When one writes their memoir, one writes their own personal journey. Through the stories one challenges their personal assumptions, either disproving or verifying the reasons for the path taken by them. My memoir will soon be out, so I’m quite familiar with this process.
But when it comes to a business book, especially one in an industry that is undergoing rapid changes and entrenched players are invested in keeping the status quo, a writer cannot rely on anything any one person says. I’m writing such a book now. I’ve started with generally accepted methodologies and reasons for using them and have spent the last two and a half years challenging each and every one of those before anything is written about it in the book.
All facts found by or given to me have been treated as opinion and challenged. Which were disproved? Which were verified? Which need updating? Why is this happening? Who is doing it? Who are the background players that wish to remain hidden? What value to my reader is this piece of information? Have I explained it clearly in every instance where it is mentioned in the book?
I do all this research and questioning and verifying because there are too many experts out there who are still spouting the party line as gospel when everywhere you look the party line is clearly broken.
Three years ago I bought a book written by someone known as the premiere writer on the subject of the music business. Everybody recommended his book as the gospel truth of the business. I started reading…and I was not happy at what I read. I thought, “Hey, maybe I just don’t know enough about the business to understand what he’s saying.”
Benefit of the doubt given, I researched so that I could understand more so that I could partake of the wisdom of the book. But the more I researched the more I found out how far behind the advice was. It made me sad. Nevertheless, moving forward in the music business myself, and using new technologies and understanding the limitations of the new business environment, I ended up teaching what I was learning to others, making notes, sending out long emails, in general spending a ton of time.
I realized everything I had could be focused toward entrants into the new music business that is forming worldwide and help them cut through the murk and muck. And so, the book is getting close to being done. In the meantime, I’m finding a lot of people who, though very eager to be helpful in the new environment, are themselves not taking care of the details as they should.
Yes, it makes me sigh. So, I’m hoping this book will help even those. And you know, at the end of the day, if the book helps one person then it was a success.
However, in your business, do you challenge, and disprove or verify? It’s not easy. It is definitely not popular. Again, I sigh. But carrying on.