Could exchanging a mere 15 minutes of social media time for reading time significantly alter the trajectory of your life? In this conversation with Nick Hutchinson, the dynamo behind the seven-figure marketing firm Bookthinkers, he and Mike unpack the influential power of reading. Nick unveils his distinctive journey from a non-reader to a thriving entrepreneur, attributing his success to his readiness to embrace failure and trust.
Nick delves into the essence of collaboration and rapport building for success. Revisiting his first event, a collaboration with Lewis Howes, Nick explains the transitive nature of trust and his unique approach of borrowing credibility from others. Nick dishes about his evolution from running a podcast to promoting books, revealing the thrilling backstory of Bookthinkers and its integral role in author promotion.
Nick also explains how Bookthinkers is ushering in a new era of reader-author engagement. Learn how this platform has aided authors in amplifying their reach through short video content, podcast bookings, book reviews, and social media management. Mike and Nick draw the curtains discussing the potential personal growth and development that just 15 minutes of reading can instigate. Tune in for an inspiring discourse about how failure, trust, and reading can pave the way to success.
- The Power of Reading for Success
- Building Rapport and Collaboration
- From Podcasts to Book Promotion
- Supporting Authors With Social Media
- Reading Empowers Personal Growth
Connect with Nick Hutchison:
- Buy Nick’s upcoming book on Amazon: https://a.co/d/c9dE0ln
- Learn more about Nick: www.nickhutch.com
- Learn more about BookThinkers: www.bookthinkers.com
- Personalized Book recommendation: DM Nick at www.instagram.com/bookthinkers
Write a Podcast Review:
Podcast reviews are important to iTunes, and the more reviews we receive, the more likely we’ll be able to get this podcast and message in front of more people (something about iTunes algorithms?). I’d be extremely grateful if you took less than 30 seconds and 5 clicks to rate the podcast and leave a quick review. Here’s how to do it in less than 30 seconds:
Click on This Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/howd-it-happen-podcast/id1441722417
Click on the “Listen on Apple Podcast” Box
Click on “Open iTunes” – You will go directly to the iTunes page for the Podcast
Click on “Ratings and Reviews”
Click on the 5thStar (or whatever one makes the most sense to you 🙂
Episode transcript below:
0:00:00 – Mike Malatesta
Hi everyone, mike Malatesta here and welcome back to the how it Happened podcast. On this podcast, I dig in deep with every guest to explore the roots of their success, to discover not just how it happened but why it matters. My mission is to find and share stories that inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. On today’s show, I’m having an amazing conversation with a guy who’s 29 years young, thousands of years wise. We talk about his belief that through failure, all the magic happens. How trust is transitive he’s got an interesting model for that the power of building credibility on the backs of others. And how swapping 15 minutes of social media time for 15 minutes of reading time can dramatically elevate the path of your success.
0:00:48 – Mike Malatesta
Nick Hutchinson is a force who helps authors create life changing books 15 minutes of reading for somebody who’s just starting out is probably about 10 pages. And if you can do that twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, by replacing something like social media scrolling in the morning and maybe just the first 15 minutes of your Netflix in the evening, you can read 20 pages a day over. Let’s say the five week days. That’s 100 pages a week. And so by reading 100 pages a week, you can read a book every two weeks, every two and a half weeks. That’s 20 different areas of your life that you can improve, 20 different skills that you can develop, 20 different people that you can learn about, 20 different problems that you can solve. And again, it can happen in as little as 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
0:01:35 – Mike Malatesta
This episode is sponsored by the Dream Exit. The Dream Exit is a private, bespoke program for successful entrepreneurs with annual revenue between five and $100 million who realize that they have one chance to get their Dream Exit right and that the odds of realizing that dream by themselves, all alone or at the last minute are stacked against them. In less than 90 days, we teach you how to design, build and execute a customized Dream Exit playbook that gets your business ready for sale at its maximum value and gets you ready to maximize your meaning and purpose in your post exit life, even if you are not ready to sell today. You see, dream Exits don’t just happen. They are the result of early, professional and proven planning. So if you’re an entrepreneur with annual sales between $500 million and $100 million and you want to learn how to 10X to 100X your chances of achieving the Dream Exit you deserve, go to dreamexitplaybookcom today.
And now here’s Nick Hutchinson. Hey, nick, welcome to the how to Happen podcast.
I am excited to be here.
Well, I’m excited to have you here.
We had a little brief discussion that I won’t ruin for everyone, because I’m sure we’ll talk to you about it more. You’ve got a very, very interesting background and approach to yourself and your business, and I’m very intrigued with it. So I’m glad we were able to set this up. I let all of you know a little bit about Nick and what we talked about in the intro, but let me tell you a little bit more about Nick Hutchinson. So Nick stands as the visionary force behind book thinkers, a growing seven figure marketing firm dedicated to helping people maximize their potential through books, particularly in the domains of personal development and business, which all of you have an interest in, I’m sure. The platform has fostered a community of lifelong learners who exchange book recommendations, reviews and insights that seamlessly bridge the worlds of authors and readers. In just over seven years, he has organically built a platform that reaches over one million people each month, and his podcast, book Thinkers, life Changing Books, is top 2% show and he’s featured some really great guests.
And I won’t name the ones that have been on my show. I want to name the ones that have not been on my show, like Grant Cardone, lewis Howes, alex Hermose, james Altacher, steven Pressfield one of my favorite authors Ryan Holiday, peter Diamandis you get the picture of this guy. He knows how to get great guests, so take a listen to his show. Through the use of his platform, nick has helped hundreds of authors expand their reach to hundreds of millions of readers and drive significant revenue growth as part of their book campaigns. He’s got a ton of services, including short-form video production, podcast booking, social media, brand building and a lot more. In other words, if you want your book to get noticed, nick is a person that you want to know.
