets in the industry, are the people who you’re probably be charging $500 an hour, or what have you. Yet, they’re under charging, they have so much experience so much inborn talent, that it doesn’t seem like it’s special or extraordinary to them. So late looping back around to Motown stack, and books. I think the reason why I resisted the first client who was an inventor, mine, you have the world’s first technology of its kind in his industry. I think the reason I resisted him and his request to help him write his book and me help him was I was thinking, well, anybody can write a book. It’s easy. I’ve written two and I’m, I can’t, it’s not even legally able to drink alcohol. Yes. I’m not one of those, those whiskey chugging writers that you would kind of imagine who’s got a cigar, and they’ve got a glass half full of some sort of adult beverage there. You know, that wasn’t even me. I couldn’t even drink it. I here I had written two novels. So I have thought, you know, anybody can do this. Not that. You don’t need my help. But I was I was very wrong about that. So I would be on probably the first side of that, that Dunning Kruger effect, which a lot of people are, I think, who are truly expert at what they do. And so when I’m talking to authors, and they say, Well, I don’t really have any unique ideas, I really want to book but I’m just concerned, it’s not going to be anything people want it, you know, half an hour into the conversation, we usually find five gems, just in the first half an hour that either they have a unique take on, they have advice that goes counter to everyone else in their industry that works, or they have an incredible motivating story, unlike anything that’s out there right now that people would definitely be willing to read based on what we’ve seen in the past track record. So I think a great place to start for the for the talent stack is what have you already accomplished that to you? Doesn’t didn’t even seem like it was maybe a unique accomplishment that you didn’t get a whole lot of praise for it. You did it. I mean, for me, you know, I wrote the two novels before I was, you know, that was 20 years old. And, you know, yes, I was wanting to be a novelist, but I discounted the value of being able to write a professional quality, marketable, saleable, profitable book. And it was only because people kept asking me, Hey, can you help me do this to that? I realized, well, maybe I’m maybe I’m, I’m onto something here. So if that’s a question, you heard, Hey, can you help me with this? Can you help me with that? Maybe if you’re, you’re still in the eight to five, the nine to five life and maybe you’re in one department, you have a knack for something that maybe you’re the manager of another department, or someone else on a different team keeps asking you, Hey, can you take a look at this? Hey, I can get your advice on this. Hey, what’s your opinion on this? Hey, can you uh, you know, give me your insight on this project? And it’s something that seemingly unrelated to the work that you do, maybe you haven’t even realized you have that talent yet? yet? People keep asking you, that’s one of those, those clues that Do you have a talent in your talent sec, that you haven’t realized? That you have? Did that ever happened to you, David, when when you were training that people would ask you, Hey, can you help me out with this? Can you give me some insight on this, and you just found yourself, you know, intuitively able to help them without even thinking about it?
David Ralph [17:15]
I think one of the problems that I had and yes, people used to ask me because I made it look easy, I would just get up in front of people. And I would just make it seem like I was making it up. But of course, there was a hell of a lot of preparation. And so a lot of people wanted to know, the effortless route, they wanted to know, how do I become like that. And I used to say, put the work in, you put the work in and you do the crappy presentations, and you do the brilliant ones. And you do you know, you just have to keep on doing it to find your thing. But a lot of people don’t want that a lot of people want the easy route. They want to know, how do I get from there to there. Now, if you are providing that in your business, as you are Joshua, you’re providing that transformation bridge, that is the true value. And that’s where your price has to match up. Are you taking somebody from a position to where they want to be effortlessly? Has your promises without? I’m not interested in how much you tell us to be honest. But has your prices gone up over that period? Because you’ve realized the transformation transformational bridge that you’re creating?
Joshua Lisec [18:22]
Yes, they’ve gone up by a factor of 10 since I started.
David Ralph [18:26]
And do you look back on it? And you go, actually, if I was more competent, if I was not a sleazy guy that you were talking about, but I had the competence of the sleazy guy, I could have got their back much quicker? Or did you just have to keep on going through that journey of another 5% another 4% and adding it up?
