Jim Murray

4 years ago · 5 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Hey You…Yeah You.…Wanna Buy My Book?


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"I wish I could write you a melody so plain

That could hold you, dear lady, from going insane

That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain

Of your useless and pointless knowledge."

                                              Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues

Author in Source Title

Social and business media sites are filled with people selling stuff. They’re selling skills. They’re selling advice. They’re selling optimism. They’re selling ideologies. They’re selling political points of view. And they’re selling books.
They have books by the ton. They have e-books. And real 3-D books. They have How-To books. They have Self-Help books. They have books that will teach you how to get more success out of your online experience. On Facebook. On Instagram. On Twitter. In The Lumpy Kingdom Of The Mighty Hamsters. And probably very shortly on beBee.
They have books about how to be better worker bees. They have books about how to get more production out of the worker bees you manage. And the list goes on.
There are so many of these books that you could literally spend the next fifty years reading them 8 hours a day 6 days a week. And when you get finished that all you’ll have is another 50 years of reading to do.

My Biggest Self-Help Influence Is In Between My Ears
Me

I’m not a big self-help book reader. I read a couple of books when I first started writing professionally. But honestly, I didn’t get much out of the experience.
A lot of the writers I know read mostly fiction. They don’t like getting advice from people they have never heard of. Because who is to say those people aren’t just full of shit? Writers are skeptical. Especially of other peoples’ motives in writing books if the self-help/motivational variety.

Small Business Communications For The Real World by Me

AN ONWORDS & UpwoRDS EBOOK

Small Business
Communications For

The Real World

A Mercifully Short, Very Practical Overview
On How Good Communications
Can Benefit Your New Or Growing Business

by Jim Murray

ONWORDS
&UPWORDS o)
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CREATIVE
communications (if
MANAGEMENT

905 937-9628 + www.onandup.ca * onandup3@gmail.com
I wrote a little ebook a couple of years ago. It was aimed at small businesses that had grown to the point where they needed to get out and find people like me to help them with their communications.
I didn’t write this book in a fit of philanthropic zeal. I wrote it as a piece of self-promotion. I wrote it so that I could get these people to understand just how to go about finding the people they need to find to help them. But it was always in the hope that they would read it and say to themselves, hey this guy’s got his shit together, let’s hire him.
The vast majority of the books that are written and flooding the market out there are basically the same sort of thing. They are self-promotional. Yeah, sure they can be read like self-help books if the reader chooses to see them that way. But at the end of the day, most of them are just 25 or 50 or 200-page brochures.
The Book Glut

There is something very distressing about the huge glut of books out there.
And I know there is a glut because if you visit some of the groups on LinkedIn where there are a lot of ‘authors’, you will constantly hear them seeking advice about how to get their ‘book’ off the ground. This, of course, leads me to believe that the vast majority of these books are stuck on the ground somewhere.
But I digress.
The thing that bothers me is that there are way too many people in social media telling other people that if they want to build their reputations, their perceived expertise and theoretically, their business, they should write a book.
The 80/20 Differential, (shortened down from the bulkier 80/20 Rule Of Almost Everything), states quite clearly that 80% of all the self-help books out there are crap.
This is mainly because 80% of the ‘authors’ out there are: a) Not exactly sure how to write a book and or b) Probably just lousy writers. Hell, I’m a professional writer with 40+ years of experience and my little well-written self-help book hasn’t done squat for me. It’s not an easy racket to be in, this book business.

The Hustlers..They Be Everywhere

A lot of people I know on LinkedIn and Facebook keep referring me to guys like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, who are allegedly a couple of the top entrepreneurial business gurus out there with books to flog.
I checked them out and honestly (and this is just my opinion) these guys both vaguely remind me of the very first hustle of this kind that I can recall.

The Classifieds Scam

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There was this guy. His name is Don Lapree, and he showed up right at the beginning of the infomercial era on television. He was kinda squirrely looking and you could tell he was up to no good.
He was the guy who was going to make you rich by showing you how to make millions from running little classified ads in the newspaper. He had a little book about it. And basically, the book was all about how to make money running little classified ads selling the book about how to run little classified ads to sell the book.
This guy blew my mind totally because I am a marketer and what he was doing was so pure and at the same time so full of shit that you just couldn’t help but admire the fact that he was doing nothing but taking your money and blowing smoke up your kilt in return.
It was pure genius. And I know that it made him rich because one of his subsequent informercials was shot on the deck of his huge yacht, where he was surrounded by a couple of bikini clad bimbos and looking very well-to-do. So, in the Trump era, what more proof do you need.
There are hundreds of hustlers like that out there in the ether. And they are there precisely because people are so freakin’ incapable of motivating themselves that they will glom onto just about anything to keep from sinking. Not everybody. But enough to keep the hustlers living well.
I used to watch all these Tony Robbins infomercials, not because I was any kind of fan of his, but because I was fascinated at the way he could spin his bullshit and get people are revved up, by actually not saying very much of anything.
But you know that stuff really has a very short half life after the performance is over. People leave. They read the book. They forget about it and revert to the state they were in before they went to their Tony Robbins show. Not everybody, but probably 80%.
The Real Motivators

The real motivators are rare as hen’s teeth. John F. Kennedy was a real motivator. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Jimmy Carter. Elon Musk. Mother Teresa. Gandhi. These are the big time motivators. They move people. They move mountains. They become movements.
And in just about every field you’ll find one or two of solid motivators. The people who are the icons.
And you know what? They don’t write self-help books. They motivate by example. They have the ideas. They do the work. They carry the stones. They create leaders. They inspire just by being who they are. They may have books written about them. Or they may write books about their industry…but self-help, not so much.