Nick has a new book coming out. It’s called Rise of the Reader. Subtitle is Strategies for Mastering your Reading Habits and Applying what you Learn, where he dives into the strategies for mastering your reading habits and applying what you learn. The book is available right now on pre-order on Amazon. Well, it comes out November 1st, so maybe it’ll be out by the time the podcast is. But anyway, get the book on Amazon Rise of the Readers. You can learn more about Nick at his website bookthinkerscom. I think all your socials are book thinkers as well, nick. Is that correct? That is correct. Okay, all right. So let’s get started. Nick, how did it happen for you?
0:05:31 – Nick Hutchinson
Well, this might be a surprise to everybody that just heard that introduction, but when I was growing up I was not much of a reader, I was more of the academic. I mean sorry, I was not the academic, I was more of the athlete stereotype, not much of the academic. But going into my senior year of college, I went to the University of New Hampshire up in the Northeast. Going into my senior year, I took an internship at a local software company and my boss at the time, kyle, recognized that I had about a one-hour commute each way to five days a week. So I was spending about 10 hours in the car and all I listened to was music. And he said something to me. He said, nick, listening to the same playlist for the 1,000th time, it’s not going to get you closer to where you want to be in life. You should consider podcasts, business podcasts. And so I went on a few local trips with him. He introduced me to a few podcasts and I decided to listen to them.
And so, as I was commuting and listening, and listening, and listening, I was listening to how all of these people became successful.
Really, that’s what it was all about. And so many of those people gave at least some credit for their success to the books that they were reading and I thought well, if I’m deliberately choosing not to read these books, then I’m also deliberately choosing to live under my potential, because all of the people I want to be like they’re talking about books, and here I am. I thought it was cool not to read books. So I had it totally backwards and so I went to my local Barnes Noble. I picked up about 10 books, many of which were on my list. I had just heard them mentioned so many times on these podcasts. I went back to my internship and I didn’t have a ton of responsibilities but I had my own private office. So I started to read. I would read for two, three, four hours a day and I just started to work through so many of the books that other people were recommending on these podcast interviews and sort of. The rest is history. So that’s how it happened for me.
0:07:29 – Mike Malatesta
And how tell me about the athletic part of your existence?
0:07:33 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, when I was growing up, I was the oldest of four boys and we’re all very close in age there’s less than a five year window between all of us so naturally there was a lot of competition when we were younger and I played a lot of sports. So growing up I played everything. But in high school I was captain of our wrestling team and I also started on our football team and we went to the Super Bowl. We got to play in Gillette Stadium on live TV. That was a ton of fun. And then, as captain of the wrestling team, we won our division and I got to wrestle in States and so that’s where I focused all of my attention when I was younger.
I think that it was. It was where I felt more confident, kind of building through athleticism, not strictly through academics. And you know what’s funny is I was, I was capable from an academic standpoint. I just really chose not to apply myself and I have all sorts of qualms or bones to pick with the US public education system and why. I think that I could have loved it, but the structure made it so that I didn’t. But yeah, football and wrestling, those were kind of my two main sports.
0:08:44 – Mike Malatesta
And that opens an interesting door. So the structure. What about the structure could have, could or should be better to have made it more interesting to you.
0:08:54 – Nick Hutchinson
What I disliked about my public education experience was that number one. They taught me that failure was a bad thing. So you’re penalized when you don’t perform well, when you don’t have the same view as your teachers. You’re taught to avoid failure because you’ll get criticized by other students and that will be reflected in your grades. And what’s so funny now being on the other side of this is, as an entrepreneur, failure is the best thing ever. I mean it really is. When you fail and you collect feedback and you remain optimistic and positive and opportunistic, you can learn and grow and iterate and change and things get better, and so through failure, all of the magic happens. But again, when I was growing up, I was so shy and insecure and scared and and I tried to avoid failure because I didn’t see failure as a positive thing. So I think that’s number one.
The other thing that I’d like to mention is when I was younger, I had a lot of social anxiety and it stems from this fear of failure and fear of judgment. But I couldn’t perform well in front of a classroom. I was very shy, like when we had to read in a circle. I’d count the number of paragraphs and I’d practice mine 10 times in a row or excuse myself and go to the bathroom or not show up when I had to do a presentation, so I could do it after school, and the max presentation that I ever gave was maybe a few minutes. So I never became comfortable communicating in front of people, and recently I heard somebody say imagine if you, I’ll give a point of context.
Recently I hosted my first event. I was on stage in front of a big room for eight hours moderating Q and A’s and doing all sorts of things, and by the end of the day I felt totally at ease because through that consistent exposure all day long, I was able to become comfortable. And so I wonder if, if I had been asked to lead a classroom for an entire day, if I could have gotten past that anxiety and that social pressure and realized that, oh you know what, by the end of the day, I’m comfortable up here. So there’s just things like that that we didn’t have the opportunity to do, that I wish we did, and being asked to read things that I didn’t want to read and that I genuinely wasn’t interested in, and then being told that my opinions were wrong, when I didn’t think the same way as my teachers, and that was just another part of the structure that caused me to dislike reading, when in fact I probably could have ended up loving it if it was just restructured.
0:11:20 – Mike Malatesta
I feel like I can align with what you were just saying there about the classroom, because I still have this a little bit today, nick, but certainly throughout my whole academic career or experience, if I raised my hand and I got something wrong or I was sort of pushed back, I got really embarrassed by that. That was not something that I wanted to have happen and I’m quite sure that, like you, that led me to not put myself out there at a time when I wasn’t sure, when, like you say, the times when you’re not sure or when you’re wrong or when you have a different opinion, are often the times when you break sort of new ground in yourself.
And as you were talking about that, I was thinking to myself there’s a lot of times when, I just did not want to insert myself because I wasn’t sure that I was 100% right and if I was wrong, that would make me look like I was dumb or something. Right, yeah, same here. That’s exactly how I felt. I think people listening might be like, well, guys at the high school, captain of the Red Wrestling team, it’s a football player. Where does the anxiety come from? Because you’d think, well, I can perform at a high level with people watching me. So it’s not the crowd. That’s the issue necessarily, especially in wrestling, when there’s no team. I mean, there’s a wrestling team, but when you’re wrestling, it’s you and your opponent and that’s it. So how do you reflect on that and think about that?
