Interview with Carl Reader - Author of The Startup CoachOriginally posted on http://www.socialbookshelves.com/blog/quick-qa-carl-reader-author-startup-coach/
Tell us a little bit about your latest release – what’s it called and what’s it about?
The Startup Coach is a book aimed at anyone who is looking at starting their own business. I tried to take a unique angle on it. Most business books are either theoretical (such as The E-Myth Revisited), or motivational. Whilst there needs to be a theoretical backbone, and the language needs to be motivational, I wanted The Startup Coach to be a practical, ‘roll your sleeves up’ guide to getting a business off the ground.
Tell us about your writing routine – how do you get things done?
I’d love to say that there was a routine! Organised chaos is probably the best way to describe it. With The Startup Coach, it was part of a series, and as such the structure of the book was predefined. It was fairly easy to map out the chapter plan, mind map the sub-topics, and then crack on. The difficult part was staying motivated, and avoiding distractions. Some days were 15,000 words – but there were far more where I struggled to get more than 2,000 words down on paper.
For my next book, which is now with my editor at Hodder, I created a much more detailed plan of each section, so that the writing could be picked up at any time. Unfortunately, I can’t say that this helped much, as I still suffered from distraction and writers block!
How do you get the word out about your writing?
If I had the right answer to this question, I would be sat on a beach somewhere sunny rather than doing interviews. At the moment, I have a blog to support the book, and an active social media presence. The publishers help by getting the book onto bookshelves (it’s stocked inWaterstones and Foyles), so catching the eye of the casual customer. In reality though, as with most business books, a lot of sales are made from my own reach in business.
What was the last book that you read and what did you think of it?
Good question! Perhaps surprisingly (for a business writer), it was ‘Red Card Roy’ by Roy McDonough, the ex Southend United footballer. He’d persuaded me on Facebook to download it, and it certainly lived up to it’s promise of ‘Sex, Booze and Early Baths’! He deserves the greatreviews that he’s had on Amazon.
What have you got planned for the future? What can we expect to see?
I’ve finished writing my second book, which is far more specialist than The Startup Coach – it’s currently titled The Franchising Handbook, and it is also published by Hodder. It’s aimed at those considering franchising as an alternative to starting their own business. I’ve certainly got a third book up my sleeve; however it will likely be more of a general book than the last two (although still in the business field).
What’s the biggest trend in the business world right now, in your opinion?
For me, the biggest thing that I’m seeing is the sheer number of people realising that they can actually do what they do for themselves, rather than for an employer. This is a double edged sword, as not everyone is cut out to be self employed, and fewer are cut out to run a true business (by which I mean employing staff, and having a company that can run without them).
What’s the best piece of feedback that you’ve received so far?
So far everything about The Startup Coach has been complimentary, which is nice; however some constructive feedback would be really useful to help shape my future books.
Are there any particular pieces of advice from your work that you’ve applied to yourself, as a writer?
From The Startup Coach, everything that has been included in the book is based on my experience of running a business or advising startups. From that perspective, I can honestly say that I practice what I preach, and I preach what I’ve already practiced!
For my third book, I’m looking to focus on some often unspoken truths about running a business. It’s the stuff that we know we should do, and can constantly improve on, but often gets put off. I reckon that this book will be a permanent reminder to me, as we all have our own failings.
You wrote a book called The Start-Up Coach – which start-ups are the most promising right now, in your opinion?
Tough question! There are loads of great businesses right now. I think that Uber and Airbnb have really set a path for many startups to follow: they have completely disrupted an existing model, and have done it without accumulating the ‘stock‘ (taxis/hotel rooms) that the incumbents have.
For those still in startup stage, there are too many to name. In general, those that can leverage technology to fix a need you never knew you had (just like Uber did) are the ones I love to see. For example, www.raise.com is an online marketplace for unused gift cards. Such a simple idea, yet untapped so far. In fact, as simple and as untapped as clicking one icon on an Apple Watchto order an Uber…