Confessions of a Professional Ghostwriter Featuring Nick Pavlidis

Episode Summary

Imagine taking a $125,000/year pay cut to pursue a new career path. Former Corporate Bankruptcy Litigator, Nick Pavlidis, did just that. Growing up, Nick always wanted to be a lawyer. The financial independence that came from this career would fulfill his dreams of providing for his family. But the long hours took a strain on his family, his marriage, and his happiness. After 10+ years in the business, Nick decided enough was enough.

Episode Notes

Imagine taking a $125,000/year pay cut to pursue a new career path. Former Corporate Bankruptcy Litigator, Nick Pavlidis, did just that. Growing up, Nick always wanted to be a lawyer. The financial independence that came from this career would fulfill his dreams of providing for his family. But the long hours took a strain on his family, his marriage, and his happiness. After 10+ years in the business, Nick decided enough was enough. 

“I set boundaries that I didn't set with the practice of law and just told myself I'm going to build the best business I can from 8:30 PM till midnight until it became something that I could use to quit my job.” - Nick Pavlidis

Unable to pinpoint an exact career path, he knew being a lawyer, wasn’t it. Nick left his job at the law firm, moved back to his home state of Massachusetts, took an interim job, and used his “after hours” - to test out different side hustles. Ultimately finding his true passion, ghostwriting. 

What is it about ghostwriting that had Nick hooked? The storytelling! Years of oral argument in the court transitioned nicely here! After writing a short memoir he began to network like crazy. The snowball started to roll and 5+ years later he is truly happy in his career. 

“Everything leads with story.” - Nick Pavlidis

#ghostwriting #ghostwriter #visionaries #proofread #author

Nick Pavlidis, is a full-time ghostwriter and coach. He's married with two kids and resides in Massachusetts. Before becoming a full-time ghostwriter, Nick spent 13 years practicing law. 

Since quitting his last job in the legal industry, he has continued to support his family, exclusively from his ghostwriting business. He’s personally ghostwritten many books—including books that achieved bestselling status on the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times, Independent Bookstores, Amazon (including the #1 nonfiction eBook on all of Amazon), Barnes & Noble (including the #2 paid eBook on the site) on  and more.

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Episode Transcription

Dallin  (00:00):

Welcome to Visionaries where we believe your powerful message is the best way to grow your business, impact the world and live a meaningful life. Today, we are talking with Nick Pavlidis. Nick, what's up? How are you doing?

Nick (00:14):

I'm doing well. How are you?

Dallin  (00:16):

Good, good. I'm so excited to get connected. Uh, you know, we are both a part of the same business mastermind and, uh, you know, especially 2020, right. Virtual is such an amazing way to connect with people, uh, even more so than we ever had to do in the past. Um, so I, you know, part of this is for me to get to know you right, as you know, we have shared connections, but also, um, I would love to get into your vision for what, what you're building and, you know, pulling from some of your backgrounds. So, uh, walk us through just like a quick intro to, uh, what led you from your, uh, your career in law to now doing ghostwriting?

Nick (00:59):

Yeah, well, so I got into the, I always wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was a kid. I wanted to be a lawyer I'd watch, uh, law and order movie or videos or TV shows or whatever. And when I got into college, I wasn't really sure exactly what role role it would play, but I knew that was the end goal. So I, I signed up for college. I got a criminal justice degree, went to law school at Boston College Law School came out thinking that I was like, you know, all set for life because I'd be able to support my future family. And then I got into the reality of the practice of law, which was it. It was, I was just arguing with people all day and I had very little control over my schedule. Um, and part of it was just, I didn't put in the proper boundaries around my schedule.

Nick (01:45):

Cause some of my colleagues got home at a normal hour, whereas I never did. And I was always working weekends and whatnot. So about eight, seven or eight years into my career, as a lawyer, I started feeling really uncomfortable. Like there's no way that this is, I can do this for the next 40 years. So I started looking for side hustles and um, I came across this guy who was, I want to say late sixties. And he was a career coach and went down to an event at his place in Franklin, Tennessee in a converted barn that he calls the sanctuary, which was the weirdest thing in the world for me, because here I am going to work in suits on the 31st floor, overlooking central park corner office, all the fancy stuff. And you know, then I'm driving up some like crushed rock drive away to a converted barn. It was really weird

Dallin  (02:37):

Where you in a suit showing up to the barn too, thinking that it was going to be a formal experience?

