One of the questions I’m often asked about being a publisher is “how did you learn to do that?” It’s a great question. It’s a mixed bag of experience, study, and rhinoceros. There is a go-get-em attitude that accompanies my every waking hour, and when I look back at the last 20 years since graduating high school with a head full of dreams and pockets full of holes, it is devout faith in a greater good that has kept me running ahead.
Becoming a publisher, or doing anything for that matter, is a process of dedicating to something that drives from inside and connects to something outside. Life has a way of preparing you for what is next, and there is something that is clearly paying attention to your effort, commitment, and actions.
Like the weather, not every day is sunshine. Not every day feels like a total win. Not every domino falls the way it was planned to. It’s probably not unlike any other business anyone runs.
When I’m asked how I learned to do this, the answer to that is not a straight line. It starts in the hallway of my parents house where I grew up. It was our library hallway, filled with books.
I read a lot when I was a child, and there was a time when I realized, looking back, that I was reading, but I was learning how to write. I was paying attention to sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and style.
That is the beginning of how I learned to do this.
From there, it has been a process of reading and watching publications in all forms. I had a publisher’s bug.
I’ve been drawn to the process, the urgency of deadlines, the attention to detail, the agony of print mistakes, the thrill of getting it done the way it should be done. All that continuing to be a part of my journey. Of course, there is the business end of the deal as well. Being a publisher of newspapers, magazines, journals, or other regularly-published material is about business, plain and simple.
Being a publisher in a small community, for me, is about being connected to what is important. Business is important, and drives the narrative. Without business, everything stops. Being a part of a great business community is about being a great business and connecting to other great businesses.
Our company is blessed to be a part of that kind of business community. We are able to establish policies and philosophies that support good business, and with that, be a part of what is next for new business in the area. Together with community information being distributed to our readers — both local and out of towners — we provide a snapshot of who we are as a community. Weekly, monthly, and for all time, we are a part of the story that is told about our corner of the world.
Being a part of that — standing in awe of it — is how I learned to do what I do. That, and not clocking out … ever. Being a publisher of weekly or monthly publications the way we are, we are always on, but then, so is the community.
Everywhere we go, everything we see, we are part of the story and also witnesses of the story. We have to stay on all the time.
It’s a unique job. It is a unique career. It’s a unique community.
The longer I live, the more I’ve gained and the more I’ve lost. While we have time left on the clock, and as long as the community is doing something worth writing about, we are going to deliver something worth reading.
I learned how to be a publisher by learning to recognize, quickly, the value that the world around me has to offer and how to identify those that are doing something worth writing and reading — whether it is a Good News story or a Real News story, it is our Hometown News story.
But the real bottom line is, I learned how to be a publisher by learning to trust my team, because nobody does this alone.