Joshua Lisec [18:47]
Yeah, I think for me, because I was I was on the one side of that that cognitive bias where it just came easy to be in like that, well, you know, I don’t want to overcharge people, I have all these these these these fears around, you know, right wanting to make sure everyone was super happy with it, that they felt like they got a great deal. That that showed me that if I’m not charging the industry standard for certified ghostwriter, then the author isn’t going to respect the work, they’re not going to respect their story, they’re not even going to use the book for all of it, for all of its benefits. So when you are looking at a book, as an investment, not as a sort of, Oh, it’s a nice to have personal brand to all spend a few hundred dollars on it, whatever. But as this cornerstone of your business, the key that opens all the doors to greater opportunities, you value that so much more when you are paying a fair price for it. And so that’s something I wish I would have realized early on is that the psychology of pricing, it’s not just for you, the services provider, it’s the person that you’re working with. And so I tend to find myself nowadays, working with people who understand that who aren’t, you know, afraid to, to drop a large sum of money, a small fortune on other projects and their business, they have that investor mindset, where they see the possibilities, that something like a book can do for them. And they say, Joshua, whatever it takes, we’re going to make this happen because I know how valuable it can be. And one of my clients, she got a 70 times return on her investment. So looking at maybe I should have charged her more.
David Ralph [20:23]
You should have done but she paid the money. And so she got the rewards, but you what you will find in business as you would have done Joshua, you go cheap, you get crappy customers, and they just try to sort of grind you into the ground. And they don’t turn up at the right time. And it’s just, it’s onerous. I always say to people charge premium, reduce your workload by a half or by three quarters, and make more money in the in the long term, and everyone’s happy. But you’ve got to go through that journey as well. Don’t you as difficult, you know, I’m at a point in my business as you are. I’m doing great. I’m loving it. It’s very profitable. But there was a time when I was running around for $60 birth, you know, three days work. It was it was terrible time.
Joshua Lisec [21:09]
Absolutely, absolutely. I found that the effort, the energy to sell a $50 product, there’s actually more energy and effort than if you’re selling a $50,000 product. I know it’s strange. But that’s what I found as the the truth, it’s easy to sell a $50,000 product and a $50 product.
I wish I would have understood that 10 years ago.
David Ralph [21:37]
Play some words now then we’re going to come back to that because that is a big mindset shift. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [21:43]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [22:09]
powerful stuff. So normally, I asked a question based upon that sound clip. But today, it takes as much effort to set a $50 to 50,000. Now that sort of counter intuitive most people will go No, no, surely got to start with a $50. Explain yourself, Joshua, please.
Joshua Lisec [22:27]
I think you already gave the answer a few moments ago when you said that when you charge cheap prices, you tend to attract a cheaper people who are who are looking for a great deal. Maybe I can give some more context around this. I want to I want to loop in my my wife. She’s the vice president of the entrepreneurs wordsmith my company, and one of her main main work experiences in the past has been in high end health and wellness, retail product management, quite a mouthful there. But But basically, as as a storm manager of health and wellness company. Basically the the products that she had on her store shelves, were anywhere from two times to 10 times or even more expensive than what people could get at the at the local grocery store. And she found that the people who are used to shopping at your Walmart’s of the world will come in and say, Oh my god, how can you charge so much for this price? Oh, this is? This isn’t a good deal. I’m out of here. And those are the people who tend to ask the stupidest questions. So like, something, something along the lines of, well, my doctor says I shouldn’t take vitamin C, can you convince me Why should take vitamin C, that sort of honorary attitude. But the people who came in realizing that they were investing in their health, your family’s health? They didn’t ask those sorts of questions. They said would say things like, I believe it’s, you know, it’s it to boost my immune system I want to take, you know, more vitamin C, can you recommend the best brand for for me and help me find out what you know which one’s going to be best for my family, they had that sort of investor mindset, again, where they decided that the results of the product, in this case, let’s say an immune support product, were going to be way more than anything that they would spend on it. And they wanted to talk to the people who are the experts at the best of the best of the best. Plus, they knew that the customer experience would be so much better and that they weren’t paying, let’s say 10 times more two times more whatever, on the on the product, as part of the price they were paying for this fantastic experience with a knowledgeable staff who could help guide them to the right brand, the right amount, and help make those those proper recommendations. And I found something very similar in my line of work where with the $50 product, you seem to get every objection on the planet, even up to you know, something as simple as like, Well, you know, I don’t like watching videos, send me those those audio he sent me them an audio format mp3. Actually, no, not mp3, I don’t like mp3, can you send it in a WAV file? Ridiculous expectation that you’re going to bend over backwards for their $50, they just gave me and put in an extra five hours just for them. Whereas let’s say with a $50,000 product that all ghost writing services are in that range that some are for sure. The question that they have more so along the lines of is, you know, I know the value of having a book in my business, I know that it can, let’s say one of my clients, he’s used his book to build a million dollar product launch. In his case, his questions were more so around the process, and understanding how I could help him go every step of the way from idea through his book being available worldwide. So I found that the questions that people ask whether they’re at the $50 level or the $50,000 level, they’re quite different. You know, it’s it’s, it’s so interesting working with someone who has that, that scarcity mindset, that’s what of a consumer mindset versus someone with that. That investor mindset, that abundance mindset. So that’s not necessarily universal. But I have definitely found that that’s that seems to be more so the case when people are willing to pay more. It’s because they understand the value of what they’re they’re getting, whether it’s health and wellness products, like my wife was selling two years ago or, or myself with certified ghost writing services.
