“Get everything in writing. In this world, a trail of emails, might one day save your soul and business.”
I had the pleasure to interview Jane Ubell the founder of Bedside Reading
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I was born into a entrepreneurial family with many ties to the media industry . I went on to spent two decades as a television and film producer (Working for the likes of GMA, WSJ, ET, CBS-TV, Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean, Sioux City, etc). In 2002, I decided to reinvent myself. I started a company that placed products and books on airlines (United, American, etc), during summer in the Hamptons and at celebrity driven awards season events.
Last year I decided to reinvent myself, once again. I reflected on an experience from years ago (before I was married to my amazing husband Rick), in which I remember being on a vacation with the “wrong” person. I brought a book with me that was brilliant. This book saved me, my sanity and the vacation. (Thank you Anne Rice!). I’ve always had a love affair with books and I wanted to do something that was close to my heart. We live in such a hyper-connected world, that it is often difficult to unplug. I know how diving deep into a page-turner is a unique experience that really does help one relax and unwind. I wanted to offer this type of experience to hotel guests thus, Bedside Reading was born — a new luxury travel amenity that would also serve as a unique marketing program for publishers and authors!
The best part, the books are always free for guests to take home. It has quickly become most guests favorite amenity Bedside Reading celebrates one year August 15, 2018.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
Everyone always says to me and my team, “Wow what a new and unique idea! The funny thing is that I had been placing books in hotels in the Hamptons since 2002, alongside other products under the name, Madison & Mulholland’s Hamptons Gift Bag.
It’s amazing what shifting my focus just to books and a little branding can do!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our goal is to help authors. We are a unique marketing tool that places books directly into the hands of influencers and decision makers. If you are an author of a business book, don’t you want someone to wake up, turn over in bed and see your book, your name first thing in the morning?
· Recently a CEO’s of one of our hotel partners read one of our business books we had placed in their hotel. She was so taken with the message she made sure the entire staff read the book. What great word-of-mouth!
· Another book, a novel by an indie-author and self-published, was so brilliant and intriguing that I presented it to a TV producer and she presented it to a Television Cable Network as a possible series! Our fingers are still crossed!
· A children’s book was promoted in one of our programs and without any other marketing the book’s sales spikes on Amazon.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I have so many, but I have to start with my father who owns a shoebox and Cannabis packaging business. At 86, he goes to work every day and has taught me the value of taking care of my clients. He once told me a story of how it took him nine years to bring in a client. I’ve inherited his tenacity and learned how to really take care of clients. In fact, he wrote a memoir, A Life of Risks Taken… It is now part of our Bedside Reading program.
I am also truly grateful for Dr. Jeffrey Magee, author of “Your Trajectory Code” who has taken me under his wing and is on my Advisory Board. My business author clients have written some of the most success bestselling business books and they now I have the honor of not only helping them market their books but I get some fabulous business advice along the way.
Another example, Rajesh Setty, a Silicon Valley investor and author has also taken me under his tutelage and we are imagining great things together.
Last but not least, Mika Brezinski she inspires me every day. I’ve learned so much about my self-worth and value. Mika is not yet apart of Bedside Reading….though I hope one day! Shall I go on?
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have devoted the last 16 years to hiring developmentally challenged adults in my business. One of the greates joys is to mentor young men and women in business and hope to inspire goodness every day.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Know how to read a P&L statement. If you don’t know your bottom line, you have none.
2. Get everything in writing. In this world, a trail of emails, might one day save your soul and business.
3. I have always believed that your “word” is your “word”. I wish others would live by that rule. Unfortunately they don’t. So do your due diligence before you commit to a deal or partnership!
4. If something happens out of your control, that may disappoint a client, tell the truth! In fact always tell the truth.
5. Answer all your calls and emails. I once returned a call from someone I met at a cocktail party, even though I really had no interest in calling him back. That call lead to one of the biggest business deals of my entire life.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.
Mika Brezenski, her book, Knowing Your Value truly resonated with me. I read it in one sitting and cried throughout. I’ve bought many copies for many young women in business. And, as a woman in business, a former TV/Film producer and as someone who understands how difficult it is to ask for what you are worth, I just want to thank her!
Originally published at medium.com