I was lucky enough to do a book discussion and signing of my opus, Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day on June 6 — the 66th anniversary of D-Day. It was a lovely event, staged quite well by the nice folks at Borders in Scarsdale.
During the Q&A portion of the discussion, one of my son’s 16-year-old friends asked if I had learned anything from Ike about selling books. Everyone laughed, and then I said “Yes, I need to stay focused on my mission, which is selling books.” Even when you’re a 1-person business, you have to have a mission, have to stay focused on it, and have to do what you gotta do to achieve it.
In my case that’s meant doing book signings (I’m at Barnes & Noble in White Plains this Wednesday, June 16th at 7:30pm), guest columns on Forbes.com and CNBC.com, writing this blog, and using Twitter. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I hate Twitter. It’s moronic. It’s the Internet reduced to its ultimate ADHD absurdity. But . . .
My publicist at Thomas Nelson, Inc., my publishers, said I need to be tweeting (has anyone discovered a good reason why the verb form of “Twitter” is “tweet”?), so I tweet. I enjoyed a brief surge in followers when, on one glorious day, almost 12 new people signed up to follow my tweets. For those of you lucky enough to have avoided Twitter, let me explain: Every time someone new signs up to follow you, you receive an e-mail with that someone’s Twitter account name and that someone’s profile pix. On that glorious day, I received all of the e-mails at once. This is it, I though, I’m about to achieve the Twitter equivalent of orbit, breaking free of the gravitational forces that have kept my number of followers to a few.
Well . . . all of my new followers had account names like @lasciviouslady and @hotbody. The profile pics weren’t porn, but the ladies depicted in them didn’t look as if they would be spending too many lonely nights.
I declined to reciprocate and follow any of them, and within 72 hours, my new bevy of followers had disappeared into their own Twitter twilight.
But, I persevere, tweeting on a daily basis. Because my publicist, who knows a heck of a lot more about selling books than I do, told me to do it. And, since my mission is to sell books, I gotta do what I gotta do.
It’s just like life. Sometimes there are unpleasant but necessary things that you just have to do. Like changing a nuclear-waste diaper at 3 a.m. when you’re exhausted. Or coping with an unreasonable deadline at work. Or doing service for your fellow man.
You gotta do it.