Bringing The Game Changer to Life (the book and the network)
Bringing The Game Changer to Life (the book and the network)
The Game Changer is a fable about business transformation. Our network currently has over 300 interviews with authors and experts.
The Game Changer is a fable about business transformation. Our network currently has over 300 interviews with authors and experts. Read more
About this project
Who am I?
For those that don't already know me, I am the CEO of Solutionz Innovations and I am spearheading the Game Changer project. I am a strategist, an entrepreneur, a radio show host/podcaster and now, an author. I zig, where others zag.
I helped companies from American Express, Intel and LasVegas.com change their game, to assisting the investment community with mergers and acquisitions, to helping startups achieve their vision.
This new project is an extension of what I've built over the last 20 years. The Game Changer Project is the springboard for moving from a world where I helped one company at a time, to one where through the sale of my book and the syndication of my radio show/podcasts, I can extend that help to many.
Help make our project a reality!
What is the Game Changer project?
The Game Changer is a multi-media approach to helping you transform your business from where it is to where you want it to be.
It is both a book and an online radio network (think Podcasts) geared to the way successful people think. This includes executives, traditional entrepreneurs -- and -- the new breed of "preneurs", including intrepreneurs, solopreneurs and philanthropreneurs. It should also have appeal to all parts of the investment community. If you are involved in the tech or travel industries, you will find something for you as well.
Its foundation includes insights and coaching from over 300 interviews with authors and experts. This is the living, breathing part of this project, as every week, we interview new thought leaders and if you choose to, you can be a vibrant, active part of that community, sharing your insights with like-minded individuals.
The book is a business novel (yes you read that right) that tells the story of a travel technology company and their New York-based private equity firm, aka the investor.
Unlike a traditional business book, in allegorical style, The Game Changer begins with an offsite strategy session that has gone horribly wrong. After the team leaves the meeting, by what would appear to be happenstance, each of the team separately listens to an interview with a different author on an online radio show.
The topic of each interview fits the listener like a glove. Almost as if it were hand selected for them, solving the very problem they were facing.
As we suspect you will as you read the book, each one discovers game changing (and even life-changing) truths.
It isn’t often that you get to broadly share your own story, weaving in your own hopes, dreams, successes and lessons learned, and even your fears. It is even more rare that you get to tell it prophetically, as your own story is playing out.
The characters in the Game Changer allowed me to live vicariously through their experiences and I believe that you will relate to them as well.
The CEO is Avi, a 60-something corporate escape artist who is a second-time entrepreneur and his right hand is Jonathan, who has been with him on both start up ventures. Catherine is much younger, but has also been with Avi since the launch of his first company. Tim is the lone outsider on the current executive team. The story also includes Amanda, the partner in the venture capital firm and Jake, the CFO that the Firm put in place.
And for those that know me, you may even recognize yourself in the telling of this somewhat fictional tale.
But this campaign isn't about me, it is about you.
- Corporate Role - If you are in a corporate job but have always had a dream of being on your own, this book and the shows on my network should be the Game Changer for you.
- Intrapreneur - If you are an intrapreneur, working on an idea funded by someone else, the book may give you hope for your own future.
- Entrepreneur -. If you are an entrepreneur that is struggling with the thought of raising money, thinking that it may actually signal failure, you will want to take the message from this book to heart, as it will give you a new perspective.
- Start-up Team - And if you are part of a venture, but have never really taken time to understand the backstory of the founder, your peers or your investor, you may want to pause and consider the lessons learned by Avi, Jonathan, Catherine, Tim, Amanda, Jake and their teams in The Game Changer.
- Philanthropreneur - You may not have ever heard this term. I coined it a few years ago to describe those of us that use business to achieve our own ends of giving back. The lessons for you are also found in this book and in many of the interviews on the Game Changer Network.
- Investor - If you invest in start ups or early stage companies, it may just give you a new perspective on your role and help you see that the founders vision and your funding are two sides of the same coin.
And if you somehow feels like you don't have enough education or that your experience isn't enough, or you don't know where to go with your idea, don't wait another minute.
Of course it is your prerogative to do nothing. But that is not advised.
Help us fund this project, every amount counts
About the Campaign
What's in it for me?
By supporting this campaign you'll have the opportunity to view your own situation and plans through the lens of the characters of the Game Changer, listening to the same shows that they heard in the book. They will enrich and change your life and give you courage to move out of your comfort zone.
You can subscribe to the radio show network with an audio membership and take advantage of the over 300 interviews with top business authors. n Listen to them on demand at your own pace and pick the topics that suit your current situation.