There Is No Self-Help Book Written That Will Really Change Your Life

Jim Murray, Strategist, Writer
& beBee Brand Ambassador
I work with small to mid-sized businesses,
designers, art/creative directors & consultants

to create results driven, strategically focused
communication in all on & offline medio

| om also @ communications mentor, lyricist

& prolific op/ed blogger Your Story Well Told
mail.com | Skype:
Why? Because changing your life is all about your own very personal commitment to doing whatever it takes to affect that change…and doing it yourself. A collection of words that someone wrote to try and motivate you can only go so far and, at best, it's just one influence of the thousand or so it takes to affect real change. The life changing stuff is all, and by all, I mean 100%, internally generated.
It's about mastering your craft.
It’s about figuring out your strategy and making contact with the people who you need to make contact with.
It’s about picking up that phone. Or sending that email. Or working that room at a network function.
It isn’t fervent devotion to the search for inspiration and hoping for the best. Because that's the magnet for the snake oil salesmen who are lurking behind every rock. I might even be one myself if you are so inclined to believe that. If you are you, can download my book, read it and hire me. LOL.

In Conclusion

Now I know that a lot of people will take issue with some of the things I have said here. But just remember my blog, my opinion. Your blog, hopefully your opinion.
That’s how it works out here in the big bad world.
But I do hope that, if nothing else, I have been able to impress on you that the most important kind of motivation you will ever experience in your life is the kind that itself-generated.
By all means, open yourself up to as many influence as possible, but don't delude yourself into thinkingthere is some magic button out there that you can push and start living the dream. It's 40 miles of bad road and hard learning before things start to show sighs of smoothing out. IMHO, of course.
Live long and prosper. jim out

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If your business has reached the point where talking to an experienced  communication professional would be the preferred option to banging your head against the wall or whatever, lets talk.

Download my free ebook

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Comments

Jim Murray

4 years ago #10

#16
I get more great tips having coffee with my friends. I have very tip-rich friends as I am sure we all do,
Jim Murray. I agree with you. I am not knocking self-help books because they are useful to some people. However, from my experience, I found some of the content "too good to be true", or "the old same stuff". This was one of my main reasons for losing interest in LinkedIn. Maybe I am too harsh but if I am going to take the time to read it, I want to learn something new and true. I want to be entertained, amused and awed. During my career in the insurance industry, I had to read constantly, which took away a lot of my wanting to read for enjoyment. I am taking more time, now that I am retired, to read beBee and WordPress posts because of the discussions and there is a variety of topics.

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #8

#14
And if only we could unerringly predict that right place and right time having developed the right contacts. Now if only major publishers paid authors reasonably...

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #7

#12
Rob, Some business books have a better "shelf life" than others. What I've found is that those that stay in print tend to be a little more on target and provide advice that translates to solutions to the real problems in business rather than the perceived "problem du jour." You write in an area that has been a problem forever in business and offer hope in your titles. One test of how good a title is when several other authors have copied the essence of it. "Perfect Phrases..." has been copied way too many times.

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #6

Writing a book? May the Farce be with you. Sorry Jim, but you hit a nerve. I've been one of those people that have recommended writing a book to a client. I tell them it is a substitute for a business card and should be given away the same way. I explain to them that in today's world a best seller has a print run of maybe 5000 and a whole lot of promotion. To make the New York Times best seller list means you had a PR machine really pumping and sold maybe the whole 5000. But is it right for them? Yes, because in some cases all it takes is a tribe or cult or whatever you want to call it that buys all your stuff to make you a business. ONe on-line practitioner says it takes a thousand. With some of my clients it takes only a handful (Price is a major factor). Want to know whether a self help book is worth the price? See how many reprints it has gone through. In order to get the attention of publishers, in other countries, my ex had only to pull out a current copy of her first major book. She would hand it to them open to the page showing printings and copyright information. When last I checked it had been in print for 25 years. That is like catnip for publishers. Most "jack 'em up and send them back into the world" books have a lifespan of months. So it is the long way 'round the barn but I agree with you except when you can go where the money is, have an offer that satisfies them and they keep coming back for more. It is not easy to do it more than once. JLF

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #5

Sound value contribution. Thanks Jim Murray

Martin Wright

4 years ago #4

It is a hard thing to start writing, i look at my first post and cringe - but i am also proud of it. I have found reading writers like yourself has helped me to find a way to express, to see what is acceptable and how to vary. But I have also learned it is okay to have a post not gain attention, e en if it contains some of your best writing. The shame about so many of the salesmen is they actually start some of their writing so well .

Jim Murray

4 years ago #3

#1
Thanks Kevin Pashuk. My work here is complete. I have saved one soul from writing a book. I know you see yourself as introvert. I read everything you post here and have concluded that I don't care. You have mastered this medium and quietly build a great Kevin brand. Introverted or otherwise, it doesn't matter if you can write.

don kerr

4 years ago #2

Jim Murray for that matter) turn you into a writer with their skills and style. But reading them can offer inspiration and insight into how creative imaging can be brought to life. Now, with regard to the Tony Robbins and Dale Carnegies of this world, I don't have much use for them. On the other hand there are 'self-help books' such as Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama that are genuinely inspirational. Then, on the third hand are the very many how-to-write and how-to-get-rich and how-to-get-thin tomes that are completely and utterly useless to me - at least those that attempt, on the writing front, to do more than Strunk & White Elements of Style!

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #1

I don't know what is in the water down on the quiet side of the lake, but it is sure making you prolific in your ponderings Jim. Another great post. I do have to admit that I was caught up in the "I'm writing a book" addiction for a while. It certainly resonated in those situations where an introvert is forced to make small talk. The enthusiasm disappeared when I stared analyzing 'why' I would write a book. There are better ways for the average person to get your voice out... like developing your writing skills on a platform such as this one.

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