I’m a recovering people pleaser in both work and life. For most of my life, I put other peoples’ feelings ahead of my own – always thinking it was the right thing to do. Putting my needs and desires first seemed selfish, so I avoided doing that for decades. But people pleasing is mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausting and unhealthy, I eventually learned, and breaking that pattern doesn’t make you selfish. In fact, it’s empowering and healthy. That revelation was a game-changer for me.
I discovered a constructive way to please people in my career as a journalist and ghostwriter, using my skills and experience in a way that adds clarity and power to their messages and thought leadership, as well as captures their passion.
Let me explain the former first: Sometimes when I’m interviewing someone for a business-to-business (B2B) trade magazine article, there’s often an understandable fear that arises about not sounding very articulate about the topic being discussed once their views appear in print. To reassure these subject matter experts that they have nothing to worry about, I’ll usually quip, “that’s why they pay me the big bucks. I’ll make you look like the smartest guy (or gal) in the room!” It always elicits a chuckle.
But there’s a larger point worth addressing in more detail. As a recovering people-pleaser from the tender age of about 5, I sincerely like to help make people look good – which brings me to the latter point mentioned in the previous paragraph. It’s why I’ve been deepening my footprint in ghostwriting.
Soon after deciding to bail out of the corporate world and become self-employed, I started with just one client and eventually added more than 130 others to the mix since 2000. A fair share of them have been individuals for whom I ghostwrote commentaries, paid advertisements known as “advertorials” and whitepapers that would be published in B2B trade magazines. Others included those who wanted blogs or website content.
One of my first clients was a seasoned health care strategist with whom I have developed a deep friendship. Les Meyer and I shared Thanksgiving dinner in the Rocky Mountains where he was living in 2006, while on several occasions in the early 2000s he stayed in the guestroom at my home in Los Angeles when passing through town on business. And that’s just the beginning. He later met one of my sisters and both of my parents during the time he lived in Florida, becoming an honorary Son No. 2 in the hearts and minds of my beloved mother and father whom he befriended and visited when he could.
I also developed a soulful connection with another early client when we embarked on a series of articles that peeled back the curtain on fiduciary responsibilities involving the administration and management of 401(k) plans. His need for my expertise has trickled through the proverbial revolving door since that time during which we have maintained a deep respect and admiration for one another.
There have been countless others that have turned to my ghostwriting expertise, including a handful of individuals during the pandemic who needed my help on a number of disparate projects. They included everything from crafting a compelling argument for acceptance into a medical residency program and articulating a tech startup’s vision for disruption to a college-admissions consultant dreaming of self-publishing a book that would help high school seniors be admitted to an Ivy league university.
Each of these client engagements have proven to be deeply satisfying. I thoroughly enjoy helping people articulate their vision, sound like a professional writer, land clients and ultimately grow their business. Best of all for me, such experiences have enabled me to channel a strong desire to please people in a constructive and profitable way that’s not exhausting and will not cause me harm.
So if you’d like a helping hand getting your message across because you lack the time or writing expertise, please feel free to get in touch. That will please me more than you can know, and you’ll be doing both of us a favor!