"Why are you writing this book? What is it going to do for people? What is it gonna do for you? Is it going to change the world in some way?"
So you want to write a book...but you still can't get past your outline. That's where ghostwriting comes in, and you don't want to miss this episode. Chris and Lilian "Lil" Barcaski of LongBar Creative Solutions dive into professional ghostwriting in one of our most warm and deep conversations. They navigate the purpose, value, and process of writing a book no matter the subject.
In this episode: Chris "Jinx" Jenkins and Lilian "Lil" Barcaski
More about Lil:
Lilian "Lil" Barcaski is the VP of LongBar Creative Solutions and Founder of The Ghostwriters Network. A deeply experienced writer and web developer that has mastered the art of turning expertise, opinions, and life experiences into cohesive stories. For the last 15 years, Lil has been the CEO and project manager of a web technology company based out of the Tampa Bay area and a much sought-after ghostwriter. She has ghostwritten dozens of books in the business, memoir, and even fiction genres. She is a professional blogger and web content writer and heads up our staff of ghostwriters, editors, and publishing experts.
Connect with Lil:
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Season Two of Unfuck My Business is sponsored by Seide Realty. Visit them at whystpete.com and let them unfuck your real estate experience.
Below is a rough transcript for your convenience. It’s not perfect because we want to spend our time unfucking your business, not unfucking this transcript.
What is up fellow Unfuck My Business-ers. This is Devin Russillo from Beyond Bold and you are listening to Unfuck My Business, no bullshit advice for business owners who want to be resilient as fuck. Without further ado. Here are your hosts. Sit back and enjoy the show.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
Hey, and we're back for another episode of Unfuck My Business. I'm jinx, your host. And today we have a very special guest, Lil Barcaski. Lil is someone that I've known for a fair amount of time now, but I'm super interested in the business that she's running, which is a ghost writing and editing and publishing books for business owners, specifically. We wanted to dive into that a little bit, cause I've heard a lot of advice over the years.
Several of the programs that I've been part of in my time, really hammered on why it was important for business people to write books and stuff like that. And I want to do a deep dive on that, but before we do, Lil, tell us about your business a little bit and what all y'all offer and that sort of thing.Lil Barcaski:
First of all, I actually am the vice president of LongBar Creative Solutions as Cindy Long, my president and business partner is the long part, Barcaski, so the bar part... clever... and about, about, well, we've known each other for 20 years from back in Orlando days when I was a restauranteur, actually on restaurants.
And we, we reconnected through Facebook about five or six years ago, and she started doing book covers for the book publishing company and writing company. I was working for then. And we went to an event about coming up on two years ago and just really enjoyed being together again and working together and realized we had been passing business back and forth to one another.
So we thought, well, let's make one big business out of this. And we're still, you know, formulating what, what all, all is going to be. But it's, it's she's a graphic designer, extraordinaire and branding expert. I owned a web development company doing basically WordPress and writing. And so I had started ghost writers network about two and a half, three years ago, having come away from a different company where I learned a lot and I felt like it was time for me to do my own thing. So I started ghostwriter work and GWN Publishing. So we write books, we publish book. Cause we headed books. We develop books, we teach courses, we create compilation books. And then of course our graphics and marketing team is instrumental in being able to, for that part of the company, to be able to market and brand those books, which is great.
Our, we simply work with businesses. We work with small to medium sized businesses for the most part, or either just getting the jumpstart and they need coaching. We have all kinds of programs for that. And then a lot of times when they get to that second and third level of our programs, they need to write an ebook, a book, develop a book, or perhaps have us ghost write a book for them, or create a workbook and a course for them.
So those are the things we put together across the board. So wherever you are in the ladder of entrepreneurship, we have something to help you grow. And basically one way or the other, and a lot of it is writing. And a lot of it is graphics and branding.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
So let's talk about the why here. I hear a lot of bias to write books by business owners, but, you know, it's, it seems like it's a huge undertaking.
There doesn't seem to be a clear path to revenue necessarily. I've heard many times "Don't write the book for the sales," because you're probably not going to sell them really. So why, why should a business owner write a book?Lil Barcaski:
Well, you know, I think you mentioned, I mean, perhaps you wouldn't bring it up further, but there's groups like KPI and things like that to talk about that's your whole thing in life and read a book.
There are several kinds of books, people, and several reasons why people write books. I have written some fiction, but I don't deal with fiction a lot. And I don't recommend that as a moneymaker people write fiction because they have some great story they want to tell, and sometimes they become a millionaire.
