Author of the Month
I chose nonfiction business author, entrepreneur, and public speaker JK Harris as my Author of the Month because of his highly successful track record in achieving whatever he sets out to accomplish. I found it interesting that many of the winning business strategies in his book can also be applied to authors, editors, publishers, and others in the publishing industry. This month marks the release of his new book Flashpoint: Seven Core Strategies for Rapid-Fire Business Growth.
Leslie: As a highly accomplished CEO, businessman, and public speaker, what prompted you to also write a book?
JK: I decided to write Flashpoint: Seven Core Strategies for Rapid-Fire Business Growth for two primary reasons.
One, much of what I have learned about what to do and what not to do in business, I learned the hard way through trial and error. Of course, I have also learned a lot by reading and studying what other successful entrepreneurs have done. So I wanted to do what those successful entrepreneurs did, to give back, if you will, by sharing my knowledge with other business owners and managers so that they could learn from my mistakes—and, of course, from what I did right, as well.
Two, I am a serial entrepreneur. I get bored easily so Iím always looking for something new and different. Writing a book is definitely different from the businesses Iíve owned in the past. And in this case, that first book has turned into a series of books and a consulting firm under the brand Flashpoints.
Leslie: Whatís the most important idea you want readers to take away from the book?
JK: Flashpoint is about seven core business strategies, but the one I like to talk about the most is Strategy Three: Put the Right People in the Right Positions. When you hire people, you need to know that they can do the job, of course, but thatís not enough. You need to find out if they will do the job, if theyíre a good fit for your company and your culture. You want to understand what motivates them. The way to do that is with a whole person assessment, which is something you should do with every candidate for any position in your organization
If you donít take the time and effort to be sure youíre putting the right people in the right positions, youíll be hurting your company—and youíll be hurting the people personally as well. Hiring mistakes are expensive, especially in these challenging economic times. It takes a little more time and investment upfront to avoid them, but there are things you can do to make sure youíre hiring the right people for the right jobs.
JK: I believe that business does not need to be complicated to be successful. If you make it complicated, you make it easier to make mistakes. You can keep business simple and successful. Thatís why in Flashpoint, Iíve focused on seven core strategies for rapid-fire business growth. Are there other strategies that you can use in addition to these seven? Sure. But you have to start with these seven. These are the basics, the foundation. And you can start using them whether your business is brand new or has been around for decades. They are not complex strategies. Youíll grasp most of them the first time you read them.
Leslie: Whatís the most rewarding part of being an author?
JK: When someone tells me that theyíve learned something, that my book has caused them to do something different in their operation and that has increased sales or productivity or profitability—thatís makes all the work of writing the book worth it.
Leslie: How does writing fit in with the rest of your busy career?
JK: Thatís a tough one. Itís hard to find the time to work on books, but I have a great support team, and I just set aside the time I need on my calendar, close the door, and work on the book.
Leslie: What advice can you give to other writers who would like to publish nonfiction business books?
JK: Be clear on your message and have a business plan for your books. Know the purpose of each book, who is going to buy it, why theyíre going to buy it, and how youíre going to get the word out about it.
Leslie: Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
JK: My wife and I have raised a beautiful daughter, and she is the joy of our lives. She is definitely an accomplishment of which Iím tremendously proud. From a business perspective, I am proud of the fact that I saw an opportunity in the tax resolution business that no one else saw and was able to build the industryís largest firm in just a few years. Even today, JK Harris & Company is ten times the size of our nearest competitor. And, of course, Iím proud of Flashpoint, the book, and Flashpoints, the brand, which is a result of the book
Leslie: Whatís next in your writing career?
JK: I have finished my second book, Sales Flashpoint, which will be out later this year. And Iím working on Marketing Flashpoint.
Leslie: How can readers find out more about you?
JK: They can visit www.theflashpoints.com for more information about me, the Flashpoints brand, and the books, and subscribe to my free Flashpoints newsletter and get a free copy of my e-book, The Mindset of High Achievers. They can find out more about JK Harris & Company at www.jkharris-company.com
Read the review on Myshelf by Leslie C Halpern of
2010's Honorary List