Nick (02:44):

Uh, fortunately I had, I had been listening to his podcast for a while, so I knew it wasn't going to be very formal, but I, but I was the, I did have a button down shirt on unlike anyone else there. But, uh, yeah, it was, it was just a weird experience. But when I was there, I was just like, wow, there's this whole other side to life. That's not just business. Uh, but I, at the time my wife stayed home with my kids that we had two kids and I just, I had this sort of like quarter-life crisis, I guess, or midlife crisis, depending on how many years I got left, I guess that, um, I just needed to do something differently. So I tried a whole bunch of different side hustles and, um, eventually I found ghostwriting and that used all the parts of the practice of law that I loved. And, uh, and it didn't, I didn't have to fight with anybody. I didn't have to, um, uh, it was just, I didn't have for someone to lose in order for me to win. It was just the best experience, uh, for me.

Dallin  (03:39):

You know, I love that perspective shift too, that you had, uh, around recognizing and, you know, you said quarter-life mid-life crisis. Uh, and I think I would venture to say everyone kind of has a crossroads at some point, uh, usually whether it's career or personal, um, and, and a lot of, a lot of those listening or watching, um, you know, they're at different parts of their journey, um, where they can definitely relate to say, maybe they're currently doing a side hustle, right. And trying to make their vision more of a reality as a full-time thing. Um, or maybe they're, they've been years into their own business, uh, looking to build something. And even when we're in our own business, right. Um, we could still experience that same kind of like, Oh, am I on the right track? Um, in my, you know, is this kind of a soul sucking work? Um, but for you, uh, and for those who hopefully can relate to, um, what did you find about ghostwriting that lit you up in a different way that say your years as a lawyer did, did not or started to do less so?

Nick (04:46):

Yeah, it was a few things and really, it took me a while to find ghostwriting. I actually didn't just quit the practice of law. I started looking for the pieces. I started setting these boundaries. I had this vision of what my life was going to be like and what my days were going to be filled with and then went out, searching for things that would fill it. So I actually, I was working in this big New York city law firm. Um, at the time that I quit there for a little over nine years and then actually got an interim job as a lawyer to bring my family home to Massachusetts, where I live now. And I called up, uh, when I quit my job, I walked in and it was like my review time about to be made partner or considered for partner at least.

Nick (05:27):

And, uh, I walk into the review with these two partners. I was the only one in the office who was not a partner, had a corner office. Everything was just like going the right direction. And they're like, and I knew at the time, cause it was like four days or five days after I came back from that, uh, that barn that I was just my head wasn't in it anymore. So I sit down and they say, um, all right, everyone loves you. Here's what you need to do to make partner. And I was just, I just said, what if I do none of that? And then we had this conversation, well, you're eventually going to get fired, but we like you. And I said, okay, so how about how eventually is eventually? And then they said, well, sometime in the fall, this is like June, June 7th to be exact, um, eventually in the fall you'll get a severance letter with three months severance and it was a, um, um, compacting the conversation.

Nick (06:09):

But I said, all right. So can we just agree to a date? How about you pay me through, uh, March of next year? Because what I'm hearing is that I'm going to be paid at least through December. And they're like, well, we can't, we're not negotiating anything. So eventually we did negotiate and they paid me through the following February. So I called up a client of ours who was located in Massachusetts and said, Hey, I just quit my job. I need a job. Uh, and here's the thing. And she's like, well, I can't hire anybody because we already set our budget. I said, well, I anticipated that. So I'm getting paid here through next February. Um, so you don't have to fit me into this year's budget. You just have to fit me into next year's budget. And I don't care what you pay me.

Nick (06:45):

I just want to have a set schedule. I don't want my email on my phone. I want to own my online reputation. Cause I need to figure out what I'm going to do next in my life. I'll be there for at least two years. I promise. And then I, um, I don't want to work weekends. So I want to build up the side hustle. And eventually she agreed. I took a pay cut of $125,000 a year to take that job, which was really hard to do, but I stayed there for two and a half years and the first year or so I looked around and I couldn't find the right thing. So I, I wanted something that I knew about myself would, would fire me up. So I loved networking. I loved speaking. I loved writing as a lawyer, even though writing was my, at the time, it was my worst skill.