It's either nothing or all of it. You're either nobody or your, you know, your JK Rowley, or Stephen King, but when it comes to nonfiction, books are basically two or three kinds of non-fiction books that are important to write. I'll just very briefly touch on the memoir. A lot of people write a memoir because they have to have the burning desire to tell their story. And that story tends to lead to them to speaking about their experience. It might be, we have people writing memoirs about this experience their autistic children, or they're abused as a child.
Or I had one lady wrote a book about her experience having been one of the first children of the, of the Hari Krishna movement and how much abuse she took. And she wants to speak to other people who've gone through religious cult issues. And how that, that, that cultism has hurt them. So memoirs are often written with the idea of a purging, getting that off your chest and be leading towards some sort of non-profit speaking, what are, and it's great for that. If that's your goal
Business books and business memoirs on, I prefer when somebody does more of a business memoir, I like when somebody tells the story of why they got into their business, what, how it affected them out, effected their clients. What, what great stories can hit upon someone and say, this is why I, you know, I did this and they can, it affects people's lives. And then they too are looking mostly to be speakers straight up business books, sales books often are something that shows you quickly. And I think KPI spoke to this great deal. Key person of influence. It makes you the key person of influence not to sell books, but to have the credibility of. Hey, you know, look at me. This is my book is sitting behind you on the shelf and a person walks in there's your face. Hey, is that your book? You know? Yes. I wrote a book.
I wrote a book for a gentleman years ago, 60 pages, they'll little tank up at this big mortgage, or, you know, put together the loans for high-end yachts, boats and RVs.
And he grew up boating and RV. He does not sell that book. He leaves that thin little pretty book, and we told great stories about how he's a kid. Hating my body from the time he was 10, 12 years old and all the funniest habits, his kids himself taking the RV, the back of the park. It's basically come to me.
I can get you the best loan on that RV you're looking at, or the best loan on that yacht. And he just, these stacks of them, stacks, sellers, RV, recreation, world records, and they don't mind this it's free. They don't give a crap. He's given something away that they, that they some bonus for them to leave it there. And they're fun stories. It's a fun read. We had a lot of fun writing.
So your book can do a million things for you. I always say to people while you're writing this book, Why are you writing and what are your goals for the book? What do you go, what is it going to do for people? What is it, what is it going to do for you? What's how's it going to change the world in some way? Is it, what's your plan? And you know, what, what do you hope this book is going to accomplish for you? And if it's, if they say, well, I got a sales technique, nobody else has, and I'm going to sell millions of copies. I go, you've got the wrong writer.
The chances are pretty good you're not going to sell millions of copies. Even if you, unless you have something that nobody's thought of and you got to wait up, and even then, you got to market it and tell people that they got to read this because nothing, this will change their lives. And I'll tell you right now. So us, everybody says that everybody says it. We're all cynics. And it's really hard to, even if you do have a money mountain of the highest order, it's hard to get that word across to people to make them just buy your book.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
Yeah, I I'm, you know, people have asked me to write business book multiple times and that's like, so uninteresting to me, I do a little memoir writing and, and I, I do a lot of blogging and that sort of stuff. And I've actually tried that. A few times, like sat down and tried the exercise and wrote out an outline and put together a synopsis and created a framework. And the second I started laying in text, I was immediately bored with it. Like, I'm like, oh God, I don't even want to write this. So why the hell should somebody else read it?
If you were, if you want to write a book, if the answer to that question, why do you want to write a book? Is I want to build some business credibility or, you know, talk about some of the things that I do or all the rest of that, but like myself, you find the entire process to be a complete turn off, you know, what's, what's the answer to that?Lil Barcaski:
Me, me and my team. So we've written books on marketing. We've written books on business sales. We've written books on all kinds of very often I wrote a book on, on led landscape lighting. Like seriously knew nothing about it when it started. Now. I, I think my client doesn't write a laundry list without me, but, you know, The answer is to get someone like us to pull the pull things out of you that are more interesting than you even think are interesting. You probably really help to God. If you're selling something, you genuinely know your subject. I mean, you really do. I had to do a thing yesterday two days ago and the days are blurring. I did one webinar for about 50, 60 people on ghostwriting and publishing.
And the woman gave me the five questions she was going to ask and she said, we need to practice. We never, but now it's silly. Just ask and I'll answer. I, if I can't do that by rolling up my back at this point, you know, it's got a role for that. So you do know your subject and you have that interesting stories and interesting clients and things have happened, whether you're a realtor or you're you sell widgets, it doesn't matter.
Something fun has happened. Something different has happened. So our job as ghost writers is the yank those story that of you, because people don't. Air about dry technique. They want to hear how that dry technique changed something for someone, how it grew someone else's business. So we yank those questions out.