0:13:09 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, I think it was the verbal fear of failure being embarrassed around people who could be perceived as more intelligent because they did their homework and they knew how to answer questions and be a teacher’s pet and things like that. But when it came to my athletic ability, I was confident because I did excel there, probably a lot more. You know, and I learned in sports, like when you fail, you did something wrong and your coaches are there to help you. It’s I think coaching was what I wanted, not negative feedback and being penalized Like if you yeah, that’s it. I mean, I’m kind of exploring this with you, maybe for the first time. But when, let’s say in wrestling yes, it is a solo sport, you’re performing in front of people, but when you fail, the coach says, hey, here’s what to do next time, but when you fail in front of the class, they just go wrong. Who else might know the answer?
0:14:02 – Mike Malatesta
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, just onto the next person.
0:14:04 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, onto the next person.
0:14:05 – Mike Malatesta
Yeah, yeah, yeah, OK. Oh, that’s my guess. Ok well, that actually that makes me think about sports, because I coached youth football for six years or so and you see lots of different coaching styles.
you know, some not all coaches are like what you just said. They there are some and that same thing happens to the kid, right? If you, if you tell the kid wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, you know the kids like what Instead of like, ok, here’s how, the here’s how we can approach this next time. Here’s what we’d like you to try this time. It’s the same kind of thing. So it sounds like you had that environment with your coaches and and maybe not with some of your teachers.
0:14:52 – Nick Hutchinson
Right, I think so too. It actually brings up a memory one time playing football as a wide receiver and I lined up incorrectly. I was on the line when I should have been off, or I was off when I should have been on, and I had a coach explain to me, not just say, hey, get on the line or whatever, but like sit down and explain to me the math and the rules and and I could understand it. I was capable of understanding it and I never made that error again, right, so yeah.
I think I just had the right. I had the right athletic coaches and not the right academic coaches.
0:15:22 – Mike Malatesta
probably yeah yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s like, yeah, you got to cover the tight end or whatever, and you have to. Yeah, because actually that’s a good point and not that I’m getting in the weeds a little bit here, but it’s kind of hard to tell what when you can be, especially with the formations that you see now. It’s like who can be, who has to be on the line, who can be behind the line, and then you put motion into it and all this stuff. That can get confusing. So if you’re just told that’s wrong, you’d be like, ok, it’s wrong. But if you’re told this is why this is how it works, like everything in life, this is how it works, like, ah, I got it, that’s how it works. Yeah, so this event that you put on, this eight hour event, tell me about that.
0:16:06 – Nick Hutchinson
Well, over the last couple of years, as my marketing agency has grown, a number of our author clients have said to me hey, you should host an event. They’ve said things like we’ve met so many cool people in the comment section on your Instagram posts or the podcasters that you’ve introduced us to, but let’s meet in person, you should host an event. And I had received that piece of feedback from a number of people. So I decided let’s host our first event. And it’s something that I had always dreamt about a little bit, and whenever I would think a little bit too big replicate something like a Grant Cardone or a Lewis House event, I would just be paralyzed and I wouldn’t take any action. So what I decided to do was I called Lewis House and I said Lewis, I’d like to host an event on the front side of your summative greatness this year in Columbus and I will bring an additional 50, 60 of my author clients to your event. So your target audience member, if we can work something out and kind of co-market and brand this together. And he said sure, let’s make it happen.
So I hedged my risk a little bit by also including tickets to Lewis’s event, which happened after mine. So there was a recency bias protection there in case my audience didn’t go well, but it went very well. So we had a bunch of our author clients in the room. We featured a number of them on stage. They gave presentations to my audience, we filmed it and chopped up some content for them. I had a bunch of my podcaster connections show up and attend and we had a blast. So the first of many book thinkers events, I think, over the next couple of years and I just enjoy that in-person networking opportunity sit down and have a conversation with somebody over dinner or having a beer after the event and get to hang out in the same space for a couple of days.
0:17:58 – Mike Malatesta
And just for those people who don’t know who Lewis has is, could you give a brief description of him?
0:18:02 – Nick Hutchinson
Sure, lewis hosts a very large podcast called the School of Greatness, and he’s also written a number of personal development books. So he has millions of followers. And he was actually a former athlete too. He was a football player, played in the I don’t know if it was a Canadian football league or some other outside NFL league for a little while. But yeah, podcaster, author, big personality his event had 2,500 people at it and just a really good person. I mean. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with him behind the scenes too, so if anybody is familiar with him, he’s exactly who you would want him to be off camera. He just cares about men’s mental health. He cares about healing trauma. That’s kind of his world.
0:18:49 – Mike Malatesta
Okay, and how did you? I want to explore how you came to meet him and then establish enough of a rapport where you could make the kind of ask, which was very smart because it’s a confidence building ask on your part, right. Plus, it’s a it’s confidence building for your first presentation, but it also makes you look like you’re real.
0:19:10 – Nick Hutchinson
I mean not that you’re not real, but I mean it brings validity.
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve always and we could talk about this in a minute I’ve always built my credibility on the backs of other people in a good way, with them, in collaboration. I call it borrowing credibility, and we could talk. You know, trust is transitive. We could talk about that in a minute.
So, lewis, as my platform grew, specifically on Instagram, I would shout out a couple of times I would, I would review a book, I would tag the authors and, as the audience started to grow, those authors would repost the content, maybe follow our account, and they became a little bit more accessible over time. So, as I started my podcast, I reached out to Lewis a number of times. Again, he’s just a big personality in the space. He draws a lot of attention. I wanted to borrow his credibility and get in front of his audience and I knew the best way to do that would be through a podcast interview. But he told me no a number of times. But he did Choose to follow the book thinkers account. So he was consuming our content over the last couple of years, which was great and very fortunate and lucky that that happened.
