On Starting Out

When we first started the interviews that eventually led to Kickstart: How Successful Canadians Got Started, we didn’t really know what to expect. Wouldn’t it be difficult to sit down with so many well-known people, especially considering the three of us were literary nobodies?

We had no publisher, no agent and very little experience (I think we were still listing work on the high school yearbook in our credits). Why would anyone have twenty minutes – let alone two hours – to talk about their twenties, that awkward, often-forgotten time in their lives.

But we persevered… something like that. Actually, a great deal of the success in “bagging” over seventy interviews came from luck, pure and simple. We happened to be calling at the right time or some assistant was interested in offering a PR-motivated interview (not knowing, of course, that we still didn’t have a publisher).

But co-author Andrew Feindel, as someone who takes great pride in the skill-set offered to him by one of the most respected business schools in Canada, was persistent. He never took no for an answer. He called countless times. He sent letters. He followed up. In short, because of him, the material for the book was collected. We wouldn’t have been able to learn from Dr. James Orbinski, head of Dignitas International, or Normie Kwong, CFL star and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

All this to say that Paul Matthews and I, the more – ahem – artsy guys of the group (we both have BA’s in History and English), would have been completely hopeless when it came to logistics.

Having a business side works. Even when it comes to writing books.

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