We just, you just want, our technique is basically like many, many ghost, right? It's not unusual. We simply want to set up, we do a week by week or so; faster if you want it faster, slower, if you want it slower, generally once a week. One chapter, you talk your way through all the stuff. We pull questions out of you when he has questions and we write you a chapter, you look at it, I like it. I need this add this. I don't like whatever. And then you go to the next chapter. So you're just really kind of spewing your knowledge at us and we make a book out of it cause we're writers and you're not. And just, don't worry, sounds, sounds got a cold, but really, you know, we do, this is what we do. So, you know, Makes sense.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
Well, yeah, but let's talk about the elephant in the room for a hot second. There's that certain stigma associated with ghost writing, whereas like, oh, well, I mean, did you really write the book yourself? You know, that sort of a concept. And I think sometimes people worry that, okay, well, if I'm writing a book for credibility, but then I'm using a ghost writer, aren't I already sort of shooting myself in the foot from a credibility perspective. Because there's this concept that, that means that somebody else basically wrote your book. How do you respond to that?Lil Barcaski:
That's a fantasy. You know what some seriously? No one's ever asked me that before all the questions when he's asked me. Oh, because people don't have it for a very good reason. You build websites. I do too. Our team builds websites. My graphic team will make beautiful graphics. You. Does that mean? Because he had to have somebody to do those things for you. You're illegitimate because somebody else had to make your materials for you. You build your website, you have to build your own site. You have to do everything for yourself.
Well really, you don't. And the credibility part is this serious thing. And look, I know there are people who have ghostwritten for politicians and athletes and they probably never talked to those guys. I get it. We don't do that. You kind of, I didn't know a damn thing about led lighting. I wrote a whole 60,000 page book on it with my client. Really? She wrote the book. I just did the writing. I don't know your stuff. I can write on anything. Pick a subject. Talk about, I could, I could write on turtles. I get my electricity. I can write you name it. I can write something on it. If you tell me about it. Your job is to tell me about it. Tell me the things, you know, your job isn't to make it pretty like you make a website pretty. When you write, when you put together a website, is that, is that material that they sent you the material?
Are they more or less their words and their ideas and the things they sell. Other pictures of the dresses that dressmaker sells or shoes. Those are their things. They don't have to take the picture of it, but somebody puts that together to show what they are capable of doing. So we're just, we're like an assembly, we assemble.
And when you assemble a website or we assembled the website, we assemble your thoughts, your ideas, your concepts, your expertise. We assemble it into a book because what we do is we build it. So the words are easier to understand and read and colloquial and conversational, and we try to get your voice as much as possible.
If you're very stiff. And that's how you speak to that. And your, you know, your clientele is a bunch of engineers and talk a certain way. That's how we're going to write very technically. But if you're like most people, we write the way about a blog, like what happened to conversation. And that's what people see, I think are drawn to.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
I know that editors and the editing process itself, even if you've completely written every word in your manuscript to start with for your first draft. Editors will frequently obviously rewrite portions or re position things or reorient things. And so maybe, I don't know that it might just be a matter of that, that sort of expectation that ghost writers frequently with athletes and other famous people don't necessarily have that same personal connection to the production process.
But I think everybody sort of understands that editors make your words pretty and all the rest of that. And I don't know, maybe that's a terminology thing. I've been resistant to theLil Barcaski:
it's the same thought it is. And even if I wrote a book, we send it through some copy, editing a little a times. Sometimes my copy editors will say, well, I think that those sentences are too long. You might could switch this around a little bit. We have people sometimes read, you know, what, what do you guys think of this people in the industry or what have you, but and then proofreading, no cause grammar and all that. But most of my clients really just talk and they tell me their story and they tell me their concepts. And they tell me what they want to say, and I make it nice and clean and neat and easy. And, and they're, they've, they've done more of the writing than they realized at the end of the day. And it's very legitimate. There's never, never a reason to feel that you've. And interestingly, even if, if you need somebody to ghost, write a book for you because your time is busier elsewhere and you get, I've worked with one lady who all she did was give me all her blogs.
She gave me all of her blogs. In fact, she sent me to find them, which was really nice. She don't know the topics that she wanted. She's a nurse and a lawyer. And her book was to tell nurses, and boy did I learn a lot, like nurses are like walking on the edge of the blade, man. If they do one little thing wrong, they're written up, they're written up, they're written up and here's these people working for next to nothing saving our lives and they make one little mistake and whoa, she had this whole thing about the different ways they can get in trouble and the different things that can be written up for and what to watch for. What's a not great stories. Like know, people put something on Facebook, one of their charges got better or something, and then they got in trouble for that. So like, so that all she did was say, here's all the places I have blogs.