But last year for his Summit of Greatness in Columbus it’s an annual event. Somebody on my team who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, said hey, I’d like to attend this event. I’m a big fan of Lewis’s like would you want to go with me? I said yeah, of course we also had another team member in Columbus at the time, and so we all went to Lewis’s event last year and I let him know that I was going because he was responsive. He would just say no, I don’t want to be on your show right now. I don’t have a book to promote. Okay, that’s fine. So we go to the event and I let him know that we’d be there and that I was bringing my team. I had a few other people from book thinkers come with us and we posted about it a lot and showed him some love. And we were at one of the post event Sort of networking sessions and Lewis popped in for a minute and I walked over and he recognized me and he said hey, nick, what’s going on? Man? Like, thank you for posting all about the event and bringing your whole team. And he took some photos with us and he had announced that he was releasing a book this year, 2023. Okay, in March. And so I said hey, I’d love to help you promote the book Finally do that podcast interview that we’re talking about right. I gave him value for a while, promoting his content, promoting his books, attending his event, buying a number of tickets, showing him some love, and then finally, when it was my time to also serve him by hosting him on my podcast and talking about this upcoming book, which is a big lift, as we could talk about later too.
When I made that ask, he said yeah, I’d love to host you for a day in LA if you want to fly out and we can record an episode for your podcast and I can also just get to know you guys a little bit. So that’s how it happened. It was. I probably posted about him 10 or 15 times, showing love.
I did ask for something in return, which was the podcast. That didn’t necessarily formulate or sort of formalize it first, but it did eventually. So then my, I flew out to LA and we spent five or six hours with him. We filmed the podcast interview, but then we also just hung out and he did a deep dive on my business and made some suggestions and we did a little bit of networking together and built that relationship. So by the time I went for that ask hey, I’d like to host an event on the front side of your event, sort of piggy front instead of piggy back. It was an easy yes, because, again, I was also bringing 50 additional people to his event, right? So by that time he had said yes.
0:22:41 – Mike Malatesta
Okay, I’m glad you went through that in the detail that you did, because you demonstrated a number of things. One Most importantly is that if you’re a one and done person like I’ll ask you once, and if you say no, I’m done, you’re not going to get very far. Number two when someone does say no to you, it doesn’t mean no, it means not yet for most people. If you’re not trying to like, as long as you’re not like on LinkedIn, when you accept someone’s connection and they immediately try to sell you something and then they keep sending you messages Over and over but you generate you were like, okay, no knows, are not yet. That’s how I’m interpreting your nose. And not yet. But I still like Lewis, I still want to support what he’s doing. I’m going to keep Putting stuff out there that he can see that I’m not a one and done Person and then, after you’ve made the personal connection, had him on the podcast, hung out with him a little while.
Yes of course, things get much easier After that and you have the. You know it’s not, it’s not crazy because you’ve given out, you’ve already, like people say, given a lot of value before you asking for something that you’re not. You’re not just asking him for, but you’re. It’s. It’s mutually beneficial by bringing your people. That was really good, really good.
0:24:00 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, thank you, and you’re right, it is mutually beneficial. I’m always communicating the value for the potential guest on my show or, you know, bringing people to Lewis’s event and, yes, on the back end I’m borrowing his credibility. That’s enhancing my own brand, but that’s not how I’m positioning it. Come on my show, I want. I want to show everybody that we’re hanging out. No, it’s, I’d like to introduce you to my audience. I find your work interesting. I want to do a deep dive and expose some people that probably don’t know who you are to the world of Lewis house, and this is the best way that I can do that. So, yeah, let’s promote your book, and I know, having gone through this process now myself, that when an author is in book promo mode, they’re willing to do more, or willing to do things that they they normally wouldn’t be, because Selling the book is tough and you kind of have to hit it from all angles.
0:24:55 – Mike Malatesta
So yeah, right on your approach, yeah, and I want to get, I’m gonna, I’m gonna have you counsel me on my personal experience with my book a little bit later On that just so because it it is hard, it’s very, very difficult. You had mentioned, when you said, built my credibility on the backs of others. You said something about trust and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go on before I asked you about that.
0:25:18 – Nick Hutchinson
Sure. So I believe that, especially in social media, trust is Transitive. So if you remember the transitive property from high school math class, you know if a is bigger than B and B is bigger than C, then a is also bigger than C. Right, here’s how it kind of works with trust. Let’s say that you trust Grant Cardone and Grant Cardone is hanging out with me, we film a podcast together and he posts it. Well, you’re more likely to trust me now as well, because I’m borrowing his credibility and your trust of grant. Grant. Trust me, you’ll trust me as well. So trust is sort of transitive in this world of social media and that’s why I think having a podcast has been so important for building my brand, because I’m able to provide value while borrowing credibility and gaining trust.
So somebody like Lewis house or Grant Cardone They’ve spent decades building their credibility. In a way that you can sort of accelerate that process for yourself is by being pictured with them, hanging out With them, podcasting with them. They’ve done all of the hard work. They have the big audience, so that’s the best way to get in front of it and their audience is also your target audience. So if you can post some content and they can repost it or share it with their audience. You’re attracting the the right type of person. So there, I think there’s a lot of reasons to do it.
0:26:41 – Mike Malatesta
Okay, got it before I get into your business and what you’re doing. You met you mentioned this Getting in, getting exposed to podcasts initially when you were in college doing this internship. What were some of the? What were some of the early ones that you listened to? That got you?
0:26:57 – Nick Hutchinson
hooked. I loved the science of success with Matthew Bodner. That wasn’t an interview style show, at least it wasn’t when it first started, but it did reference a lot of books and then for interview style shows. I loved the Tim Ferriss show and I still do. That’s one of my favorite podcasts of all time, and a whole host of other shows like that.
0:27:19 – Mike Malatesta
I also made the change from radio to podcasts about six years ago and had never listened to a podcast before and. Actually, I met a guy this morning who has not yet listened to a podcast and I thought to myself wow, there are still some.
So there’s still a lot of room to go, in other words, before podcasts really get Into everyone’s ears or eyes. But I did the same thing. Eyes changed from radio to podcasts and I’ve never I have never gone back. I just spend every minute that I can listening to something that either entertains me or makes me smarter.