You can also join the Game Changer Network, a private platform to interact with other Game Changers, including getting the unique opportunity to join in on the weekly calls with authors and experts, listening to the shows before they are made available to the public and also asking questions of our guests in a private Q&A session that is not recorded.
Of course, you can get an early PDF of the manuscript, a copy of the book and even a full set of the "Executive Village Library" with the books from all of the authors interviewed as a part of the narrative of the book.
How much will it cost? The simple answer is as little or as much as you want to gain. The longer answer is found in the details for each level, which ranges from $15 to $2500, and many levels in between.
Pick up one of our campaign’s perks today
And maybe, just maybe after reading the Book and listening to our shows, you will change your own game and have a story to tell on the network or on our radio show!
I'll leave a light on for you.
The Rest of the Story
For those who have never published a book, the fairy tale story of being "signed" by a publisher and getting huge retainers and royalties is just that, a fairy tale.
The reality of being an author is that you have to purchase an allotment of books to sell (or in this case, pre-sell) and your reach, coupled with the appeal of your overall offering is what determines success.
This campaign is a pivotal part of the long term success of the book project, as bookstore buyers look at the initial momentum when the book is first released to the author for their own sales efforts.
Asking for help is hard, but I know that to help others, that I need to reach for the stars on this one.
Please, help make it happen for our project.
So what am I raising this money for?
On April 21st I fly to LA to do the in-studio portion of the Kathy Ireland project and then their crew flies to Tampa to shoot the office and talk to several of the clients of our new technology. We are splitting the costs between the book/network project and our tech company.
Recently we redid the radio show site to make it searchable and to allow people to subscribe to either just the audio or to our private Game Changer Network, which is launching this summer with the release of the book.
We have done a special section of that site that will initially only be visible to the supporters from this Kickstarter campaign. We are also rebranding all of our shows under the Game Changer brand for consistency.
By summer, the e-book will be available on over 2,000 electronic channels (who knew?). In the fall, the Worldwide Business segment will begin airing and January 25th is the official release date of the book to the bookstore market.
We will be launching a marketing campaign this summer leading up to the airing of the Worldwide Business segment. Lastly, as I mentioned, we need to pay for the copies of the book that we will use to market the book until it is available for shipment on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other electronic channels just prior to it being available in bookstores.
If at the end of the day, I don't help you to get to the next level, none of this matters. I want to hear your story and to help you celebrate your successes.
= OK that was the short version - if you want to know more, read on =
The birth of the Game Changer dream
In January of 2008, after more than a decade of being a strategist with my own successful advisory services firm and following my "spectacular failure" as an entrepreneur, I had a dream.
What is your dream?
Dreams need not be followed by discouragement
I didn't know "when" and I certainly had no clue "how" my dream would be fulfilled, but since I live by faith, that was all that I needed to believe it would happen.
Every time I walked into a bookstore, I remember being discouraged by the sheer number of books in the business category and when I researched the publishing options, they were mind-boggling.
I noticed that there was no special section for Allegory or Business Fables. I checked Amazon.com. No, not there either.
Publishing a book, let alone a business fable, was clearly not for the faint of heart. Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea.
Perhaps there is something in your life that has been discouraging you from pursuing your dream. I'd like to help you get on the other side of that fear.
The Radio Show Network expanded my options
In the meantime, because writing a book wasn't crazy enough, in January of 2009 I launched a radio show.
I had started interviewing authors as a part of the Executive Girlfriends' Group, which I had founded the previous year, so I just expanded the number of interviews and found a way to publish the show content via the Internet. Easy peasy.
In the first month I interviewed both John David Mann and Bob Burg of The Go-Giver, as well as the former head of CBS Radio, Nancy Widman and Libby Gill who had been the Senior Vice President at Universal Studios Television, and Vice President at Sony Pictures Television and Turner Broadcasting.
The shows were syndicated on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes. Over time, I interviewed celebrities like Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank and successful authors like James Patterson, plus authors that had written about the Clintons, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet and many, many more amazing business authors.
Every week I learned so much. It was like getting my own private doctorate in business! And I liked it a whole lot better than the "School of Hard Knocks" where I had attended for several decades!
The topics we cover [to this day] include leadership, growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, giving back and leaving a legacy.
Something had changed
A few years later, where previously bookstores and libraries were daunting and somewhat intimidating, something had shifted. I was amazed that on every shelf I found at least one or two authors that I had interviewed. What had been a dream became an idea with shape and form.
I could still find many reasons not to move ahead with the book. But finally, I decided to do it anyway.