Nick (07:28):

At least as a lawyer, I would, I would tell stories in, in, um, even when I was doing oral argument, I was a corporate and bankruptcy litigator. And I would just go in to the, to the courthouse and say, uh, the other side would say, your honor, this is what happened. And this is what the, what the law says and our client should win. And then the judge would say, okay, mr. Pavlidis, what do you have to say? And I said, well, I understand what, what opposing counsel says, but let me just tell you what happened here. And I'd always transitioned into storytelling. This is, you know what we have here. I understand what the law says. I understand. But, but what we're trying to do here is to figure out what's just, and what's right. And all the laws that the opposing counsel cites to there, they were all put in place for a reason.

Nick (08:10):

And that's what I want to talk to you about today, your honor, because this is what happened, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, or whatever. So I would always tell a story, never lost a case. Um, it was so much fun, but I'd always walk out of court feeling like I didn't do great for the world. I got the right result for the right person, but that someone else got someone else lost or whatever. So I tried coaching and in just life coaching or whatever, just wasn't a good fit. Um, I didn't get to write, I didn't really have anything in between calls. I liked having homework for some reason. I'm I'm, I guess I'm a nerd like that. So what I loved about writing was that I got to tell stories. I could do it wherever. One thing that really bothered me while practicing law was that if one company did poorly, I would lose a hundred percent of my income.

Nick (08:57):

If my law firm did poorly. And I saw friends of mine in the 2008, 2009 crash, just get, just get laid off. I didn't fortunately, but they did. So I wanted to be able to diversify my revenue stream. So if one client went down, my family would be okay. I wanted to get paid to tell stories and to write, I loved writing. And I loved that. I could write from anywhere. And at any time I'd have to be on the phone call on the phone or on zoom or on Skype with somebody, um, to interview them for information. But I could do the work whenever and wherever. So all the this came together.

Dallin  (09:32):

Yeah. Wow. You know, and that's, that's incredible to have that recognition and the fact that, you know, ghost writing wasn't necessarily that first Avenue too. And I feel like sometimes people feel like it, it just all came together perfectly where it sounds kind of like a little bit of a messy journey, right. Where you're trying to navigate like, Oh, is this the right path? Like you mentioned life coaching. And I think, I think there's not like the path we take is not always so linear. Um, as far as like discovering our thing, um, what was like a, was there ever like a specific moment or was it just a series of moments that you're like, Oh yeah, like ghostwriting and writing, like this kind of storytelling is my thing. Like, this is what I want to do.

Nick (10:15):

Uh, uh, there were a couple of people who, um, who I met who had been ghostwriting, one of whom was a former lawyer turned ghost writer. So sh so she and I connected a little bit on that level and I, I really liked what she was doing and, and, and she was really happy. Um, but I didn't like how she was getting clients. So I challenged myself. So she signed up for a bunch of, um, a bunch of mills, so to speak a bunch of ghost writing agencies or whatever. And that just, it just felt like, like it wasn't a good fit. I never, I've never been one to apply for jobs. Um, I got the first job out of law school. It happened to be a great firm. Um, I didn't want to do a job search when I moved from that job to my temporary jobs.

Nick (11:03):

So I just called up a client and said, I don't really care what you're paying me. Just let me, you know, here, here's what I want and I'll work my tail off for you. And they said, great. So I've never been one to, to, to want to apply for stuff. So I loved what she, what she was doing. And, but I didn't like how she got her clients she's since actually gone back to the practice of law because that type of w that type of client development doesn't really work over the long-term. But all that to say, um, the other guy I reached out to and said, Hey, tell me a little bit about ghost writing. He didn't really have some good information. It was really secretive. And I think a lot of people, it seemed got clients either from mills or just by accident almost.

Nick (11:42):

So, um, so I said, you know what? I love the idea of ghost writing. I'm going to try a different way to get clients. I'm going to just going to try to network and just have simple conversations with people because I love doing that. And if that works, then I think I've found the right fit because I needed it to fit both in the performance and in the marketing. It's one of those things where if you don't enjoy the process, you're not going to get out of bed when it's cold. You're not going to, when you have a little sniffles, you're just going to stay in bed. You're not going to go to the home office and work or whatever. So for me, I needed to enjoy both the process of getting clients and running the business and of the production side. So I started networking a little bit and said, decided to just call myself a ghost writer.