0:27:56 – Nick Hutchinson
Or gives. Why not, yeah, why not right?
0:27:58 – Mike Malatesta
Yeah, and how did this? How did book thinkers come to be when I?
0:28:05 – Nick Hutchinson
was in college, I ran my own house painting business for two years. It was part of a school program sort of, so there was some Infrastructure in place and then they would teach you how to hire your friends and sell jobs and go around in paint houses.
0:28:18 – Mike Malatesta
Like college pro, but an independent. That’s something that was just at your school.
0:28:23 – Nick Hutchinson
It was like college pro. It wasn’t independent just at my school, but it was a smaller version of college pro that was more focused on Operations and less just on selling. But yeah, it’s kind of like college pro, okay, and so I ran my own house painting business for two summers and although I was one of the Lower performers in the group of students at UNH, I did become best friends with a lot of these other entrepreneurial minded people. One of them was Alec Clement, and Alec is still a great friend of mine today. So once we had both Put our paint brushes away I think forever we would still meet on a weekly basis and just talk about entrepreneurship.
So now I’m a senior at UNH, we’re meeting on a weekly basis talking about starting another business, and we’re whiteboarding on weekends Exploring the same books. Right now I’m reading books, and so is he. And one day I walked in and I said, hey, everybody’s asking me the same questions about the books that I’m reading, because now I’m I’m a reader, like that’s a big part of my identity a total 180. And I said everybody’s asking me the same questions what was your favorite takeaway from Rich Dad, poor dad or you know what’s that? What’s the best book on habits and I said we should find a place to just document all of our favorite takeaways from the books we’re reading. So Version number one of book thinkers was just a website where I put all of my favorite takeaways from the books I was reading. I sort of ranked them by genre, and he did the same.
And? And then another one of my friends, derek, quickly got involved, a high school friend from home who was always entrepreneurial, but like we didn’t, we didn’t bit together back in the day, you know, as far as business was concerned, but now maybe we did. So he invited me to coffee and he said hey, I think we could build a website or a mobile application where everybody could categorize their favorite takeaways From the books they’re reading. That would be pretty cool. So Derek joined the team and it was kind of the three amigos at the beginning. Long story short, that mobile app website build eventually fell apart. So we spent tens of thousands of dollars, as recent college graduates, hundreds of hours of our time Trying to build this platform. That didn’t really work.
0:30:39 – Mike Malatesta
Was it the platform or the partnership that didn’t work?
0:30:42 – Nick Hutchinson
Both okay, both so we outsourced the build to a company in Argentina that went out of business. None of us were tech guys, so we were outsourcing everything and as young, hot-headed, entrepreneurial-minded people, we didn’t see eye-to-eye on anything. Derek had a company that he had started before book thinkers called label radar. That was starting to get some traction. So when the mobile app company fell apart and the build fell apart, derek said, hey, I want to go pursue my thing that’s really starting to gain some traction full-time, which he did, and ended up selling it for seven figures and like it really took off. So Alec and I were kind of left together and I had this full-time software sales job, so in full time with the company that I interned at.
Alec was still kind of figuring things out, so he couldn’t continue to put money into the business. So I said, hey, let me buy you out and figure this out another time, because I was making some money and, in anticipation of building this app, we wanted to build an audience so that we could sell the app into the audience. So I was posting book reviews. I was kind of the face of the social media, and so when everything fell apart, that was right around the same time that authors started to reach out and say hey, nick, I love your book reviews, can I pay you to review my book? So it was a different form of monetization that was coming Really just directed at me, which gave me the the opportunity to ask Alec, hey, can I, can you leave the business Essentially, and can I kind of take over from here while you figure things out? And so you know that’s a very short version of what happened, but that’s sort of the origin story.
0:32:23 – Mike Malatesta
And and from there, how did you see the path, or how did the path become evident for you to really start helping authors promote the books? Because you’re not a publisher? I don’t think you’re a publisher, you’re not a publisher but you basically are coming on the backside of the publishers, work with the author to elevate the awareness and, I guess, sales and branding of the book. I’m sure you can explain it better. But how did that develop? Because you had a cool idea. People were like hey, I like your reviews, will you review my book? I’ll pay you something to do to write me a review. And now you’re reaching a million people a month. I think is what it said in the bio. Take us on that journey.
0:33:13 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, I was reading a lot of business books, books on freelancing, books on book marketing, and so, as people continued to reach out and say, hey, I’d like to pay you to review my book and I would $50 here, $100 here I knew I was onto something right. Dollars were transferring from somebody else’s bank account into mine and as the audience continued to grow, those dollar values went up. Now we charge thousands of dollars for book reviews, but I would always follow up with the author client Because, again, I was taught to do this in business books. I would follow up and I’d say, hey, can we jump on a call? I’d like to learn a little bit more about why you wrote the book. Is the book a lead mechanism for anything else Coaching, consulting, speaking, some other type of business? Why is it so difficult to sell books? What’s the pain feel like? Why is it painful? And then I come to find out that most of my clients that were coming to me they spent decades learning something, years writing about it. They think it’s special, they’ve been very successful with it, and then nobody buys their book. So they come to me because they’re on Instagram and they say you can reach people, I’ll pay you to put my book out there right, so I tried to get earlier in that process. Most people aren’t spending six months in anticipation of a launch, building a launch strategy and selling and marketing their book. So I would try out all sorts of things, most of which didn’t work, as I’m working with these authors behind the scenes and I probably said things like, hey, I’d love to work full time in this space someday. I have a degree in marketing, I understand small business, let me work with you, sort of as an intern to all of these authors, just understanding how it worked. And so, like I said, we’d try all sorts of things. Most of them didn’t work. Some of them did so just to give kind of an update, today I have 10 people on my team.
