I never wanted to be a writer. Let's get that out of the way up front. I never wanted to be a salesman either. Yet today I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life. How did that happen?
The simple answer is failure.
I wanted to be an actor. Failed. Then a photographer. Failed. Then a director. Failed. It wasn't until I failed four companies that I finally realized what was missing. I could create something great, but I couldn't sell something great.
For decades I avoided sales like the plague. I wanted to be an artist and leave selling to the other guys. I mean there were publishing companies and movie studios to sell your stuff, right?
Even if Random House buys your book, you are responsible for a huge part of the sales and marketing. You will be the one going on the book tours. You will be the one doing the interviews. You will be the one shaking hands and meeting fans.
You have to know how to sell. It took me a decade and $100,000 to figure that out.
Once that light bulb went off for me I learned everything I could about sales. I worked at Aflac, then sold ads to car dealerships, and finally landed at Sprint. I got good; really good. Good enough to be the #1 salesman for over a year. Good enough to account for 80% of my team's sales. Good enough to be promoted to sales manager.
And there was one thing that rang true above everything else; just one thing stood out to made me great. It was the realization that sales…was fun; like really fun. It wasn’t scummy. It wasn't sleazy. It wasn't a chore.
Done right, sales was just a conversation between two cool people, talking about cool stuff, seeing if they can help each other out.
That little realization changed my life. It gave me all the tools I needed to build my business. It gave me the confidence to make money following my passions.
In 2014, I launched a Kickstarter and successfully funded my first book Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter. It raised 150% of its goal! That success allowed me to start my publishing company, Wannabe Press.