How I Became Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author
I’ve had a book in me for years. This year I finally wrote and published it. It became an Amazon best-seller in several categories. Here’s how I did it.
Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcast for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, travel the world, and help people improve their lives in the process, then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend a free workshop at Igor.ac, where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.25 in affiliate commissions by sending just 481 to my affiliate link in one day. I'm also explaining why I walked away from ClickBank and I don't promote ClickBank offers anymore, as well as the five things I look for in the perfect affiliate offer. I'm even going to show you the one page website that I used to make over half a million dollars in affiliate commissions this year. I'll even bribe you to attend this workshop by giving you a $497 value course that shows you how to cherry pick high converting affiliate offers for your next affiliate promotion. In addition, I'll even give you the three offers I'm promoting right now that are making me money as we speak. All of that and more at Igor.ac. Now, it's time to attain your list building lifestyle.
Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle with your Igor Kheifets. I've been getting many questions from listeners asking how come we haven't been publishing as many episodes of the podcast as we used to, and the answer to this is because I've been really, really busy publishing and releasing and writing obviously our new book, The List Building Lifestyle. Now, this book is available on Amazon right now and it's been quite a journey getting it to published and making it an Amazon bestseller, which it became within just one week of being published on Amazon. So yes, I am an Amazon best-selling author as a result of, as you know, just having a large responsive email list. Because as it turns out, most authors don't sell even 50 copies a year, and here we are releasing a book that sold over 2,500 copies. Now, as a result of this book being released, I got invited to speak at a few podcasts and conferences, and one of those interviews was conducted by Azul Terronez from Born to Write where he grilled me on what it was like to publish and release my book, because his podcast is for aspiring authors and writers who are trying to release a book and make a name for themselves. So what I wanted to do, I wanted to republish the interview I've done with Azul where I went deep into what it took to publish my book, the three attempts that it took me to actually finish it, whether I was happy with it when I released it, how did I go about writing the book and whether I actually wrote it or spoke it out or used a ghost writer. So all these questions that people are wondering about, what is it like to write and publish a book, especially an Amazon best seller, well, I answer all these questions in this interview. So without further ado, I give you Igor and Azul talking about what it's like to write and publish an Amazon bestseller.
Interviewer: Hey everybody, welcome back to Born to Write. Super excited to have Igor Kheifets here with me on the show. He's the author of The List Building Lifestyle, Confessions of an Email Millionaire. Igor, welcome to the show.
Igor Kheifets: Well, great to be here. I appreciate you hosting me and I look forward to our chat.
Interviewer: Yeah. So what I found really interesting about your book, because authors who sometimes get immersed in this idea of their book as their journey, they forget that the most important part of writing a book is the person on the other end, which is building an audience. And I thought your book did a really great job of kind of unpacking your journey of being an entrepreneur, creating a lifestyle around building an email list, and I really want to talk about it because I really think this conversation about email not being dead still needs to happen in particular for authors. So let's just give them a peek into your book. I hope they read it. We'll list it in the show notes, but why did you choose this topic as a way to kind of focus your attention now?
Igor Kheifets: Well, there's two reasons. The first reason being is that email changed my life. I made pretty much all my money using email marketing and I still do to this day, and I don't feel that ... and at least, my bank account isn't showing any signs of email stopping because the company that I run has been growing, usually every couple of years, right? So usually we see an increase in revenue, a substantial one, every two years or so. Now the other reason is very simple. The book is just a very good way to spread an idea. Because you can put up a YouTube video or you can run a podcast and that's great. But when you put an idea into a book, people look at it differently. People people take it seriously, and then as a result, of course, they take you seriously, because you have the balls to publish a book. So that kind of opens more doors. It increases your Q factor, and overall helps you get the message across that is really important to you and your cause.
Interviewer: Right, and I think what you said there is that it increases your Q factor. It makes you more authoritative, and in the days and age of attention, any way you can make sure that you're the one that people should pay attention to is important. So the world will catch up to what podcasts are, but the truth is so many people still don't know what they are. Blogs, even though we now use the internet widely, still don't gain the same authority as being an author. A book says, "I spent time thinking about this. Here's my message," and it's a very traditional concept. So most people find it just comes with the authority. Would you agree?