We support hundreds of authors a year in some type of paid engagement. We have sort of five core services. I’ll just mention the ones that you did on the intro. We do short form video content, where we help an author turn a physical book into 50 to 100 pieces of video for social media. That’s good for Instagram, tiktok, youtube, facebook, twitter, everything. We do podcast bookings, so we can place an author on up to 100 shows to talk about their book. And then we do book reviews still today, so we can post about a book and it can reach 50,000 people and they can sell 500 books just with a single Instagram post. And so that’s the magic of social media and that’s kind of where we fit into this puzzle. We also do social media management, some author ecosystem strategy and stuff like that, and all of that happened through failure and iteration and just trying new things out. It was a short period of time, but it was also it felt like a long period of time to me.
0:36:05 – Mike Malatesta
And yeah, it always feels a long time to the entrepreneur, right? Because you’re like this should be faster, we should be at least that’s how I always feel. So let’s look at the process here a little bit, if you don’t mind. So I write a book. Well, I’ll preface this by saying so here’s the easiest way to write. This is me talking, not you. You tell me if you agree. The easiest way for you to have a bestselling book is to be famous or very well known. The bet the easiest way for you to have a top ranked podcast is for you to be famous already. So people who have large audiences tend to have an easier time breaking in at a very high level to something. I guess that makes sense, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the book’s good or better than some other writer could do, or that the podcast is it’s. They probably are, but it’s. You know, that’s the easiest way. The majority of people who write books aren’t famous.
They might be famous in a small circle of people who and they could be very famous in that small circle and outside of that circle. No one’s ever heard of them, so the, so the profile of the majority of the people that you end up working with, Nick, looks like what I just want to make sure that people aren’t scared away here, but, like you know, you have to be. I guess I want them to know what do you actually have to be for you to be successful working with them?
0:37:38 – Nick Hutchinson
We work with people on both ends of the spectrum and most of them are somewhere in between, given the spectrum that you just kind of described.
So, as my business continues to grow, we’re in an interesting place right now because I actually get more fulfillment doing the platform building, not serving somebody that already has millions of followers, but somebody who has been very successful offline doesn’t have an audience, but they’re transitioning to a point in their life where they’d like to write, speak, coach, consult, maybe make courses, and they don’t know what any of that infrastructure looks like and I can step in and say you do have something unique to say.
Now you just need a partner, a team, to support you building that audience. Because I do think a lot of the people that are famous, they have some great things to say, they have great people around them, but a lot of them get famous when they’re pretty young in this world of entrepreneurship and then they just kind of ride that momentum instead of skill building. So, yeah, I like to serve people that are a little bit older, with a smaller audience, that do have something unique and a great track record to highlight, and then we can get in there and film video content and distribute it for them. We can place them on podcasts and get those podcasters to be their biggest fan. We can put them in front of our audience and get them more followers, and so, again, those are some of the course things that we do, and I love to serve people like that.
0:39:15 – Mike Malatesta
When somebody comes to you, what do they have to? What’s the ideal? If there is an ideal person, what does that ideal person look like when they first reach out to you? And then what do they look like when you’re done with them?
0:39:28 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, we’re never done with them.
I was hoping you might say that, but I yeah. So when somebody comes to us, they are in the second half of their career. They’re a little bit older. They have a strong track record of some success, probably in the world of business, managing a big company. Maybe they’ve just sold a big company and now they’d like to focus on impact as maybe a second career. So they’re probably sitting at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They’re not focused on food, water, shelter. They’re not focused on ego or anything. They’re focused on impact, self-actualization. They want to share what they’ve done to become so financially successful, so healthy, so happy, and so they’re not really concerned about money. They’re kind of in a different stage of life.
This person has the desire to speak, to coach, to consult. They don’t really have those things figured out yet, but they’ve written the book and that’s kind of step number one. So they have that $20 low-ticket item that they can get out there and we can use that book to get them on podcasts. We can use that book to put them in front of our audience. We can use that book to sort of what we do when we film content with people is we go through their book and we look for every standalone piece of unique value that we can find and we build a video.
We turn the powerful opinion piece up and we go out there and create that content for them and then, as we build that audience, they’re having viral moments, they’re starting to build out this ecosystem. They’re getting paid to speak, they’re getting paid to coach and consult. So you mentioned something about the books before, which I think is a funny way to put it. It’s not the best written books, it’s the best-selling books. So you need to sell, you need to get exposure, you need to market and brand and position, and that’s what my business can help people do. So it turns into this symbiotics kind of ecosystem where somebody comes into your world on social media, they buy your book, they want to learn more, and then we kind of have those opportunities available to them coaching, speaking, things like that.
0:41:45 – Mike Malatesta
Got it All right. Thank you for doing that. That makes sense. So let’s shift to learning more about your podcast and your book. Your podcast, as I mentioned, is called Book Thinkers Life Changing Books, and you’ve got 150 episodes or something, and so congratulations on that. By the way, thank you, and I mentioned some of the people that you’ve had on at the beginning, but is everyone that comes on your podcast an author that is promoting a book, or why should someone subscribe? Follow the podcast?
0:42:26 – Nick Hutchinson
I started the podcast because I noticed that as my account was growing, a lot of my favorite authors were reposting content, commenting, following us, and so they became accessible. And as I started to read about borrowing credibility and how trust is transitive, I thought I’d like to position myself with these people. So how can I do that? By also providing value to my audience, but also to the author. And this idea of podcasting came up originally when I was having a conversation with a mentor of mine on an Instagram live Evan Carmichael. So Evan was looking, he was kind of pushing me to do something that made me uncomfortable and he just asked hey, nick, if you would interview some of your favorite authors on camera and then post that content for everybody, would that get you uncomfortable? And I thought about oof, yes, I think it would. And he said well, start a podcast. So that’s what I did. Evan was podcast guest number one and very quickly we had some of my favorite authors Russell Brunson, grant Cardone, jim Quick, bob Berg, and so we were off and running and my audience loved it and so did the guests, and I had access to people that would normally charge $50,000, $100,000 for a consultation, but just because I have a podcast. They’re willing to give me their time for free, and so what I started to do was a follow up on the book. I read the book, I had additional questions, things that might have been missing, things that I was interested in learning more about, and I would host that conversation and then I would share it with everybody.