David Ralph [26:27]
So with your wife, and with you, are you both part of the business, you’re working together? Has it become easy to have your business partner is your wife? Or does it cause problems where you can’t quite leave it behind? It’s not like you shut the office door and, and step away is worth your time?
Joshua Lisec [26:48]
That’s an interesting question. I’ve always wondered how I would answer that when I got that question someday. You’re the first to ask it. But I think what I’ve, what I’ve come to experiences, it’s definitely been better our marriage, quite frankly, because up to about 200 years ago, the entire history of our species was a family business. Yeah, you know, that the Father has one would have he would be hunting and gathering and then bringing the food back home and preparing it and then the the wife, the mother that would then take it and take it, you know from there. So that’s sort of division of labor inside of a family was common pre Industrial Revolution. So we kind of feel like we’re getting back to the roots of our species that brought us from caves to skyscrapers here. So that’s been fantastic. And being around one another, we get to put our skills together, we get to solve problems for one another, we we have our strengths, working together covering over one another’s one another’s struggles or mindset blocks. So that’s been fantastic. But in terms of what’s been so interesting for me is that it’s so natural to work with work with lice by spouse. It was it was an adjustment initially, because we have an infant son. And so I joke that he’s the unpaid intern, the family business, maybe I’ll take it over someday. And he’ll be the next certified ghostwriter for sure. But it’s been a blast for us to be able to work together and see how my wife coming from a different industry has been able to really pour in value into the business and, and for our clients. So it’s definitely been been a blast, we have a couple of home offices that we work out most of the time, we have that division of labor, we know who’s supposed to be doing what, and it’s kind of an organic experience, you know, we do what needs to get done, keep the clients happy, take care of our family, it’s all good.
David Ralph [28:43]
Because I’ve got a wife who every now and again says you know, I should work with you. I don’t think it means I don’t have to go and do what I do. And I say you know, I don’t think you’d like it. I don’t you need social interaction you need to be with customers, you need to be out and about. And I know that her talents and strengths are being with people in a in a live environment. Most of my work, probably 80% of my work is online where I connect on zoom or coaching and stuff. You’ve got to know what your strengths are, don’t you, you got to know what makes you come alive. And just the ability to have your own business, once again may not necessarily be your right business, if it doesn’t view you with what you need.
Joshua Lisec [29:27]
That’s that’s totally, totally fair. I think in my wife’s case, she’s thriving inside of the business. Because I think of one of her maybe underutilized talents in her talent stack. So in addition to the high end retail store management experience she has, she has experience. And then on the New York City theatre scene, both as an actress, a performer, stage manager, doing a lot of shows going back 10 1015 years or so, that was her first kind of career path before working away back to back to Ohio here. And so she has an intuitive, I guess you could say, understanding of what, in raptures, what, from the stage, pulls the audience in and makes them not look away and not focus on anything else, but the lines that the performer is delivering. And so that sort of intuitive storytelling capability that she has, she brings to her role as the editor of the manager of editorial services here where you know, she can look at a first draft, maybe we’re looking over some notes that an author client has sent over. And she can look at, oh, this is going to be the most powerful angle to tell the story from and it works. And so for her, it’s like second nature, which is probably why she had, you know, thought of it before, before we met and she’s going to work inside of my business. So I just wonder how many other potential husband wife power teams out there are not necessarily recognizing each other’s talents and talents that can how they can join forces and create something powerful. But at the same time, if one person is happy to work over the Internet, and have a one on one interaction with people digitally, and the other person is more so that that extrovert who wants to be around people in real life, it is really important to be in a role that makes you come alive, that sustains you that makes you feel fulfilled. And so when my wife’s working on something, and I look it over, and I say wow, I this is amazing. That that response for me just lights her up. And so it’s a it’s a it’s a fun, fun experience. It’s a fun family business, it is definitely fulfilling for us to all be able to to work together.
