Interview with Author Michael Knapp – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Michael Knapp

With over 25 years’ experience in the automobile industry, specifically in Fixed Operations, Michael Knapp is considered a subject matter expert. He has traveled all over the United States and helped hundreds of dealers develop and improve their processes, increase profits and improve customer satisfaction. Besides working with dealers, he has worked with many automobile manufacturers including General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat- Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen implementing processes for improvement. He sits on the advisory board of Palm Beach State College where he was also an Adjunct Professor in the Adult Vocational Educational Program in the Automotive Academy where he developed and taught a curriculum of automotive management. His passion for the business is second to none and he is always looking for a better way. His true passion is paying it forward with training, education, coaching and mentorship. His no-nonsense approach can be used in any industry or business.

With that being said, he is also a consumer. He experiences the trials triumphs of everyday life just as we all do but tries to look at it with a different perspective. He tries to understand why things are instead of how they should be, with an open mind and an open heart.

This book is dedicated to too many people to mention, but I’ll give it a try. To the many people I have encountered, have worked for, worked with, worked around and worked among and the business professionals I have been fortunate enough to absorb their wisdom, knowledge and experience. To my mentor Gary who got me started in my career and saw something in me and believed in me so many years ago. To my partner and friend Rafael who convinced me to memorialize my experiences and stories with the world. Without his encouragement, this book would not be possible. To my dad whose lessons weren’t even a part of me until many years after his death and made me who I am today.  He taught me to be the best you can be no matter what it was you wanted to be. The longer he’s gone, the smarter he seems to get. To my sons Michael and Jerry who motivated me to keep going and always believed in me. They truly are my heroes and I could not be prouder. To God who makes all things possible and provides the opportunities for us to recognize.  But most importantly to my beautiful wife Christine who stood by me all these years and, no matter what, always believed in me and had my back. Her undaunted dedication and support made me who I am. I am nothing without her. She is my rock!

Tell me more about your latest book

            This book was written while traveling all over this beautiful country working as a consultant. It is a labour of love that took almost two years to write but a lifetime in the making. As a consultant, I train and mentor by sharing stories and experiences. My partner and friend Rafael Avila inspired me to share my stories with the world thus giving life to “Consistently Mediocre.” My book is unique and is written in a voice where I have a conversation with the reader, telling stories, engaging them and allowing them to take the journey with me. It is a journey into my personal and professional life. It allows the reader to take the informative material and implement it into their policies, procedures, and so on. At the very least, it opens the door to a new perspective. It highlights the mistakes I have made and the lessons I have learned along the way. This transparency makes it easier for a reader to connect with the material. It allows them to identify their shortcomings or professional wins. It is a fun and creative way to get an owner thinking about their own business model.
Another perk of “Consistently Mediocre” is the humor! Yes, humor in a book about business! It includes many jokes and entertaining stories while weaving in informative titbits.  I think business owners would gain the most from this read. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

            The most challenging aspects were the periods of “writer’s block.” There were times where I knew what I wanted to say but had a difficult time putting it into words that the reader could understand. I had periods where the words just flowed and other times where I just could not get inspired. Keep in mind, it was written mostly on airplanes and hotel rooms and in-between work projects. Some days I could not wait to put pen to paper, other times I had to force myself to keep going. I cannot tell you how many times I stared at blank paper or a computer screen for hours and just could not get inspired. Other times, the opposite was true. Simply put, the most challenging aspect was inconsistency.

What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

            Being a first-time author, I had no idea what I was doing. I did research and had no idea how difficult it was to get published. I finally decided on a publisher and went with them and ended up firing them for creative differences and being ripped off after spending thousands of dollars. I ended up suing them and ended up with most of my money back except a few hundred dollars. This set me back for another 6 months. I finally found another publisher which worked with me and was fantastic to work with. They held my hand every step of the way and I am very happy with them. I am still working with them. Lesson learned. However, next time, I will do things a lot differently. I started writing my next book and will probably self-publish.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

            I would not go as far as spiritual although I am a very spiritual person. I feel it is more of an awakening and a practice of inner peace. A time for reflection would be a better way to describe it.

How many books have you written so far?

            This is my first and only thus far. It is titled “Consistently Mediocre”

What’s the best way to market your books?

            I am still learning the best way to market. I have created a website. Have social media pages and have done some grass roots such as book fairs and signings. I also narrated and read my audio book version on “Audible.” There is nobody better to tell my story. I want to get to next level. Although I have gotten great reviews, I just cannot get any traction.

How hard or easy is it to establish and maintain a career in writing?

            I never saw myself as a career writer. I just wanted to share my life and hope to inspire people.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

            My best advice for aspiring writers is to look at it as a labor of love. Understand that you MAY NOT get rich or become a best seller, but simply do it for you. Do it for the satisfaction of accomplishment. Do it to inspire others. Do it for you. Do it because you want to. Do it because you can. Just do it! I cannot describe the feeling you get when you see your work come to life. It is truly an amazing journey.

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