Write On! wraps up the week with a Q&A with entrepreneur and sports-enthusiast Robert Tuchman. The president of Premiere Corporate, a division of Premiere Global Sports, Tuchman is the author of Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own and The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live: An Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime. He writes a monthly column for Incentive magazine, and has written articles for ESPN.com and Sports Business Journal.
How did Young Guns come about?
I really wanted to tell my story: everything I had gone through in trying to start a business and then my experience running one for ten years. There were so many great stories that highlighted the ups and downs of my business life. I approached my lawyer who had a good friend, Frank Weimann, who is a well known literary agent. Frank is a great guy and we hit it off. He liked my story and thought he could sell it to a publisher, which of course he did.
What was favorite part of the writing process? The greatest challenge?
I really enjoy getting my creative juices flowing and putting words on paper (I still write on a pad) that describe what I was experiencing. I like thinking of stories that others can relate to and tying it into the overall theme of the chapter. My greatest challenge was making it all flow together from one chapter to the next.
A lot of writers are entrepreneurs. What are the top 3 things an entrepreneur needs to know?
You need to know that you will fail many times. You have to be able to pick yourself off the mat when you get knocked down. I failed so many times but I was able to get up and keep moving forward.
Keep balanced. While its important to live your business, especially in the early stages of a company, you also need to take care of yourself to stay fresh and energized about what you are building. That means that you need to take breaks. I like to run and play sports which is a great way to get away from thinking about my business for a few hours.
It’s a marathon not a sprint. Building a business takes time and energy but most importantly persistence. The ability to keep focused and work on your goals each day is important. Only time will tell if you are persistant. I do not know one successful entrepreneur who isn’t.
What was your impetus for writing 100 Sporting Events?
I was reading a review for a travel book called 1000 Places To See Before You Die. I said to myself, “I might not have a 1000 places I want to see, but I sure have 100 sporting events I want to attend before I kick the bucket.” I had spent the last ten years in my job traveling to all these events, so I had a great insiders knowledge of the ins and outs of sporting events.
How did you decide what to include? How did you keep track of all your research?
That was the difficult part. There are so many great events to choose from. I interviewed a lot of people and discussed each of the events. At the end of the day this was what I came up with. This was a very difficult book to research as there is so much information to include, since it is written like a Frommers Travel Guide. Fortunately I had a few very bright interns who helped me keep organized.
How was your process for getting 100 Sporting Events published different from or similar to Young Guns?
100 Sporting Events You Must See Live was published by BenBella books, a small publisher out of Dallas, Texas. They were really interested in working with me because they knew I was in sports marketing and would know how to market the book to my industry. They like to work with writers who can also come up with creative business solutions for the book. Young Guns was published by AMACOM, and they really were interested in how I was presenting the material and the style of the book. AMACOM has been really successful with these types of books, so they had a lot of good ideas.
How important is diversification for a writer?
I think it is a bonus. I had two ideas for books that are worlds apart, but I know something about both topics. They are both very different style books, as well, but I accepted the challenge. Then again there are some terrific writers who know one style or form and do quite well.
How do you balance all the aspects of your business?
I answer these questions at 10 at night. It’s very difficult with two books and running a company. I really enjoy staying busy but, like I said, you need to have balance to stay healthy.
Any advice for writers?
Enjoy what you are doing. It has to be fun and enjoyable to really show through in your work.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
How long it would take to get from point A to point Z. It is a process but—in the end—well worth it!
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