By Eric Johnson, Advanced Publishing LLC
As a publisher, of all the different hats you wear, which is the most important? Sometimes the answer is dictated by circumstances. Any given day may bring technical, logistical, personnel, or client-relation challenges that demand your attention. In these situations, the most important one is the Problem Solver hat. Regardless the size of your publishing operation, this hat—aka the Buck Stops Here hat—will always have your name on it. It reveals your ability to identify what needs immediate attention, prioritize actions to deal with problems, and handle multiple challenges simultaneously.
While the ability to tackle unforeseen challenges is important, being effective at what you do requires substantial knowledge in numerous processes and disciplines, so in many ways, the smaller your operation, the bigger the hat rack you need. While you don’t need to be an expert in every area, having practical knowledge across the broad spectrum of concerns within the publishing business is critical. And as the publishing industry changes, your business must evolve and adapt, and that requires keeping abreast of technological, market, and industry changes. The willingness to learn new skills means the Lifelong Learner hat is another “most important” hat all successful publishers must own.
Finally, we must all remember what business we are really in. Is it publishing? Is it the “book” business? Tangentially, yes, but in the end, we are all in the people business, and to be effective here requires a good measure of self-reflection and personal development; as a friend once told me, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your business.” This is the Golden Rule hat, and so long as we always keep this one on, even though your other hats may not fit perfectly, you’ll be okay.
In essence, all of these “most important” hats apply not just to publishers, but to any field and in every role or job position. Keep all three close at hand and the Successful hat will soon be another one on your hat rack.
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About Eric Johnson, Advanced Publishing LLC
Eric Johnson has been described as the consummate entrepreneur. He is the founder and managing owner of Advanced Publishing LLC, the parent company of ALIVE Media and Book Publishing, He is the publisher of ALIVE Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most eclectic, upscale editorial monthly and the founder and managing owner of the podcasting hub, The Talk Pod. Prior to launching ALIVE Media in 2005, Eric was the manager and Assistant Editor for Eagle Publications andThe Valley Citizen Magazine. He has written hundreds of columns on a variety of topics for ALIVE Magazine and The Valley Citizen Magazine and has authored dozens of feature articles on topics ranging from politics and human behavior, to religion, science, and economics. Eric’s business writing has appeared as feature articles in professional trade publications such as Dental Economics Magazine, Podiatry Management Magazine, and Firstline. Additionally, Eric has technical writing experience primarily for the heavy equipment industry, such as all the training and operations materials for Nor Cal Waste & Recycling Systems. Recreational pursuits for Eric center on activities with his wife of forty-three years, and his son, Alex. His interests include writing, reading, history, chess, skiing, fitness, and family activities.