Nick (12:24):

I had written a little baby memoir, um, of 25,000 words. And as if someone really cared about some 35 year old guy's life story, but that's okay. Um, but then I, um, it took me a few months and I got my first client. And then a few weeks later, I got my second client. And then a few weeks later, my third client, and then I got my fourth and my fifth, and within eight months of getting my first ghost writing client, I had so much, so much work that I actually had to quit the practice of law. And I haven't looked back since it's been, I don't know, five years, six years, something like that.

Dallin  (12:59):

Wow, I love it, you know, that's, and I love that you leaned into it. And it's interesting because I feel like, I mean, I went to school for it, you know, and I never would have imagined that, like, I'd, you know, end up here doing this type of business. And, uh, you know, like you go to school, you've even stepped into career thinking that you're going to be in that kind of mold for a while, but it always transforms and changes. And I feel like it's like, w I think, um, many people reach a point where it's like, you kind of got align like what you're doing professionally to your ambitions personally. Um, like what would you say? Um, and you, you kind of mentioned it as far as like that, uh, that, that pay cut lawyer job that you took in Boston. Um, you described some of your non-negotiables, right. Um, what, uh, what was kind of that, that turning point, as far as like, like the vision I have for my family, you know, I've got kids at home, like I wanna adjust my lifestyle. Like, what were some of those things that you kind of listed out and you were like, I've got to change things. And I want to be able to create more of this like autonomous lifestyle. What were some of the things?

Nick (14:13):

Well, it's, it started in the whole path to lawyer and everything started with this relentless pursuit of financial independence. And I've always been a big family guy. I always dreamed of having a family, even from a kid I'm like 15 years old. And just loving the idea of, of having a family someday, or I don't know, maybe it was a condition, but I, uh, I just loved it. And when I, two weeks before my 17th birthday, I was in a head-on collision with no seatbelt guy was on the wrong side of the road, hit me head on, I was dead at the scene of the car accident, no blood pressure, no pulse, unconscious. My hand. My fingers were all torn apart. Uh, still have a brain injury that my neck and back still to this day hurt all day. And from that moment, when I recovered, when I made it, I thought to myself, I like, I, I, I'm not giving up on the whole idea of a family, but what if something like life's just so fragile type of a thought process.

Nick (15:07):

I need to just hustle with muscle and make a whole bunch of money. So if I die young, my family would be okay. So I that's part of the reason why I just essentially became a workaholic. And then I started like blogging on the side. And that was one of the side hustles that I, that I was right out. And, um, I, I was a personal finance blogger for awhile and realized that for like $1,800 a year, I could get $2 million of life insurance and my whole like purpose in life to like, make so much money that if I died, my family would be okay. It could be solved with just $2,000 a year. So that just allowed me to pause for a second and say, okay, so why am I working so hard if we have enough when I'm here and I have life insurance.

Nick (15:50):

So if I'm gone, there'll be okay. Maybe, maybe all this, like 80 hour a week paranoia, uh, isn't worth it. So my, my marriage was really, really struggling at the time. That was my baby memoir. It's called Confessions of a Terrible Husband Lessons Learned From a Lumpy Couch. And it's basically a story about doing all the little things wrong in marriage. So I, um, there were many times where I thought my wife and kids weren't going to be there. Um, I was faithful. I was gentle all that stuff, but when I came home, there were times where I was surprised that they hadn't moved out. So it was for me when I made that shift. And that was about the time I was down in Nashville. Um, when I made that shift, I said, I need to put boundaries around the family. So the first thing I did was unlike what I used to do when I got the job and decided to do the side hustle, I asked my wife, essentially, just tell me what hours I can do, a side hustle.

