A few blogs back, I talked about a book called, Chapter One by Daniel Flynn and I promised a review of it once I’d read it. I saw Daniel at a breakfast event in June where he was guest speaker. He presented an inspirational keynote about the social enterprise that he and two other people started called ThankyouTM. At the end of that event I purchased a few copies of his book because I felt compelled to support this enterprise. Maybe he’s just a good salesperson.
Chapter One is about the journey (first chapter) of Thankyou and the many obstacles that they have had in the pursuit of their mission: to provide safe drinking water to places that don’t have it.
The first thing to note about this book is that it’s formatted landscape rather than portrait like most books in this genre, or most trade books for that matter (I put it in the business/self-help category). When I first saw this I was intrigued and felt a little boring having not thought of doing this before with any of our own books. After having read it, I’ve decided it doesn’t work so well and found it physically cumbersome to hold. While it’s good to challenge the status quo, some things do work well as they are.
But these guys have challenged the status quo in many other ways that are commendable and that do work. It’s what has taken them to a million dollar business. Chapter One is part of a great marketing campaign that has already brought in around $1.5 million and sold about 50,000 copies.
I didn’t expect too much from this book because of the marketing strategy behind it, so it was a pleasant surprise that it’s a good read. Daniel’s writing style is conversational and easy to read, much like his speaking qualities. The story includes great marketing ideas that businesses can take on board. It also follows their journey to get to the end of this chapter and still be in business, which demonstrates that persistence, tenacity, passion and stamina are key ingredients to success (a little naiveté doesn’t hurt either).
What resonated with me most was that if you know why you are doing something you have a much better chance at success. Most of all, don’t give up!
Chapter One is a ‘pay what you want’ scenario, putting it into the crowd-funding arena. This has paid off very well and will see them funding their next chapter, as hoped. If you’re running a business, or feeling a little lacking in mojo, this book is a good read for inspiration and practical ideas.