Been working on a new business book in the Success Paths series. If you’re a regular reader, you know about my financial background; so along with mystery books, I have been writing about small business. Now that the world has been turned upside down, it could be years before the “normal” paths to success will have meaning. Oh, sure the basics of making a profit will still exist; but much will change after this virus crisis—and never be the same again.
Survival mode becomes gut decision time. I’ve worked with many businesses over the years that were dealing with a self-induced crisis, and almost always the owner had gone to a no analysis approach and trusted gut instincts to make short-term survival decision. I have seen this reaction from small business and also giant corporations. Big companies have the same instinct; reduce the number of people making decisions, and trust only yourself (owner or CEO).
There’s logic in that; if a bad decision means your death, you sure the hell don’t give that decision to some dumb accountant, or consultant, or your brother-in-law.
The local paper here, The Denver Post, announced in the last week or so that they were dropping a regular sports section due to the lack of sports activity. I’m not an expert on the newspaper business but that sounded like one of the dumbest decisions they could make. Have no idea what percentage of their readers consider the sports section a key reason they pay for the paper; but I would guess it’s pretty high.
Almost all of their news coverage in available somewhere else, usually for free and delivered much quicker. For many papers if there is a reporter who is known it is going to be a sports reporter. So the most unique aspect of your paper will be dropped because there are no games to report. Somebody does not understand sports.
Sports is gossip. And gossip goes on with or with the games. Trades, the drafts, predictions, player’s opinions about anything, guesses about who will start or not start—this stuff is endless. A non-sports person would look at that and probably not believe readers would be interested; but that is the heart of sports, not the games. It was a bad decision based on a crisis; no doubt, made by someone who didn’t understand sports and was looking to save some money.
I canceled my subscription. So what? Well for one, I will now break the habit of reading that paper; and for sure it was a habit. Almost all of the news was something I had already been informed about on television or on-line. No doubt based on the response, the Post seemed to immediately back-track. They can bring back the sports page with great fanfare; but the habit is broken.
This will happen with many businesses that are forced to close or reduce hours during the Coronavirus scare. All humans are creatures of habit and if that habit is broken; humans will make new decisions about where they eat or shop. Probably based on something new and flashy.
Another aspect of this latest business interruption will be that every bad business decision made over the last year will now be blamed on the Coronavirus crisis. No matter how absurd the connection, businesses will find some way to justified bad business practices of the past on this current mess. Blame shifting and cover-ups are definitely human qualities.
For me, this means the series of business books I was considering may not be relevant for a while. If this shutdown or slowdown goes on for months who knows what the small business world will look like. Some things will stay the same, but many aspects of business practices could change.
I have written one business book and part of a second. Those will be put on a “wait and see” hold until there is an outcome of this troubling time.
So rather than business answers, it will be murder mysteries for me. The fictional world is a lot easier to deal with anyway. There is no circumstance in the fictional world I can’t clean up in a chapter or two. The real world, on the other hand, is a lot more difficult to fix.
Current mystery book projects include: Durango Two Step, Dr. Hightower and Vegas Dead End. DTS is easing towards completion, DH is confused and awaiting some inspiration and VDE is new and secret. Yes, it is a secret book: not good for sales but I don’t have to be embarrassed if I don’t finish it. Wait a minute, something seems wrong here. Not to worry, if no one reads this week’s blog it will still be secret.
Audiobooks of Dog Gone Lies, Sky High Stakes and Four Corners War are moving along at a brisk pace. DGL is complete and in review. I’m confident all three audiobooks will be released by June or July.
Battling health issues, mostly reoccurring bouts of gout, Vincent Malone, tough-guy legal investigator, is looking for a quiet place to heal and wait for retirement. Malone was once a promising hot-shot Dallas attorney, but booze and bad judgement brought that and his marriage to an abrupt end. Since his fall from grace he has provided private investigation services to Denver lawyers, utilizing his legal background to a new advantage. Malone just lost his last client due to his unreliability. He was now headed south, not sure what the future would hold. Malone takes a know-nothing job as a shuttle driver for a new B&B in Santa Fe and life takes a surprising turn. The Blue Door Inn’s first guests are clients of a big-time sports agent out of LA who resides part-time in Santa Fe. The meeting was supposed to be a celebration of success, but just before the meeting it was discovered that all of the money the agent was managing for his professional athlete clients is missing.
Missing millions, sexual entanglements, troubling personal histories brews into murder. Malone suddenly finds himself in the middle of a major murder case with the lead detective giving him the evil eye. A surprise entrant to this mix is an aging gun-slinger attorney. Malone and he team up to find the real killer and clear an innocent man.