Eight Lunches Excerpt & Request for Feedback

UPDATE: I am not sending out any more versions of THIS draft, but will send out versions of THE NEXT draft… just leave a comment on this other post and I’ll shoot it to you when I’m ready.  THANK YOU so much for helping me get this far!

I just finished editing (second draft) my third book, which is titled Eight Lunches.  You’ll see why it has that title in the excerpt below, which is essentially the intro (or, chapter zero).

Writing a book is easy and hard.  Okay, maybe it’s just hard… writing isn’t hard for me, but when SHARE my books/ideas with people, very smart people, I become vulnerable (an easy target).  But that’s the way it is… and it’s time to become vulnerable… so here goes… if you want to review my draft just leave a comment on this post and I’ll send you the book (I had people contact me directly but it’s going to be easier if you leave a comment). What I’d like is this:

  • an HONEST review – what did you like or not like?
  • SUGGESTIONS?  What needs to be beefed up?  What am I missing?
  • any grammar fixes needed.
  • confidentiality – please don’t share the book with anyone YET.

I’ll share more of my vision for this book in a future post… here’s the excerpt:


“I’m about ready to wrap it up and get a job,” said Paul, clearly dejected.

“Why? I thought things were going pretty good… what’s really going on with your business?” asked Jason. They were at Kneaders, a local sandwich shop, for their almost-monthly lunch. They started these lunches about a year earlier, after they met at a network meeting and realized they lived in the same neighborhood.

Jason’s business was a couple of years older than Paul’s and Paul asked if they could meet regularly to compare notes and share ideas and leads. They both worked out of home offices so they didn’t get the face-to-face socialization they had at their corporate jobs. There’s nothing wrong with a workday without a commute, or unnecessary interruptions by colleagues, or sharing a community fridge, but both agreed that meeting for lunch with someone who has similar business challenges is more than refreshing.

“Considering how well your business is doing, I’m embarrassed to admit where I’m at. I mean seriously, I read your blog and see all the comments and announcements and can’t even imagine having a business as successful as yours.” Paul was desperate to know how to fix his business but it was hard to open up, or ask for help, from Jason.

“Ha, that’s funny,” Jason said with a big grin, “looks can be deceiving!” Everything can be deceiving, he thought – from website traffic to blog posts to buzz about your business.

“I’ve really been thinking about my business and where I’ve come from over the last few years. I actually started writing down some ideas… principles of my success, that have helped make my business what it is today. What if we meet more regularly and talk about these principles and how they apply to your business?”

“Sounds intriguing Jason, but I’m not sure doing what you have done will help my business-our businesses aren’t even in the same industry. You market online, I sell locally. Yours is a web-based product, mine is not technical at all.”

“I realize that, but remember, I’m talking about principles. It shouldn’t matter what industry we’re talking about, or how big your business is, or even who your customers are. I’ve actually been thinking about developing a system for entrepreneurs to help them with their business. I’m not a business coach, and I don’t plan on becoming one, but I love to understand business strategies and systems. Talking about these success principles will allow me to test the ideas in a totally different industry – what do you think?”

“Sounds too good to be true,” said Paul, chuckling as he’s thinking it probably won’t help.

“Maybe it is too good to be true, but I’m game to try it! I’m sure it will help my business too, as I’ll have to critically evaluate my own business and how well I’m doing with these ideas.”

“Okay, I’m sold… what next?” Said Paul, thinking it couldn’t make his business any worse.

“How about we start next Friday? We can have lunch here every Friday from one to three, for the next eight weeks.”

“Perfect. What do I need to prepare for next week?” asked Paul.

“I don’t know – let me figure out what we’ll talk about next week. One thing, though. To make this work I want you to be comfortable sharing stuff you might not have shared with anyone else. I might ask you some tough questions and to make this work you need to be honest with me and yourself. I’ve had to ask the same questions of myself as I’ve grown my own business… agreed?”

Paul didn’t even hesitate. “Not a problem Jason, at this point I’m willing to do what I need to get my business back on track.”

“Cool – see you next Friday,” replied Jason, wondering if he knew what he had just committed to!

And then we jump into the first lunch (aka, chapter 1)!


104 Responses to “Eight Lunches Excerpt & Request for Feedback”

  1. Debra O'Reilly Says:

    Sounds like a great read, Jason! Ditto Kathy Hansen’s comment about your supply of reviewers, but I’d be delighted to help in some way. I’ve done field reading, manuscript proofreading and content editing. I would enjoy supporting you in your newest adventure.

  2. Cheryl Milmoe Says:

    Hi Jason,

    Looks like you already have plenty of readers lined up, but count me among those who would be delighted to do this for you. Congratulations!

  3. Kate Duttro Says:

    Ditto Kathy Hansen’s comment – I’d be happy to review it if you need more than 100 of us!!
    And, in any case, I’ll be eager to see it when it’s done.

  4. JibberJobber Blog » Blog Archive » Eight Lunches, Second Draft, DONE! Says:

    […] my Jason Alba blog I announced this project back in May of 2010, and asked if anyone wanted to critique the first draft. I thought I’d get like … well, […]