Igor Kheifets: I agree absolutely, especially since I started with ... one of the methods that I tried initially to make money online to spread my message, which was a message of financial prosperity, because I come from ... I was born in Ukraine and throughout my life, my family went mostly through like just financial downs all the time. And so I've used the internet to become prosperous, to make money, to become wealthy, to help my friends become wealthy, to improve the lives of the people around me, and I started out, as one of the ways to spread this message, I chose blogging. And I blogged for eight months non-stop, and the amount of content I wrote to be honest with you, probably could fill 10 books, because every day ... I'm not kidding. Every single day, I wrote at least 700 to 1000 words. An average book is about 32,000 words. So if you multiply 1000 by 30 days by eight months, I wrote books or so. However, I haven't had a single inch of impact with my work. The most I've had as far as impact is concerned, I made a few sales with some affiliate marketing, but my message wasn't heard. My ideas did not spread So eventually, at some point, I started putting my ideas into paid products on websites like ClickBank and other websites where you could sell information products and that helped, and I used paid advertising that helped more, but all throughout the years, there was one media which I personally always admired, and people who kind of participated in that media were always on a pedestal for me personally. It was books, right? So when I think of authors, I think of people like Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy and a bunch of people who are recognizable and are considered to be gurus or authorities in their space. So eventually if you're considering to write a book, if you've been failing to launch your book up until this point, I think a very good thing to remember is that none of the authors that you now admire and respect and want to be more like have started out as authorities. Most of them became authorities as a result of publishing their books. But most of us think that it's the other way around where you have to accomplish something before you can write a book. In my opinion, you would typically accomplish something as a result of writing a book.
Interviewer: Right, and I think that's it. I think people want permission to be an expert. Like, "I'll wait until I'm an 'expert' at something and then I'll do X," and I think do you create authority by saying, "Hey, I have an idea or I have thoughts." In fact, in your book, you share a lot about failures. The thing about it is you don't have to be perfect to to guide and lead people. You just have to be ahead of where they are, whether you're 1,000 feet ahead or just one step, and you talked about your humble beginnings, where you just were trying things. You didn't have it all worked out, and I think that's true for authorship too. So let's talk a little about some of your early missteps in entrepreneurship, and we'll talk about how that also can relate to early missteps in writing a book or sharing a message.
Igor Kheifets: Sure. The thing you just mentioned, asking for permission or waiting for permission to write a book or publish any kind of content I think is one of the most common reasons for failure in the ... especially online where we want to become thought leaders and just in general leaders to try, and we just wait for something to happen as if there is a rite of passage of some kind that is supposed to make us into authorities and give us permission to go charge people for the help we want to provide them or go just publish an interesting piece of information and make an impact on that information or whatever. I mean, for example, you have a TED talk right? So. Some people would look at your TED Talk and think, "Oh wow, so he's an authority because he has a TED Talk and that's awesome." And for example, my friend, Dr. [Sean Stephenson 00:10:00] who also has a TED Talk, as well as a bunch of other viral videos that I think collected over 25,000,000 views, that helps in becoming an authority, but you really don't make any impact until and unless you put yourself out there like that. As far as myself, I've had three and a half years worth of failures where I think I became an expert at my craft as a result of just trying everything that does not work. You know what I mean?
Interviewer: That's so true. People want to to buy other people's failures basically, which I think that's a great way to ... look, you had a lot of failures. I trust you rather than you've had a lot of successes, I trust you. Because if that person's had a lot of failures, you know that they're going to guide you towards the direction, like, "Look, I did these million things that didn't work, but these things did." So I think that's a lot of why I think I was really drawn to the the story in your book, was you weren't afraid to scrub toilets because that's what you had to do. You weren't afraid to lose some money. Man, it sucks to lose money. Sucks big time, but you can't have success without failures, and every time you do something new, there's always the risk of failure. In fact, you could almost guarantee that there's going to be some failure.
