Find The Authentic Voice with Ghostwriter Paul Edwards #040

Show Notes:

Paul Edwards is an executive ghostwriter, agency CEO, husband, father, amateur theologian and bodybuilder. Not to mention a best selling author and host of Influencer Networking Secrets.

He leads a team of writers, graphic artists, publishing and marketing strategists, collectively known as “The Ghost & The Machine.” Together they create web content, books, funnel marketing copy and other content because quite simply, words matter.

Paul serves faith-based influencers, executives, thought leaders, coaches and consultants, delivering done for you content, marketing assets and finesse with words that spurs results. He creates engagement, profits, and donations, always focusing on how to “moves the needle” for his clients.

Topics explored:

  • The Curator as curator of your own life
  • We need to define who we’re not
  • This is how to remove time wasters from your life
  • Behaviour change is easy when you shift your identity
  • A core value: Words matter
  • How other people engaged after he lost 60 pounds
  • When the body is healthier the soul is saying ‘I like that’
  • The moment when you realise, ‘this is who I am’
  • Taking people’s messages and transmitting them to others
  • They take the value I give and sell me to their friends and network
  • At six years old, I decide I was going to write my autobiography
  • Listen to the rhythms of stand up comedy
  • It’s about keeping the audience in mind
  • You have to become like a therapist and keep digging
  • The listening game requires tremendous restraint
  • It’s about the audience, otherwise you’re writing a book nobody wants to read
  • The most common misconception about ghost writing
  • In print you lose all the non-verbals, unless you know what you’re doing
  • What are you going to lose, doing it by yourself?
  • Story is the language of the heart, of emotion and connection
  • The more filters the more creativity
  • People who are creating virtuous workspace cultures
  • Making friends and planting seeds
  • “I couldn’t stop getting fired”
  • The military won’t let you quit
  • “I’m a redeemed egomaniac”
  • Lived out of pride for two decades and it hasn’t done any good
  • Nothing to fear and nothing to hide


Al McBride 0:05
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge and business leaders with skin in the game, who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and increase profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum, we delivered gems of wisdom, delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to life, business and problem solving.

Al McBride 0:30
This is the grand a cup of insight, long form podcast interview, where we take a little bit more time to delve a bit deeper into our guests experience stories and get to those priceless nuggets for you.

Al McBride 0:42
I’m your host Al McBride. My guest today is Paul Edwards. Paul is an executive ghostwriter, agency CEO, husband, father, amateur theologian, and bodybuilder. Not to mention best selling author and host of influencer networking secrets. So welcome to the show. Paul, it’s great to have you on.

Paul Edwards 1:07
Al It’s so good to be here. And so good to be with your audience. And thanks so much for having me.

Al McBride 1:12
Well, it’s it’s my pleasure, I assure you. And let me just tell you, this is something that we touched on before Paul, just to drop right into it. You mentioned this thing in your book, this idea of the curator, which is all about you know, choosing identity and habits behavior and, and and your customers on your outcome. And this is from your book, as I said the Influencer Networking Secrets. Can you dive into that for us? What do you mean by the curator?

Paul Edwards 1:38
I love the concept, you know, we tend to think of a curator one of two ways. If you look it up online, you’ll find that most of the time we’re thinking about somebody who chooses certain pieces of artwork that go into a museum, or a display or a gallery. And in the other sense that it’s used people talk about choosing musical acts for a concert.

Paul Edwards 2:05
And I thought you know, isn’t that isn’t that aren’t those two very good analogies because one is very much kind of like stills like moments, snapshots, right, painted on canvas not taken with a camera, but they’re still, you know, just images and pictures and representations of what your life is. And the other one is very much in motion, right?

Paul Edwards 2:31
It’s songs being played, it’s usually captured on video, yes, there are photographers there. But but it’s very much an event with a sequence and a beginning and a middle and an end, which is the other equally important way to observe a human life. You know, to put it simply, I said, we have a choice, we always have a choice, we It is never taken away from us, the one thing that we always have control over is the choice of how we respond.

Paul Edwards 3:04
And that includes to responding to things inside ourselves and outside ourselves. And I took that, and I said that that forms the foundation, if you can choose who you’re going to be. and by extension, who you’re not going to be, then a lot of the other things that traditionally chaotically Come in, come in and out of your life will stop they’ll self select out. Right? To put it very simply, you choose not to live a life of crime and live a life of obedience to the law, you’ll stop having run ins with the cops.

Al McBride 3:43
It’s an interesting example to draw.

Paul Edwards 3:46
It’s a very it’s a very primitive one. But it was the first one I could think of, you know, well,

Al McBride 3:50
it’s it’s Stark in the sense of that people tend to get the idea. You know, I mean, the one thing I’d add to that what you’re saying is, is right on the nose because, you know, it’s one of those principles. As a coach, as a trainer.

Al McBride 4:06
You know, it is fundamental to cognitive behavioral coaching, is the idea that, you know, if you’re in chaos, and you feel somewhat out of control, the easiest way to get back into that is by asking that question, what what do I have a choice on that I have?

