I discussed in an earlier post, (http://ryandanz.com/new-opportunities/) in which I was purposefully vague and ambiguous the notion of new opportunities. I specifically detailed how I approach opportunity and I went into some background about a recent opportunity that presented itself. I did not disclose the opportunity itself because at that point it was in the development stages and had not yet been formalized. Well, I am writing now to share that that opportunity has in fact been formalized. That the opportunity is a book deal. Yes, you read that right. Me, an author. The extent of my writing experience spans a few travel blog entries, personal checks and approximately 1500 ‘tweets’ – 140 characters max. So how did this happen?
The Amazing Race (“TAR”) was a cookie jar of opportunity including the obvious, world travel, shot at $2,000,000US, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience when you combine the various tasks, places, people and prizes. One of the off-label benefits was exposure. The audience for TAR is termed ‘the 60 minute audience’ internally and is made up of 9.5-10.3 million Americans. 2-3 million Canadians and an unknown amount of foreign viewers. The American audience is typically educated, middle-upper/upper class, family orientated, and working professional. Someone in that audience was watching and something about me caught their eye. Right around the time we finished racing through Istanbul, Turkey (on tv) I received an email from an executive editor at the publishing division of the American Bar Association (the world’s largest voluntary professional organization (lawyers), with nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities) describing a new book series they were launching in 2013.
The theme of the series is health/wellness/holistic practices for lawyers. The flagship book would be Yoga for Lawyers. The series would be focused on providing lawyers, and by default other professionals, a resource that they could engage in outside of their law practice/office that would prove to better them mentally, physically and emotionally and in turn boost their production, outlook and legal experience. The practice of yoga was an obvious selection and hence the reason for it being positioned as the initial launch piece. However as part of my introduction on TAR a clip of me doing Jiu Jitsu was captured. That clip and my subsequent story and background about practicing law (first as in house counsel and then later as founder/principal of my own financial services company) made its way through the offices of Flagship Publishing. The thought became that based on early feedback for the Yoga for Lawyers, other spin offs might make good sister pieces. The notion of Jiu Jitsu made sense first because martial arts have produced similar benefits to the practice of yoga and yet offers a totally different experience, obviously.
So it goes without saying that I am thrilled beyond words to be a part of this endeavor. I never thought of myself worthy of such an esteemed honor, to be published. I am excited and nervous all the same. I do think writing non-fiction will be more enjoyable as all of my content will derive from my own life experiences. This book will be successful if it does three things: 1) captures my professional journey in law 2) combined with my deep personal experience in Jiu Jitsu and 3) marries the two such that it helps improve my reader’s own law and life voyage. I am debating but am leaning to also touching on subjects outside the scope of the title Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence that may bring additional value. Those subjects will be difficult to be sure. The first and foremost one will be my divorce. If this book can reach another audience and give insight as to overcoming one of life’s most difficult hurdles then I really will feel an additional sense of pride and accomplishment.
So with all of that being said, I look forward to documenting the authoring journey simultaneous to writing the book via this blog. I am not sure I will ever have this opportunity again and I want to be sure to capture the experience for posterity purposes. Who knows, if this is successful, perhaps it will serve as a guiding post for future projects.
Oh and the cover :)