Best Writing Assignment Ever…..A Guy Named Guy Kawasaki.

Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki

This is pretty exciting and I wanted to share this with those who take a peek at my work. I am now enrolled in a journalism class (eye roll from journalism community) and the assignment was to conduct an interview with a prominent figure. It could be a public official political or otherwise, a lawyer, pastor etc. Well, I do not know a church leader nor do I know a politician. So I decided to approach someone who I admire and WISH was my mentor!!! I approached Guy Kawasaki, Apple Fellow, Steve Job’s mentor, Chief Evangelist for Canva, participating Board Member for Wikimedia and overall cool cat. I have reviewed his book APE: How to Write a Book – Author Publisher Entrepreneur on and promoted his book on my blog so….why not? So off went the e-mail with my questions. I was nervous because..well it’s Guy Kawasaki. To my delighted surprise, he responded to my email and answered all of my questions. I was beyond thrilled! So without further ado….the interview with Guy Kawasaki.

An individual who played a part of the Apple Macintosh computer craze is a gentleman named Guy Kawasaki. Apple Fellow, Steve Jobs mentor and is known to spin several projects, jobs in the air at the same time: Guy Kawasaki is the machine of evangelism and entrepreneurship. Guy Kawasaki was born in Hawaii in 1954. His family lived in a “tough part of Honolulu” (Kawasaki) but never felt that he had nothing as his parents made sure he did not have a want. Kawasaki states that his father was a “fireman, real estate broker, state senator and government official” (Kawasaki) during his long career. Definitely a role model for Guy.

Since he was born on the island, he graduated from high school in 1972. Guy did not want to continue his education on the island. He became a student at Stanford University. A question posed to Kawasaki during our interview was “since you were born in Hawaii, what made you decide to attend school at Stanford? Was that a difficult decision and did you have any issues adjusting from Hawaii to the mainland” (Kawasaki)? Guy Kawasaki replied that “going to college on the mainland was a dream for me. My father and mother made great sacrifices for this to happen. It was a pivotal point in my life” (Kawasaki).

Kawasaki shares an interesting story about his very first job: working at a jewelry store. Kawasaki has stated in earlier interviews with others that he found that to be a very difficult job i.e., selling period. Another question posed to him about this story (for more details) was: “Your first job was working at a jewelry store and it is known that you made the quote that it was difficult, but it taught you how to sell. Was it difficult to learn consultative selling or was it more finding the inner self to yourself out there” (Kawasaki)? Anyone in sales will appreciate Guy’s answer: “Consultative selling is a New Age term. The jewelry business was hardcore, pure selling. It was a great experience to learn how to truly sell before all the BS sales theories became vogue. Every sales was a battle.” Duly noted.

He was a Chief Evangelist during Apple’s rise in the 1980’s. His job was to convince software companies and coding geeks to write applications for the Macintosh during the research and development period. Guy states that he is one of the rare people who has worked for Steve Jobs and survived, not once but twice. Kawasaki worked at Apple from 1983 to 1987 and again in 1995 to 1997. He gave a key address at the Silicon Valley Bank’s CEO Summit the day after Jobs passed in 2011. It was called the “12 Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki” and is a must listen video for those new entrepreneurs looking for a jump-start or to understand what made Jobs tick (Bariso).
So with an individual with such accomplishments as creating software firms, a Venture Capital firm, working at Apple, Motorola and now becoming a Chief Evangelist for a new website called “Canva” the question that would come to mind is “what was the most challenging to you whether it was financially or emotionally” (Kawasaki)? Guy states that “the most challenging aspect of my career was the necessity to keep going when things looked bad. You often read about “instant successes.” My experience is that that’s an oxymoron. All successes take brutal hard work” (Kawasaki). Quite true considering most entrepreneurs will tell you failure is all part of the process in becoming successful.

A follow-up question about all things challenging, rewarding, or awful in relation to entrepreneurship in general is “which job, company etc., gave you the most joy or felt was the most rewarding” (Kawasaki)? Of course “evangelizing Apple has been the most rewarding, but I predict Canva will beat or tie Apple” (Kawasaki) Guy joined Canva as a Chief Evangelist in April of 2014. Canva helps people who want to use creative designs for either a Kindle book covers, Facebook ads, menus, Twitter profiles, cards, but basically anything under the sun. Recently the website launched the Canva Design School which is a new platform, workshop series and teacher resource hub to increase the world’s visual literacy (Canva).

Not only is Guy Kawasaki a Chief Evangelist but he recently wrote two books (Art of the Start 2.0 and The Art of Social Media), but he recently became a participating member of the Board of Directors for Wikipedia. Clearly, Kawasaki is a busy man who poses the question “what made you want to join Wikipedia and will you ever start to retire” (Kawasaki)? One can appreciate his passion for his dedication to projects when he answers that he “joined Wikimedia because documenting the knowledge of the human race is one of the most important projects of all time” (Kawasaki). But will Kawasaki ever retire? Guy states that he “would love to retire” but he has “four school tuitions to pay for a while” (Kawasaki). Spoken like a true parent.

Personal Stories

Liar Face!


I have to thank Vicki Gunvalson from Real Housewives of Orange County for my title today.  Ever since I’ve seen that specific episode I CANNOT get it out of my head.  For some reason, just those two words have me thinking about something that we all do at some point of our lives.  Just burning in my brain.  I can’t really explain why, but it does.

In researching the word “liar” I was fascinated by other synonyms and or related words besides “liar.”   Here are some of my favorites:  Deceiver, Trickster, a Slicker (really?) but my all time favorite is a Prevaricator!  It sounds sexy, but it’s actually a liar pants on fire.  I was thinking to myself there should be a picture of Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o or Kenneth lay – but no, it’s Pinocchio.