Al McBride 4:24
Because by the very definition of discovering that you’re not just stuck, there you have a choice means that you have some tiny modicum of control. And once you realize that, it starts the ball rolling for what else you might have a choice on what else you have control on that, as you said, that gets you back into where you have agency rather than being purely reacted upon by the world.

Al McBride 4:50
So no for very interesting stuff. And I love the way you boil it back to this idea of knowing who you are deciding who you are as an again, it’s a choice. This is Professor of I remember an old friend of mine who say, you know what, when you have standards, people added themselves in and out of your life, which is very similar to your, your concept. How do you apply this? Or how do you help people apply this? Imagine there’s a few bumps along the road.

Paul Edwards 5:24
Well, so it’s a matter of fact, just this morning, I was on a call with a very close friend and ally in business and, and spiritual ally, and all that. And he was talking to me about things that he says, on a daily basis, you know, affirmations and things that he finds very helpful in building up his higher self.

Paul Edwards 5:49
And, and I was like, I’m all for that. However, I want to add, we also need to define who we’re not. We also need to say, right from the get go. And I inferred this, oddly enough, out from not from, from the practice of doing self affirmations, I first discovered it.

Paul Edwards 6:10
I’ve been a fan for a long time of Craig Valentine, who’s a well known business coach and author. And he came up with this thing. I don’t know that he originally came up with it, but he came, but he was a big proponent of having a to do list and also having a not to do list. Right.

Al McBride 6:28
I’ve heard this from Tim Ferriss. He loves the not to do list. Yeah.

Paul Edwards 6:32
Yeah. So the minute you begin articulating that stuff, the reality all around you corresponds begins to say, Oh, okay. Now he’s, he or she is exercising this the authority that he has, over what he’s going to do and what he’s not going to do. And, and, and it’s going to vary, it’s going that is going to communicate, subconsciously, I believe, to the people around you, so that they begin to self edit in and out.

Paul Edwards 6:58
And so as a result, time wasters are a very rare thing for me to actually interact with, not just because of COVID-19, it was that way before, right? It was I would just go places meet people. And that and it didn’t take long, after a few minutes of talking to me, for most people who spend an inordinately greater amount of time doing wasteful things, to not really want to want to go that far with me.

Paul Edwards 7:31
And I’m not, I’m not knocking them. I’m not praising myself, I’m saying one is one and the others the other and they’re different. Right? They’re just different. It’s it’s not better or worse. It’s just different. And so what I tell people, most the time is if you don’t know who you’re not, you can’t really know who you are.

Paul Edwards 7:52
It’s it’s the way we were, if you believe the way I believe it’s the way we were created. It’s It’s It’s written right there in Genesis, but we don’t, we don’t necessarily know how to interpret it because it was originally written in Hebrew. But the lesson is actually sitting there in stark contrast, this is who first you got to know who you’re not. Once you know that you can find out who you are.

Al McBride 8:14
And just don’t know who you are and who you’re not idea. It’s something as I said in in the bio there, it’s very interesting that there’s a lot of roles. As I said, father, husband, agency co executive ghostwriting? Well, we’ll dive into a few of those, I’m just because it’s something you mentioned about the body builder part that identity.

Al McBride 8:39
It’s something you mentioned to me when we were chatting before about, you know, when you when you know or accept or as you say, choose that identity. All the behavioral change just sort of slots into play through. This was something I’ve discovered recently I started, that’s what I discovered, I was reminded of when I was helping a friend’s PhD, intern studied thing.

Al McBride 9:07
And it was about behavior change was one of these things, but he had to write down your values first. And then the suppose the new habit that you wanted to form that habit change. And it was instantaneous. For weeks, it’s no problem because it just wants to over the values a lot easier to just keep doing the habit.

Paul Edwards 9:27
Yeah. Yeah. And once you and you know, right, you know, what, what, what, in many cases not all the time, but you know, what turns you off or What irritates you or what is you know, creates a vacuum internally for you. Right. One of my values is words matter.

Paul Edwards 9:49
And the reason I know that words matter, aside from having a gift with words, is that when I see people, poorly using words, it irritates them. It irritates me to no end when I see misspellings or bad grammatical uses or things taken out of context or primitive interpretations. I’m just like, makes my you know, big my skin starts to crawl. So anyway, I didn’t mean to interrupt you there. But no,

Al McBride 10:15
no, no, no, no, that was, that was it a very interesting thought I was just, I was just going to go on to the bodybuilder element for a moment as to it’s a very interesting addition to the CEO part. And, and indeed, the ghostwriter part, I’m just wondering how they all inform each other, particularly maybe those three,

Paul Edwards 10:38
one of the things I discovered when I went through this, I’ve been through a couple transformations physical in my life, the first time I was young, and in my very early 20s, and I lost about probably 60 pounds. And it was, I couldn’t have told this couldn’t have told you, this couldn’t have even understood it at the time.

Paul Edwards 10:59
But the thing that began to happen for me, was that everywhere I went, people seem to pay so much more attention to me, and take me so much more seriously than they used to. Obvious, obviously, you know, there was a big improvement in my ability to capture the attention of the opposite sex because of this, right at the time.

