That’s what the book publisher pays me for every copy sold of Work On Your Game [The Book].
The book retails for $25; it’s currently $16.91 on Amazon.
Multiply that by a few thousand books, and it’s not bad money. You can pay your rent and tackle some long-standing bills with that.
But the essence of doing smart business isn’t about how much your check is for.
It’s how much the whole pie is, compared to how much you get.But the essence of doing smart business isn’t about how much your check is for. It’s how much the whole pie is, compared to how much you get. Click To Tweet
Let’s say that you and I did a business deal together, with each of us doing half of the work. When the job was done, I wired you a payment of $1 Million for your efforts.
Would you be happy about that?
(You shouldn’t answer until you have more information. The above is not enough info to determine if that makes sense.)
If you knew that the net revenue was $2 Million, then yes — that’s a reasonable outcome.
But, what if you later found out that the revenue was actually $2 BILLION?
Would you still be happy with your measly $1 Million?
This is the mindset of ownership. Not how much you get, period — but how much of the whole pie you get.
If you’re getting less than what you feel you’ve contributed, then you’re in a bad deal.
You can look up the current salary, to the dollar, of your favorite NBA player. It’s probably an amount that anyone would consider to be “a lot” of money.
But, “a lot” is not absolute — it’s relative. It’s subject to what it’s being compared to.
Here’s how: the owner of your favorite player’s team is the one writing that player’s paychecks. That owner cuts not only that check, but checks for 12 other players, an equal number of coaches on staff, and many others.
And the owner still has money left over to pocket for himself after paying everyone else.
So, how much is he — the owner — making?
The player’s salary is very little compared to the owner’s income. It’s rich vs wealthy.
I’m not saying that the players are being stiffed out of money, nor does this illustrate that they “deserve” more. The players, like me with my book deal, signed the contract. They’re getting exactly what they agreed to get. No one has been done wrong here.
There’s a reason, though, why you see so many highly-paid athletes starting businesses and doing so many other things outside of sports, despite their well-compensated status: athletes don’t own anything when they’re playing.
When you’re playing, though, you brush up against the people who do own things (the owners). And it isn’t hard to figure out the equation I’ve laid out above: all the real power is in ownership of a money-generating asset.
The logic behind being happy with what you’ve got is that “X percentage of something is better than 100 percent of nothing!”
But, what happens when you know you can generate more than “nothing” on your own, and control 100% of it?
Your thinking changes. This is what basketball Superdad LaVar Ball would have explained in starting his own merchandise brand if he had the right words.
Work On Your Game [The Book] is the only of my 25 books that was published by anyone other than Work On Your Game Inc. (my company).
I’m proud of the book. It’s the book I direct people to when they ask me which one of my books they should read— my very goal in writing it in the first place.
If a company contracts with me and says they want to buy 500 copies of one of my publications for their workforce, Work On Your Game is the book I’m sending.
It’s also the book that, when sold at retail, I make the LEAST amount of money on.
Not because it’s not a good book.
Not because the price is too low (actually, the price IS too low based on its value, but it’s not low not compared to price of the average book).
I make the least on Work On Your Game because, based on the publishing deal, I’m at the bottom of the money funnel. I’m not the owner.
Work On Your Game [The Book] exists mostly due to one person: ME.
I created the phrase. I own the trademarks and domains. The brand is connected to my name and likeness. Google “Work On Your Game” and you’ll see me.
When a copy of Work On Your Game [The Book] sells —
The retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc) gets paid.
The book packager.
The publishing company itself.
The book interior designers.
The publishing company’s security guards (not really, but you get the point).
Some other slapdick nobodies in-between who I don’t even know.
They ALL get paid before me.
If there’s anything left after that, I get my $1.78.
Those same people get paid when a copy of a self-published book gets sold. The difference is, the publisher (in this case, the author), gets paid FIRST (and pays out to everyone else), instead of last.
I don’t regret doing the publishing deal for Work On Your Game [The Book]. It’s a great representation of my brand and the philosophy as a whole. It looks good. I like to open the book to any random page and see a header or sub header that reads perfectly, exactly how it should read.
If I died tomorrow, I’d be happy to have Work On Your Game representing what I was about.
If I hadn’t done that deal in 2017 (when the contract was signed), I would’ve entered a similar deal sometime after. The Manhattan major-publisher experience was bound to happen. I’m glad that it did.
Now that I see how it works, it’s reinforced something that I’ve talked about often on my podcast: the power is in the ownership.
What I’ve illustrated here is not a new phenomenon.
The presence of LeBron James, for example, is worth well over $100 Million to the bottom line of whatever NBA team he plays for — and those of the teams his team faces, league sponsors, and the NBA itself.
In an open market, without the NBA’s current salary restrictions, LBJ could easily command a $100 Million annual salary — and someone would happily pay it. He’s worth it.
Instead, LeBron has consistently been paid 20-30% of that amount throughout his career.
The excess? That goes into the pockets of team owners, and lesser NBA players who make MORE than what they contribute to the bottom line.
The NBA pay structure is quite socialist.
This kind of stuff happens everywhere. The good thing is, more and more of us are getting smart about what’s going on.
This is why many musicians are independent, eschewing record labels.
It’s (one reason, there are many) why many authors self-publish.
It’s why journalists start their own websites and podcasts instead of continuing to work for established publications.
Creatives are realizing that you create and keep more of the power when you organize and run things on your own.
Don’t get it twisted — there’s still work involved. MORE work than the other way, actually. And a lot more responsibility.
But the opportunity is there, if you want it.
If you’re a creative — where can you take back more ownership of your work from an entity that’s taking more from you than they’re contributing? Reply and let me know — I read all responses.
PS— listen to the following MasterClasses on business and ownership that I’ve done (with more on the way):
#434: Determining Your “Retail Value” in Life & Business
#1054: How To Get Paid What You’re Worth
#1243: Taking Ownership Of Your Business
#1228: The 4 Key Turning Points In My Business Life (So Far)
#1114: How Much Does Social Media Matter To or For Your Business?
#1086: How To Create More Business Opportunities As A Speaker, Coach, Consultant or Freelancer
#934: Stop Measuring Your Value By What Other People Say
#363: How To Increase Your Personal Value As A Business
#1344: Diversifying Your Value Delivery
#510: How Much Are You Worth?
You can get full access to these and 1,357 more MasterClasses on every topic to advance your mindset, business and life, as a Game Group Member.
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