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Attention CEO’s: How It Works When You Hire Me as Your Ghostwriter to Unlock Your Productivity

 The chances are you don't need me to write on your behalf. (Heck, you may write better than I do!)

You need me to save you time by writing on your behalf. That's the difference.

I can spend eight to ten hours writing that article for you, buffing every word to a shine, while your schedule doesn't easily allow for that indulgence.

First, the questions you may have.

Why should I write content in the first place?

Regularly sharing your insights and knowledge is integral to establishing yourself as a thought leader within your field of expertise, giving you greater directional control over your industry. In short, publishing gives you power and clout.

Is it ethical to put my name on a ghostwriter's work?

Yes. We'll collaborate. You'll only send me off to write whatever I want and publish my output with a review. You'll need to provide me with enough information for me to do my job. I'll do all I can to make it easy for you. But there is no shortcut. I will need data points. But once the foundation has been set, you'll be minimally required to feed me short instructions, and I'll take it from there. You'll have an article "on your desk" to which you can add your personal touch or not. My strategy is to earn your trust over time, so you need not think twice when delegating your content generation to me, be it an article, a speech, an op-ed, etc. My ability to capture and morph into your voice will progressively improve: it can be challenging from the get-go. But I'll obsess over it until I get it right. You'll leverage your time by directing my efforts to deliver your message, so you won't have any qualms about putting your name on my writing.

Now, let's discuss how the process works.

My unique selling proposition is I provide ghostwriting services that capture your voice, resonate with your audience, and deliver impactful results.

We'll need to implement the steps outlined below for me to achieve that result.

1. Once you agree to hire me, I'll sign an NDA, and we'll enter into a contract that we can cancel anytime. I'll address frequency, word count and price further down below.

2. I'll need to study your writing. I'll be able to look for it online, or you'll have to make some of it available for me to read. I shall do this to ascertain your writing tone and voice and what rhetorical devices you generally use, if any, etc. For example, do you write in a descriptive and informative manner or otherwise? What is your grammatical style and general sentence structure? Are you a storyteller? Do you regularly use allusions, antithesis, metaphors, repetitions, rhetorical questions, etc., in your speech pattern?

3. I'll send you a one-time questionnaire you can complete at your discretion so I understand vital aspects of what is involved in writing for you. As much as I'd love for us to spend much time discussing what it's like inside your head, your sense of priorities won't let us. So that questionnaire will be crucial. For instance, I'll want to understand your primary goals for the writing, whether there are specific calls to action or desired outcomes you want to achieve, how you measure success, who the target audience is, and more.

4. We'll establish a communication routine that works best for you, be it email, phone, or text, for our exchanges when the time comes to get the next piece of writing done. We'll need a fluid communication medium, albeit we shall keep it short.

5. We'll review the first article and settle on a repeatable system.

Then, we'll be off to the races.

When you receive my finished article, you'll review it and possibly add your personal touches. If you have an SEO specialist on staff, they can provide me with target keywords, subtopics, and internal links to be weaved throughout if you feel it doesn't derail the message.

Let's examine a concrete example of how our dynamic might take place. You instructed me: "Craft a thought leadership piece on the future of sustainable business practices for an industry conference."

It's not something I am familiar with (which is why I settled on this case in point – the first of 20 topics suggested to me to create this fictitious writing assignment). So, I'm interrupting crafting this blog post in real-time and will now go off and conduct research until I understand what to write about. When I type the following paragraph -- in several hours, or perhaps tomorrow – it will be to paste in the completed article.

[After eight hours of research and six hours of writing, proofreading and editing…]

Following is a sample of the finished result I would have presented you with should you have commissioned me to produce this piece. I wrote it in the voice and style of an actual executive that shall remain nameless, who has successfully founded and managed two multi-billion-dollar public companies and is currently the Founder and CEO of a fast-growing private company.

How Much Is Your Approach to Sustainability Costing Your Company in Lost Opportunities?

Alright, the mandate of my talk here this afternoon is to address the future of sustainable business practices. 

Instead of providing a rehash of everything you have undoubtedly read on the topic, I will share how, at [company name], we fundamentally think about ESG in a way that it is a catalyst for us.

The first thing we came to grips with is that the trend is here to stay.

There has been a perfect storm of government involvement, consumer awareness, early corporate leadership responsiveness, NGO drum-beating, and global challenges from climate change to resource depletion, causing it to take a firm hold.

Whether we want it or not, as CEOs, we are in the position of having to adopt a sustainability practices mandate.

And it is no secret that it is not without its issues: investors demand a strong ESG profile but are largely unwilling to accept lesser returns; what do you do if your CFO does not see eye to eye with the sustainability narrative, not to mention that net-zero measurement metrics are not perfect, to say the least, and on top of it all, various groups – rightly or wrongly -- will try and bolt their narrative on, making the overall topic vulnerable to polarization.

And yet, there is a price to pay for not taking on the mandate; in a 2022 KPMG survey, 72 % of CEOs believe stakeholder scrutiny on ESG will continue to accelerate, but it also reveals the downsides of failure to get on board are: difficulty in raising finances, recruitment challenges, loss of competitive edge, the threat to continued tenure, disengaged employees, and loss of customers.

It is the proverbial stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The question for us became, how do we move forward?

Anyone grappling with this question could decide to go through the motions or even give in to greenwashing. 