Paul Edwards 11:21
I was, I went from being, you know, 230 pounds, and flabby face and big belly and, and all that. And now I’m, like, lean and tanned from living in Southern California, and, you know, tight jaw, and all that kind of thing. And, you know, it just it did what it did? Well, I did a second time through that at age 37. But this time, by this time, I’m married into kids, you know, it’s not about attracting girls or anything, but it’s about but I, I’m also much more spiritually attuned to what’s going on.

Paul Edwards 11:57
And I can tell that my, when I do these things for my body, my soul is saying, I like that, keep doing that, I feel better. Now, I don’t feel angry and bitter and sarcastic, and, and, you know, defeatist all the time, because of what you’re doing, you’re winning. Right, you’re winning the battle with yourself, you’re and you can do that in other areas. So up until this point, I had been working jobs and jobs that, quite frankly, I didn’t want to work.

Paul Edwards 12:29
And this was the this was the one that I began to move into being an entrepreneur was I, you know, I just, I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life just working for you know, barely above the minimum wage. Because I hadn’t chosen the modern, lucrative technological profession where it’s, it’s a fair degree easier to get a great paying job, right.

Paul Edwards 12:56
So all this is happening, and I’m realizing, as all this is going on, I’m realizing the body and the soul are talking to each other. They’re communicating, like I would I live in the Pacific Northwest is a very Irish like weather here. You know, we’ve talked about that. And I, for years, I just detested the climate, and I was vocal about it to my wife, and to anybody who would listen.

Paul Edwards 13:23
But I could tell that people were kind of turned off by that, even though it is a pretty gloomy climate. And it didn’t do me any good. And I started going and sitting in saunas and hot tubs, just to feel warm, and, you know, like, I was back in Southern California and Sunday night. And my soul would say, that’s good, do more of that. do more of that there’s no harm and in, you know, taking an extra 30 minutes and soaking and, and you know, getting absorbing some heat.

Paul Edwards 13:54
So, these things just begin to play off of each other, and I lost, you know, I went from 26.5% body fat to 11.3. And I was like, I was now I’m like at 37, right, I’m buying. I’m dropping from size 38 waist size 34 and my abs are showing and I’m, you know, flexing and getting muscles and all this kind of thing. And I made the decision that I was going to try and just to see what it was like to compete in Men’s Physique in a bodybuilding competition.

Paul Edwards 14:32
I went after it and the more I did it, you know, you’ve got you can train for a long time or you can, some people can do contest prep in a matter of, you know, few weeks. In my case, I just spent a whole bunch of time training I learned how to hit the bodybuilder poses. I learned how to, you know, fix my nutrition properly.

Paul Edwards 14:52
I learned how to get good tanning done. I learned you know, how to, I did a photoshoot. I did all this stuff and I at the end of it I found myself saying this is that this is who I am. Right now, I’m not competing these days, I’ve got way, way too much business to attend to.

Paul Edwards 15:09
But I’m, I’m, I maintain myself in a position where I could pay my coach, you know, for three months of contest prep coaching, I could shed that, you know, four percentage points of body fat I need to to get into into show competition. I know how to get the 10 I know how to hit the poses, right? And, and especially I know how I eat, I know what I’m eating, and I know what I what I refuse to eat.

Paul Edwards 15:36
And so I just, it’s just like, it’s who I am. So, you know, we go to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you know, I eat the meal, but I don’t there’s stuff on that table. I’m sorry, I’m not touching it. I don’t care how good it tastes, and I don’t care that it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving, I’m not interested.

Al McBride 15:54
And what is it? What is it about? Or is it the self discipline? Is it because it sounds nice to you talk to her and it’s connected? It sounds like it’s connected to a spiritual, a spiritual edge to it. And I’m just wondering what what aspect of it in that is connected to the spiritual for you?

Paul Edwards 16:14
The American patriot Patrick Henry was arguing before, this is an answer to the question. The American patriot Patrick Kennedy was arguing before the Continental Congress about the way that King George in the in the parliament were treating the American colonies. And he said, Where can you show me in the last 10 years that the British have done anything but tax us more quarter their soldiers in our houses, you know, abuse us over regulate us, you know, just establishing tyranny over us.

Paul Edwards 16:55
When in the last 10 years? Has anyone ever seen them? Do something truly benevolent towards us? And of course, nobody could answer. Well, you know, they did this. And they did that. And you know, nobody answered that. Everybody knew. He was stating what everybody knew. I look at food the same way. Right? When in the last 10 years, has a glass of scotch or, you know, a big old hot dog or a birthday cake or apple pie or whatever.

Paul Edwards 17:20
When Has that ever led to muscular gains, leaner abs? greater cardio, cardiovascular endurance, doesn’t do it. Tastes good. going in? For about 30 seconds. That’s it. Now, I’m not a foodie. So I’ll I’ll say that right? A lot of people are foodies, and that kind of thing. I’m not I I’m easily to detach from it.

Paul Edwards 17:45
But part of the reason I’m detached from it is because I’m able to ask that question, I’m able to say, I can’t remember the last time an apple, a slice of apple pie did me any more good than a couple of seconds of dopamine. And that was it. And that’s not enough to do it for me anymore.