I knew all along that it couldn’t be just any business novel, it had to be transformational and it couldn’t pick just one topic as business authors often do, because in my 20+ years of consulting I know firsthand that the number of solutions that are needed in a company are often multiplied by the number of names and faces on the executive team.
In January of 2015, the initial manuscript literally poured out of me and in three days I had the complete framework for the Game Changer down on paper.
Nine years after that night that I read the Go-Giver on an airplane, I finished the final manuscript for The Game Changer. Whew. Dream becomes reality.
If you are still waiting for your dream to become a reality, I have so much to share with you.
An Excerpt from the book Forward by best-selling author Bob Burg
If you have ever tried to build a business, joined an early stage company, or invested in a business, you know that the leadership team and employees face immense challenges at every stage of the company’s development. If the company is growing, it is still hard, but you are one of the lucky ones. If the company is failing, it’s not only harder, it is much less rewarding and a lot more stressful. The fact is that nearly 9 out of 10 startups in the U.S. fail. And the average “overnight success” takes eight years.
In The Game Changer Chicke Fitzgerald applies what she has learned from her personal and professional successes and failures to craft a story about transformational business design. The result of that design is a culture of joy, enjoyed by the staff, customers, and investors alike.
Writing was an incredible part of this journey. I wove in my own experiences, complete with my aspirations and even my fears. They are all portrayed in the members of the executive team of a fictional tech company in Tampa.
The book has a “Forest-Gump-esque” quality where the fictional characters interact with a number of celebrities, historical figures and politicians. We also learn about each character’s backstory and the individual radio shows each of them listens to and how it changes the game for their company.
In the Game Changer, the narrative takes you through each of the characters' backstories, including Avi and Jonathan's journeys together as entrepreneurs and immigrants. You will get to know Catherine, the head of product management and Tim the head of client services, whose position was recently swapped with Jonathan, who was now none too happy to be the head of sales. You will learn about Amanda and Jake, and witness the shift from when they first invest in the firm, until they share the team's quest for joy and join them to celebrate their "mountaintop experience" at the end of the book.
You will also hear excerpts and insights from real radio shows done with the authors of The Improvisation Edge, The Go-Giver, Defy Gravity, UP - Pursuing Significance, I'd Rather Be In Charge, Think Like Zuck, Zombie Loyalists, Dare Dream Do and Disrupt Yourself, Accounting for the Numberphobic, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, Joy Inc. and The Grand Weaver.
You will meet our cartoonist, a musician, a controversial quarterback, a Christian apologist, the CEO of a Social Media company and at the end of the book, even a Prime Minister makes an appearance.
You will want to "meet all of them".
The Game Changer will help you do that, and more.
We need your help to make it happen! Select a perk on the right to get started.
One of the members of the village is Jace Everett. I met him years ago in Dallas. He was a gangly, red-headed teenager who loved music. Years later he pursued his dream in Nashville. Along the way, the producers of HBO's True Blood thought his song, Bad Things, would be a great theme song. I gave him his first 12-string guitar. He summarily lost it. I have forgiven him.
Jace is no longer gangly and it turns out that he is quite talented, so it was way more than a dream.
He has graciously contributed a few autographed items to this campaign. Perhaps he is trying to make amends....
You will also enjoy the cartoons by Tom Fishburne used throughout the narrative of the book. We thank the Marketoonist™ for allowing us to use these in the book. If you are particularly fond of them, there is a special option for you in the rewards.
Pick up a perk while you still can, our campaign ends soon
Sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves to really get a grip on what is wrong in our situation. Sometimes it is timing, or it is that we are settling for doing those things that we do well, but that we truly hate. The Game Changer will walk you through the story with Avi and his team, but truly, I wrote it to help you get to the next level.
Kathy Ireland? Really?
One day last fall, just after I had signed with an amazing literary agent (Bruce Barbour) and the perfect publisher (Morgan James Publishing), I got a call from a producer who asked me if I would consider being on Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland.
"You can tell your story, not only of the book, but of the Game Changer Network and your technology company that you are launching to change the world, one trip at a time." They had clearly done their homework!
My answer, despite understanding that there was an investment required on my part was an unequivocal "Yes".
This is no longer a dream. It is my world and I am scheduled to tape my show with Kathy Ireland in late April. She is beautiful, she is successful, she is actually an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, helping others to achieve their dreams. And like me, her faith is at the core of who she is and what she does.
Worldwide Business is a syndicated program, designed for business to business companies to tell their story. It is syndicated on FOX Business and Bloomberg International, as its name says, worldwide, to the tune of 275 million households.
