Everyone has a story. Everyone is a creator. There is someone who needs to hear your worst story so they can learn from it. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t hold back. The world needs you now.

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Need To Know To Write A Bestselling Book” I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Scarda.

Tom the host of The Franchise Academy Podcast show and the author of three books including the #1 bestseller Franchise Savvy: 6 Strategies Pros Use to Pick a Top Performing Franchisein addition to The Road to Franchise Freedom and The Magic of Choosing Uncertainty. A self-made small business expert and Certified Franchise Expert, Tom has owned and operated five businesses both franchised and non-franchised. Tom was the #1 franchisee of the year in one franchise concept and failed miserably in another concept. The lessons he learned from failure is what makes him such an expert. Named one of the top 50 business leaders on Long Island, Tom has helped over 1500 people, nationally, figure out if franchising is for them since 2005. He’s been featured in dozens of magazines, newspapers and blogs and is a sought-after radio and TV guest.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I love the art of communication. 25 years ago, as a manager for the New York City Subway system, I was assigned to represent New York City Subway at New York City Police Headquarters during the Pope’s visit. It was an awe-inspiring experience. When I returned to work, Barbara Mack, the director of corporate communications, asked if I’d write an article about my experience for the employee newsletter. When I put pen to paper, I felt alive. I’ve been writing since then but didn’t really go professional until 2014.

What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an author?

As an author, I get access to VIP’s and celebrities just for the asking because I’m sort of a journalist. I can ask to interview anyone. I have met some prolific franchise industry individuals over the years.

What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?

As an author, I’ve been asked to speak at events and even MC affairs. This past August, I was requested and did officiate a wedding.

What is the greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author? What is the worst (if anything) part?

Obviously, notoriety and trust come from being a bestselling author. It adds to my credibility and makes me stand out among my peers. This is great for my brand. I don’t see any downside to being a bestselling author.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

My first transcript sat in my desk draw for seven years. Then I finally brought it out and published it in 2014. I think a writer has to let go of perfection and just write.

Which writer or leader has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?

So many people have had an impact on me and my writing. To mention a few, Barbara Mack (my manager at Transit), Tony Robbins, Steven Pressfield, Dale Carnegie and T. Harv Ecker.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is procrastination. To steal Nike’s tagline, Just Do It! There is no reason to wait.

If needed, block out time on your calendar or go somewhere for a few days by yourself with no distractions.

To help with the actual logistics, I suggest trying the following: Write an outline of the book. Then write the tentative title of every chapter on a Post It note. Attach all the Post It notes to a blank wall. Under each chapter title write the main topics in that chapter. Every day, at a predetermined writing time (hopefully during your most creative time), remove one Post It note from the wall and write that chapter. Mind you, they don’t have to be in order.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?

An author is a marketer. I don’t think many authors became a bestselling author organically. I don’t care if you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, if you have a publisher or are self-published, you must promote your book — all day, every day. No one is going to market your book as passionately as you will.

What are the 5 things you would tell your younger self who was just starting out on their writing journey?

1. No one cares about what you’re writing as much as you do.

I used to think that my close friends and family would comment on my book. In retrospect, I realized that my most of close friends and family did not bother to read my book. They don’t care. I have a bigger impact on people who don’t know me at all. (I can probably write a book on this topic alone). So, don’t get hung up on what people will think about your and what you write.

2. Readers love authors who are vulnerable — bare your soul.

Your personal experience is universal to all readers who are attracted to your book. As someone reads about your story, they put themselves in the situation. This makes the reader connected to you. It’s an important factor in being a bestselling author.

3. There is no such thing as perfection but please pay attention to details.

Any professional writer will tell you that there is no limit on rewrites. I agree. However, don’t get stalled and procrastinate on publishing your book. At the same time, be sure that your grammar and usage are perfect. As I type, I am notorious about mistakenly typing “of” instead of “if” and word check usually does not pick that up.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask others who have gone before you — most of the time they are very willing to help. With great persistence, I have received endorsements for my book from Steven Pressfield and T. Harv Ecker, two of my heroes.

5. When I have trouble getting started or slowed by procrastination, remember, you will meet the ghost of the work you didn’t do and that will be the worst day of your life — just do it.

What are you most excited to work on next? Most excited to read next?

I am excited about writing my fourth book, tentatively titled, Lessons Learned From Being a Member of an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Everyone has a story. Everyone is a creator. There is someone who needs to hear your worst story so they can learn from it. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t hold back. The world needs you now.

Thank you so much for these great insights!


  • Sara Connell

    Bestselling Author & Writing Coach

    Sara Connell is an author and writing coach with a private practice in Chicago. She has appeared in Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tri-Quarterly, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, IO Literary Journal, and Psychobabble. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year. www.saraconnell.com