David Ralph [31:40]
And with the ghost writing business, I understand how it works. But is it just yourselves you know, have you got a ton of work coming through which you plow through Have you got staff scattered around the world, but sort of ghost write on your behalf.
Joshua Lisec [31:55]
We have a we have a team who take on different roles and responsibilities. So there’s a there’s a fellow named named Todd Herman here in North America out of New York City, Canada, depending on the time of year, when it’s not bitterly cold, I suppose he’s in he’s in New York City of anyway, Todd Herman’s kind of take on high performance on entrepreneurial mindset is the zone of genius. Now, he’s not the first to come up with it. But one of the things that he talks about is that when you’re the entrepreneur, the lead person who’s running the show, you want to be working only in your zone of genius. So what are those things that you do best inside of your business, that also produce the most profit for the business. And so for me, the two things that are my zone of genius, are creating that first draft of chapters from, let’s say, some raw transcript or some notes and offer sent over, maybe it’s 500 words, I turned that into a 2500 new word chapter, that is the best possible take on that authors ideas. So So turning, unconnected, kind of all over the place ideas into a coherent draft of a chapter, that’s one of my, I guess, you could say, tons of genius. And within that same zone of genius that I that I do inside of the business, is talking to aspiring authors and seeing how we can help them. Just having that kind of discovery, call them guiding them through the process. Those are two of the things that really make me come alive. And that’s what I do best. And other tasks like say, you know, formatting the interior of the manuscript, working on the book cover design, we have professionals on the team that we enlist for those steps of the process. So every person is doing either what what they’re best at what the most competent at, or what they enjoy the most. And therefore it comes easiest to eliminate produce the best version of bad and so we find that when each person is doing what they should be doing, more than anything else, um, it works really well. And there’s not many, many process hookups, we always finish on time with an expectation surpassing deliverable.
David Ralph [34:15]
And with that, it makes your life easier as well by You are the classic football coach where you’re getting the right players for the right tasks, you’ve got the offense, if you’ve got the defense attacking a new site, I just want you to do that. Don’t worry about anything else. Just do that and it makes your life easier.
Joshua Lisec [34:34]
Absolutely, absolutely. This is one of the one of the newest roles may be brought in. I this is the kind of the job title that I joke transcript janitor, who you know who takes a rod transcript of a call with an author where does all the the the US and the pole starts and circling back and whatnot. And this person acts as the transcript janitor, and they come in and make clean it up so that it’s actually readable and understandable. And I can work with that as as kind of raw source material for the first draft of a chapter or, or several chapters, and that makes my job easier, because then I get to spend my creative energies on what I do best, which is, which is turning those those disconnected ideas into something coherent, and concise, and truly creative.
David Ralph [35:24]
And is it a business that you think that the listeners, you know, could easily move into it? Is it is it something that if somebody is quite good at turning a word into a phrase into a sentence that ghostwriting might be a business for them always save a lot of upscaling? Is there a lot of training that’s required?
Joshua Lisec [35:44]
You know, there is quite a bit of a training I’ve had to do in terms of in terms of professional training. So California State University Long Beach, is the world’s first and only academically sponsored ghostwriting training program. It’s a basically it’s a master’s degree level program. There’s a lot of material that that goes into that. And the the dropout rate, as far as I know, is, is quite high. Because a lot of freelance writers come in saying, Well, I can make a lot of money at this ghost writing thing. And then they learn what it’s all about, and that it’s not about writing Well, it’s about writing Well, in someone else’s voice. Yeah, so it’s indistinguishable from anything else that they’ve written. That’s, that’s, that’s quite a, that’s quite a tall standard. Now, some people do have it have a knack for that, it does come naturally to them. And so that’s that people are people that end up in the program, but it’s not so simple, as, you know, taking your your talents and just putting them, you know, on to use for someone else. So for the right people, it’s a great fit. But there’s plenty of other forms of writing out there, like direct response copywriting, that’s quite a profitable field as well, I have a lot of colleagues who are direct response copywriter writers, that they can kind of write in the voice of a brand and working all those persuasion hooks like prestige, and urgency and edutainment, that needs to be on the sales page. And they and they do quite well. So that’s another profitable avenue of writing, I see a lot of freelance writers taking advantage of more and more.
