When friend and partner of Tulip Media Group Heidi Huettner suggested at our May 13, 2020, quarterly strategy meeting that we write a book, we thought she was crazy. Not only would this have seemed far-fetched in a healthy economic climate, but we were in the middle of a pandemic!
Regardless, Andy was ready to take the idea and run with it. He nominated me and Erika to take the lead on the project. With some reluctance, we accepted. It was ingrained in our core values to embrace change, after all. Perhaps this would bring the chance to shed light on a new perspective.
In any case, writing a book would be an excellent opportunity to advance our roles and our careers. We were excited to be able to add “published author” to our resumes.
The topic we decided to write about was culture. Team culture is something that we’ve always valued at Tulip Media and that we work tirelessly to maintain day in and day out. Andy even went so far as to declare us experts in this area, which, looking back, I can see how right he was.
Erika and I have a lot of experience with figuring out what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to our organizational environment. We and our team are in a constant state of learning and growth, and this was a message we thought was important enough to share with the world. So we did.
The first step in bringing The Ultimate Culture: It’s About DNA, Not Resume to life was to draft a table of contents and outline. In our virtual office, this was a Google Doc that everyone was working on at the same time. We had everyone on our team throwing ideas out there for content and stories that they wanted to include in the book. The outline came together very quickly this way.
Even though Erika and I were to author the book, we did the outline as a team because it was an opportunity for everyone to contribute their favorite company stories and the aspects of our culture they thought were most important. During this process, we zeroed in on exactly what it was about our culture that was worth sharing, what it was that set us apart. We discovered very quickly that our values and experiences had a lot to offer up-and-coming business leaders, onboarding candidates, and potential Client-Partners. As the outline was completed, these were all set to be clearly related in the meat of the book.
From there, Erika and I went through the outline and decided who would work on which parts. There were some stories I could tell better, so I took responsibility for those parts. We knew Erika’s gift of gab would come in handy for talking about our recent experiences, so she took the bulk of those chapters. We moved back and forth between chapters and concepts until everything had been allocated. When we were finished, all of Erika’s parts were highlighted in pink and mine in blue.
One of our secrets at Tulip Media is our use of audio recordings to relay notes to each other. This quickly became the secret ingredient for The Ultimate Culture too.
When we had time throughout the day, Erika and I would both record notes for our sections using Otter. If you use Otter, you know that voice notes are automatically converted to text. Our Writing Wizard, Sadie Baker, would then transform the notes into the final product.
We were fortunate to have one of our talented ghostwriters work with us to pull the content together into a finished book. The amount of time we saved poring over text was enormous, and working with her made the whole process of writing a book feel effortless.
We relied on Google Docs again for the editing process. Each chapter had its own document that Erika and I would work on with the ghostwriter to refine content. Our ghostwriter would make notes in each chapter and we would reply with audio or written notes. Any time one of us made a change, we would track the change with a different-colored text.
Once all of the chapters had been reviewed and approved by our trio, we pushed the project through to our proofreader, John, as well as partner, Heidi, for review. They did an excellent job of polishing everything up and delivering the finished product.
After all of the hard work of our dedicated team, we prelaunched the book on July 14, 2020, and achieved Amazon best seller status within a day.
Due to the success of our first book, Andy and Jessica will be moving forward with their own co-authored book entitled Double the Sales / Zero the Salespeople. This will make three books total in Tulip Media’s personal library, including Andy’s first book, How to Win Clients & Influence People.