Interview with John Wessinger, author of Ride the Wave

11:50 AM

Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author John Wessinger on the release of his book, Ride the Wave! Let's welcome him on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!

1. How did you decide to write Ride the Wave?

I decided to write RIDE THE WAVE after a conversation I had with my neighbor.  He is an author and a performance coach who has self-published a handful of books.  We were discussing a marketing workshop I had put together and were going through my slide deck for the workshop.  The presentation was non-branded and was really meant to be my introduction to potential clients about who I was, my point of view in business and how I could help business leaders and organizations work through change and the new challenges they were facing.  I used a personal story to set-up the workshop and as a way to weave an analogy through the presentation.  The story was about my first-time ocean surfing and almost drowning in the Pacific Ocean. I used the example to explain how I overcame this failure and learned to surf, but how I also applied what I learned to my professional career as well.  My neighbor really liked the content and thought it would make a good book.  He suggested I write a book to expand on the concepts further.  The workshop and the encouragement of my neighbor is really where the idea for RIDE THE WAVE came from.  

2. Can you give our readers an idea about what they should expect in the book?

The book opens with two stories. In the first, I describe my experience ocean surfing for the first time and how I failed miserably.  The second is a story about how I quit my full-time job to start a new business.  Throughout the book, I use these two stories to highlight the challenges I experienced in starting a business and how I used what I learned from surfing to overcome them.  I provide the steps that I took and how I used the “Principles” of surfing to develop a process that anyone can use to overcome any kind of personal or professional challenge to find success. I also profile three professional surfers to use as examples for each of the principles and provide specific examples of how they have used their skills or mindsets to achieve new levels of success.  I bring the principles, process and concepts together in case study about GoPro and then end the book by finalizing the two stories I started with in the beginning.  Describing how I found success during my journey by using the “RIDE THE WAVE” process to overcome my previous failures.  The book is informative, motivational and serves as the new tactical playbook for finding success in your personal or professional life.

3. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind the book?

In preparation for writing the book, I met with hundreds of companies and business leaders to discuss their biggest challenges. In our discussions, I found that most organizational leaders really struggled to change internal strategies and mindsets about their businesses and felt tied to the past or an old way of doing things.  Organizations would try to implement short-terms strategies in the hope that it would fix their problems quickly, but often found that they were still using the old methods and had fixed mindsets that were holding them back from building new skills or capabilities as well as from exploring new risks. I focused my research on change and risk within business.  Really trying to find out what it would take for organizations to embrace these new challenges and see them as opportunities, instead of avoiding them.  As I further developed the surf analogy in the book and did more research within surfing, I saw that there were a lot of parallels and concepts that organizational leaders could learn from professional surfers. I identified a unique set of things that they did differently from most people in business.  To develop these concepts further, I read interviews and watched videos to understand how surfers approached their sports and identified the skills or the mindsets that organizations would need to embrace change and explore new risks.  

4. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges or learning experiences you faced throughout the writing and publishing process.

The first challenge was really just finding the time to write.  For the first three months of the writing process, I tried to work on my marketing consulting business for part of the day and then write the rest of the day.  The problem was that there was so much to do for my marketing business, that the work would bleed over into my writing time and I would have less and less time to write every day.  I eventually made the decision to write full-time and just focused on writing for 6-months in order to finish the book. I was able to finish a first draft of the book and make two full edits during that 6-month time period.  A second challenge was navigating the self-publishing world.  My neighbor really helped to get me started and offered to walk me through the self-publishing process.  It was very helpful, but I knew I would eventually need help editing, designing a cover and getting the book published. I used a local publishing company that helped me edit, design, publish and print the book.  This made the publishing process much easier and I know for certain that I would not have been able to get the book published without them. A third challenge was creating the final draft that would sent to the printers.  During my writing process, I created a first draft and did two full edits before passing the book onto the editor.  The editor did a revised draft and we also had the book proofread.  I then did two more edits before we sent a final version to the printers.  Doing multiple edits was really challenging and it really took a lot of fortitude to continually update the book and make the final revisions.  As I was editing the book for the final time, my wife said to me, “I can’t believe you’re reading it again!”  It was tough, but I was determined to create a solid final draft and I wanted a lot of quality come through when reading the book.  I wanted the book to read really fast, so all those edits helped streamline the writing and helped made the book better.