Taylor Dawn Fortune

I find that people (in general) lie for a myriad of reasons.  I for one have been known to tell a fib so it doesn’t hurt someone’s feelings.  “What do you think of my hair?” says Girlfriend.  “I think it looks very nice.” say Me and I am lying because it looks like it was styled by a meat butcher.  We lie because we are inherently born that way.  If you believe in the Bible, thank Adam and Eve for that one.  It’s something that we do.

There are liars that are pathological.  Who absolutely cannot help themselves but tell a lie everyday.  Or who tell so many just bizarre stories that it’s just easier to cover a lie with another lie than tell the truth.  I have come across those folks once or twice in my lifetime and I steer clear.  I don’t want to wind up buying into some ridiculous or devious story that makes me part of a “48 Hours” or “The First 48” TV episode.  No thank, I will pass on that opportunity.


I wish everyone was like Woz.  If you don’t know who he is:  Google Apple.   I read an interview recently where when talking about telling the truth, he has stated that his Dad taught him to NEVER tell a lie.  He prides himself on his honesty with others.  I wish I could duplicate him and surround myself with a person like that.  Oh well, cloning is only for sheep.  For now.

People have been lied to in business transactions.  Insert any douche-bag pyramid banking scheme here or Bernie Madoff.  I watch CNBC’s “American Greed” a LOT.  It is still surprising to me that people do not listen and I mean LISTEN to someone when they are telling you that you will get TOP dollar on your investments when even the banks or anyone else can’t promise you that.  If you can’t smell out a liar, well – don’t invest your entire retirement with an investment firm that you’ve NEVER heard of before except from a friend of a friend.  Mind-boggling.

Michiel Jelijs
The Wolf

Now personally, I will never understand this one.   I wish people in 2013 would catch a clue because it would stop so many hurt feelings.  If you are unhappy and you don’t like who you are with – Don’t lie to them.  Just tell them the truth.  It’s not that hard people.  It’s called having a set of balls.  If they are lost because they are so small, go find them now.

I am making the assumption that most people would rather hear “this is just not working for me” than finding out that their mate, best-friend, spouse or business associate is being dishonest about their relationship.   I am not just talking about adultery, it can be anything really.  When you are thinking of doing something that you KNOW deep in your heart is wrong and you are in a committed relationship, friendship, partnership, business or marriage – stop right now.  Man up, put your big girl panties on, and TELL the truth.


Recently I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about this very subject and we’ve came to the same conclusion.  Some people get so wrapped up in their lies that they can’t be honest with anyone because of the shame, ridicule and/or fear of loss of a relationship.  I have known and or seen people who will be told to their faces – “that is a lie my friend, and I can show you why” and people STILL can’t spit it out from their lips!  I would think that behaving that way is just so exhausting.  Wouldn’t life be more liberating just to tell the damned truth?   Maybe you won’t look that cooler, or smarter than you thought you were but in the end – you and whomever you’ve lied to will have the truth.  I’ve heard the truth can set you free.

The Roman rhetorician, Quintilian once said : “A liar should have a good memory.”  Vicki would say “Liar Face!”  Take your pick, it’s all the same. Thanks Vicki.


Review of “APE: Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book.” Thank you Guy Kawasaki!


I am telling you all right now I am FOREVER INDEBTED to Guy Kawasaki.  I mean this whole-heartily.  I had the amazing opportunity to review Mr. Kawasaki’s book “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book.”   If you are going to “write” a book whether it is on the traditional (dead) format of beating your head against the wall with rounds and rounds of rejection letters from the Brick and Mortar Publishers OR if you decide to do all the hard work via e-book, this is the INFORMATION YOU’LL NEED to make that decision and get it done!   This is my current review on

“I am SO glad that I had the opportunity to read Guy Kawasaki’s newest book “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book.”  It was truly the right information for someone like myself at the right time.  I am now in the process of writing my first book and have found it the most daunting adventure of my life.  Actually it’s been the most arduous, labor intensive event I’ve ever undertaken.

I found that even I had some pretty lofty ideas of how a book was “published.” Guy Kawasaki gives the “411” on what really happens to people when they begin to the publishing process. Agents, Editors, Editing Assistants, Copy Editors, Designers and Publicists are all part of that program. I had no clue. Also, how many times an Author is truly rejected. A real eye-opening piece for someone like myself who is starting to go through the process.

Kawasaki and Welch give a fantastic breakdown of what really goes on in the “Publishing” world. Whether you decide to use the traditional forms of Publishing and/or e-Books. To Self-Publish or not? The pros and cons of such undertaking. How to write the book, edit it, cost it, using social media as a way to get your works out into the world of the Internet i.e., “Guerilla Marketing.” Also included: how to sell the book through Amazon, Kobo, Google , Barnes & Noble and Apple.

I will paraphrase the last paragraph of Chapter 1: “Writing is often a lonely and difficult process, so take a moment to reflect on the good reasons and bad reasons to write a book. We still encourage you to do it, because it is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but few things worth doing are easy.” I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to break into the established world of Publishing. Maybe the e-book might be for you? If so, read this book! What an excellent guide.”

Regardless of what road I decide personally to get my thoughts from my brain into print, know that Guy Kawasaki’s  book has been tremendously helpful in understanding the pitfalls of both roads to take.  I am now more ready in my decision than I was before I read his book.  Thank you so much for writing this book Mr. Kawasaki! Follow him on Twitter: @GuyKawasaki 

***My readers can pick up “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Write a Book.”  here at – click the hyperlink.****