Al McBride 18:00
It’s an interesting perspective. Just as he said, The filter is very clear as to as to the perspective on that thing, what the meaning of it is for you. I’m just wondering how how that then relates to your ghostwriting. So before we quite get in there, I’m just intrigued as to how someone gets into ghost writing. So can you talk to us about that as to your path into there was it was a very circuitous

Paul Edwards 18:30
it was Yeah. Not something I always thought it was a pretty cool profession. It was not something that I had on my radar. But here’s the thing, I realized that I had been doing ghost writing for quite some time before I actually took up a pen and got paid to do it as a professional. Right. And this is what my book is all about. I couldn’t it’s called influencer networking secrets. But if you think about it, it’s just like being a ghostwriter.

Al McBride 19:00
Okay, oh, that’s interesting.

Paul Edwards 19:02
Well, there’s really only two ways that networking does what you really want it to do. Right? going one direction is what everybody obviously wants, which is other people are recommending and referring you going the other direction you are referring and recommending them and creating credibility and authority and visibility, right?

Paul Edwards 19:29
Sort of like you and I are doing by interviewing on each other shows. Sure. And I thought about that and I said, What is it people have? I don’t know how many great customers strategic partnerships, opportunities for publicity I’ve created I’ve lost count of them. long since lost count of them. I was doing it way before I had a podcast or had a book or anything like that.

Paul Edwards 19:52
I was doing it in the insurance business here locally where I live. I said I have been taking people’s messages and transmitting them to other people for years. Right? So I’m ghostwriting, what they offer, how they offer it, who they are as a person, etc, I am taking that and transmitting it to other people who want to buy it, or who want to know about it, right.

Paul Edwards 20:18
And I’m saying you should meet this person going the other direction, they are taking my value that I imprint upon them through interacting with them, and they are selling me to their friends and their network and anybody they come across who needs what I do. So I had been ghost writing my marketing message long before I ever picked up a pen and got paid to do it.

Al McBride 20:45
Ya know that that makes sense. Although I still wonder that there’s an extra element there. And the ghost writing is people can write you know, good, good PR people, good marketing, people can write good copy for a client. But for me, that’s kind of a different animal, to actually being able to write in the other person’s voice.

Al McBride 21:04
That seems like a whole other level. Particularly, as you mentioned in several of your of your clients mentioned that the only way their friends and family could tell the difference was that yours often sounded more succinct. It was more punchy, or whatever, it was just better, like, you know, better than they could say themselves.

Al McBride 21:23
But, but the friends and family would would hear their loved ones voice that was the key thing. So that, for me is a whole other level. So I’m just wondering, how do you how do you get into that? The mindset and the perspective of your client?

Paul Edwards 21:39
You’re absolutely right to point that out. This one, I wish I could claim the credit for it, I can describe it, but I can’t say that it’s anything other than a gift from God. So all my life, I have been gifted with two things, words and people.

Paul Edwards 22:16
So when I was growing up, I would. It’s about six, seven years old, I saw my dad sitting at his computer keyboard typing furiously one day, and I’m like, Dad, what are you doing? And he said, I’m writing my autobiography. I didn’t know what it was. So when he told me, he said, It’s a story of my life. I said, Oh, that’s cool.

Paul Edwards 22:37
And I decided I was going to write my autobiography. And, hey, he had taught me how to use the word processor. But I hadn’t used it up until that point until I got the inspiration to write a story. So I went and of course, as any seven or eight year old boy can told my story, in an autobiography, and from then on, I had the writing bug so that at 11, I was following the sports section of the Los Angeles newspaper, and I was into hockey, ice hockey, and I would read the stories recounting the games, and the box scores and all that.

Paul Edwards 23:15
And so long before fantasy sports was ever a thing, I had my own hockey fantasy league that I created all on my own with all the teams and rosters and all this box scores and highlights and all that I wrote it all. That’s preternatural. It’s just, it’s just what was inside me. And I didn’t even really understand it at the time. When you talk about the voice, though. That’s the mimic.

Paul Edwards 23:38
So the other thing that that I started doing naturally, in which since I’m on an Irish podcast, I can I can demonstrate was I started listening to stand up comedy routines. Okay. And at I think I was nine years old. My dad had heard me walking around, I listened to an entire Hal Roach. Irish, you know, the king of Blarney. In jurys Hotel in Dublin.

Paul Edwards 24:06
I would I would walk around telling his jokes to make my mom laugh and that kind of thing. My dad knew that I knew the whole routine. He asked me to get up in front of all of our friends. We were gathered together for families, three or four different families get together. And he said do your Irish routine and I got up and did it and had had them all rolling. All the adults were laughing all the kids were laughing. So, since since I’m on an Irish podcast that reminds me of my newest my new favorite Hal Roach joke. He said, I think my wife has turned me to relate to religion. I never knew what hell was until I was married to her.

Al McBride 24:50
All right, nice one. Excellent, excellent. So when you’re working with a client that how much exposure to do you need To talk with them at length, do you need to read what they’ve written before? I mean, what’s your approach? Do you have a particular approach? Or does it vary due to the client? How does that work?

Paul Edwards 25:11
There are, there’s plenty of research you can do. When you’re writing, particularly a nonfiction book for a client, right? That can tell you generally, what the audience wants to hear. That’s, that’s the one side of it, if you don’t maintain the presence of mind to say, I’ve got to remember, we’re writing to an audience, we want them to respond, you can quickly get lost in the weeds.