Igor Kheifets: It is. I mean, when you think about it really, my friend [John Carlton 00:11:22], who's widely considered to be one of the most ripped off copywriters in the I think self-defense and engulfing space. He speaks a lot about failure and he says, "Look, anytime I'm trying something new, I want to fail as many times as possible as fast as possible because the moment I've gone through all the failures, I know what I'm doing," and as far as my own failures are concerned, whenever I think of the time when I worked in Burger King, for example, and I was a busboy, right? So I washed dishes, or when I worked in a hotel and I scrubbed toilets for a living, all those times were more like starter positions, and I hated my job back then with a passion and I even quit my job prematurely and had to drag my ass back to work about a month later to beg for it back. But now I'm grateful for those jobs existing because those are starter positions and even on those starter positions, you could usually tell who's going to become successful and who isn't going to be successful because so many people, whether they have a "golden cage job", right, that pay really well, but they hate them, or whether they have starter position jobs that just suck and they hate them, regardless it's still something that helps you pay the bills. So if you're an aspiring author, I think you should be grateful for having a job if you have one, because then you can pay the bills, have wi-fi, lights, running water in your house, and that allows you to focus on the bigger things, which is bringing your ideas out into the world in an impactful way, but if you were to, for example, if you go back to Ukraine where I come from before I moved to Israel and then to Canada, well in Ukraine, people are concerned with survival, not so much with making an impact. If you think of Maslow's pyramid of needs, well the whole idea behind making an impact and living up to your true potential, that's at the top of the pyramid. The bottom talks a lot about survival, wanting to be safe, needing food, needing shelter, needing a lot of that stuff. And so that's what happens in countries like Ukraine where people struggle. So yeah, when I recall my failures and then my starter jobs, I don't necessarily feel they taught me a lot, but I am grateful for having the chance to have them, because the very little money that I was making it those jobs allowed me to kick start my business. Incidentally though, you mentioned that it sucks to lose money. It really does suck to lose money, especially when you don't have a lot of it coming in. But I think that is one of the reasons why I was able to master the skill set of driving paid traffic and turning that paid traffic into customers really, really quickly, in order to recoup my money. Because if I was complacent about it, if I had this freedom of spending a lot of money on my ads, I would probably never have mastered this skill, and of course to the same extent, if I didn't have any money at all, that would have probably been even worse.
Interviewer: Right. Let's talk about a little bit about this notion as we're into marketing, because so many authors, they really want their message to be shared, but then they cringe at the word marketer or marketing ...
Igor Kheifets: And selling.
Interviewer: And selling, oh my gosh. They're just, "No, no, if it's good, they'll sell." That's a wonderful dream, but it's not true. So you got to shake that loose if you're listening and you're an author and you think, "I'll write a good book it'll sell if it's good." No. Best-selling books are the best sold books, best marketed books, and people know about them. They don't necessarily have to be the best written books. And that's really hard sometimes for people to hear who are literary critics. But what I want people to hear is it as you're doing this, because you're writing this book, you're sharing this book to the world. It's a topic about email marketing. So obviously that's the context, but what would you say to the author who says, "I just don't want to do any marketing?"
