by Tim Eisenhauer
President & co-founder, Axero
Iwas interviewing a copywriter to help me with landing pages for my new book.
“Tim,” she asked me, “who is this book for? What is your readers’ biggest problem? What keeps them up at three a.m.?”
Gee, if I knew the answers to all these questions, I would write the landing page copy myself. It would look like this:
Dear <insert the target segment>,
Is <insert the target segment’s biggest problem> keeping you up at three a.m.? Stop worrying. Find a solution today! Order Tim Eisenhauer’s insightful, information-packed book and discover proven strategies that other <insert the target segment> are already using!
How was I supposed to know who was going to buy the book before I launched it? Plenty of people who are much smarter than I am got it wrong. For example Sun Tzu, the legendary author of The Art of War thought he was writing for Chinese Emperors. It’s not even a market any longer. But every American executive has a copy.
Same with The Prince, a classic work of Italian Renaissance. Niccolo Machiavelli thought he was writing it for the Medici, Florence’s ruling family at the time. But there’s little evidence that any of them ever read it. On the other hand, it is required reading for every political science and western philosophy student in the world. Another lucrative market completely missed by the author.
So, I have no idea who is going to read my book. Other than my mom, my dad, and a few of my friends. But here’s what I do know.
If something is keeping me up at three a.m., I am not going to read a book about it. It’s way too late for that—in every sense of the word. I am going to listen to some relaxing music, go to bed, and take a much more decisive action first thing in the morning. Call a meeting. Consult an expert. Hire emergency help.
Here’s another fact. I have never bought a book to fix a problem. I do buy and read tons of books regularly for an entirely different set of reasons. To satisfy a curiosity. To develop a skill. To challenge my thinking. And, generally, to stay at the top of my game.
Sometimes a book can help you pinpoint an existing problem or prevent a future one. However, for the most part, the books I’ve read have helped me to get better at something I was already good at. They are a great way to build on my strengths—not to shore up my weaknesses.
If you think about it, reading is pretty hard work, especially when your brain is already cluttered with a million needs and chores. If you are going to immerse yourself in a book, it better have some kind of a natural pull to it. A joy of discovery. A unique approach to a favorite topic. Something worlds apart from what has you tossing and turning at three a.m.
So, when I think of you, the person who will flip through the sample pages of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? and click “buy,” I think of a decent and successful manager. Maybe you own a business like I do. Or maybe you help other owners and managers get the job done, like we do at Axero.
You’ve accomplished a lot. You have a strong presence and high self-esteem. At the same time, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Nothing fails like success.” You are humble. Always seeking improvement and intelligent advice. You are introspective and analytical, a savvy consumer of self-help. You are flexible, coachable, and hungry for the best information you can get your hands on. You never miss a chance to learn from someone who can help you do better.
Your knowledge and skills are impressive. Your customers and your bosses trust you to do a good job. And you know what it takes to keep them happy, but you need other people to make it happen. Your employees.
Can you trust your employees to do a quality job when no one’s looking over their shoulder? Will they take proper care of your customers? Do they like their jobs? Are they happy to work for you? Will they be there tomorrow or will they jump ship at the worst possible moment?
When researching Who the Hell Wants to Work for You?, I read up on many celebrity CEOs. I realized that the better they got at managing people, the more they asked themselves these sorts of questions. The doubt comes with the job. And it never goes away. The more successful you are, the more you seek to understand the needs and motives of the people who work for you.
One example is CNBC’s hit show Undercover Boss. It’s the same story, episode after episode: the big boss finding out what life is really like on the bottom of the food chain. While working undercover at one of his own businesses, the boss usually befriends an entry-level employee. The one who trains him on his “new job.” The show usually ends with the boss revealing his identity to his “mentor.” The friendly employee gets rewarded for loyalty and hard work. The occasional rogue front-line manager gets the boot. And the boss goes back to the headquarters. What did he learn? And what did we learn with him?
It’s always a great idea to spend more time with your people. But even if you work full-time as an undercover boss, you can only get to know a handful of employees. In the end, you only truly know one person: yourself.
Do you trust yourself to be a great boss?
As a veteran self-helper, you’re used to asking yourself tough questions. Am I a good manager? Am I a good coach? Do I inspire people? Do I have good relationships with my employees? Do they trust me? Do they do their best work for me? What is keeping me from having an ideal relationship with them?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, the book is for you. It has facts and ideas that will help you turn uncertainty into positive action. There are always barriers between people. Managers and employees especially. Good managers and good employees are no exception. But as long as you are willing to hold yourself accountable, you have the power to remove the barriers.
Get your copy today. Click a retailer below.