After reading Corporate Undertaker, I approached Domenic Aversa about conducting an author interview. His writing inspired me, and I wanted to know more about the man behind the book. He agreed, reluctantly. He’s a cautious man, due to his line of work, and craves his privacy. I completely understand his viewpoint, but I also know how powerful and influential words can be. So grab your favorite morning beverage and join us. Take it away, Domenic.
What is your writing process?
I like to write the first draft in public libraries. Each day, I travel to a different city to find their library. I find that changing my environment and being surrounded by rows and rows of books helps to keep my thoughts lively. However, when I edit, I bury myself in my home office, closing the windows and door. I want complete isolation to help me find the cadence and completeness of the story.
What book do you wish you could have written?
It’s a tie between The Great Gatsby and The Alchemist. They are very different in style but both are about a grand journey for treasure and love.
Have you always liked to write?
I loved reading and writing equally. I enjoyed exploring and experimenting. Over the years, I have studied and practiced writing in different forms; poetry, music, screenplays, animated books and novels.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Spend half of your time writing and the other half of your time learning about the business of writing. Study every facet of the business including editing, printing, design, publishing, marketing and selling, Knowing how to effectively get your books into the hands of readers will help inspire you to write more.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
My first official book was written in 1994. It was an animated book that I self-published. It’s called “Lemonades”. It is designed as a teaching tool for adolescents on the subject matters of HIV/AIDs STD’s and teen pregnancy. I wrote it at a time where there was great anger, frustration, fear, and ignorance on these issues. I worked part-time at the Children’s Aid Society for three years and saw the hardship and confusion brought to many adolescents and teens. I thought that a book that discussed difficult issues would help people communicate with each other. Lemonades was very well received in public health communities in five different countries. It was listed on the United States Centers for Disease Control’s recommending reading list in 1994/95.
Title: Corporate Undertaker: Business Lessons from the Dead and Dying
Author: Domenic Aversa
Genre: Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Memoir
I go to work with a police escort. I am the gatekeeper of the worst behavior by the world’s biggest banks, law firms, and corporations. I’ve overseen the ruin of thousands of companies. Eighty percent of my clients die. I am the Corporate Undertaker. You don’t want to meet me… but many of you will. In this thrilling business memoir, author Domenic Aversa reveals the firsthand account of his messy life as an entrepreneur and corporate crisis manager. For more than 25 years, he has actively assisted companies in dramatic operational transition. During his career, he’s had chairs thrown at his head and guns pointed at his heart. Occasionally, he’s able to pull off a miracle and save a company. Most of the time, he simply tries to ease the agony. This book will show you how to navigate the most difficult stages of your entrepreneurial journey: life, adversity, crisis, death, and rebirth.
Why do I do this work? Because I have lived through every stage of prosperity and adversity in a business myself. I do it because I know how hard it is to start and manage a business when it’s successful and when, unfortunately, everything is going wrong. I do it because I want to help others in business avoid unnecessary suffering and unnecessary death.
I started in the business world as an optimistic, driven entrepreneur. I fought and educated myself out from a life of being poor and ignorant. Like many small business owners, my goal was simple: to be rich and free. But, like many, I soon discovered that all of the planning, faith, and optimism were no match for life. Despite my best efforts, I faced a never-ending stream of challenges, both personally and professionally. My journey in the business world became darker, uglier, and more complicated than I ever could have imagined or planned for. No business book ever prepared me for going to work with police escorts, firing thousands of people, and being witness to some of the worst behavior of the biggest banks and corporations in America. No MBA program could have prepared me for the physical and mental abuse on my body and being. It was a path filled with abuse of power, deceit, corruption, and death threats, all in the name of business. After years of fighting for life—the life of a business and the lives of employees—I changed in every way possible. I was no longer a businessman; I was an advocate.
In this book, I am going to take you on a journey that spans the first 25 years of my life in business. It reads like a highly charged, dramatic, and compelling entrepreneurial thriller. It’s a race to the sun. Toward the fire. At times it is graceful but mostly it’s exhausting, frustrating, and ugly. However, despite this unrelenting terrain, I endured and I survived. I took a lot of abuse and I often lost but I never stopped. I picked myself up each time and went on to the next fight. I didn’t ask to be a hero but I felt a tremendous amount of responsibility to never stop looking for solutions. I would rather die than give up searching and exploring ways to save jobs, companies—lives, including my own.
What did I bring back with me from this long, winding, and grueling trip? Knowledge and wisdom. Lessons for an entire lifetime in business. I am a virtual library of commerce for all things bad and destructive. I am also a reservoir of creativity, dreams, and inspiration. To survive any journey you need to understand all of the dangers in the road, but you also have to maintain a strong sense of optimism. There is a lot that I learned from the dead and dying—and, now I want to share it with you.
I will take you through the timeline continuum of critical points in business: life, adversity, crisis, death, and rebirth. I will share with you my life experience in becoming an entrepreneur as well as stories from my work as a crisis manager. It is anything but the typical path in the corporate world.
I’m going to share with you stories of chaos, confusion, desperation, and loss. Some are extremely violent and menacing. However, I will also include stories of hope, reinvention, and regrowth. It will be the complete path of what many of us experience in our own lives.
Through each stage, I will give you lessons and tools that help you with crisis: either avoiding it, managing through it, or recovering from it. In the end, I hope to give you skills and tools to avoid unnecessary suffering and unnecessary death.
The biggest lesson I have learned from the dead and dying: be brave in the face of adversity. When you are brave, you have taken the first step toward joy—you are telling the world, “I may lose this fight but you’re going to see the best of me.”
Now, take a deep breath and let’s begin this walk through my corporate cemetery.
Buy it Now:
As an entrepreneur and managerial consultant, Domenic Aversa is sought after by both global business leaders and government agencies. He has actively assisted companies in dramatic transition for more than 25 years. His experience with corporate restructurings ranges from crisis management to recession preparation and recovery to global market transition. In addition to helping many businesses in the United States, he has helped command-economy companies, such as those in China and Russia, transition to market-economy practices. Domenic has served as an educational speaker and managerial advisor on international business development and insolvency issues for many business and academic institutions. Audiences have included the Harvard Business School and the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
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