Nick (16:41):

Here's the vision. Um, what do you think of the vision? Me, I don't know what my business is going to be, but me running a business and figuring it out and being able to work wherever, be able to, um, not worry about one company firing me or whatever. And she liked the vision. She shared a similar vision to me, anything that brought us home to Massachusetts really, and then cause she's from here. And then, um, we said, well, I want to be home with the kids because that's the whole purpose of this is be around the kids a little more. So we agreed that from 8:30 PM till midnight, I would just figure out whatever it is I'm going to do next. And that's the time that I use to try out all those, all those things. So I set at the boundaries that I didn't set with the practice of law and just told myself I'm going to build the best business I can from 8:30 PM till midnight, until it became something that I could use to quit my job.

Nick (17:38):

So, um, one of the non-negotiables I set non-negotiables for myself. So for, with the shift to the Massachusetts job, I didn't care what I got paid. Cause I figured I could figure it out. My family would be fine. I was the only one earning an income, but we're not, we don't live. Um, we don't live like Kings then the, I didn't want to be married to my phone and I wanted to have set hours. So I could reliably schedule calls with people and I didn't care what time it was. And then from eight, from when I finally set the same boundaries on my home life for the side hustle thing, 8:30 PM till midnight, I just did it. I, I w I was podcasting. I was reaching out to people. I tried so many different things and any time I made an appointment, I said, listen, I'm really trying to focus in on my family.

Nick (18:25):

It'd be really hypocritical if I, and one of the things I did was launch a podcast to go along with my book, Confessions of Terrible Husband. So I would say to people, um, Hey, you know, I have a podcast. Would you like to be interviewed for Confessions of Terrible Husband? Here's the thing I got to talk at 9:00 PM because it would be really hypocritical for my wife to be wrestling two kids to get into bed while I'm upstairs talking with you about how to be a good husband and everyone was just cool about it. So, um, I set those same boundaries I vowed to, um, to not, um, to not budge on those. And the only two times that I did anything before 8:30 PM, we had my mother come over and hang out with the kids. That was just the agreement. If there's anything that happens, you've got to do it. So I had to set the right boundaries and then shift my mindset to saying, I'm going to do the best that I can within the boundaries.

Dallin  (19:14):

Wow. Yeah. I love that example and that it's so specific to an actual timeframe and, and the fact that you can remember only two instances that there were exceptions, you know, where I feel like a lot of people were like, Oh yeah, like I slipped up a few times, but I don't remember them because there were so many, you know, so the fact that you can remember two specific times, I think is, is incredible. The fact that you stuck to it. And I think, uh, uh, w I mean, what would you say, um, to stick to non-negotiables like that? I feel like it's kind of like developing a habit. It's a slow process. It takes many days and a lot of trial and error. Um, and a lot of people kind of fail in that process and have to kind of get back on the wagon, um, or the horse, I guess there's so many analogies. Um, what would you say? Like what, what were some of the key steps that made it, uh, easier, I guess in air quotes? Um, it's something that come to mind and I would love for you to speak to it is like the communication with your spouse. Uh, definitely for her to understand, like, let's agree upon this together. So that way it can be a joint effort. Um, but like what made it an easier process for you to have non-negotiables and to stick to it?

Nick (20:33):

Yeah, yeah, for me, um, a lot of it was mindset. Um, I knew based on past experience of me screwing up a whole bunch of times that in order for the business to work, my wife would need to support it. So if I just, I knew I could build it faster. If I, if I just worked like I did, I was on the phone all the time or whatever, but it would always be something that my wife presented. So I just really the conversation about the time was just what time, just tell me the time that I can do this. And it probably wasn't, I don't remember the intensity of the conversation, but it wasn't, it definitely wasn't like candlelight dinner. And, um, it was like, I wasn't like, yeah, exactly. It was, um, we, we shared the vision and I was like, just, I need to do this.

Nick (21:27):

I need 15 hours, just 15 hours a week and I can figure it out. Um, but this, like, I just did, my, my day job was just tearing at me. The, the transition job was just not a good fit. So, um, but I was there for two and a half years cause I was gonna do it. Um, I was going to stick around. I was going to make it happen. I promised the employer. They did me a solid, they helped me, even though I didn't like the job, they helped me, um, create the structure that I ultimately ended up building my dream business. Um, so I just said, listen, just give me whatever. If she had told me midnight till 4:00 AM, I would have done midnight to 4:00 AM because my mindset was, I need to have her support. I don't, she's gonna win this argument.