Here's all the topics. Here's three videos. I had transcribed by talked, just make a book out of it. And she walked away. And I made him academy. What do I know? Nursing or law? No, absolutely not, but that's one way you can put a book together by, by, you know, putting together... that's more developing than, than writing. But I did have to clean her writing up a whole lot.
There were a lot of places where, you know, sentence structure or maybe the thoughts were a little confusing. So that's now it's not quite the same as writing something from scratch, but then there are ghost writers and I'm not one of them, but who are assigned something to write? They do all the research.
They never talked to them. The person whose name goes on their book is could paid a whole lot of money to do that more than I do, probably quite a bit more I imagine. And that wouldn't be that legitimate. That's not what we do.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
So what's the best case scenario. When, what, what does that prime client come to you with? What do they have done in advance? Like how, how, how has, how has getting ghost writing to be the most productive? How can I have the best experience hiring a ghost writer?Lil Barcaski:
I truly believe. And I think my team would tell you this, my writers that work with would tell you this is my opinion is the best bet is to start absolutely from scratch.
I have seen too many people who have already started to put things together. It takes us longer to take you've written a whole lot, and you're really want someone to copy edit what you've got to help you develop it a little bit. But for the most part. It's like training somebody to do anything, you know, better to not have to fix what they've done wrong and start over.
So the best case scenario is you want to write a book. You don't really, aren't really a writer, you know that, but you really know your subject, come to us and say, I want to write this book. And I, this is my subject and this we're going to document. We spend an hour and a half to two hours, maybe longer if need be.
But generally in about two hours, we work up an outline. Maybe 12, maybe 14, 16 chapters, 10 chapters, whatever it might be, depending on what you have in mind and the subtitles of their chapters. What's, what's inside that chapter because people want to know what they're getting into. So if it's so, you know, whatever it might be, we're going to break it down as much as we can into littler bites.
And then from there we say, okay, here's chapter one. We talked about, we're going to talk about this, these, these, these three titles, these three concepts in chapter one, go think about it. Make a few notes. If you can, if you want, just make some notes, don't give me any material. Just do it. I'll see you on Monday.
So Monday we get on a zoom with them back in the day we went to the offices and they just talk they talk. We type some of us like to record. I liked it. I like to make notes. Everybody's different. And then by Wednesday, Thursday, they've got a chapter in their inbox. And then they look at that and they say, oh, you missed a sentence.
I thought I forgot about this thought or idea. They send us a few notes. We clean it up. By the next Monday, we're on chapter two or the next month we're on chapter three. It's, it's much easier to do it that way to let you just spew your ideas and thoughts in us and us to take notes and ask questions, stop you when we're confused or you're going too fast. And every, every week for about an hour and a half of your life, a chapter gets written for you in 12 weeks. You got a book, roughly speaking. That's the easiest way, truthfully.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
And then let's all do the rest from there.Lil Barcaski:
Yeah. And if you don't even have that, we'll work with you on that. Some people come to us, they don't even know what their actual audience is. And we identify that audience because sometimes it is vague. They know what their subject is, but they don't know how to reach the exact audience.
They might be all women. I had a woman working on a divorce book. Book is coming out next week. I think we got the car everything's done. We're just in type setting now, but she did. She, she was trying to talk to men and women. And I said to honey, I got to tell you, I don't know too many men are going to listen to you. Yeah, you're the enemy.
She's like, you know, you might be right about that. So she stopped, she went all in on women. She's she knows she's not going to coach very many men. If a man came along, that really wanted to work with her. Great. But then 90% of her clientele was going to be women leaving, leaving a divorce, just like she did and her, and she was very confused about some things and she was trying to be very dry and she told me how her divorce began. It began by her five-year-old son one day when she came home from a conference she was away at and said, mommy, why did daddy take a shower with the babysitter? No, that was a good indicator that divorce is on the horizon.
There's later. It's easier to look back on that left. I said, that is your first chapter right there. And boy, she went all in that's her first chapter. Mommy. Why, why, why does, why does daddy take showers with the babysitter? And she talks about how she went through the divorce and then we made it and women are going to understand that more than men are.
So you have to sometimes help him to find the audience, or perhaps I should say, refine the audience, like refine what we're going to we're actually, who are we really aiming at? And narrow is better in a lot of ways. You don't need everyone to read your book. You need the, the people that are going to be rabid fans to read your book and are looking for only you and you're looking for only them. So we try to help them narrow that down a bit. Now let's go.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
We talk a lot, lot about how a good pitch disqualifies people who aren't your customer and having that real narrow that turns some people off is ideal because of the fact that it really means that it connects more with the people that you're trying to turn on.
