This isn’t because books are boring or there’s no new news here. Quite the opposite in fact.
It’s because, as a ghostwriter, while I may love books and know all the intricacies about them and how to get them published and all the benefits they bring -- they may not hold the sway for my ideal audience.
There’s no problem there.
I drive a car but I’m not a car fanatic. I can change my oil, fill it up with gas, and check the tire pressure. But I can’t explain how all the parts work together, nor do I know how to fix it should something break.
It’s the same with sports; I like watching sports, I’m aware of the teams, but I can’t tell you stats or in-depth history.
That’s just not me.
I have my teams that I root for, but I follow their progress passively.
To each their own.
Cars and sports, as important as they are to some people, are merely tools for others.
It’s the same with books.
I love reading and I don’t get to read enough everyday.
I see the benefits of reading, writing, and publishing books. There’s hard numbers that indicate the benefits of books for business or for someone seeking to increase their influence. Beyond numbers, there’s definitive evidence that reading and authoring books improves one’s life in countless ways.
Yet, not everyone has to eat, sleep, and breath books.
It’s same with cars and sports.
And the world is still spinning. So it must not be a crime against all humanity that everyone isn’t as crazy about books as I am. Or cars. Or sports.
Instead, let’s shift our focus to something a little bit more general.
Economics, though not everyone’s cup of tea, is still important to everyone.
Now, I’m not going to go into a masters-level discussion on the topic. Since I can’t tell you who the lead-off hitter for the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series was, I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about economics.
I took a class in high school, and that was it.
In my job, however, I’m reading a lot. I read articles as well as books. Some of those articles have to do with economics. Some of the sources I reference for my job involve economics.
I’ve also had the benefit of living in San Antonio for nearly ten years.
Within that time I’ve seen parts of this city growth, and parts of it decay. This had led to a rudimentary understanding of economics.
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, this is good.
When it comes to understanding something new, it helps to be able to explain to the ignorant in such a way that they’re no longer ignorant. It’s the same with teaching any subject.
On a side note; I’ve found that those who are passionate about something will find a way to explain it to the average person. And when that passion is evident, then it’s easier to learn about the subject matter.
Thus, when I’m working on a topic I’m not excited about, for example, cryptocurrency, it helps if the person I’m talking to is. I can get behind passion.
Where was I?
So despite my novice approach to the subject, I have seen a few things that would make me believe the economy is improving.
These are regional indicators.
For the state and nation, I leave that to the true professionals.
Those big cranes, the behemoth ones? Yeah, those ones.
These cranes, as I’ve come to learn, are indicators that growth is happening in an area.
Don’t believe me?
Go to the American Business Journals and pick one of the twenty-plus cities they cover. Better yet, just go straight to San Antonio Business Journal.
At the top you’ll find a “crane watch” feature. This will take you to an interactive map with all the construction projects that require a behemoth crane.
Using a crane as big as this one is a sure sign that there’s money involved in these projects. And not just money going in, but the expected rate of return on those investments. There’s also the fact that without a big crane the projects would take longer. Not wanting to miss out on a faster ROI, these big cranes are brought in to truncate the process.
There’s got to be a dollar amount for each crane in use, not just in operating costs, but in projected ROI.
To find that, you’ll probably have to talk to professional.
Does anybody know any?
Even with a crane, civic projects are also another indicator of economic growth.
When there’s a new overpass being built, or an expansion to an existing road, this is a sign that the city and/or county is working to adjust to more commuters. It’s a pain, no doubt about it, but it shows that there’s enough people in the area to necessitate such a project.
Then there’s the subdivisions.
In my area of San Antonio there’s at least ten new subdivisions within a mile of my home.
This shows that someone is counting on those homes getting purchased before the home is even built. It may be because of a business expanding in the area, or a particular industry seeing growth.
For San Antonio, that’s the cybersecurity industry, as well as tech in general.
There’s other industries as well. The biomedical and health sciences industry for one. Here in San Antonio we have a huge research hospital and medical startup sector. I even went to a dinner to meet and talk with innovators in this space.
Good food, but the conversation was well over my head.
We’re also a big military town and the related industries that go with that.
To make room of all these, there’s going to be construction.
It’s a great sign for San Antonio.
Horrible for traffic though.
This one may be a no-brainer.
But job listings are just as important when we talk about economic growth.
Sure, all the construction is a good sign. And the construction produces jobs.
But what about when the construction’s over? Or who are they even building a building for?
Well, the most obvious answer is jobs.
When there’s a healthy job market, then it’s a sign that the area is doing well. Or at least seeing growth.
You didn’t think I’d give up on books that easily, did you?
When it comes to books and economic growth, we’re talking about the book signaling where the growth is happening.
Books require a lot of time to complete. When it’s a non-fiction book, there’s a lot of research. Thus, a non-fiction book that points to economic growth would require a lot, and I mean a lot, of research.
A book can do into the minutiae of a subject. It can really point out where the money is coming from in a given sector. Within the pages the author can truly explain, in engaging prose, who benefits from such growth.
Look to Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, or Chip Heath and Dan Heath. These authors found a way to take dense material and make fun to read and learn about.
This is why we need more books.
By telling the story of the economic growth, we make it fun to learn and to share the experiences of those who lived through it.
Books Indicate Growth
Before the cranes, construction, and job listings, books can be the catalyst for this growth.
When a book comes out and it predicts that an industry or a company is going to expand, it can have a positive impact on the economy. These books can grab people’s attention and say “look here, this is going to be worth your time to look into.”
Now, this can be done the wrong way too.
Someone, with less than noble intentions, could write a book with the goal of sparking growth in a given sector. This growth, while helpful at first, may end up creating a bubble. The author, who rightfully gains from the growth, could milk it until reality catches up.
Much like the sub-prime mortgage bubble of 2008, a book could create such a bubble in other industries. And probably has.
I can’t speak to that with any authority. If I had more time to read during the day, I’m sure I could find such an instance to reference.
But there’s only so many hours, right?
The good news is that books can create the right kind of economic growth, if they’re written by the right person, the right way, and aimed at the right audience.
This isn’t an easy task and should not be undertaken alone.
I could get a soapbox about this, but I feel my point is clear. If not, just email me or give me a call and I’d happily expound on why authoring a book requires help.
But I will that San Antonio is ripe for expansion.
While there’s already expansion happening, I see areas where there could be more. If the right people just sit down and get a book written, we could see a serious shift in San Antonio’s image and economy. In fact, I’m aware of a couple people who constantly lament that San Antonio is lacking in key areas.
But they won’t write a book to correct it...sigh.
Until these key influencers decide a book is worth their time, I’ll be helping others develop their stories and get them into the hands of their target audiences.
It is, after all, what I’m good at.
If you’re enjoyed reading this but feel I’ve mangled economics, then please, let me know. I’d rather know the truth than live in ignorance.
Even if you didn’t enjoy reading this and would like to “set the record straight,” then by all means, email or call me.