Nick (22:12):

If it's an, an argument I'm going to go in and she's going to set the structure and I'm just going to crush it. And then once money starts coming in all of a sudden it's, are you sure you don't want more hours? Like you go ahead. You know, you want this weekend, whatever. So for me, I just needed to, to get her behind the business. And I used to always say, when I was at the law firm, just tell me the rules, I'll check the boxes, just give me the boxes. I'll check them, tell me the rules I'll and I'll excel. So I had that same sort of mindset where I used to say, Hey, listen, this is what, this is what I need to do. And I shifted to just say, um, I will build whatever business, best business I can start building that momentum and whatever structure she can support. And then that support was just, was just life-changing. It was, uh, it became something that would, I would hear her say, like, you know, he's building a ghostwriting, like when she starts talking about ghostwriting. To me, that was just, that was just really encouraging. Whereas before she'd talk about, Oh, Nick's Nick's on the computer or whatever, but when it got to be so specific that she was, you could tell there was a little pride, um, it really motivated me.

Dallin  (23:23):

Yeah.what a powerful example of, um, I think the alignment on the personal to professional and the fact that like, you were able to recognize that. And, and I think that's probably why you went down the path of life coaching, uh, at one point is you recognize, like, I, like, I've been making some powerful steps that have, you know, improved my family life, you know, my, my personal and career vision. But, um, now I'm curious to talk a little bit about ghostwriting real quick too, is, um, like what does that process look like? That you've talked about landing clients? Like, are you truly, like, you're truly a ghost, right. To writing different, um, different projects for clients? Like, is it, is it novels is it business books? Like what, walk me through a little bit more of the ghostwriting process for you?

Nick (24:10):

The majority of what we do is business books, uh, is write business books. Uh, this year we've either coached. So the irony is I've come back so full circle and I'll coach people, but I don't coach on life I'll coach on, um, on specific process, on writing a book on publishing or whatnot. So between ghost writing and coaching this past year, we've done four, um, novels or parables slash novels, uh, helped out with a couple of kids' books. But the majority vast majority of what we do are business books, which is incredible because I get access to some of the most successful, brilliant, productive minds in the world. They open up their courses, they open up their systems, they open up their customers, their clients, their colleagues, to me, and I get to interview them and learn about whatever it is, leadership funnel building, um, and how Amazon runs its business.

Nick (25:06):

Um, D how Disney, uh, runs, uh, the Magic Kingdom, like all sorts of really cool things between coaching and ghost writing. And I need to learn it so deeply that I can explain it in someone else's voice. So my business is, is so every book I write improves my business tremendously, uh, and it's, it's, it's really, really, um, one of the most rewarding, fulfilling things I ever imagined doing. So from a process perspective, I take a different approach. And that's part of the reason why I, uh, um, why I've been able to bring in, it's not just the networking, but I have, I've spent a total of $21.55 cents on advertising for my ghost writing business. And that was just as a joke. I sent a, I sent a bunch of donuts to a local radio station to see if they'd mentioned the name of my ghostwriting business on the air, on national donuts day.

Nick (26:01):

Um, and they did twice. So, um, but that's all I did just as a joke. So I work exclusively on referrals and repeat business. I have clients who have hired me already for four books. I have, um, I don't think I've ever written a book that didn't get me a referral, and which is odd in the industry, because most people don't talk about their ghosts. Whereas my clients, you know, sometimes they'll put me as an editor. Sometimes I am an editor, but sometimes they'll put me as an editor. Sometimes they'll put my name in the book or whatever. I, I don't get a lot of ghost writers that want their name on the cover. It'll say like with Nick Pavlidis or as told to Nick Pavlidis, I don't like having my, my name on the cover. I just love he bring people's stories, telling people's stories, interviewing people.

Nick (26:47):

Um, so from a process perspective, I meet them. I decide what their goal or not decide. I, I uncover what their goals are with their book. One big problem. And a lot of ghosts do this, and this is, this drives me crazy, but a lot of ghosts will just say, okay, what do you want to say? I'll help you say it really well. And they say, Oh, I'll suggest a few things here or there. Whereas I get in, I'm sorta like if you ever watched the karate kid movie, I'm kind of like the Mr. Miyagi. I make people paint my fence and wash my car before we start writing. And it just takes really a couple of conversations to say, I'm, we're not writing the book for you today. We're writing the book for you three years from now. So what book are you going to want to still keep selling or handing out like candy three years from now?