What is your wildest dream? As a college dropout, I certainly never imagined being on stage with Kathy Ireland.
What is holding you back? Let the Game Changer Book and the Network help you amplify your dream and overcome your obstacles.
The hard work is done
All the requisite deposits and payments have been made to the many people that it takes to pull this kind of a project off. From my producer for the shows, to my right hand that does the post production on the shows all the way to producing my Kickstarter video, to the designer of my website, to my graphic designer, to the editor of the book and on and on, the hard work is done. I estimate that I have already funded well over 50% of the total cost of the project.
The manuscript has been submitted to the publisher. The cover design is done. The interior layout work now begins and very soon the Game Changer will be available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstore channels. I will also be able to order the marketing copies, which will be used to fulfill your support of this campaign.
The Radio Show (aka Podcast) Network
Recently we redid the Game Changer Network site to make it searchable and to allow people to subscribe to either just the audio or to our private Game Changer Network, which is launching this summer with the release of the book.
If you are building a company or trying to reshape one, don't expect to have all of the resources internally. I know that "it takes a village" sounds trite, but I didn't know how else to portray the power that Avi and his team learned throughout the Game Changer story.
If you need ideas, inspiration or innovation, you've found your home. We have over 300 radio shows/pdcasts and you can get just the audio or you can join our network and find others that are on the same path and who want to cheer you on.
I am a Game Changer
We know that the giveaways on a Kickstarter campaign need to be meaningful to our audience. Rather than plastering our book cover on mugs, bags and the like, we have created a graphic that declares your identity as a Game Changer. Since these items are printed on demand, you can let us know which one suits your lifestyle.
When you declare what you ARE (even if it is just what you want to be) it is powerful. And people will hold you accountable to that. While a slogan on a mouse pad or a bag or a coffee mug (or whatever you want I AM A GAME CHANGER imprinted on) could just be something impersonal, I want this to be your own manifesto.
The Game Changer Bench
One of my favorite parts of this project is recognizing those who have been and are supporting us. That is a core part of what The Game Changer book is all about.
We already have plaques for our Executive Village:
- Tom Fishburne and his wife Talley, from the Marketoonist
- Bob Burg and John David Mann - the Go-Giver
- Karen Hough - The Improvisation Edge
- Rebel Brown - Defy Gravity
- Joan O'Sullivan-Wright - Up, Pursuing Significance
- Charlotte Beers - I'd Rather Be In Charge
- Ekaterina Walter - Think Like Zuck
- Peter Shankman - Zombie Loyalists
- Whitney Johnson - Dare, Dream, Do and Disrupt Yourself
- Dawn Fotopolus - Accounting for the Numberphobic
- Chris Brogan - The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth
- Rich Sheridan - Joy, Inc.
The authors have generously agreed to allow us to include a copy of their books in "The Game Changer Library" that is our top level offering for our Benefactor Level supporters. We have 5 full sets available.
We purchased a beautiful wooden bench that sits in the foyer of our office.
Imagine your name on our bench!
Join us please.
We would love to have you in our office with us every day to remind us that it truly does take an "executive village" to build and grow a company (or to publish a book about one!).
Our campaign has a limited amount of time left, make sure to contribute before it ends!
The Game Changer and the Game Changer Networks are service marks of Solutionz Innovations, Inc.
All trademarks, service marks and/or their registration are the sole property of the entities named and do not reflect any formal endorsement of or by those entities.
Risks and challenges
By self-funding the critical parts of this project, we have mitigated the bulk of the risks.
The book is done and the publishing schedule is firm. The cover design was completed 3 days early and now the interior design is underway. The book should be available for pre-sale on Amazon and other online channels within the next few weeks. There is a small risk that the design and layout could take a little longer than the allotted 3 week timeframe, but we should still easily be able to meet our commitment to fulfill the book orders from this campaign by mid-June. This cost has already been covered.
The interview on the Kathy Ireland show in studio in LA is secured for the 21st of April and we are working with their field team to confirm the Tampa filming schedule. We are working to secure early adopters of our new club and play trip planning technology platform for companies, venues and events, TripPlanz, to be included in the film shoot.
The Radio Show Network is already live and we continue to interview high calibre authors every week. We have already syndicated the radio show to Travel Daily Media USA and are looking for other opportunities to monetize our investment. You will get access immediately upon successful completion of the campaign.
We are still waiting for some of the authors from our "Executive Village" to return autographed copies of their books for inclusion in the top tier rewards for this campaign, but if for any reason we don't get the autographed versions in time, we will give our benefactors the option of waiting for the signed versions or receiving an unsigned copy of their book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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