Paul Edwards 25:40
But backing up a step from that when you’re, when you’re with a client, when I’m with a client, this is where in my book, I tell people to become a become like a therapist, right? So you’ve really got to spend time digging into that story. And the deeper I dig with clients, the more you know, and I can tell usually I watch when they’re talking and then all of a sudden, I begin to hear a slightly higher inflection in their voice.

Paul Edwards 26:10
And then maybe their eyes light up, or they start really getting animated. And I’m like, we found something here, we’ve got something. So I’m taking scrupulous notes, right, taking dictation as I go. But I’m also it’s also a tremendous listening game. It’s a tremendous, it’s a game that requires tremendous restraint from talking too much. Talking too soon. Not talking enough, right. And, and it’s, it’s magic.

Paul Edwards 26:39
So I don’t find that I have to, I don’t find that it takes me too long to find their voice, particularly if I know who they’re after the audience that they’re trying to reach. If I know a lot about what they do, or what what their offer is. It’s just really, and of course, you know, I record all the interviews, I take detailed notes I make, you know, just write paragraphs of their stories, right, that they’re that they’re recounting as they recount them. And then I say, Okay, how do we? How do I take that, and plug and play it with what the audience the research indicates? The audience wants to hear.

Al McBride 27:22
Okay, then interesting, just to say that you balanced it or weighted so much by the audience expectation. Oh, yeah. So you’re already almost pre editing the thing as to what should go in? What should the main topics where to put the focus? Okay, okay. Yeah.

Paul Edwards 27:39
Because otherwise, you’re writing a book that nobody’s going to want to read.

Al McBride 27:43
Right? Yeah, you know, it’s,

Paul Edwards 27:45
it’s great to have a good title. I get that. And that’s, that’s probably one of the easier parts it takes. It’s time consuming to take it. But once you got it, you don’t have to write anything else. But writing all the content getting getting turning it into a thing makes people turn the page. Oh, wow. I can’t put this down. Now. That’s, yeah. That, yeah.

Al McBride 28:07
So tell us something. What are some of the Have you found some of the most common myths or misunderstandings about that profession?

Paul Edwards 28:18
About ghost writing? Yeah. I heard it beautifully from a client recently. He said, My impression of a ghost writer is you pay them money. And they sit and write down what you say. And that’s it.

Al McBride 28:34
He’s like, he has we have computer programs to do that now offer that I chose it for me early. That’s the thing

Al McBride 28:42
of resume you out a whole other dimension, which you’ve just described with the focus on the editing. And, yeah,

Paul Edwards 28:48
and it’s more than that. So I politely said, well, that’s certainly part of it. That’s the foundational building blocks, no question. However, it’s, I think this is better stated. Now, in terms of what you lose when you don’t use one. So here’s the thing you and I are, we’re separated by 1000s 10s of 1000s of miles of ocean and land.

Paul Edwards 29:14
However, when I look into my screen here, I can see you’ve got your head canted slightly to the side, you’re smiling a little bit, right? I see the books behind you. I see the light switch, there’s, there’s context to what you’re saying. There’s a rhythm, there’s a pace at which you talk, there’s your accent, there’s your tone, there’s your there’s all this stuff in which only gets amplified and magnified if you and I are actually physically face to face, right.

Paul Edwards 29:41
But now we’re talking in print, now you’re losing all of that, right? You’re losing the tonality, you’re losing the inflection, you’re losing the body language, you’re losing the subconscious communication, the nonverbal stuff that’s taking place and we don’t even know it.

Paul Edwards 29:55
And all you’ve got is a white piece of paper or a screen with a bunch of words on it. How do you get that person to keep reading to the point that they say this guy knows his stuff? I’ve got to get in contact with him. I need him to help me solve this problem. Right?

Paul Edwards 30:12
It’s, it’s, it’s totally the opposite, right? It’s Yes, I work. I write. I’ve got chops with words. Yes, I’ve got a great team. Yes, I’ve got a great publishing team, great editors, great people who helped me all of that. But it’s, it’s not about that it’s, it’s what you are going to lose, doing it by yourself. That deprives your audience have the creativity that they deserve, that compels them to read that book.

Al McBride 30:43
Very interesting, very interesting. As I was going to ask about what, you know, some of those common mistakes, you know, if people are trying to write their own book, because it is quite a, it’s an increasingly popular thing these days. Just wondering, you know, and that’s certainly one of the big ones, which is that an awful lot of their actual voice, that if they’re, if they’re doing a video series, strangely enough, might actually come across more easily to the audience.

Al McBride 31:14
Whereas as you say, when you strip it all back into just words on a page, what are you actually left with? So that’s, that’s a very interesting point. I’m just wondering, is there anything else that that what other elements are either added or subtract it because it’s just I have a feeling that when you’re ghostwriting, as you said, you can take off? The individual is for want of a better phrase, trying to say, or saying, but maybe not as eloquently as, as a professional writer would? Yeah, are you kind of dare I said, you know, getting the Hollywood treatments, too.

