In December, I reviewed a new book by up-and-coming author Michael Holmes. If you haven’t yet, check out my review of I Shall Raise Thee Up. I thought you might enjoy going deeper into the book with the author himself and learning more about him in the process.
You may had the chance to converse with Michael on Twitter or get to know him through his comments here on this blog. He always brings an insightful dynamic to the conversation wherever you find him.
I promised I’d post an interview with him in my review of his book, but I didn’t know it would take me this long to post it. It’s worth the wait though. It’s a fabulous interview that I wished I was set up to have done via voice or video, but we had to settle on doing it via email. I hope you enjoy it.
On How Writing this Book has Changed His Life …
Brad: I think a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to where you were on that long bus ride heading to a job that you hated thinking “there’s got to be a better way.” I’m interested in learning how your life is different today as a result of transforming that recurring thought on a bus ride from a rejected magazine article to a published book.
Michael: Well, it has and has not changed. I’m not financially independent and I’m still in a job that I wish I wasn’t in. But things have changed a lot in my attitude, my focus, and my purpose.
By attitude: I’ve learned (and am still learning) how to thank God in spite of and not because of. I’m learning to trust His timing and not my own.
By focus: I have learned to use the bulk of my energy toward things that will ultimately matter—and not be bogged down with activities that serve no purpose in the long run.
By purpose: I have discovered more and more of what I’m here to do. And I think that’s the greatest thing that can happen to a person. To discover your purpose is to discover the reason for your talents, strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, and etc. And to discover the greatest of them all: your life’s work.
What He Hopes Readers Will Take Away from the Book …
Brad: As I mentioned in my review of the book, there are so many great quotes that I’ve highlighted for future use. The size of your book is deceptively small because you cover so many different principles and aspects of being an entrepreneur.
As the author, what is the one principle, idea, or impression that you hope your readers will take away from your book?
Michael: Service. Service is the key ingredient for a great company, ministry, people, or person. And whenever we lose sight of that the downward spiral is only a matter of time. Service is the greatest of all the principles…but love is even greater that that.
The Role Isolation Played in His Life …
Brad: I mentioned in my review that I was excited to see where you were headed in the chapter on isolation, but that I got lost with the biographies you used in the chapter. The promise of that chapter really struck a chord within me that I hadn’t thought about before, and I wanted to give you an opportunity to talk more about it here and what role isolation has played in your life as a Christian entrepreneur.
Michael: I never used to fit in certain crews or cliques and it used to really trouble me. It wasn’t until recently where I discovered that God designed me not to fit in. It was such an eye opener to realize that people’s rejection of me was simply Him directing me.
For a Christian entrepreneur, isolation has many benefits. And by “entrepreneur” I don’t necessarily someone just in business for themselves—although that’s a big part of it. An “entrepreneur” is someone of takes possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes responsibility for the outcome. In other words, it someone who takes control of their life and assumes responsibility for it. A Christian entrepreneur is someone who does that with God’s help.
And so isolation plays its part because everyone doesn’t think like that. They let other people control their lives…and worse yet…refuse to let God take control! And so that isolation is essential because it makes you not fit into that. And THEN God and you move from mediocrity to greatness.
On What He Would Tell that Avon Supervisor Today …
Brad: It seems so many of us have had people in our lives that were in a place to help lift us up, but chose to ignore or belittle us instead. I could really empathize with you as your excitement was crushed with her indifferent “that’s nice.” If you were to meet her today, what would you like to say to her?
Michael: I would bring her to your site! LOL! Then I would take her over to a few others like Rod Kirby, Stephen Borgman, Bradley Moore, and etc. Then I would walk her through history and show her all the believers in enterprise…that started great enterprises. And then I would try my gut-busting best to introduce her to the Savior we all know as God.
On the Challenges of Writing Your First Book …
Brad: What are some of the challenges you faced in writing your first book? What advice would you give to others who are thinking about writing a book?
Michael: Because I wanted this book to be of quality I had to do my homework I breezed through at least a hundred books in writing this—not to mention magazines, websites, and Scripture study. That is hard. Then I had to make it as simple as possible—so that means not using four words when two will do and so on. And I had it keep it short…and that itself was hard because there was sooooooo much more I wanted to say.
For first-time authors I would say the key thing is writing a book are reading and writing. Read as many books as possible, see what the authors are doing right, and see what they’re doing wrong. And then write! Nobody’s gonna read a book you haven’t written. And don’t worry how the first one looks…you’ll get better the more you practice.
On the Response He’s Received to His Book …
Brad: What has been the response to your book? Are there any stories you would like to share from any of your readers?
Michael: The response has been overwhelmingly positive! One lady said she read it in two days and passed it on to her son. One lady who had given up on life said that it gave her hope that He still had a plan for her life. And especially considering this recession people need hope like never before. And I’m glad God would use me to communicate it.
On Possible Books in the Future …
Brad: It’s been said that we all have at least one good book in us just waiting to get out. Do you plan on writing another book? If so, what will it be about?
Michael: I’m actually in the process of writing another. The next one will be entitled “Biblical strategies for marketing success.”
It came to me because I noticed that most of the “new” and “good” marketing we see today like “being transparent” “permission marketing” “giving value” and etc have their origins in the Bible. So I’m writing to show that these strategies existed before us and they’ll exist after us—because the One who created them is eternal. So it’s a back to the Bible-kind-of thing…because any answer to any problem is found in the Word of God. We just have to have the sense to look—because God hides them purposely. He hides them so we can seek for them and seek Him for them
Wasn’t that a great interview? I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Michael over the past few months. If you haven’t read I Shall Raise Thee Up: Ancient Principles for Lasting Greatness I highly recommend it.
I’m sure you will see more from Michael on this site through his comments, and I’m very excited to announce that Mike has agreed to guest post here as well from time to time.
You can always find his latest writings on his blog, www.raisetheeup.com/blog.
Thank you Michael for a great interview.