Instead of giving you any insight into how a small business can operate effectively, today we give you a look inside the process of creating a book about small business.
The Roadside MBA team (Mike, Scott, Paul, and Paul’s retriever Josie) is currently sequestered in a scenic cabin near Lake Tahoe. Over the last few months, we’ve made considerable progress on our book (and by “we”, I mean Mike — Scott has also been busy, but post-season Little League assistant coaching is not doing much to help small business people). So we came together to edit, brainstorm, and try to hit our upcoming deadline for a first draft.
Much of our time has been spent struggling with the comments from our editor. We’re economists, so we know all kinds of good jargon words like externality, equilibrium, and elasticity. But publishing jargon is a whole other kettle of fish. Our book, according to our editor, needs a good “nut graph” here and there. And probably a “leitmotif.” Oh, and a lot more “apercu.” If you know what these words mean, drop us a line and help us out.
When we are not trying to figure out what the editor has in mind, a few minutes in the cabin go something like this:
Paul: Let’s review this chapter I drafted. Here’s what I was thinking when I wrote it.
Scott: No, that’s stupid. Get rid of all those examples. And structure the chapter completely differently.
Paul: But those are the examples you suggested last time we talked.
Scott: Are not.
Paul: Are too.
Then both look at Mike, who dodges the issue with “Derek Jeter just got a hit!” Hanging out with Mike was much more pleasant when Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter was sitting on the bench while recovering from his ankle injury.
But we are making progress. We have passable drafts of seven chapters (out of a likely twelve), so for those we just need to add in a few more nut graphs or leitmotifs. And we’ve spent a fair bit of time this week pulling out great examples for chapters on organizing decision-making, setting prices, managing your brand, and negotiating effectively.
And for those of you who are wondering…