Nick (27:28):

So we begin with the end in mind, we understand what their vision looks like and what their personal life looks like. And this is part of the lessons I took from my, my path, so to speak, because I've had people saying, Oh, I wanna, I want to build this business. I want to be a thought leader, or I want to grow my business as a thought leader. And we talk through things and they say, yeah, public speaking, all this stuff. And I'll say, so, do you like to travel well? And they say, no, I hate traveling. And then I say, well, if you want to be a public speaker, you gonna have to do a lot of traveling. So maybe we just take a little bit of that nuance out and position you differently than the book. So I really dig deep into my client's goals for their books and really three years out.

Nick (28:07):

And then we identify who the ideal customer client/reader is for them to build relationships in order to have that, uh, have that life. I had a lawyer call me and say, Hey, I want to write a book about real estate law. So great. We can write a book about real estate law. So tell me, what do you like most about your practice? Let's focus in on that. And they say, well, I really don't like it, to be honest with you. And I said, well, I'm not writing a book with you. And I didn't, uh, I've since become friends with the guy, but I convinced him not to write the book, because I said, you're going to write a book about real estate law. People are going to get it and call you to hire you as a lawyer. And every single time that phone rings, you're going to hate me, because they're going say, Hey, I read your book and you're just gonna think of me.

Nick (28:46):

And it's going to, it's not good. And then you're gonna have a whole garage full of them. And every time you pull your car in, you're going to look at that, those cases of books and just hate your life. So we identify what the goals are for the, uh, for the, my client, for the author. Then we identify what they want to talk about, who they need to talk to, uh, in order to achieve that goal. And then we essentially reverse engineer. We take a real human, um, behavior perspective, because the reality is nobody wants your book. Nobody wants a weight loss book. They just wish they were already skinny, but there's a reason they haven't become skinny. It's one of three or a combination of three, some sort of false belief about themselves. I can't become skinny. I have bad knees. Something's wrong with them.

Nick (29:30):

Um, or, um, something about their environment, Oh, I can, I can lose weight. I can exercise. I can diet, but my family, I got six kids and they have, there's all junk food in the house. So how can I eat healthy when there's all junk food around me? And then there's the third one is a false belief about the actual subject matter. Yeah, diets don't work. If diets work that only be one diet book and everyone will be skinny. So we explore a little bit what they want to do, who they need to talk to what they want to talk about, and then why their ideal reader hasn't been able to achieve that already without their help. And then we plan the content in that context. And, uh, and it just becomes a real fun process. We S we lead with story because we don't want to sound like a white paper.

Nick (30:12):

Everything leads with story. And then the teaching part is all presented within the context of the story to make the book interesting and impactful. And that's become a, a, a pretty powerful way of, uh, one of the things that I, that I tell people is the way we write books. Uh, our authors tend to have more success during the writing process than most people have throughout the lifetime of their book, because we fall, we get real deep into it, and we interview a whole bunch of people around them, including they interview people. And those interviews end up being real good networking opportunities for people. So they've already, pre-sold hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books and gotten consulting contracts and speaking engagements and everything before their books out, just because they say, Hey, I'm writing a book and I interview you. And, um, and they get better at presenting their, whatever it is they're selling, because we think through it at a granular level and always ended up piecing it together, like, all right, I see there's only three parts parts. So what do you do? I help people do this, this and this. And all of a sudden their sales pitch gets clearer. So we really worked through it. And then once we have that structure writing, it becomes pretty easily. Yeah.

Dallin  (31:19):

Yeah. Well, I love hearing that process too, because it completely speaks to a lot of what I do with messaging. Uh, and the essence of Content Supply and ghostwriting is definitely a form of that content supply that every business needs in some form. Um, because you know, writing obviously is essential for any communication plan, uh, and, uh, and the ghost writing side of it. And you just kind of shed some new light that I've never really thought about before. Um, because a lot of times I've, I've heard of ghost writers more for, uh, fiction, you know, fictional books, but in regards to business books and the, how you need to approach it like a true marketer or strategist, you know, you're, you're talking about false beliefs and, you know, this idea of you have to get transformed beliefs to make to give the, um, the positive belief in, in, in the mind of the reader that they can, you know, be successful with whatever the book presents, you know, that framework. Um, and so, yeah, like what you broke down with messaging is powerful, and I love how it does apply to literally any type of content you put out there. Um, and that you can step into with that kind of process.