Igor Kheifets: Well, I'd remind them the story behind Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad. Pretty sure pretty much everybody who wants to be an author is familiar with Robert Kiyosaki and his enormous success. Well, in his book that he co-authored with Donald Trump, he tells the story of how he self-published it because he got rejected by 24 different publishers and that when he self-published it, it was not a best-seller, not by any means. However, what happened was that his book was picked up by I think ... if I'm correct, I think it's [Amway 00:16:10] or one of their leaders or something like that. So it's an MLM organization, and it just spread throughout the organization, and as a result somehow it ends up on Oprah's desk, and then Robert was at the time on vacation in some distant location, no phone, nothing. When he comes back, there's like a message from Oprah's people. He goes on Oprah. They talk about the book, the lights go off, the camera shuts down, Oprah turns around on this couch that she usually sits on. She turns to Robert and she says, "You're welcome. I just sold a million copies of your book." So here's this great book that changed many, many lives, my own including, and the whole process of becoming a best-seller had a lot to do with the way it was sold and promoted rather than with it being a good book, because publishers couldn't really recognize it. And there's another great, great, great forgotten story where you had two different authors come to publishing houses back in the 1930s with the same book. Okay, same exact book, different title and different author, and basically it was one author with two different names, right? So they just mailed the book in, and the contents of the book was exactly the same. There was no difference in the table of contents and the words written, just the title was different slightly, and the author was different. So one book got rejected every single time, the other got accepted in every single publishing house. And the reason is because the one that got accepted was written supposedly by this famous author, that this guy was actually a famous author, and the other one was just a created pen name that no one knew. So this tells you that a book can be published just because it's been published by somebody famous. For example, Donald Trump. So he's a controversial guy. So imagine he's publishing another book. It's going to be accepted if Tim Ferriss says, "Okay. I'm going to write a book about gardening," trust me. Someone's going to want to publish it. So marketing has a lot to do with how your book is going to sell. And if marketing had nothing to do with it, then most published authors would probably be selling thousands upon thousands of copies on Amazon, which they do not. In fact, my book qualifies for the self-help business category, right? And I was just talking to somebody who just deals with books a lot, and I was asking them, "What do I need to do to make this into a best-seller?" Well, they said, "All you have to do is just sell more than 50 copies in the year that you release the book," and I said, "Why?" He said, "Because on average a self-help author sells less than 50 books a year." And we also have to remember that some of these copies are ... the actual copies the author himself or herself is buying to give as a gift to people they want to ... family members or whatever. So, we launched the book. We sold 500 copies physical and 2,000 Kindle copies in the first week. Bam, Amazon bestseller. Why? Because we launched it to our email list of people who knew us and trusted us and wanted to actually read our book. But not because the book was so great. I mean, it helps, right? I'm really hopeful that the book is great. I am biased, but I really hope that it is good and people like it, but somebody posted a one star review for the book. I mean, I appreciate their honesty, but it kind of hurt a little bit.
Interviewer: It can poke your ego, but you're right. So I think if you leverage the authority of your book, you use the authority for whatever purposes you have fit. So maybe it's to draw people to you. Maybe it's to give you more opportunities so you can get better speaking deals. Maybe it's so that you can have that banner, orange banner that says Amazon bestseller so that you can write other publications. You just got to be clear about why you're writing a book and who you're trying to help, and everyone can have an email list. I want everyone to listen to this, and I'll have Igor, because he's the expert, talk about this. To launch a book, you just need people, that Igor said, to like, know, and trust you. That's what marketing really is. It takes a while to get people who don't know you to like, know, and trust you, but if you have family, friends, acquaintances, workmates, neighbors, you can get an email list. You can start with something, and those people are enough to get you to have five star reviews, to get ranked on Amazon, to get you going. You got to start somewhere. So I want people to let go of this idea that you don't have any [inaudible 00:20:59] you don't know what you're doing. People that know, like, and trust you will be your email list, and that's where you can start if you don't have anything.
Igor Kheifets: Well, you know, I never actually used that strategy. In fact, I think the people who ... my relatives and friends, I don't think I sent out the copies of my book to them yet. But what I've always done is I will always focus on the who. So one thing you just said was get clear on who you're writing to. Get clear on who you want to get the book, and I think the moment you pick your niche or pick your tribe, really just target your tribe real well, you won't have as much trouble getting this book out there, because people out there are seeking solutions to their specific problems to their specific identities, meaning that ... like imagine you're in a in a drugstore and you've got this massive headache, and so you've got ... you know you approach the headache shelf, and there's two bottles of pills. One is a headache pill. It just says, "Headache pill for males over 30," whatever, and the other one right next to it is a big blue bottle and it just says, "The blue pill that fixes everything." So most likely, if you've got this raging headache, you will get the headache pill, because it's specifically designed for headaches rather than just a generic solution. So if you're not sure whether or not anyone will even buy your book or want to get your book, you can increase the chances of them wanting to do so even if you don't necessarily want to put it in the hands of friends and relatives. Maybe want to write about something a little bit controversial. Maybe you've got a pen name, which you don't want them to know about, et cetera. For example, I've got a friend who's divorced and he's making really good money online. I'm talking over a hundred thousand dollars a month. And and I'm like, "Well, why don't you do this? Why don't you write a book, this, this, and this," and he says, "No, I don't want my wife to find out. My wife doesn't know what I do. She doesn't know what I make, and I don't need her finding out, because she's going to want more money." So if you don't have the luxury of having support of your loved ones and your friends, then just narrow down the niche market you're writing to, and you'll be surprised how this niche market just will go for it because of the specificity of the solution, meaning that don't just write a dating advice book. Write a dating advice for women over 40. Don't just write a how to make money online book. Write a book, how to make money by posting on Instagram for stay-at-home moms. You know what I mean? You have to really narrow it down, and the more narrow you get, the better are your chances at having this book kind of sell itself when these right people come across the title. Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to listbuildinglifestyleshow.com for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.