The podcast has changed a little bit over time, but in the beginning I would involve my audience and I would say, hey, you guys read the 48 Laws of Power, what questions do you have for Robert Green? And we would sort of crowdsource questions and people felt like they were involved. So it was a solo podcast at first, then a community podcast. Now I have a co-host who’s on my team, and now a lot of the authors that we interview are part of our paid network. So they’re people that we’re building with and they’re kind of paying to come on the show.
But that’s the podcast. Why should people listen? If you want a deep dive on a book to understand whether or not it’s going to be a good fit for you in advance of purchasing it, you can kind of get that 30 to 45 minute look at the book before committing to six or eight hours of reading. So that’s sort of the reason to jump on, and we have a lot of cool conversations that are very different. Somebody like Alex Hormozzi is very popular right now. He’s been on a thousand podcasts and the number one comment on our show on YouTube is like thank you for not having the cut and paste conversation, thank you for talking about things that are a little bit different.
Just like you’ve done today, mike I haven’t covered a lot of this on any other shows, which is great.
0:45:20 – Mike Malatesta
Oh well, thank you yeah.
0:45:23 – Nick Hutchinson
And so that’s the podcast.
0:45:25 – Mike Malatesta
Yeah, I want to ask you about podcast booking as part of your service and and pie pie casser, a very important marketing component for any author. Right, you got to get on. I cast, I went on probably 50 when I did my book. I’m not sure that any of them moved the needle for me at all, or the book just sucked, I mean one. So how do you think about that and how do you cultivate the right podcast for, for for people, especially authors, who are not super well known outside of certain circles?
0:46:03 – Nick Hutchinson
So my agency focuses on fit, so making sure that the audience is a great fit for the subject of the book over everything else. Then we optimize for the podcast podcast relationship. Now things were a little bit different with my book coming out. I wanted to go for fit but also volume. I wanted to get to know a lot of podcasters. I wanted to have conversations with them offline after the show which we’ll probably do and talk a little bit about the book and ways that we can kind of co-promote it If you find this conversation valuable, things like that.
So I think fit is very important. I think repurposing content on social media is really important. Sometimes I’ll host an interview with a world famous author and it will only get hundreds or maybe a thousand, two thousand traditional downloads, but we’ll repurpose that content on social media and it will get 50,000 impressions and so we kind of optimize for that as well. We make sure there’s a social media presence for our clients. We didn’t do everything from my book launch. It’s what is it like? The Shoemaker’s Son has no shoes, type of thing.
0:47:15 – Mike Malatesta
0:47:17 – Nick Hutchinson
And that’s what’s been really important. There’s also some follow up. You’ll get an email after we’re done that asks you to please include some certain links in your podcast description, and we also I’ll just kind of share the number with you because it’s interesting I have around 150 podcast interviews going live through the month of November, so I’ve already recorded about 100, and they’re all coming out within a condensed period of time, most in the first and second week of November, all being distributed on five, six different platforms with very specific links in the description, and so it’s kind of an SEO play, it’s a podcast or relationship play. It’s a lot of shows in a very condensed period of time going live, so that will lead to sporadic purchasing of the book rise of the reader. I’m taking a different angle, talking about this at a macro level, rather than inserting the book every 15 minutes like I do on some other shows. Okay, so I find your questions very interesting and maybe your audience is going to find this kind of macro discussion interesting rather than me just shoving the book down everyone’s throats.
And I’ll give you an example of something that we teach some of our clients. So let’s say that the goal is not to sell books, but it’s to create coaching clients. When somebody asks a question, like when Mike, you ask a question, I would answer through the lens of hey, that’s a great question. Typically when I’m coaching one on one, here’s how I would answer it. Or typically when I’m speaking on stage, here’s how I would answer it.
Or when you asked me about how did it happen, I could have said in the first book I read was Rich Dad, poor Dad, but I wish it was Rise of the Reader, my first book, because there’s so many things that I didn’t know back then that I know now and I just wish that I had access to this book. Right, so we teach people to kind of do those things. This conversation has taken a different turn, but I think there’s kind of an art of selling the book, an art of selling the complimentary products and services when the target user for those is in the audience, and then there’s a condensed kind of release with certain backlinks. So it’s an SEO play, sporadic purchasing. There’s kind of a few different things that I’m thinking about.
0:49:38 – Mike Malatesta
Okay. So the takeaway there for me is there’s a lot more Writing. A book is just step one. If you, you know, I listened to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s doing a lot of podcasts now because he has a book. The one thing I took away from it and this was on Tim Ferriss too is like he said all these people think they can create something and someone else’s job to sell it. And he’s like I don’t believe that at all. He’s like it’s my job to sell out. Yes, I mean, I’m not going to sell it for my movie. You know my choosing road voting for me. Whatever it’s, I have to sell that. And I thought that was very refreshing and eye opening, because you think a guy in his you know stage would be like you know, it sells itself because it has my name on it, but he’s like no, no, yeah, you got to get out there and sell.
0:50:34 – Nick Hutchinson
Right now. I’ll push you Oscar no hands, because some of us talk, I mean when there were many, many 55 magazine 활동 calls its 2004 office in the US, and then a lot of the other. Let me go out there and be the only actor willing to travel to whatever soul, self-career or something like that and promote the heck out of this movie and that’s why. And then he’d get a steak in the back end, like toy sales or whatever, and that’s how you made so much money so cool. I I agree, you’ve got to get out there and promote.
0:51:11 – Mike Malatesta
Yeah, he I think he was talking about twins with him and Danny DeVito where he did that and I think it booked it. It grossed as much internationally as it did domestically. So he’s like, and I was getting and we were getting 37%, so it would be silly of me not to sell this thing. You know it was. It was really good perspective from someone who’s super successful but still understands that you have to. You have to sell. So your book, rise of the Reader November 1st it comes out. You got another slot. I love that. You’ve read over 400 books. I’m. I’m in the upstairs of my office. Downstairs is my library and I kind of wish I was showing it because it’s like similar to yours. And and coming out of college I was, I was actually an English major, so I was reading, but I was reading the books that you know, you had to read to get through.