Yeah, but on the flip side of that first question or that last question, how do people fuck it up? When, if you are hiring a ghost writer, how does that relationship go wrong? There has to be some number of books that you've been contracted to write where you were just like, okay, you know what, here's your money back because you're a giant fuck up. You know, what does that scenario look?Lil Barcaski:
All right. So blessed. I am that, that exact thing happened yet, but I have had, and this is where people just don't have the follow through. They'll get started. They run out of money. They don't really want to do it. They find a reason not to. And the big one, they found a reason not to publish the book at the end of the day.
A lot of the times that happens with memoir, they really want to get it off their chest and they want so badly to affect the world and change the world. And then they realize when they publish this, their mother, sister, uncle, cousin is going to be very hurt. Their family is going to be very mad and they look around and they go, I needed to say all this. I've had people where I've sat on their couch and let them cry for two hours every Friday. And tell me this story and then never published a book. So that happens.
I've had fiction writers, one, we just finished a fiction book that it was a true story that we wrote a fiction about or a fictional story of. And it completely made up the rest of what happened there. But the woman whose book it was knew that the people that she grew up with who would live through the actual event of five girls being raped and murdered in their town, some of them were going to be critical. Because that isn't what actually happened.
We made up this the way this guy did this, we all, oh, we took everything. He made up a whole backstory about why he became a serial killer and why he became this awful person, what happened? And they'll go, I know some people are going to be, they are, cause they didn't write the book. They're going to be like, oh, well that isn't exactly what happened.
That made him in bed. And it took her a month to get past the idea of finally publishing it. Now it's out and it's doing really well. And we're working on screenplays and all that. Yeah. But a lot of times it's a fear... okay. So it goes back to Lil's paradox that's that completely answers all questions in the universe other than the word 42.
So this is the real answer. It's not for invite the person. Everything is not 42.
It's this, every single human being in the world is desperate to be seen. That's it. And when I say that, I mean that we, nobody wants to feel invalidated. No one wants to feel like nobody notices they're there, that they're walking through the world, ghosts.
We all want that so desperately. And the paradox is that everybody singularly to a man is petrified to be seen because then once you're seen, you have to do something about it.
You, you are now, now the world knows you exist and now you have to follow through. So books are the same way. Everyone wants to write a book so badly, and then they're afraid if someone reads it, they're going to be criticized. They can be laughed at they're gonna be told they suck. They're not going to be published. Nobody's going to hire them to speak, but you have to jump off the bridge somewhere and go, I'm doing it. I'm going to do this thing. And maybe nobody will read the damn book. I don't know. Maybe everybody will read it. And either one of those things, either option is scary as hell. And no one will read it or everyone will, is equally frightening. And I think that's what happened. Maybe everything. 42.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
We talk a lot... that touches on, on two, on two different things that we've talked about recently, both in the podcasts and our community calls.
One of the things that we talked about are, I think in the very last Tuesday was when we, I think it was during the conversation about diversity. When I pointed out that, you know, at the end of the day, there are some things that are just universal, right. And that need to be known and seen that need for validation.
And whether that's validation, in the professional sense in the physical or aesthetic sense in the personal like friends sense. In some way, we, we absolutely all desire that validation to be known and seen, but yes, that comes with some fear, right? Because the flip side of that is you lean into this idea of what I call radical vulnerability and which I apparently somebody else actually wrote a book with that name, you know, late to the game, I guess.
But. You know, you have to be willing to roll the dice and put it out there and then see what's going to happen on the backside. I know that I I've been working on some memoirs and, and I've gone through some of the same conversations. I shared one of the pieces with my sister and she's like, you're going to actually publish this because you know, like some of the best stories that you tell our stories that are deeply personal and deeply vulnerable, but at the same time, you're going to have to roll the dice and expose yourself in that way.
And then after you roll the dice, they tumble for a while because it's like, okay, people are going to read it now. Maybe. And then what are they going to think? And what's going to happen. And you have this, this sort of gap between publishing and when those first sort of reviews and feedback come in, where the dicer spinning is just all anxiety and panic. Right?Lil Barcaski:
Absolute fucking, literally, I hope that's okay to say what you're saying.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
This is Unfuck my business. You are allowed to say fucking.Lil Barcaski:
Look the first book that I ever put out of my very own well look, I'm, I'm rabidly queer, obviously. Okay. I'm not skinny. Lots of reasons why the thing on a stage could be, you know, and I grew up in an era when none of those things were good.