Paul Edwards 31:55
It’s, it’s, it’s not an unfair or way off base analogy there. And the reason I say that is a great mentor of mine once had this quote, story is the language of the heart. Hmm. Right. So when you and your your best friends get together, right, and you haven’t seen each other for a while? What do you do you tell stories, right?

Paul Edwards 32:19
Hey, how’s it going? Oh, man, you’re not gonna believe what happened to my car? You’re not gonna believe what happened the other day that I ran into this, you know, and that’s what we do. Right. And that’s because, and that’s why salespeople, you know, sales coaches, you’ll hear them say things like facts telling stories sell, right? We’re, we’re not ignoring or neglecting the intellect.

Paul Edwards 32:43
We’re just saying that that’s not all there is to it. It’s both, right, is that there’s an emotional component. And there’s an intellectual component, and to human beings that I believe, are living breathing stories. And so stories interacting with other stories, want to know, among other things, What’s the story? What’s the progression? What’s the, how did you get to where you are?

Paul Edwards 33:06
Why does it make, you know, what’s the sequence? How does and all of that goes back to Al is, is arranging? It’s It’s a bit like a composer would arrange a symphony, right? You can put the middle eight, right at the beginning, but then it’s not the middle eight, right? These are musical terms. Not everybody May, maybe not everybody recognizes them.

Paul Edwards 33:30
I was in Concert Choir in high schools, I remember them. But you can put the you can put the new amount of a story at the beginning. And sometimes it does make sense to put it there because you’re telling the story retrospectively. But for the most for most of the time you want to build toward it on a crescendo? Because that’s what keeps those pages turning.

Paul Edwards 33:55
And so there’s an arranging element there that I think most people are just again, most people are thinking it’s a dictating machine. I just write as I speak, I just write stream of consciousness. And if we’re listening to you speak through through a microphone, if we’re watching you speak, you can get away with more of that.

Paul Edwards 34:17
But if we’re reading a book, you can’t, because the eyes are processing that they’re passing the information to the ears, which are doing the audio processing, but it The eyes are so much easier to dupe than the ears. Right?

Paul Edwards 34:31
So when you’re when you’re reading, when you’re writing those words, you’ve got to be able to pull back from it. You’ve got to get extra sets of eyes on it. And if you ask me, there’s no real creativity without at least two human beings. Right? There’s, there’s no, nobody publishes.

Paul Edwards 34:50
I mean, well, I suppose some people do but nobody, nobody truly self publishes a book and they might write might not make many changes to it, but most people at least hire an editor. Right? If they don’t do a ghostwriter, so there’s always a filter through which that’s got a pass. I say, you might as well add more filters, because the more filters you add more time for one more presentation, sorry.

Paul Edwards 35:28
The more filters you add to it. So the more filters you add to it, the more the more creativity emerges, the more vocabulary emerges, the more expressions and interesting ways of saying things and, and, and figurative illustrations that help a broader cross section of readers comprehend what you’re saying, emerge

Al McBride 36:01
is a very interesting point A colleague of mine often use the phrase, you can’t read the jar when you’re inside it. I can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar, you know, and it’s that sort of idea that you can’t see the wood from the trees that as you said, When, when you’ve experienced a lot of things seem obvious to you, but when you have someone else filled with anger that that doesn’t make sense. What What are you trying to say here? What’s going on with it? Okay, so

Paul Edwards 36:27
that’s especially in print,

Al McBride 36:29
especially in print? Yeah, very interesting point. Who do you tend to prefer to work with as an ideal client? What’s your criteria there?

Paul Edwards 36:41
My most fluent language is in the personal and professional development space of faith based coaches, consultants, masterminds executives, people who are creating virtuous workplace cultures, people who are helping get the best results out of other human beings. Not through slave driving, obviously, but through building up and edifying them.

Al McBride 37:13
Excellence along the kind of almost a flip of that. I’m always interested when, particularly when people have been in an industry. And I’ve learned a lot of lessons over many years. I’m often interested in their red flags, what are some of those little things?

Al McBride 37:28
The little things seem quite, you know, positive, and then there’s something that just being you know, the hang Oh, hold on a second, what might be some of those red flags for you? And nearly any point in that process be? And I presume one of them is that, you know, there may be there. As I said, their workplace culture that they’ve created, isn’t as humane isn’t a maybe as values based, but I’m just wondering, what are some of those other little red lights or red flags that fire for you?

Paul Edwards 37:58
Politics, divisive stuff. So not that I think that there’s no merit to a political Manifesto, making clear what your ideology, or that is. But I work in the world of business. I operate in the world of business, which is very much and the way I operate is not transactional. It’s very relational and very cooperative.

Paul Edwards 38:31
And, to some extent, there’s some of that in politics, too, you know, there’s horse trading and backroom deals and negotiations, and then that kind of stuff goes on. But for the most part, particularly for the time we live in, I just, I find it, it’s just not worth the money. I would much rather make friends and plant seeds with people with whom I disagree. Then come directly at them and attack how they think. Do I disagree with them?

Paul Edwards 39:06
Absolutely. No question. But do I but but is that what’s most important to me? No, I’m on a mission. And that mission is based on a a view of the diamond I’m a resident on a planet in a universe which at its core has a being whose whose core identity is love. And so I don’t want you know, it’s quite obvious from the last 20 or 30 years, but especially the last three or four that walking around bashing each other over the head for thinking differently is not working. Yeah, we’ve, so it’s time to it’s time to try something a little bit different and maybe just learn to love and let other people live the way they do. You know.

