I love words. I love words that become stories. I love niche markets.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. And goodnight.
If comedy was my thing and that was my entire routine, you'd probably want your money back.
Fortunately, I'm just getting started.
I've been working in the publishing industry for more than 25 years.
My first delve into a niche market involved becoming the editor, advertising sales manager and art director of a monthly publication called THE CROSSFACE. Devoted to high school and college wrestling, this monthly publication taught me how much money could be made by targeting a specific market. I still don't know anything about wrestling but I know the people who were dedicated to the sport rushed to get our magazine every month.
The key to success? Find a group of consumers interested in a specific topic. Determine if the need is being met. And if it isn't, create the product your target market wants. Be first, be best or be different and you've got it made.
I left the world of wrestling behind to learn more about the publishing industry at a publication for older adults, where the owner left me alone for five years to grow his monthly from infancy – $1,000 in advertising sales per month – to become an established magazine grossing nearly $20,000 in sales per month. When I told the former publisher I was leaving to branch out on my own he sold the publication for $250,000.
I left because it was time to see if I could make my favorite motivational saying - “Those who can see the invisible can do the impossible” – a reality. So I went all in and cashed out every penny in my savings account ($7,000) and bought a Macintosh computer and all the office supplies necessary to launch a monthly parenting publication. Working out of my one-bedroom apartment, I published Volume 1, No. 1 with $10,000 in advertising sales and never looked back. A year later, I created an annual Kids' Expo that perfectly complemented the magazine and continued to launch similar publications and events which served untapped niche markets. Six years later, my company had moved into an office building, I had 25 employees and I sold the first magazine and event I created for $250,000.
It wasn't always smooth sailing (or sale-ing, for that matter) but the years were much more successful than not. In all, we launched eight publications and six events from the ground up. We won a bunch of awards, did a lot of great things for our community and donated well over half a million dollars in in-kind products to worthwhile charitable organizations. We did all we could to make a difference that mattered.
When I sold the company in 2009, we were grossing $1.1 million in revenue per year; throughout the years my company was in business, we made about $12 million dollars.
After selling the business, I thought I'd want some downtime.
That lasted for about a week.
I didn't know I was a serial entrepreneur until I came to the realization that creating and helping others create a new career or take their existing company in a new direction is something I love doing. It never feels like work. It feels like a privilege.
I love telling people's stories. I love people who tell stories. And I especially love introducing authors who have written great stories to publishers who are plugged into the perfect target market.
Becoming an author and a literary agent seemed like logical next steps. My first book, which I co-wrote with Debra Englander, an amazing talent who's worked in publishing in New York City for over 25 years, will drop in early October 2019. Published by Post Hill Press and distributed nationally by Simon and Schuster, it is entitled "143 Reasons Mister Rogers Still Matters” and writing it was a dream. Essentially a love story, the book pays tribute to Fred Rogers from the perspective of those who knew him best (the team who worked with him every day for decades), those who met him once (after which he became an integral part of their lives) and those who knew him as the best neighbor imaginable. It's a very special book.
I've also picked up a couple of talented authors and will be offering their first books up for sale momentarily. And I'm looking for a few more very special writers who have a story to tell.
Every great book has one thing in common: it begins with a perfect first word.
If you've come up with that first word, added thousands of companions and have a manuscript you'd like me to read, send it over.
My new favorite motivational saying? I take the end result of what was once one single word and introduce it to the world.
Hopefully, we'll talk soon. In the meantime, thanks for your creativity, your imagination and the wonder in your words. You inspire me and continue to make this business one I adore.