Interviewer: Wonderful. So let's talk about that. So, how did you choose your niche for your book?
Igor Kheifets: Well for me, it was simple. I have a huge advantage over most authors because I had a market going in, so I became ... I was profitable with my business way before I decided to write a book, because ... and then to be quite honest with you, the very reason why I procrastinated about writing a book for so many years is because I didn't feel I was qualified. Why would anyone listen to me kind of thing, which is this imposter syndrome that's a part of all of us I think. I've never met anyone who doesn't have that. So when it comes to books, I always felt you have to be like the chosen one to write a book, until I started hanging out with some authors and I realized, "Oh, wait a second. They're just as dysfunctional as I am." So going in, I knew who my market is because I've been in this business of helping people make money online, helping people build email lists, helping people promote their online businesses, services, information products, et cetera for such a long time. So I had my ideal customer avatar down to a T, and the amount of time I spent on just fine tuning this avatar ... well, a lot, just a lot of time. So by the time I sat down to write a book, it wasn't a challenge. I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I knew exactly who I was talking to and I knew exactly how to deliver the message because of ... I had many, many years of experience delivering that message to different crowds. What I can suggest to you is you'd probably have a much easier time writing your book if you sit down, come up with your ideal customer avatar, and then pretend you're talking to them on the phone. As if they just called you up and asked you that big question that's on their mind, and so let's pretend you spend the next 60 minutes on the phone with them, giving them all the know how, the details, or telling them your story, whatever that is, so if you pretend that that's what you're doing, but only in writing, or you can just record yourself do it and then just transcribe it, that's like 80% of your book. The rest you just got to format it, clean it up a little bit, maybe enhance some stories over here, reduce some clutter over there, cut the fat, and that's your book. From there, now you have to publish it, get the cover going, maybe submit it somewhere, maybe someone want to print it and so on and so forth. So, it's the who that's most important in my opinion that you need to start with if you're still uncertain about what to write about or whether anyone will actually want to get.
Interviewer: Great. Knowing the who is so important. So I had a guest on here, her book ... she's a therapist. She helps couples, but her book is how to be happily married even if your partner won't do a thing. Really specific, really niche down, getting rid of the excuses. It really helps for her for business, drives new traffic every day. One of the things that you said is really helpful is spend so much time knowing who your ideal reader is, who you're trying to attract, so that the title and the conversation of the book alone will get them to say, "Oh, that's my pain or problem. I need this help." So let's talk about what you did to get this book out of you. Did you transcribe it? Did you have someone write it for you? What was the method that you did to get this book out of you? And did you publish traditionally, self-publish? What was sort of your means of getting this book to the world?
Igor Kheifets: Sure. So I've had three attempts, I've had three gos at this book. The first one was I just decided to hire someone who will get it out of me and then they would sort of put it in the book. So this person, I won't mention any names. I'm still frustrated with them, but this person came recommended, and they said, "Okay, so I got this system. We have ten interviews. We will figure out the outline of your book first and we do the ten interviews for ten chapters. Then, when we're done, I'm going to take it to my editor. They're going to polish it up. We're going come up with a cover and we're going to publish it through Amazon self publishing platform," which I think it's called KDP, right?