Nick (32:32):

Yeah. And using that, stories, um, using stories in the books. So we identify what are the objections. These are the, the top 10 objections, then instead of saying, what's your response to it? Tell, tell the reader why they're wrong. We say, give me an example of someone who had that same problem who had these and lost weight. So what we do is we just fill the book with case studies in story form, um, many times. So your case studies that you give away as the beginning of a funnel to get people to say, Hey, if Nick can do it, or if Sally can do it, maybe I can. What we do is we, I tell the author, nobody cares about you. And I hate to say it this way. And I, and I say it nicer usually, but nobody cares. Like only, only one group of readers will resonate with you.

Nick (33:16):

The others will, might find your stories interesting and modifying your information helpful, but to get that emotional commitment, they need to have the confidence that your book and you can help them. So I had an author come to me and he was 37 years old and he wanted to write a book about leadership. And I said, fantastic. What do you want to write the book? Tell me a little bit more about it. He goes, I want to write a book about how millennials, how to manage millennials in the workforce. So great. I said, um, tell me about your business. And he was like, Oh, I'm an ad. I'm a partner in an advertising agency, 390 people, blah, blah, blah. I said, well, okay, fantastic. Fast forward, 45 minutes into the conversation.

Nick (33:59):

I said, do you want good news or bad news? And he said, give me the bad news. First. I said, bad news is, um, your target audience has no trust in you. And he said, why is that? I said, because you're 37 years old, there's 55. And they are going to say, who are you to tell me how to run my business? You've been in business for 15 minutes. And number two, they're going to say, you're in the creative space. Of course you can lead them millennials. Well, you're in an advertising agency. How does it work for my dental practice? So what we did was we identified all of those objections. We took a cross section of companies, big, small, uh, public, private brick, and mortar digital. And we interviewed people as case studies for people who are doing really good things with millennials, just put it in the context of his teachings.

Nick (34:42):

And all of a sudden, everyone reading his book, we had car dealerships calling him up to speak. He was hired by Delta. He was hired by the Home Depot. He was hired by Lexus Nexus. All these people, Cox Enterprises said they all resonated with someone else's story in the book. So that way it gave him more opportunity to, um, to make an emotional connection by including those case studies, those other people's stories in their books. So everything that you're doing, we put together and make it one nice flowing piece of content, but it's essentially a whole bunch of case studies put together.

Dallin  (35:18):

And it, it story, that's never about the actual author themselves. Um, and that's facet. So, so literally in that example, this author of this large ad agency, who in some ways, you know, on paper is definitely one of his perfect own case studies, right? To what he's going to talk about in leadership for millennials and the book yet you dis you discard that because you're putting the customer first and the stories that they need to hear, um, in order to be calm and even more perfect customer, uh... And that's, I think that's, that's such a great example of putting the customer story first over, um, the brand story being about the actual brand itself. Um, well, this has been incredible, Nick. Uh, wow. I mean, all of these ideas are coming to mind, um, your story is inspiring. Um, and I, I know for the other visionaries listening to this or watching this, uh, I really believe you can relate to the next story.

Dallin  (36:20):

Uh, you know, wherever you are in your journey, there's this idea that we got to realign to the vision we have for our life. Uh, we got to create non-negotiables, um, um, I'm a work in progress, always with this, uh, of creating non-negotiables. So that way, you know, you're not, um, I guess, sacrificing other areas of life that are important, whether that's health, spiritual, physical, you know, the list goes on, but, uh, but yeah, no, Nick, I appreciate your time. Where can people learn more about what you're up to with ghostwriting and get more support from you?

Nick (36:59):

Um, yeah, I mean, if it easiest place to find me is Um, that's my ghost writing website. If people want to become ghostwriters, then ghost school is where I, where, where you'll find me

Dallin  (37:15):

Incredible. Hey, appreciate it, Nick.

Nick (37:17):

My pleasure. Great talking with you.

Dallin  (37:19):

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