David Ralph [37:19]
Well, let’s play some words. Now from the late Steve Jobs who created the whole format of the show you’re listening to today
Steve Jobs [37:25]
is Steve Jobs. Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [38:00]
Now, I think you’ve already confirmed that you look back and there’s been a lot of dots that have joined up in your life. Is there one that you really look back on even Wow, wow, if it hadn’t occurred? I don’t think I’d be where I was today. I am today.
Joshua Lisec [38:17]
Yes, I would say there’s there’s probably a tie. Between the moment when the first business professional came up to me and said, I love your book, can you help them? It’s mine, that I would have jumped on that and not, you know, put them off for a year. It was at least a year, maybe even two years where I said no, I know I’ll do my own stuff. Thanks. So definitely approaching that sooner that was one of those those top dots at one of the largest dots that I needed to join up. And then the other one that I didn’t realize what it would mean for me is when I left the corporate world, I said so long, I think I can make a go of this on my own. Well going on, it’s almost about six years since I since I made that decision, I kind of had writing as a as a side hustle and running my business on the side. But I had a lot of fear and anxiety and worry around giving up what I had been told for 20 plus years was the only way that you can be financially successful. And you can get your personal finances in order, which is that you work for somebody else in a stable job with a 401k you know, your retirement package, all that good stuff, eight to five, same stuff every day for 40 years. But I saw that the ladder of advancement was ridiculously short. And the rungs were missing and it was on fire. In my case, it was either get out now or get out in five years, when I would look back and say I’m going to regret this if I don’t do this now. And and so the fear and trepidation anxiety I had around doing so was unjustified. It turns out because I again, I overlooked so many of my existing talents in my talent stack that I didn’t realize that when I needed to be resourceful and you know scraped together an income or as I said in my my TEDx talk, create my dream job from scratch. That’s exactly what I did. And I already had everything I needed. In order to do that. I just hadn’t done it yet. I had connected the dots, so to speak. So that would be that would be the second second big dot that I’ve joined up that perhaps I didn’t realize it at the time.
David Ralph [40:30]
And I watched your TEDx talk. Very well done, sir. I applaud you. And it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because that dream job, as we’ve already said, in here, generally you live in to the dream job. You live by experience, you live by emotion, you live by trying things and thinking, I really enjoyed that. I’d love to be able to do that, again. It’s strange how that dream job then becomes so difficult to decipher.
Joshua Lisec [40:58]
It does, yes, yes. And I because when we hear the term dream job, we think being paid a salary. Many cases, we think working for a corporation, institution, and NGO, whatever the case may be, and it’s the dream job is out there, and other people are competing for it. And so if you land that dream job, you’re all set, right? So somebody else has to give that to you. But the way that I think an entrepreneur thinks about the dream job is a bit different. And that’s why I expanded it to creating your dream job from scratch, meaning that the talents that you already possess is what’s going to allow you to do that it’s going to allow you to work with the right people, you want to be working with providing them the services that that they want. And in many cases, the new talent, you’ll have to add to your talent stack. If you go from, you know, a ploy each entrepreneur is selling, its negotiating its pricing, its own the business development talents that you would find on a sales team. So I probably would have started there actually, many years ago, when I first thought about kind of transitioning out of the corporate world is learning all of those things. Of course, I did actually hire a sales coach, about a year after I left, I left the corporate world, it really helped me bolster my confidence and walking through the best practices of what a discovery call looks like. So I’m very glad that I made that call when I was so young, and realizing that, you know, being that I don’t necessarily have a whole lot of confidence in my services yet that I should have had, you know, looking back joining up the dots, it was pretty smart to hire a sales coach, I think you really helped me learn how to do that. But for those who are thinking, and they look at my dream job look like? I think the question more so is, what can I not imagine myself giving up? for me was writing. As I said, since I was in college, and even before I wanted to be a novelist, I wanted to tell stories, professionally. So to join up the dots looking back, I’m just now doing that in a different way. I’m doing what I wanted to do for over 10 years now, I just didn’t realize that certified Ghost Rider was the dream job that I would eventually be creating from from scratch here. But yet, it’s a perfect manifestation of my my talent stack. And so I think for a lot of people there who are listening right now, the first thing you probably want to do is being able to sell your talent stack, because it’s not going to sell itself. And so that ability to talk to someone to walk them through your process, and help them understand the benefits of the deliverables that they’re going to produce and how you’re going to take them from where they are to where they want to be using your services. You haven’t had to do that before. You’ve only had to sell yourself in an interview, you know, to get a job. But that’s it. That’s a powerful skill, a talent that you definitely want to add to your to your talents that if you thinking about going solo and becoming a solo printer, or an entrepreneur or an independent services provider.