Igor Kheifets: So I'm like, "Okay," and so I pay this guy 10 grand. And it takes them eight months to conduct all the interviews with me. Eight months. Can you believe? True story though. So eight months to conduct all the interviews with me, and then they come back two weeks later, giving me literally word-for-word the transcript of what we've talked about on the interviews. No editing. No structure. Nothing. Just literally just me blabbing for 10 hours on paper. I was so frustrated with them, I just cut that relationship immediately. And then I said, "You know what? I'm going to write that book myself, and I sat down and for the next month and a half, I devote about 90 minutes every single day, from about 5:30 or 6:00 or so in the morning, until about 7:00 or 7:30. I sit down and I commit to writing 1,000 words a day. I really wanted to get that book out, and I do. I write 33,000 words and this becomes this comprehensive guide, how to guide on how to start and grow your email marketing business, promoting either your own or other people's products. So I'm really proud of this piece. I invested a lot. And the quality of the content was amazing. The only thing that I didn't consider is that it kind of turned out to be this guide, this technical guide rather than a book, because at that moment I realized that all the great books that started me out on a journey and a relationship with authors, at least the perceived relationship that I have with these authors, they weren't really technical, were they? They usually just rolled around one big idea and then it was sprinkled with maybe three to five other ideas in the book, but there was never a very specific how to, do this, don't do that implementation stuff in those books, because that's not really entertaining. So what I do is I turn this piece that I wrote for so long into a product, into a product I sell, like a premium report, and I just sell it, but not as a book. I just sell it to my audience and they use it to generate new leads, and kind of leave the whole idea of the book on the back burner for about a year. Then when I turned 30, and kind of in Israel, we say you switch a number, because you go from two to three. The first number in the double digit age. So when I switched a number I'm like, "Damn it. Another year went by, I still haven't published a book, still haven't done this, still haven't done that," and I put this book in my "bucket list", right? I have to get this done, at least one book, I have to get it out of me and publish it and actually become an author before I'm just incapable of doing so. And what I do is I speak to a friend, a mutual friend, and I asked them, "So you've got this book and it got you a ton of publicity. Did you just write it or did you use someone's services?" And he suggests a friend's service, it's called 90minutebooks.com. It's by Dean Jackson, a friend of ours. And so these guys are great. Publishing is like creating smaller books that are designed to help small business owners to get customers. Same system though, you get on the phone, they interview you for 90 minutes about what do you do for people and how do you help them and whatever and they kind of format it and put it in the book format as well as helping you get a cover. Now for me, that format didn't quite work. However, I used them anyway, because what I've done was I filled the missing gap that I did not know how to fill. It forced me into a position where I had to create a new outline for the book, and a portion of it I recorded with them. But then once I've got back the transcription with formatting, I've realized that the whole structure of the book I didn't really like, and the delivery of the ideas that I've used when they interviewed me was also, well, subpar if you will, because I do have higher quality standards for myself, so I was like, "Yeah, this is not up to my standards." So what I do for the next eight days, I take some parts of the book, I remove them completely, and I write whole new chapters and I restructure it. So I take the baseline of what we recorded but I restructured it and wrote a few chapters just instead of what I said on the call. And I end up with this really cool book. Then I get a cover going, and from there, it's literally just getting it launched, which for me was just a matter of creating a promotion for my email list, which is again why having an email list is such a great thing. And basically I announced it to my list. I released it for a week. And I said, "If you buy between now and Sunday, I'll give you these bonuses with the book. All you have to do is just go on Amazon, grab the physical version or grab the Kindle version, send me the receipt to this email address and I'll get your bonuses." So as a result, we sold ... like I said, we sold over 500 physical or 400 physical and over 2,000 Kindle. So there you go. Instant bestseller status. So now I can brag about being a best-selling author, when in reality all I've done was just mail my list.
Interviewer: What's really great about that story is I think most people think that, "Oh, if I just had someone write the book or if I just had this or that." The truth is you got to find what works for you. I had Steve Sims on the show on episode 19. He talked about his process of writing the book. But he really wanted to have his voice. I mean Steve's a pretty unique guy. You want to capture ... you don't want to lose that voice of his, that early humble beginning voice. So it took a while finding someone to capture that. And so I'm glad that you realized, "Look, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, so if you're in the process of writing a book, you got to figure out that sort of groove for yourself," and if you have the right title, who it's for, and you have an email list, you're really looking at a really successful launch of a book, and that's why more and more publishers aren't looking for good books. They're looking with people with an audience and with an idea they think they can sell. So I know that it's really hard for people to understand that the reason they probably picked up the book is somebody else told them about it or they saw it on the shelf or at the airport. They didn't pick it up because this is the best book. It was constantly put in front of them. It spoke to them. It called them and said, "This is my problem. This guy or this woman is going to solve my problem. I should try it." So I really appreciate that you talked about that. Will you write more books? Was this a book that you enjoyed or was this like, "Well, I can cross that off my bucket list."
