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How a Book Could Make You $5 Million with Rich Goldstein

Nov 08, 2023

Rich Goldstein is a patent attorney, speaker, host of the Innovations and Breakthroughs podcast and, most relevantly for this show, the author of the bestselling book The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent, which was published by the American Bar Association.

He's someone who understands through and through what a book can do for someone's business and in this episode, we got into all that as well as how writing a book changed Rich's career, why he sends a copy of the book to anyone who requests it and how writing a book could, theoretically, make an entrepreneur a cool five million.




Anna David: Rich, thank you so much for being here. 

Rich Goldstein: Oh, it's my pleasure, Anna.

Anna David: So, as you know, I find you to be a delightful human being. And I don't mean to always preface it with this, but just, I don't mean for a patent attorney, but I just sort of mean, you're so much cooler and goofier and more fun than one might expect. Upon knowing the things. 

Rich Goldstein: Right, and I've come to accept that, too. It's like, I have another friend who's like, always described me like, he's the coolest attorney ever. I'm like, what about the coolest guy ever? But she's like, yeah, but you just wouldn't expect that from an attorney as well. So, I've just come to like, yeah, I'm gonna call me like, cool attorney, then that's cool. I've made my peace with that.

Anna David: I like it. I mean, being the coolest guy in the world, is it's just impossible to say. But the coolest attorney like I literally think that might be true. And one of my favorite things is, we were just in Utah, this mastermind didn't, it was a little bit of like a woo-woo meets mastermind. And there was this game, you could call it that we played where you had to go around the room and say your favorite thing about yourself? And do you remember what you said about yourself?

Rich Goldstein: Oh, I actually don't.

Anna David: You said, "I'm a goofball."

Rich Goldstein: Oh, awesome.

Anna David: He got that answer right.

Rich Goldstein: Well, yeah, it's true.

Anna David: So, but we are not talking about that. What we are talking about is, is the fact that you wrote this book, and your situation was different, because the ABA came to you and said, Will you please write this? But will you tell me about that? The American Bar Association for those of you who aren't familiar with that?

Rich Goldstein: I mean, I've been a I've been a patent attorney for at this point. 28 years. And I've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs throughout my career, but there are many other patent attorneys out there, like there are over 10,000 patent attorneys, let's say in this country. So, I got a call from the American Bar Association from an editor at the American Bar Association, saying that, well, we want to do a consumer guide on patents. And we were wondering if you'd be willing to write the book. And I talked to them more about it. And like, it sounded very interesting, and, of course, an amazing opportunity. But I asked, well, kind of why me, you know? And the answer I got was, well, we look and we see that you're out there in the world, you're not just sitting behind the desk. Like on your website, you should you mentioned 28 different places that you'd been to last year, different events and conferences where you've spoken at or attended. And that's what we want in an author, someone who's really out there in the world. And it's kind of funny, because when I was out there in the world, going to all those events, a lot of times people would ask me, okay, I get that you're here, and I get that you're an attorney. And this is what the subject is. Kind of like what they're asked me is like, what's the endgame? How you gonna monetize this? How are you gonna make money from being here at this event? How it was gonna be worth your while? I didn't quite know, until I got that phone call from the American Bar Association, that it, you know, essentially, was the fact that I was out there in the world that really led towards being invited to write the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent, which having written that book is the best credibility ever. And it came from kind of following this path of getting out there and relating to other people, meeting people, creating relationship. Well, I didn't quite know where it was gonna go. But I guess I kind of trusted that in some way would just come back around and it did.

Anna David: And then once you had the book, did fewer people ask you what you were doing at events? Did they get like, Oh, he's the guy?

Rich Goldstein: Yeah, exactly. I mean, well, I mean, things people introduce me as that then people that know me would introduce me. Okay, this is Rich Goldstein, and he wrote the book on patents for the American Bar Association.

Anna David: That's fascinating. Because when you said there's over 10,000, well, I only know of one and I hear about all the time and I am. So that book, you got blurbed by Barbara Corcoran, Frank did you get those blurbs?

Rich Goldstein: It's all about relationship like reaching out through my network. And it's interesting, the Barbara Corcoran one because I didn't quite know. Well, first of all my research on her showed that she kind of had some negative things to say about patent attorneys. Like she had said, it's something like, for a lot of a lot of inventors The only one who gets rich is the patent attorney. And so, you would think like, maybe that's a bad person to ask to blurb your book. But then, when I reached out to her assistant and assistant said, well, what would you want her to say about your book? I kind of came up with the fact that like, like, yeah, like, you know, the quote is here on the back of the book, it's not always wise for entrepreneurs to rush to get a patent, but they should rush to get this book to learn about patents. Learn the process, spend your money wisely, and apply for a patent that the right time and for the right reasons. So that fit exactly within have thoughts of it. And, you know, and so after having given some ideas like that, that's what came back. And again, it was great, because it came from her. And also, it fits very well and how she feels about the role that patents play that people ought to learn about the process, and not just go give money to a patent attorney. Because that might be a mistake.