But we thought that would be the worst thing we could do because… that would be a lost opportunity!

Sustainability is a net positive for society; it means taking your share of the cake while leaving some for others, including future generations. ESG is more about saving humanity than the planet, which can take a lot more systemic shock than humans can. Furthermore, beyond wisely managing natural resources, sustainable development means equal opportunity for all; therefore, as this cultural shift takes place and people demand it, it will increasingly become a losing battle for those who oppose it. 

At the same time, we should remember that ESG adoption means different things to different companies: it is easier to be an ESG idealist when you sell environment-friendly cleaning products, whereas you may be forced to have a conformist mindset if you are an oil company, while for other lines of business, it may be best to be a pragmatist or a strategist.

For us, we settled on a strategy-based approach. We realized that the biggest mistake we could make would be to not be genuine in our commitment, so we proceeded to foster a sustainability mindset within our company from the top down. It became part of the strategy and had to be channeled and monitored – just as any other metric in the business would.

Integrating ESG as a core tenet can create a tricky dynamic: you may discover that a segment of the customer base will demand a green company direction. In contrast, others may want to avoid paying for it. In such a case, effective communication and marketing will vitally come into play because if a substantial portion of the customer base is ultimately not on board, it will undermine your efforts. This means the whole company needs to embrace sustainability development if you have incorporated it into your overall vision, and more than an ESG leader on the payroll is required.

Remember that disruption often results in an initially worse offering, and any endeavor your company will undertake in this regard should be carefully considered to maximize impact to make up for any initial lulls.

If the current incentives in managing our roles deter sustainability, we ought to outthink the problems by being laser-focused on uncovering the hidden opportunities beneath the ESG surface. Did you know, for instance, that ways of turning wood into a conductive material are currently being worked on? Thinking along such lines can align with the need to remain focused on profitability while being true to our sustainability commitments, despite the inevitable bumps in the road we are sure to encounter.

Consumerism has been the path of least resistance for corporate profit maximization, and it would have remained so were it not for the gradual paradigm shift currently underway. But if companies do what companies do best – which is to meet consumer needs, we will adapt. We may have to redefine what a successful existence consists of. Say we establish that it is about fulfillment, true happiness, etc., and not about piling up more and more consumer products. We can then proceed to find solutions that meet these new customer needs. It will be the same fundamental pattern but in a new framework.

For example, does a parent need additional money to buy more toys to appease their child, who feels abandoned by the overworked parent? Or do they need more time with their child while also having their financial needs met? One scenario is preferable over the other from a societal benefit analysis. That is the difference. And that is the future we may be heading for.

If the world is to change, it will be through a force function. And this force function can be preemptively instigated by current business leaders. Political will may matter, but it is molded to a large degree by the corporate agenda. Ever heard of lobbying?

Imagine we are in the year 2123. Your grand-grandchild gets to enjoy pure air, clean oceans, and abundant resources for all and never has to worry about unsustainability because it is a thing of the past. Can you picture it? Can you smell the fresh air and feel the gentle breeze? Does the idea bring you some peace of mind?

Why should we care if it is far into the future? Of course, we could do it for our offspring – those we have brought into the world.

Here is another way to put it. Imagine this scenario: you are starting out as an adult, but sadly, your parents have passed. You consider your prospects for the future, and they look rather grim. However, a couple weeks later, you receive a visit from your parents' estate lawyer, only to be told that, lo and behold, they had prepared a contingency plan in case of their death that would assure you had an easier time in your future. Think of the gratitude you would feel. Go ahead and dwell on it for a few seconds. That is the sentiment our actions today can create for our collective children of the tomorrows you and I will not be here to experience. But just as the parents in my example ultimately did not have to have a contingency in place, they chose to. 

So can we.

But, as CEOs and board members with fiduciary obligations to our stakeholders, ESG is about more than just doing the right thing. We know the current system's incentives do not allow for that if we are being honest. If sustainable business practices do not offer better opportunities for increased profitability, they will not prevail. We will need to adapt our thinking in seeking out these opportunities in ways we have not thought of before. And that is what leadership is about. It is up to us to uphold the 20,000-foot-high view.

At [company name], we have concluded that if we are forced to adopt sustainability measures, we must refrain from paying lip service to the idea. Let us embrace the concept. Let us disrupt and make a ton of money to fulfill our fiduciary obligations while we are at it to create massive wealth. That is our strategy. I hope you found some of these insights of use or, at the very least, interesting. We can open it for questions now.

As for the frequency, word count and price, it works like this: when I write for you, I'm on retainer at the cost of $997 per month, for which the deliverable is one monthly article or speech of approximately 1,000 words in length – with the option for additional tasks to be produced and billed at the rate of $0.99 per word, or $99 per hour (depending on which way we think is best to proceed for the task at hand).

The above fictitious 1,396-word-long writing assignment took 14 hours to create. My monthly retainer takes into account about 8 to 10 hours of work. This means I would have invested 4 to 6 additional hours to produce a satisfactory result. And in case you wondered, you do not pay more if I take longer to make the monthly article. You only pay over the retainer if you commission me to write additional material for you during that billing period.

Regarding my availability, I can take on up to six new clients beyond my current workload – and possibly less. Once I reach saturation, the price shall (sharply) increase for any new client replacing an existing one.

To get started, email me at:


Mario Cantin


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