Igor Kheifets: Oh, I enjoyed it very much. In fact, I'm very proud of releasing it. I'm still unsatisfied with what it is, meaning that I feel it could be richer, it could be bigger. It could be more entertaining. It could be more educational at the same time, but I had to commit to a deadline, not because I had to in terms of like, oh, I had a publisher who made me, but because I know that if you don't set a deadline, nothing gets done, so I committed to the version 1.0. This is something that I learned a long time ago when I got into the information marketing space, and that is you can't really create a great product unless you commit to a crappy version 1.0, and people like Bill Gates proved that you can be famous and make a lot of money even if your product sucks. Because we had to endure a good decade and a half of preppy Windows operating systems before it became anything decent and worthy of using, so as far as I'm concerned, this is my Windows '95. And so from here, I'm either going to expand on it and maybe just release an expanded version, or I may just write a totally different book with a different title. But this time I know what the mistakes are that I've made in the first one. I know what the end result is supposed to look like now, and it will be a completely different quality product for sure. When am I going to do it? Probably sometime later this year, because right now we are producing a bunch of new programs. So my time goes there, but as far as the book itself, it's the first one out of many, I'm sure.
Interviewer: Right, and you also have a podcast. I want to make sure we talk about that too, because it's another way to build an audience to pay attention who know, like, and trust you. Tell us a little about your podcast and why you created it and how it kind of parlays into the message that you have in your book.
Igor Kheifets: Yeah, sure. So the podcast is called the List Building Lifestyle Show. So it's kind of like the book. So the book is the List Building Lifestyle book, and the podcast is the List Building Lifestyle show, and it was created a couple of years before the release of the book. Now originally, the podcast wasn't created to get new customers, but rather to communicate with existing customers because we had already a large customer base, and what we noticed is that the people that we do best with, the people who are the best customers, buy the most, behave well and enjoy our products are typically podcast listeners, and that's why it was originally created, and so I went on for a while just being me on the podcast. Every episode was just pure Igor, but then I started inviting people that were authorities and celebrities within our space, as well as some really famous authors. For example, I've hosted Robert Kiyosaki on the show. I've hosted Chris Voss of Never Split the Difference. A bunch of people really, over the course of a few years. If you want to, you can go to the listbuildinglifestyleshow.com and see, on the right hand side, there's a toolbar that kind of shows you a bunch of different names, including Mark Manson and Jeff Hoffman and a bunch of people. So that sort of became the theme, where I start inviting these superstars to my podcast, and what ended up happening is that I almost accidentally started getting more credibility in the market place as a result of just hanging out and having media with all of these superstars. And so that was the other added benefit to it. Now these days, I'm not as diligent about publishing the podcast. I've been kind of tied up with other projects, but I do intend to get back into it at the end of this month, because people literally ask me now. I was speaking to a client yesterday and they're like, "Is everything okay?" And I was like, "Why?" And they're like, "Well, I noticed a podcast episode hasn't gone out in the last three weeks. So I was wondering what happened there." So people notice and I'm like, "Oh wow, that's interesting." So having a podcast is definitely a great tool to further communicate with your existing audience, where you can help them see and understand your philosophy, your vision, your personality, so all in all, it can't hurt.
Interviewer: That's exactly why I have a podcast. I want to get to meet awesome people like yourself, connect and communicate, but also it does support my clients, the people that have participated in my challenges or gone through my course, because I want to enrich their lives. I want them to have something to be able to reflect on and go, "Oh, that that makes sense or that episode triggered me to think about writing or doing something in this way," because you're amongst a really small segment of the population. Not only because you have the wealth, but because the New York Times in 2008 said that 81% of North Americans want to write a book, but only 3% ever do, but even of those 3% that finish a manuscript, only 30% ... so now we're talking a fraction of 1%, ever hit publish, meaning they give it to a publisher or they themselves publish it, so you're in a smaller class by just being an author than even being a millionaire. That's what's incredible about authorship. And I want to inspire and encourage people to know that their message is worth it. If they're an expert in anything, it's probably something they do really well and easily, they don't think of themselves as an expert, but I'm really grateful that you're here on the show. What other final words do you have to somebody who wants to get over this imposter syndrome we talked about and just get going?
