Experts generally believe very deeply in what they do. Their ‘why’ tends to be unusually strong. Yet ultimately, being an industry expert is a money-generating career, and it should ideally be treated as a fully-fledged business. That said, do you get involved in the revenue-generating aspect of what you do?

Years ago, after publishing my first two books with Penguin, the editorial team gave me some positive feedback. They told me that authors are typically reticent about media interviews, and they said they enjoyed working with me because I was actively (I would say ‘aggressively’) involved in the marketing of each new title. 

Two weeks ago, I discovered a broken system by mistake. I had run out of copies of one of my own books, and needed a handful more in a hurry ahead of a conference. So I called my local bookstore and asked whether they had any stock. 

‘That’s strange,’ the lady on the phone told me, clicking at keys in the background. ‘It shows here we sold all our stock a year ago, and for some reason, we haven’t had any since then.’ 

I passed this information back to my publisher, who discovered that the issue was nationwide. That particular book is only two years old. It had sold fabulously for its first year. And then, because of an unnoticed system glitch, it had simply never been restocked in stores. Anywhere. 

Because I queried this scenario, the books are now back in stores. If I hadn’t, no one would have noticed. We would simply have assumed that the book wasn’t selling. 

Being intimately involved with the sales process is a business imperative. You are not a ‘purist’ if you avoid this aspect of your business. Instead, you are simply creating the conditions for potential obscurity. So long as there is revenue associated with what you do, you will flourish as an expert. When there isn’t, you won’t. 

Become, and remain, deeply involved with the revenue-generating activities in your business, and you could own your industry. 


Douglas Kruger is a multiple award-winning professional speaker, focusing on innovation, agile culture and expert positioning. Books like his, ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’ are bestsellers, informing his conference speeches for leadership audiences. Book him as the motivational speaker for your next conference or event at