I wasn’t reading anything about business or leadership or, you know, develop, self development, and now I’ve read lots and lots of those things, and I’m really into biographies now too. By the way, have you ever heard of Founder’s podcast with David Cenra?
0:52:22 – Nick Hutchinson
I’m not sure I’ll have to look it up.
0:52:25 – Mike Malatesta
You have got to get, you have got to become aware of this guy and you have got to get him on your show. He is we’ll talk more offline about it, but he’s one of my favorites. Okay, he reads a biography a week. It’s a solo podcast and then he just gives you basically all of his notes on it and he is so committed, like so committed. It’s just fun to be a listener because you could just get off his excitement. Anyway, founder’s podcast, but your book you’ve got a. I could only read the things that were available, you know. But one of the things that I wrote down and I’d like you to talk to me about is you say something like swap 15 minutes of social media scrolling and we’ve been talking about social media a lot for 15 minutes of reading and that can dramatically impact 20 different areas of your life. That’s a good teaser. Can you explore that a little bit for me and us?
0:53:29 – Nick Hutchinson
Sure. So 15 minutes of reading for somebody who’s just starting out is probably about 10 pages. And if you can do that twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, by replacing something like social media scrolling in the morning and maybe just the first 15 minutes of your Netflix in the evening, you can read 20 pages a day, 20 pages over, let’s say, the five week days. That’s 100 pages a week, and most of these books are 200 to 250 pages these days. And so by reading 100 pages a week, you can read a book every two weeks, every two and a half weeks, and so that’s how we get to that number 20. And that’s how fast we can get these books done over the course of a year.
If you read a book every two weeks, that’s 26 books. If you read a book every two and a half, two and a quarter weeks, or whatever the math is, then you can get to 20 books. That’s 20 different areas of your life that you can improve, 20 different skills that you can develop, 20 different people that you can learn about, 20 different problems that you can solve, because that’s exactly what these personal development style books can do for you. And again, it can happen in as little as 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, and so when I think about my favorite Netflix shows of all time, I mean I can’t even remember some of the main characters six months later. But these books, they serve us for the rest of our lives if we implement them and make changes. And so I’m not a robot. I still watch TV and stuff like that, I still watch a lot of sports, but I do focus on serving my future self, at least a little bit every single day.
0:55:09 – Mike Malatesta
Yeah, very well, listening to podcasts instead of listening to the radio and reading 20 pages a day, if that’s like having your own custom design school. Yes, we talked about school at the beginning. Right, that’s a way to have your own custom design school. Expand your thinking, get creative with your ideas. Give yourself the belief, because belief comes before confidence, but give yourself the belief that you can do something you didn’t think you could do, and enough belief that you can commit to taking at least the first step. And, man, what a difference that can make in your life.
0:55:45 – Nick Hutchinson
Yes, I mean, here I am. I’ve only been reading for about 10 years and I’m in a wildly different place, so that’s how fast it can happen. I mean these books literally condensed, especially biographies, which you just mentioned. They literally condensed decades of somebody else’s lived experience into days of consumption. You can’t beat that. I mean I kind of joke around recently like I’m 29 years young, but if you include the books behind me, I’m thousands of years old and I’ve aged thousands of years in the last 10 years.
0:56:16 – Mike Malatesta
That’s beautiful, the way you just put that. That’s great. Well, look, everybody, get the book Rise of the Reader. I will definitely be getting this book and reading it. Check out Nick’s podcast, book Thinkers Life Changing Books Just amazing people on there. As I said at the very beginning, I have not been on the show yet, but there are other amazing people on there that you should definitely check out. And Book Thinkers is the name of Nick’s company, nick Hutchinson you should check out. And, nick, before we leave, is there anything that you’d like to share that I just blew or didn’t ask you about or skipped over or whatever?
0:57:01 – Nick Hutchinson
I’ll just throw one thing out there for everybody. If you’re new to the space and I’ve convinced you that reading is worth doing, but you’re not really sure where to start go to Instagram, at Book Thinkers, and DM me. Tell me about a problem that you currently have, tell me about a skill that you’d like to develop or something in between. I’ll probably ask a few follow-up questions, but I will provide a book recommendation and I will act as an accountability partner and put a note in my system and reach back out to you in three months to see if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. So that’s open to anybody that wants to reach out and become part of our community.
There’s no judgment. It’s a safe space. I think if you choose not to read these books, you’re choosing to live under your potential. So hopefully, after today’s conversation, you’ve heard about some of this value and you’re interested in getting involved. And even if you’ve been in the space for a long time but you’re like man, I’ve read every sales book but I just can’t get to the next level what recommendations do you have? I can still provide value.
0:58:04 – Mike Malatesta
Nice. Oh, that’s a great offer. Thank you for making that.
0:58:07 – Nick Hutchinson
Yeah, of course.
0:58:08 – Mike Malatesta
Okay, so Instagram at Book Thinkers. Nick, thank you so much for being on the show today. I’ve really.
It’s just been great to get to know you, and I’m super impressed by what you’re doing as well and thank you for sharing so much and listen, everybody that’s listening. Please maximize the greatness that’s inside of you. Nick’s been talking about maximizing greatness in all the authors that he works with and the people he has on his podcast, and you have greatness inside of you that I can guarantee you are not maximizing. So why don’t you think about that and pull something out and take that first step towards maximizing more of the greatness that’s inside of you, and we’ll see each other next time. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to the show and before you go, I just have three requests for you. One if you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it. Leave me a review, write something nice about me, give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate.
Number two I’ve got a book. It’s called Owner Shift how Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes and Noble, amazon. You can get it everywhere. If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential, order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy and, if you get it, please let me know what you think. Number three my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and the podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them.
You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name mikemalatesta.com. You do that right now. Put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you.