We're not going to be looked at for being rabidly queer, but I wrote a book called "Why women are leaving you for me and how to get them back."
It's a fantastic book and I really, please everyone go and buy this book because I need the money, but I didn't really need the money, but it'd be fun to have it as much as I like to, because I really don't have, I probably, maybe because I don't want to be seen, but I wrote this book called "Why your women are leaving you for me and how to get them back." and it's guide for gentlemen, young gentlemen particularly, on why women are going, "you know my... looks good, anything but you" so, and I, and it's very funny. I think the first chapter is "Your mother lied. You're not God's gift to the world." That's chapter one. Oh there's a chapter in there somewhere called "Lesbians. Those pesky little buggers that are having all the fun," that's the chapter, this one "Oh, they're your kids too."
It's a humor book, but there's an awful lot of stuff in there about being a growing man and why women are saying, you know what? I don't really I'd rather be alone. And, and it isn't just women becoming with women. It's, I've seen so many of my friends that are in their fifties. They're like, "oh, I'm never going to find a guy. I got a good dog. I got a great life. I'm just going to go to the bar and have fun, great friends. I don't want..." and there's some nice 57 year old man who would be happy with that woman. And she'd be happy with him if he could learn how to grow up on it. And it took me a long time to grow up. So I'm trying to get the experience of what it took me to get to where I'm not a complete child.
I'm basically an 18 year old boy most of the time. So that really that's once. I'm a ...
My book signing was at the Barnes and noble in Clearwater. And the other books in the book signing were mostly people who had written Christian books for the Christian book company that the guy had to get my b... was uber Christian, how we didn't kill each other in four years is a miracle.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
Now here's something a little different.Lil Barcaski:
Right. Right. And so I get up and I will tell you the Barnes and noble lady misunderstood. She didn't want to promote it because she thought I was saying, she thought it was like this uber feminine girl who was saying that, like... she was so cool ... she thought I was one of these women who writes, "oh, I'm pretty. And your boyfriend's leaving you for me..." And when she met me, she went, "Oh, oops! I got that all wrong..."
So now I got like a hundred people there and they're all sitting around. I'm trying to talk about this crazy ass book I wrote and I'm hoping that people get it, and they don't look down on me or judge me because ... you know, me, I'm crazy. I'll do about anything. But even me with all the bravado that I put out there, I'm an only child I'm extraordinarily shy in reality. And you know, I've, I've lived through an era where being queer was not fun. I mean, that's like a beat, that's a good shit kicking most of my life. So, you know, it's hard and people who never do that, they're never going to be able to do that. And I would never pressure them to do that. But if you think you're on that blade of the knife where you're like, "I could do it. I'm not sure I want to so bad, but I'm scared." We'll help you get over the fear as much as we possibly can. That's all we can do, you know, and if you're too afraid to put it out there and you write the book for yourself and you hand it out to your family, or you put in a closet, that's fine too, as long as you pay me, because I want to get paid.
But other than that, no, we never pressure anybody to release a book. If they don't feel like they can or to write a book if they shouldn't, but if you want to, we'll have to get over it as much as we possibly can get through it. As I like to say, I equate everything to surfing will help you get through the wave, you know, and sometimes the waves bigger than others.
You can, you can't ride every wave and you can't just go over it. Every wave. Sometimes you got to go through it. And if the wave is really giant, we'll help to the other side and see the sunlight. That's all we can do.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
There's an old saying that all great art is born of tragedy. And I've found that my life's that in the right... you know, in the writing that I do. When I write, you know, sort of informative blog posts about how to do business better and such. I mean, they certainly get a fair amount of readership and I have a healthy audience in the business space, but when I do these deep dives on, you know, some of the trauma of my upbringing and the rough time that I went through as a young felon on the streets and.
You know, when I talk about my struggles and, and mental health and problems with addiction and things along that line, those are the stories that seem to, I don't know if I would say resonate with the audience, but certainly engages the audience in a much bigger way. Do you think that that's really a cut and dry formula that it's the train wreck that really draws people in more than anything else?
Or is there a way to write a nice, happy, neutral story that. Gets the same kind of emotional engagement.