5. How has your experience in the healthcare and retail industries contributed in making LATERALUS possible?

My experience in healthcare and retail gave me a really solid foundation to build LATERALUS on.  Within retail, I worked for a global organization that was the market leader in its consumer packaged goods category. I was able to learn and understand what it took become a best in class product.  I learned “the playbook” and how to take a product from a strategic level all the way down to the customer level where you need to execute on a marketing plan and drive sales.  That firsthand sales experience with customers really gives you an idea of the challenges within marketing and sales, but also the opportunity to really learn the process and how to be effective. During my time in healthcare, I was fortunate enough to work for another great organization that had developed the “gold standard” product within our market. We were known for having good products, but our customers really saw the organization as resource to their businesses.  We were able to develop strong relationships and provide solutions to challenging customer problems and did amazing things for having such a small sales force and marketing team.  At LATERALUS, I bring that industry-leading experience to my work and help clients become the best in class at what they do.

6. What's next?

My plan is to continue with the launch of RIDE THE WAVE over the next year.  I’m really proud of this book and want as many people to read it as possible.  There is so much good, deep content within the book that I want to make sure it gets out there and in front of readers.  In support of the book, I created a series of videos that outline the RIDE THE WAVE process and I just started a weekly blog series that further explores the concepts, strategies and principles within the book.  I just launched the eBook version of RIDE THE WAVE and I’m planning to do an audio version in early 2018.  After that, I plan to do a companion workbook and hope to have that out during the second half of next year.  The more content I put out in support of the book, the more I hope the book gets read.  I really would like to see the momentum continue to build and have the book take off and reach a larger audience in the next year.  Thanks to blogs and review sites like this, it really helps with those efforts and I appreciate the support and the opportunity to get RIDE THE WAVE in front of new readers.

7. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?

Readers should know that RIDE THE WAVE is a business book or a book about business, but that it can appeal to a much wider audience that might be looking for a new way to approach challenges.  I have been very surprised by the type of readers that the book has attracted and how positive the reviews have been from readers that do not have a traditional business background.  I think the surfing really helps to simplify and bring some of the business concepts to life and my personal stories really humanize the experiences I write about and make them relatable since they are challenges that we all have gone through at some point in our lives.  Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a stay-at-home Mom with a side business, there are ideas within this book that anyone can immediately put into action in their own personal and professional lives.  Please check out RIDE THE WAVE and let me know what you think!  And just remember the main message within the book is that regardless of the obstacle or challenge, just be more like the surfer and ride the wave!

Ride the Wave: How to Embrace Change and Create a Powerful New Relationship with Risk

by John Wessinger

Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Published by: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Page count: 280

We are in an era in which technology and information-sharing platforms have given buyers and consumers more information about products and services than ever before. There is a new power dynamic between companies and customers in which buyers no longer need organizations to help them make a purchase decision. As the competitive landscape continues to change, business leaders will need a new process for overcoming challenges and a new mindset to find success.

Author John Wessinger believes that organizations must learn to embrace the conditions (quickly evaluate changing markets), adopt a progression-based mindset (continually build new skills), and use risk as a compass (willingly explore risk-driven strategies) to thrive in these new conditions. Business leaders must be more like surfers and approach marketing and selling the same way surfers approach riding waves: by using a set of principles to overcome new challenges and leveraging the natural momentum within changing markets to break through the status quo.

This book is for business leaders, organizational teams, and anyone looking for a process to overcome a new personal or professional challenge. Ride the Wave provides the reader with a tactical roadmap of how successful organizations have used the principles to overcome disruptive market challenges, build new skills, and find success in the face of extreme professional risk. This book will help you embrace the changes we are all experiencing and create a powerful new relationship with risk by exploring it head-on instead of avoiding it.

Buy the book

About the author

John Wessinger is the author of RIDE THE WAVE: How To Embrace Change And
Create A Powerful New Relationship With Risk. John is also the founder of the sales
and marketing firm LATERALUS Solutions and is the creator of the Ride the Wave

LATERALUS was founded by John in July of 2014 and built from his experience working within the healthcare and retail industries. He has helped to build market leaders and contributed to the success of billion-dollar brands within global organizations.

As a marketing and sales strategist, John can solve complex business challenges and
relieve pain points within organizations. He works with business leadership and
collaborates with sales and marketing teams to design initiatives that challenge the
status quo and the way that companies do business.

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