Anna David: And was that just literally a cold email? Or did you know someone who connected you?

Rich Goldstein: Yeah, it was, it was a warm handoff, it was an introduction of someone that knew her assistant. 

Anna David: So what we talked about in Utah was how when people read the book, they often then say to you, well, you wrote the book on it, what should I do next? How does it quote convert?

Rich Goldstein: Well, yeah, I mean, I think the when someone reads your book, you're immediately the expert. And I think like, if they found the book helpful, and they learned from the book, most of the time, it's not going to tell them, well, now I know everything there is to know. They know that they they've learned enough to know that there is a next level of understanding that there's a next level of looking at a situation and knowing well, which of these principles should I apply to my situation? And so, someone's read your book, they naturally look to you as you're the expert. And I would love to have you involved helping me with my situation, I'd love to have your take on my situation. But probably, I'd love to hire you to, to handle it.

Anna David: And so I mean, I saw on your website, it's apply for a complimentary calls, do the calls or just somebody on your team do them?

Rich Goldstein: I have someone on my team doing the call. I mean, I really, we get a lot of inquiries, and I couldn't possibly talk to everyone who was just thinking, Oh, maybe a patent would be useful. A lot of times, they need to be directed towards some type of educational resource, such as the book or videos that I've done that's on my website. But something to learn more about the process first. I would say there's a pretty high ratio of people that are potentially interested in patent to the numbers that the number that actually do something. And I know that from friends that contact me, so like just from them or friends or like, "Hey, I was thinking of patenting something, can we get on a call?" And I don't do those anymore. I refer those to my team, because it really is like 20 to one. 

Anna David: I hate that personal connection where you hand it off. I have no idea how you deal with that. But it's the bane of my existence.

Rich Goldstein: Oh no, it’s taken me a long time to be okay with that. And then I just kind of realized that I'm bitter about it, when I do it totally. I'm like, I'm getting on this call. And I know this is going to be a waste of time. So, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, so I just realized, like, it's not going to serve my relationship by getting on that call. It's better if I direct them to my team, and they, you know, they've got the right attitude, they've got a better attitude than me about having someone possibly, quote unquote, waste their time. Like, they're equipped for it. They're ready for answering the questions and not leading somewhere and, you know, like, so it's actually better. But yeah, I'm totally with you on that. I've always felt obligated. When like someone comes as a personal friend or someone who came referred by a friend, and they're talking you up and saying, like, oh, yeah, you got to talk to rich, he's the rock star in this and I feel obligated. Even though all the inquiries that come through regular channels through the website through advertisements or whatever, they all go to the team they don't go to me, but somehow it felt like those personal ones I need to handle myself. I’ve learned not to.

Anna David: Okay, you should coach me because I got one this morning. And I'm like, I don't want to do this, but I should. That being said, you lovely listeners, it's so wonderful. If you're interested in hiring us, my team, this one, I always say my team is smarter than me. They're better at this than I am. So talk to them.

Rich Goldstein: And they know how to grease the chute to getting you on boarded as a client, like, I'm kind of fumbling my way through, it seems like I want to do a patent evaluation like, okay, well, let me see what information I need to get from you? Okay, I got your credit card info, oh, you know, I'm sorry, I got to call them back because I didn't get the three digit code or something like just the professionals handle it. When it comes to onboarding a new client, I am not a professional. And you know, I think that's the guiding principle.

Anna David: So this book, so because you were approached, you didn't probably even know what a good marketing tool the book was going to end up being. Or did you?

Rich Goldstein: I did. I mean, you know, like, I thought it was a little bit too good to be true, right? Like that. I'm going to be writing this book for the American Bar Association. And yeah, I mean, I've always loved marketing. And marketing has always been a big part of my business. Since I started, like, I started out in the 90s, with Yellow Page ads.

Anna David: And then I was listening to a podcast, I think it was even one of yours, where you said you had a magazine?

Rich Goldstein: I did. And it's so funny. I have it on the desk here, because it was anyway, I recently found this magazine that I was that I co published back in the 90s. It was a magazine for inventors that had articles on how you pursue the patent process and articles about like prototyping and things like that. So yeah.

Anna David: So did you go from Yellow Pages to magazine to book or and you do a lot of videos and you have your podcasts? How does it all play into itself? 

Rich Goldstein: Yeah, well, let me, I'm looking for something here in this magazine. I'm just looking for the ad, there's got to be an ad for me, hang on one second. Because the thing that's interesting about the magazine is essentially, I was doing content marketing, in print form in the 90s. So I had a magazine, lots of info, the info that people are looking for, people that are my target customer. And then ultimately, they also got to see me in the magazine and call my law firm. So this was content marketing in print form in 1994.

Anna David: Ahead of his time. 