Yeah. Yes. Wonderful questions. I said for real, I would have to say that probably 80% of the time or more, it's our tragedies that we connect with each other on, think about this. When someone dies, everyone rallies to that person who's left behind and goes to the funeral and brings food. And we rally behind this ... When, when the person comes out of a hospital and they're fine, we don't bring any food anymore. You know what I mean? It's like, we're done, but, but I do think that our human experiences are... or how we overcome difficult times. I always say, when I start something, I'm going to write my own story. And my story starts being six years old and watching my mother crawl up the stairs in my grandmother's attic, apartment screaming while on the radio, they were talking about how my uncle had jumped off the empire state building. And they said his name on the radio. So that's, that's the first memory, like really strong memory I have my only, my father's only brother jumping off the empire state building. It led my father to be a very negative person until that time is what I can remember, my dad, he was very, very fun. We would make tents on, on the floor and we would play with dinosaurs and he made, I've been made as a scientist.
You make volcanoes. It was on the, on the table and my mother would be mad when things would be blowing up shit, you know? And after that, he was a very different, very somber person. And it took a lot of, a lot of his wife to Vive away losing his kid brother that way publicly and loudly and violently. And so, you know, when I say that story, very few people have that experience. Clearly there are many people have done that, but they can also say, well, yeah, my kid she's, my kid killed himself or my brother killed himself or my, you know, and, and I was the arm. I'd always a little kid. My, my sister died of something and we, then we can feel like we're human, we've done. We know that the, the, the humanity of each other.
So it is our tragedies that connect our humanity more than our joy, because unfortunately, you know, sometimes I think we're jealous of other people's joys, but you can also tell joyous stories. You can tell stories like what was that, you remember that movie Rudy with the football kid, like stuff like that, or, you know what I mean? Those kinds of stories, I think the sports story or the, the hero of the unsung hero, that was a one Hacksaw Ridge. I think it was the guy that kept climbing up the mountain and taking the guys back down and saving all those lives. Like no out hurt
as an unarmed pacifist, refuse to engage in combat, but just rescued his squad.
Great film. Great. You know, and, and, and, and so, you know, heroism, I think, or, or we do go above and beyond for other people. I, I, maybe I'm a, maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I do think that mostly people are good. I think that mostly people want to do good. I think mostly people want to help one another. It's very disheartening to watch the world being the condition it's in right now, but I think we'll come out of it, because I think the end results of you really mostly want to be, to see others be happy and, and help the people in our lives. So seeing someone in tragedy and be able to get through that tragedy is inspirational. And to be able to do things that are difficult and heroic is inspirational and you can inspire people with that, you know, that you've gone through these kinds of things and come out the other side of that wave, you're going to get a lot more attention than just to tell some nice story about how you had a great romance and your life was good. So.Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
For the last question here that I have. You've and we're going to go a little sideways, but you've mentioned a few times, obviously that you are a rabidly queer.Lil Barcaski:
I'm going to use that from now on I'm rabidly queer.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
How that came with a shit kicking along the way. You know, we've talked a lot over the course of the podcast and in our community about, you know, how important we know that it is to have diversity representation in our business networks, but the business networks themselves, you know, have been, I'll politely say resistance to change over the course of decades, you know, Having that perspective, you know, what does it look like?
I mean, I see now that there are significantly well-developed LGBTQ business networks that specifically try to create opportunity for various marginalized groups and things along that line. What's your experience been in the evolution of the diversity of the business space over the last
20 years?Lil Barcaski:
I think it's like a pendulum. I think we have swung this way and that way and this way and that way. And I think right now we're right here, somewhere kind of in the middle, you know? And it depends on politics. Obviously, when Obama was president, we had an African-American president for the first time. He brought in a lot of diversity and then everybody was like, I'm going to be diverse. Woohoo! What can we do? Let's do diversity things. That's like what you gave me in the military, come onto my company. If you're black, we don't care. You know, and, and then we swung. So, I mean, with George Bush, he wasn't drunk, but he was, you know, he was pretty far the other way. And, and women, I saw women, young women going back to the house saying, you know what? I don't want a career. I want to be a housewife. I want to raise a family. That happened a lot with George Bush, a lot of women, I think a lot of it had to his mom. His mom was the ultimate mother, you know, Barbara Bush. Right? So they all wanted to be like Barbara. They were going to raise households. And a lot of Christian women were going to have more and more children.
It became a bad thing to have less than four children if you're a Christian. Oh no, no, no, no. I got a lot of experience with this, unfortunately for me. But if you, if you didn't have at least four kids, you were shunned. So they were trying to have more kids. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The more kids you elevated in the, in the church community.
Oh, you have six. Ooh. You're better than me. I'm going to then we went back like with a bottle, went back to women, wanting to get a job and, and, and you know, and all that. And then we jettison backwards, like, like into the fifties, literally in four years. It's unbelievable. How far back we went almost to the stone ages in four years.