David Ralph [44:16]
No, I agree. I agree totally. And this conversation could go on for the next three hours. And I’d never get bored of it. But this is the part of the show that I have been leading up to. And this is the bit that joins up your dots. It’s the Sermon on the mic, when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back and speak to the young Joshua, what age? And what advice would you give him? Well, let’s find out. I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Joshua Lisec [45:07]
Joshua, there are over 5 billion people who want to write a book right now on this planet. You’re sitting there in your cubicle, you’re wondering, will I be able to pay my bills the first month, after I leave this cubicle, I have to come back to this cubicle in three months. Well, I’ve been dragging myself here, like, like Jacob Marley, Scrooge, right? Coming up the steps with all my chains or whatever. And I’m thinking, you know, I’ve made so many mistakes, and I shouldn’t have left this, this was a big mistake, I should have been different. But no, Joshua 5 billion people want to write a book. And you only need a fraction of a fraction of a fraction for them to lead for you to make it when you’re working on people’s books. And you send them that very first chapter that you’ve worked on. And you see tears on their face. You see them choking up, you see them telling all their friends, you have to work with this guy to write your book, you’ve always said you wanted to write a book. This is the guy that you have to work with. You don’t expect that that’s going to happen. But it will, it’s time for you to realize just how valuable what it is that you have to offer. I mean, you’re just a kid who’s never been paid a whole lot you are promised the whole world you were promised that getting college degrees was going to help you get where you needed to be. Well, that’s not quite true. But everything you have done so far in your life has prepared you for this next step. All you have to do is take this step confidently step into your role as a professional ghostwriter. Someone who can walk people from jumbled ideas to a published masterpiece. You have the expertise, you have the experience. You have the talent to just go out there and do it son.
David Ralph [47:07]
Great advice. Joshua, what’s the number one best way for our audience who have been listening today can connect with you?
Joshua Lisec [47:15]
Head on over to entrepreneurs, wordsmith.com entrepreneurs is plural is a great tool. The very top of my website, it’s a book revenue calculator, it helps answer the question, is my business ready for a book Am I going to be able to make the return on investment on my book that I want. So it’s a cool calculator that will help you signs up your business right now to see if it makes sense to to launch your book entrepreneurs wordsmith.com,
David Ralph [47:44]
where I have all the links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Joshua, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our path, it’s the best way to build our futures. Joshua, thank you so much.
Joshua Lisec [48:01]
And thank you, David, it’s been a real blast today.
David Ralph [48:06]
Joshua Lisec, he was a passionate guy wasn’t a well, I didn’t get to know him that well. But at least over the cold I did. He’s in the zone of genius. He loves what he’s doing. And he is delivering that passion that that vision of potential to his clients. And that’s what business is all about is taking somebody from where they are to where they want to be as quickly as possible. And the more people you can do that for the more money you make, and the more you can charge for that the less clients you need. So the more time you get, it’s a really a groundswell. But as we were saying, you do have to go through that journey of setting out sort of $40 products and stuff to build up your competence. Unless of course you hire somebody and to teach you that mindset, leave that mindset, doorway, but you can move through very, very powerful stuff together, coach. Until next time, thank you so much for listening. Please let us know we haven’t had an email for a few days now. Please let us know where you’re listening to the show how we can help you. And you know, it’s the show for you is to help you drive forward to where you want to be. Until next time, I will look forward to the emails coming through to me I will respond to every single one. And I’ll see again, cheers, see ya bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.