Rich Goldstein: So then that evolved over time. And just to answer your question, I guess what evolved is the audience and where the audience was hanging out and what the audience was looking for. And so it was kind of like, what ties it all together. And then the book like has, I'd say, it's kind of like a dual role, where it's got its role as a content marketing piece. Like most content where people find the content that are interested in learning about it, they read up about it, gets the more interested, brings them to more with a cool middle of the funnel. And then ultimately, maybe they become a customer. But its values also just for the fact that it exists. People that never even read your book, never even possess it. Or going to recognize that you're the author of this. So there's the content marketing aspect, there's also just a straight out credibility of it. 

Anna David: It's interesting, because at this mastermind, what came up was there are three reasons entrepreneurs do books. One is the sort of free plus shipping simply to get somebody on a newsletter list. One is the book. Yeah, hope nobody reads but you just get credibility as the author, and then one I call the legacy book, and it looks at it, you know, yours is more of the third, wouldn't you say? Of course.

Rich Goldstein: Yeah. Yeah, it is. It's part of my personal brand is another way of say legacy, I guess. Legacy as like what they think of later on.

Anna David: Well, I mean, not to be morbid, but later on, you know, that's why I don't see any point to the first two kinds really, ever first kind, I understand. But the second kind, it's like, if you're going to put it out there, have it be the highest quality you can. That's what I said. 

Rich Goldstein: No, absolutely. Absolutely. And I'm a stickler for writing. Like I'm very particular by writing and I don't want anything with my name on it that's not well written.

Anna David: Do you do all of it yourself? All of it? All your writing: the magazine, the book, the blogs, everything?

Rich Goldstein: Oh, no, not all of that. But all of the book, yes. I 100% wrote the book. And the magazine was a, there was different people contributing back then. In terms of like blog and web pages, there are other people that write articles for me. And some of them, I'll be honest, some of its a little bit cringe worthy. And some of it I don't really like, and I've had to accept the fact that it's not going to be written the way that I want it to be written. And most of those pages don't even get read, they just increase the rank of my overall site. They are just part of the system that that increases the, you know, the overall positioning of the website. So I'm okay with it being kind of like, I wouldn't write it like that. I wouldn't say it for certain stuff, for other stuff, yeah. But that's been a little bit of a hurdle for me to get over is because I want everything under my name to be perfect.

Anna David: That's came up for me this morning. My podcast guests said, Well, I was looking at the transcript, and I saw that there was this error, it was the tiniest error. And I've heard it back and I go, Look, nobody reads the transcript. I'm okay with a little error being there. You can still share it. Because it's there for SEO and it works. So I remember you saying, back when you were the king of Clubhouse, we were all on Clubhouse, it would come up that you give the book to for free to anybody who wanted it. Tell me a little bit about that.

Rich Goldstein: Oh, yeah. So basically, I you know, previous to that, I had a few places where I had offered a free copy of the book. And there I would get maybe on average about 10 requests for a copy of the book that we'd fulfill per month. But then, you know, December of 2020 When I got deep into Clubhouse, and really like it was quite a ride. And he's on clubhouse like 20 hours a day. Exaggerating a little bit, but not by much. And so like just kind of like really was involved with Clubhouse. And then on my profile, I created a landing page where people could request a copy of the book. January of 2021, I got over 100 requests for a free copy of my book. And I know in that month, I think I got at least five clients from Clubhouse. 

Anna David: That's a decent amount. What was I going to say? So we have to get close to wrapping up, do you think every entrepreneur should do a bug?

Rich Goldstein: I think it depends on what your sales funnel looks like. If you're doing high ticket, then absolutely, then absolutely, you should do a book. I mean, if you're I guess you have to think in terms of intended audience, maybe even if you've got something where you're building a platform, it's going to be a platform with a digital tool. And that you sell for $5.99 a month monthly recurring revenue. So maybe like it's not going to help that audience. But maybe it's going to give you credibility when you go for round the funding. Or when you go to exit your company. Whereas like, you know, the fact that you wrote the book will suddenly be the difference between maybe a $20 million exit and $25 million exit, in which case, that's $5 million for the, you know, like so there are subtle ways that it could help every entrepreneur. But I would say certainly, if you are, if you've got high ticket offers, then you absolutely should write a book.

Anna David: Well, Rich Goldstein, you're fantastic. How can people find you if they'd like to reach you? 

Rich Goldstein: If you want to find out more about me, I mean, one thing you can do, I mean, if you want to learn more about patents, first of all, you can go to my website, which is There are great videos there and other resources. And if you want to find out if it's a match to work together with us, then there's a way for you to set up an appointment to talk with my team. You can also check out the book is the American Bar Association consumer guide to obtaining a patent by Richard Goldstein. You can find it on Amazon. And I also have a podcast, which is Innovations and Breakthroughs, where I feature top leaders and the path they took to create change. 

Anna David: I love it. Well, Rich thank you so much. And you guys thank you for listening Nate I will talk to you next week.