And now we have we have a complete split. I'm going to be super diverse or I'm going to be super white male, everything else sucks. So I think it's going to take a couple more years of us kind of, and God willing. It's going to be some kind of normalization where we don't try to force people to be diverse because we're pushing them to do something that they're not comfortable with.
And at the same time where we recognize that, you know, there's so many different kinds of people in the world. I'm putting out a book shortly that a woman wanted to write desperately called my next husband will be a lesbian.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
I'm feeling like there's a recurring theme here.
No, this was, this was her. So her, my, my, my book is ultimate and my book is written for men. It's guys, please watch this, read this book. If you listen, listen to me. If you're not getting a date, go buy that book because that's about how to get, I don't want any more. I got plenty of them, more toaster ovens that I could possibly have. Really. Please guys take some of these women. I'm kind of cool and cute and everything, but I don't want anymore.
This book is about women with an X. Okay. So my editor, my other half was like, what's X thing. You look it up. Cause it used to be women with white men for wealth education. Now everyone equity, the X means like including transgender, bisexual, pansexual.
It's the whole gamut, right? This woman, true story is been married twice. Second marriage for 14 years. As children, all that has never been with a woman, but identifies as a lesbian, she believes in her heart that she's a lesbian, never had the experience, but she believes that if things go south with her husband and the kids get to a certain age, she really believes she's going to be with a woman that's in her heart, that she believes that.
And there's a variety of really interesting stories from, you know a transsexual woman to, you know, women who live with their husbands and have sex with women on the side, women who have left their husbands, I mean, it's all over the place. And I think that diversity has to be understood in our lives.
First is work. Work is just work. Okay. But if you don't understand that diversity in your life, you're not going to bring it into the workplace. And we start to think about, especially now that we've all stayed home to work over so long . What workplace? white men... there is no workplace, what are you talking about?
So you have to look at that and recognize you're going to see all kinds of people in the world. What they do at home, who they have sex with, who they love, whether they want to wear a dress or a kilt or fricking pantaloons, so makes a hill of beans about what their capabilities are and this whole COVID thing. The, you know, I, if I have time, I'll tell you my favorite story. I didn't really equates to it, but...
The COVID thing really was a blessing to teach us that. We can do what we do from the confines of our own places. And it really matters not like what you're wearing or what you look like whether you're fat or you're skinny or you're white, or you're black...
You can turn this zoom thing off and now you can be anybody. Right. And in Clubhouse, holy crap. That's another whole thing. So yeah, I think the diversity, we have to look at our lives first and say... no, don't have black friends cause it's, you know, it makes you cool. Don't say, "I understand gay people ," when really the clot in your head, you're going, "oh, I don't get that."
Accept people who they are. Accept that they're all different. And that they're very value--. If they're valuable at what they do. Great. They're not then hire someone else. Hire people who are good for the job, who are gunna get the job done. It doesn't matter what else they do. So once we start to think that way, I think, diversity becomes like just the word we, we, we throw it out the window.
It's an unnecessary word. And I think it kind of, isn't a necessary word. What the hell is that about? It just be who you are.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
Oh, I think fundament, it's been mostly about trying to recognize where people have been marginalized and finding the obstacles that exist in society and trying to tear those down.
But that is the ideal of it; getting to the place where none of that matters at all. When it comes to choosing who you do business with, or associate with, or partner with or whatever else, the case may be.Lil Barcaski:
Well, luckily people, you know, my agent, you know, 10, 20 years older, I started to die and no I say it as a joke, so I'm not going anywhere, but no, I don't mean disrespect to older people, but I do think that generationally, it is different.things that happened to you.:
You weren't the best things that happened to you. The worst things that happened to, you know, the worst is happening to the best things happening. And that was really 2020, was that it really was the worst thing that happened to us. And it was certainly amongst the best thing that's ever happened.
Chris 'Jinx' Jenkins:
That's a really fantastic way.
I think to wrap up this episode and a remarkably inspirational way, all things considered. I want to thank you for being on the episode today. It's been really great. Getting your insight, anybody who has a more questions about this, please feel free to email us at WTF@UnfuckMyBusiness.com. And if you want to reach out to Lil and get some ghost writing and publishing and editing stuff done, you'll be able to find all of our contact information in our show notes.
We'll be talking about this more in a future or in recurring Tuesday night community calls. So if you're not part of our group on Facebook, it's Unfuck My Business. Find it there. And then come see us and join our Tuesday night call. So 700 PM EST.Outro:
What the fuck are you waiting for? Take what you just learned in this episode and go do something with it. You'll find all the links and resources we talked about in our show notes for this episode. Go to UnfuckMyBusiness.com to subscribe to the show.