Book Preface “Unearthing the Secrets” now online

The full Chapter 1 excerpt of Success Made Simple has already been available online here.  Today, I’ve gotten permission to share one last bit–the preface, where I describe the story behind the book.  Hope you enjoy it.

Unearthing the Secrets

I pull my truck into the drive, unsure whether to continue. It’s midafternoon, and I’m down on my numbers for the day, so I decide
to press the gas. Riding down the long dirt lane toward the weathered
farmhouse, it takes me a minute to register what’s missing: power lines.
As I grab my sample case, I am unusually apprehensive. In my sixth
season selling books for Nashville’s Southwestern Company, I rarely
flinch when approaching a prospect—from big brick homes manned by
stare-you-down after-work dads to backwoods trailers, where you don’t
know whether to expect a handshake or the barrel of a Winchester.
But somehow the unassuming head-scarved figure standing in the yard
intimidates me in a way that others never have…

Continue reading the preface, excerpted in full at

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    1. OldKat

      Okay, okay, I’ll start the comments off. As a fellow Southwestern alumnus I found your descriptions of approaching the various dwellings of perspective customers amusing. I clearly remember an exasperated young sales manager saying “HOUSES don’t buy books, PEOPLE buy books” when a first year salesman (maybe it was me) stated that he would walk right past a brick home, because “people in brick homes won’t buy books from me”. The young sales manager was very perceptive and so are you, Erik. I think your keen eye, open ear and quick wit have served you well in studying the Amish communities that were your territories.

      I am really tickled that you are able to parlay those experiences into further work that resulted in this wonderful tome. I predict great things in your future.

      All the Best,

    2. OldKat, how heartwarming to read this–I totally forgot you were a Southwestern Alum! Well, I learned recently that there are around 125,000 of us, some going back to the Great Depression era even. The advice you shared is classic, and still around today.

    3. Erik – I have started your book, and I must say – “I love it!” The success principles the Amish live and work by are all translatable to how we, non-Amish, should approach ;ife and business. It’s crazy to also see some of the Southwestern Company principles are similar to the core of how the Amish conduct themselves. I agree with OldKat, it is fascinating how you were able to parlay selling books to such a keen interest after the fact – and better yet, share your story and findings! Thanks!