Igor Kheifets: Well, first off. I had no idea that less than 1% of people worldwide published books, because when I look into Amazon, there's a new book being published every 30 seconds. So it seems like I'm too late to the party, so that's really cool. As far as the people listening who are considering to write a book or wrote their manuscript and still haven't hit publish or haven't sent it off to their publisher, if you're dealing with imposter syndrome, the bad news is that it never goes away. I mean, I can honestly tell you that even today, having made millions of dollars online, having published the book, having accomplished a bunch of things in my life that most people don't accomplish in their lifetime, it doesn't go away. Just a year and a half ago, I got this friend. His name is Luke. He's a hypnotherapist. And if you're ever in the Ontario or Toronto area and you're looking for a hypnotherapist, definitely check him out. So he actually specializes in the imposter syndrome, and I went to ... I've done a hypnosis session with him, and I've never really recognized how profound and how deep this issue is until I went through a session with him. Now it didn't cure me of it. I don't think you can ever get rid of it completely, but it just kind of made it more visible and made me aware of just how much of it is governing my personal life. I don't know about you guys, but for me the imposter syndrome got in the way, still gets in the way of many, many different things. So that's the sad part. The good part is it's the kind of thing that is just an illusion in our perception of the way the world works and the way that people are, but the reality is if you hit publish, even if you've got a crappy book, there's going to be a whole bunch of people who are going to love it. Chances are when you publish a book, you are personally going to hate it, regardless of what the rest of the world is going to think about it, but to sum up, look. There's no way of overcoming it unless and until you hit the publish button. So if anything, take it from me, somebody who published a measly 100 and what, 108 or 102 pages of a book, which is not even enough to really call it a proper book to be honest with you. I've actually ... one of the reasons why I procrastinated about publishing it was because it was very very small. But even then, the same guy who I told you about who was asking me about the podcast, like, "Why aren't you publishing more podcasts?" He also told me that he was re-reading my book for the third time. So there is a bunch of people out there waiting for your message, waiting for your life story, waiting for your big idea, waiting for the inspiration you will provide. And for as long as you're not providing them with it, you are doing them a huge disservice. So if you have a message in you, publish it regardless of whether you think it's a great message, a crappy message, a repetitive message, or not. It's not about that. It's about you making an impact for someone else who's waiting to read your book.
Interviewer: Awesome, could never have said it better, Igor. Amazing. Tell us where we go to find more about you and how we can support the work that you do.
Igor Kheifets: Sure. So obviously, you can go to Amazon and just search for the List Building Lifestyle, and get the book. And if and when you do, I would really appreciate honest feedback and a formal review on Amazon. And yes, even if you feel it's a piece of crap and you want to rank it as one star, just do it. Just be honest. As long as you're honest, we're cool. And you can also go ahead and check me out at the listbuildinglifestyleshow.com, which will be a very easy and free way for you to get familiar with what we do, because that's the podcast and we'll be talking about email marketing, making money online, building an email list, spreading your message in the form of information products and in the form of advanced and premium coaching programs. Basically, if you want to take your ideas and make millions with your ideas, then that's the place for you to check out.
Interviewer: Awesome, we're going to link that all up in the show notes, put the link to the book. Igor, it's been a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your truth.
Igor Kheifets: It's my pleasure. Thank you so much for hosting.
Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show, as well as other exclusive content at listbuildinglifestyleshow.com. Also, don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week, where I show the two-step system that made me the top affiliate for people like Matt Bacak, John Crestani, Richard Legg, Michael Cheney, and many, many others. In fact, on this workshop I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promote an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half a million dollars in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours at Igor.ac, so go ahead and claim your seat right now, and I'll see you there.