Al McBride 39:55
I’m just also curious and because you’ve had quite a quite an Quite a career so far, we have quite a few different roles, who was curious with people as to what they see as some of their more formative or instructive failures or setbacks in their career that either they learned a huge lesson from or, or maybe made them pivot their career path, that kind of thing.

Paul Edwards 40:23
So many to choose from. Now, but I’ll, I’ll say this. When I, when I experienced my first transformation, physical transformation, that was shortly before, I took advantage of the fact that my dad is a British citizen, and he bequeathed to me a UK passport. And so I came and lived in England for a while.

Paul Edwards 40:48
And while I was there, I made the decision, a couple really important decisions, I made one decision that I was just going to make physical fitness a lifestyle, and that has stuck with me now for 18 years. The other decision I made was that I was going to go into whoever whatever position would give me a shot, to work and earn my own keep, and I was going to serve my butt off.

Paul Edwards 41:15
And that work that started out, and that’s how I got some really good traction for quite some time, and was starting to, you know, feel like I could I could spend, you know, a long time living in London, I was very happy there, and was making great friends. But eventually, I got to a point where I wanted to move into the sales side of what I was doing, I had been in customer service, and I wanted to do sales, and they just took they just Dilly dallied.

Paul Edwards 41:52
My opinion was that they were dilly, dallying and getting me in cross promoting me. I didn’t, and I didn’t fully appreciate the talent that I brought to customer service. And the way I distinguish myself from my colleagues, which was why they had promoted me four times in customer service. But I, I just thought I was, you know, well, if I can do that, then I can do sales. And they took so long, and I started to become prideful, and arrogant. And I thought, they’re not promoting me fast enough.

Paul Edwards 42:27
Don’t they know who I am? I mean, that’s 22 years old, right? I’m, you know, they’ve promoted me four times in customer service. I’m, I’m, I’m the bee’s knees, man. And it’s set off a chain reaction. That for the last until 2000, the beginning of 2020. So one year ago, at the time of recording, until the beginning of 2020. I really, I really had no idea why my professional life just was a shambles.

Paul Edwards 42:59
It just, I joined the military Not long after this prideful decision because I couldn’t keep a job and I couldn’t stop getting fired from them. So I said, well, the military won’t let you quit, and they won’t fire you. So there’s a safe place for a few years. Well, I learned some hard lessons, you know. But it didn’t stop. I came out of the military, I got a degree, got a job and got fired after 90 days. And that was what drove me into the insurance business.

Paul Edwards 43:33
And the insurance business was the first time I stuck with the job for a while and I didn’t. I didn’t get fired from my first job. I left it because I got a better one. And the same thing happened with my second job. I also left that one because I found a better one. But the third one I got fired again.

Al McBride 43:50
And I I said,

Paul Edwards 43:53
I said I don’t know what it is. But I’ve got a journey to go on here. And that’s why I became an entrepreneur. So hard lessons is, there’s a reason pride is number one on the list of the seven deadly sins.

Al McBride 44:05

Paul Edwards 44:06
And I’m living proof of it. I’m a redeemed egomaniac has one of my mentors has called me and you know, maybe it sounds kind of casual for me to say that like most people would be terrified of admitting to it, but I’m not I’ve sort of embraced it and run with it and said, you know, of all the mistakes I made becoming proud and arrogant and thinking too highly of myself was tops the list.

Al McBride 44:30
And was that a gradual change? Or was there one particular moment where things suddenly flipped?

Paul Edwards 44:37
You mean in coming out of it or Yeah. There was a season, this entrepreneurial journey, the first 17 months, I didn’t make a dime, nothing. Zero income. Nothing. Nobody wanted to nobody was interested. Nobody would give me the time of day and I didn’t know what the problem was. But in 2019, in the late summer, getting into the early autumn, I finally I decided, well, I don’t know what the problem is here.

Paul Edwards 45:11
But one thing I knew I had not tried was fasting. And not fasting, like, you know, not eating anything till sundown, just for the heck of it. I’m like, I want answers to this, I need to know what my problem is. And I can’t find it until I purposefully deprived myself of things that normally distract me. So I went on, like a seven days social media fast shut off, you know, didn’t look at it deleted all the apps off my phone, didn’t look at it on my desktop, nothing.

Paul Edwards 45:42
And I also went on a, it was brief, like water only fast for about 36 hours, it wasn’t very long. But there was a few, there was a few days connected to that where I only ate like once a day. And probably the third day, probably about halfway through or so was when I was I was you know, I read a lot of stuff.

Paul Edwards 46:11
Because when you when you’re not eating, you have more time to read or do something else. So I was reading and all of a sudden, there was a section about pride in the book that I read. And it just, it hit me like a ton of bricks. And I can usually tell that’s the spirit of God saying that’s your problem.

Paul Edwards 46:30
You have lived out of pride for two decades, and it hasn’t done you any good. And even though you’re not nearly as obnoxiously arrogant as you used to be, you have to walk away from that you have to curate that out of your system and say that I’m not that man anymore. And there’s nothing I will not do to avoid becoming him again.

