Several days ago, we posted a breakdown of how we created the cover for Glenn R. Burkey's self-help business book, The First Class Way. We were so taken with Glenn's story of business success and personal development that we asked him to answer a few questions. He generously agreed.
Here's Craig's conversation with him:
Q: When did you realize you needed to write this book?
I had been on a journey to find out why I did, what I did, when I did it, and at about the 22-year mark I found Bob Proctor. His teachings about paradigms brought everything together that I had been studying. When that happened, I started to feel this need to get everything that was in my head out and organized so it would make sense not only to me but also to others.
Q: What was the most difficult part of writing it?
Actually, believing in myself regarding my writing style. I had hired a writing coach who didn’t get what I was trying to say and the way I was trying to say it. So even though I learned some things from her, I had to let her go and finish it on my own.
Also, making the time to write. I always knew that I was a morning person, so eventually I figured out that I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to write. I am at my best in the mornings.
Q: What is the biggest mistake business owners make?
By far, it is blurring the lines between their business and themselves. Owners of small to medium-sized businesses have a tendency to treat their business like a piggy bank. I coach them to take care of the golden goose and it will take care of them. I coach them to pay themselves what it would take to hire someone to do what they do, and maybe just a little bit more. By the way, I coach them to treat their employees the same. Pay a little more than market to help them get good people.
The second mistake is that they don’t invest in themselves through personal development. Most of them rise to their level of incompetence and stay there. They either go broke or cash out with the excuse that it was the competition, the economy, the government, the employees, or any other excuse they can think of for their predicament.
Q: What is the value of business coaching?
When you are in business, there is no where you can get an unbiased opinion on anything. Everybody you talk to, including your spouse, has an agenda. They want something from you. A business coach has an agenda, too, but his agenda is simply coach you, as fast as you are able, to go out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual. The coach knows that your business can never be any bigger or better than you are. But he also knows that people learn at different rates and tries not to get you into the panic zone. If the company does get bigger than you are, you may subconsciously sabotage the business to get it back down to your comfort zone.
The Professional Business Coaches Alliance estimates that the return on investing in a business coach is about 10 to 1. I personally believe it is much higher than that.
Q: At this stage of your life, after building multiple businesses, what gives you the most satisfaction?
A satisfied client. When I can take someone from being stuck, someone who is owned by their business, someone who isn’t having any fun anymore, and someone who can’t remember why they started their business, and help them fix it, my heart sings! My job is to coach them on how to do it. Once I do that, it lasts them a lifetime.
Q: You’ve been a Marine, a student, a builder, a husband and father, a salesman, and now a writer. What’s next for you?
At 75 years old, because of the work I have done for the past 25 years on my personal development, I now have a future that I get to choose. What I mean by that is I didn’t know why I did, what I did, when I did it. I now understand that I was programmed by my parents, by schools, and by society. I now have the awareness to begin dissecting my paradigms and determining what serves me and what doesn’t. When I discover something that isn’t serving me, I can change my belief about it, which will then change my actions.
As a young man, I escaped my childhood by running away, which saved my life. At 20 years old, I was the happiest, most congenial person I had ever been because of that escape. Then life took over. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I didn’t know how to live life on life’s terms. I went on a 30-year journey of not living life true to myself. I medicated my feelings with alcohol. I now have that same feeling I had when I was 20 years old. I, for now, want to just bask in it.
Then at 49 years old, I began my real journey in life, free of alcohol. What’s next for me is to be the father and mentor to my family and those I coach to seek the truth. And I intend to do that by showing them.
The book was a step in that direction. Getting my story down in writing so that those that follow me will have a reference for their lives.
To learn more about Glenn's business, go here.
To order Glenn's book, go here.
One of our recent clients is Glenn Burkey, the owner of 5 Star Business Consulting & Coaching in Painesville, Ohio. Glenn brought us his business self-help book, The First Class Way, and we provided the full publication treatment for him: editing, paperback and hardcover production, and e-book design. Here, Craig breaks down his long history with Glenn and how he approached the design of the book's cover:
When I was a high school senior in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, one of my closest friends was Melissa Burkey. We worked on the newspaper staff together, and I was a frequent guest at her house. I adored her, her mom and dad, and her siblings. Still do. Always will.
At that time, her father, Glenn, was a builder. I didn't know much about his background or his business, just that he was an exceptionally busy guy. After Melissa graduated from high school, a year behind me, the family moved to Ohio. I made a few visits over the years—one in the mid-1990s, where I saw Glenn run a marathon, and another in 2003 when I was covering the Oakland Raiders for a West Coast newspaper.
A few months ago, Glenn contacted me and said he'd written a book. I was only moderately surprised. I'd known him to have a curious and engaged mind, a vital tool for writing. He asked me if I could help him prepare it for publication, and I was glad to do so.
The First Class Way is a fascinating book, both for Glenn's personal story of towering business success and failure (I had no idea), and for his plainspoken, actionable advice on personal and professional development. Glenn's a business consultant and coach now, helping business owners discover how they can, in his words, make their work "provide a lifestyle, not a life sentence."
Here's the cover we came up with for his book:
A few things to note:
Obviously, the approach here was businesslike, much like Glenn's book. Different choices would have been made for a novel, or a book of narrative nonfiction. Much as with writing, effective book cover design involves deep thinking about content, audience, and objective.
In the days to come, we'll have more about Glenn, his book, and his business.
In the meantime, you can visit his website here, and find his book here.
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