Al McBride 46:52
How long looping back to the start about choosing who you are. And when you have that identity over the values, it can be very clarifying, did you find that it was almost click your fingers type of realization and the shift or was it much more gradual than from that was there a lot of ups and downs

Paul Edwards 47:11
there was a click in the sense that I understood in the depths of my being what the problem was, there was a process that I then had to go through to deconstruct that and clear away all the residual brush. Some of it, you know, is not directly prideful stuff, but I’m still clearing it away today because pride any any we call it sin, but you can call it any negative or destructive behavior that you get into never just is never satisfied with just one area of your life.

Paul Edwards 47:50
It wants to expand like a virus, and again, it bleeds over into other ones. And so just the other day I was clearing away, I will not beat myself up verbally anymore. And not only will I not do that, but I’m not even going to leave that leave that column blank. I’m going to fill it in with affirming forgiving merciful kind things to say to myself.

Paul Edwards 48:19
Because I have nothing to I have nothing to fear, I have nothing to hide, and I have nothing to prove. So I’m just you know, and that’s that’s the process and that that just goes that goes on. I don’t know how long it’ll go on. But it but it’s still going on to be perfectly honest.

Al McBride 48:36
It’s a nice bridge actually into dealing with other people. Is that because you’re dealing with clients, first of all, to do the deals and get those contracts or to develop someone’s book, usually an autobiography right. Now, I’m just wondering, what are some of your insights in dealing with people in making agreements? And in?

Al McBride 49:03
I’d imagine you’re very good at understanding other people. But is there a process also where they have to understand where you’re coming from and what your needs are? And how you can then best serve them? So I’m just wondering, how do you do you have a particular thoughts or insights on first of all, making the deal and then actually the whole process?

Paul Edwards 49:23
Sometimes there are, you know, it goes through writing a book and getting it published and then book marketing. Most of the time, there is something of an expectation of a going rate. And of course, there are very high profile people who’ve done it for some of the most recognizable names in the world and there you can probably charge quite a bit more in premium.

Paul Edwards 49:51
Right. And you can probably warranted as well, just the same way I do that is I’m not in business. Only to make money, making money and feeding my family as of course a priority in my business. But I also lead and mentor and teach a team of young, younger people who do a lot of fantastic work for me. I also lead and teach and mentor a group of young men in the church that I belong to.

Paul Edwards 50:21
And I, and I mentor younger people all the time, and I love helping them get over difficult things in their lives. And they love being around me because I have that heart. And all of that requires a certain level of a financial commitment. And therefore, a decision on my part as to whether or not I can afford quote, unquote, to work with someone and I’m trying, I’m just transparent about it.

Paul Edwards 50:53
Right. You know, I’m like, I would love to help you. But if all you’ve got is 500 bucks. I can’t do that. That’s, that’s counterproductive. It’s, it’s a loss leader for me. I might do it as a favor, if it’s a one time thing, you know, but but I’m not, I can’t do it on an ongoing basis. I can’t commit three months of, you know, daily work and bringing in my research team and getting my publisher coordinated. And getting all that stuff squared up. I just, that’s, that’s me, basically draining my bank account. For somebody who doesn’t really fit the bill.

Al McBride 51:34
Yeah, yeah. No, it’s it’s very interesting way of framing opportunity. Also, I mean, I understand, okay, if it’s, as you said, if it’s a favor or something, but it’s just one of those things on on setting your rates, or setting your general standard of income for your work and your value of your work. It’s very interesting as it when you frame it in terms of, if I choose you, I can’t help someone properly better.

Al McBride 52:04
Where that income for me goes, there’s been a cost there. Yeah. It’s a very interesting perspective. It’s a very interesting perspective. And just as we’re closing up here, I’m just is there one question I should have asked you. That would be great value to some of the listeners.

Paul Edwards 52:25
You know, the the, you have fulfilled the renowned reputation of, of the Irish to carry on a fantastic conversation now. I can’t think of anything at the moment.

Al McBride 52:39
Well, that’s very. Cheers, Paul, thank you for that. So if people want to learn a bit more about you, if they want to even get in touch with you, what’s the best way to do that?

Paul Edwards 52:50
I have a website. If you are considering a ghost writing project, there’s a whole section on there devoted to it. And the website is the Paul s as in Simon, Edwards, dot com. The policy Edwards Comm. And it’s same on social media. If you want to reach out to me that way. I’m on all the all the big ones. My handle is at the Paul S Edwards, those would be the two best ways I can think. Okay,

Al McBride 53:14
great stuff. Well, thank you very much for your time. And thank you very interesting getting all those insights. As I said, I’m a big fan of having, as you said that that identity stack, you know, from the values and the spiritual side, and all the way up to as you said, it just makes when people struggle with behavior change or habit change. It’s often because they’re trying to do something that’s not connected. It’s not connected enough. So you got

Paul Edwards 53:44
to go further upstream. That’s right.

Al McBride 53:47
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you again, Paul. Super to have you on the show. I look forward to looking forward to talking to you again soon.

Paul Edwards 53:56
Great to be here, Al. Thanks so much for having me.

Al McBride 53:59
Thank you.

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