We Need More Bloggers Like Jim Estill, “CEO Blog – Time Leadership”

At first sight, Jim Estill’s blog would appear like many others.

But there’s something Jim is doing that has gotten his business blog noticed. I found Jim while researching the top business bloggers on Technorati for an author I worked with, Alan Wurtzel, the former CEO of Circuit City and the author of Good to Great to Gone: The 60-Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City. Jim’s blog made Technorati’s Top 50 list, not an unimpressive feat in a competitive space. Despite his online popularity and active day job, Jim was not only responsive and thorough in his read of Alan’s book, but he leapt without my asking to write a lengthy, glowing Amazon review. And recommended the book to others who shared his interests.

In publishing, we need more advocates like Jim. I wanted to interview him to lend advice to fellow bloggers and to authors on how we can all be better promoters.

Q&A with Jim Estill

How did your career lead you to blogging (in 2005, no less, when blogging wasn’t even a trend)?

I am an early adopter.  So I tend to try things early.  In 2004 I had sold my business and was running the combined entity.  So I had another 350 employees who did not know me.  I originally started my blog as an internal communication vehicle.

That’s fascinating as a business strategy in of itself. How much time do you devote to it each week?

The actual writing of the blog does not take long. Perhaps 60-90 minutes.  What takes time is coming up with the content.

Why this title? What does “time leadership” mean?

At the time I was a CEO, and Time Leadership – Using the Secrets of Management for Time Leadership is the title of my book.

What, for you, is the criteria for a “good to great” blog?

A great blog (for me) is one that is short enough to digest in a few minutes.  It offers some insights and opinions.  Ideally something I can learn.

You mix a blend of personal photographs, business news/insights, and book reviews on your blog. What books most interest you? How do you find books to review?

My blog formula is 20% personal 80% business.  I only review leadership, business and personal development books.  Most books are recommended to me.  I originally started doing book reviews as a “safe” topic.   My company was public so I could not comment on many things.

Do you prefer to read hardcovers or eBooks?

I prefer a real book but I am getting more used to eBooks and prefer them when I travel for a long time (books are too heavy).

What, in your opinion, are the best ways authors can promote themselves in an over-saturated marketplace and get the word out about their books?

The best way to get discovered is to write a good book.  Good books spawn good reviews and word of mouth.  Success breeds success.

OK, but every author believe their books to be good! So…

What the author needs to create is an environment that allows their book to go viral, planting as many seeds as possible.  Getting articles, interviews, doing book signings, sharing the book with bloggers and Amazon reviewers.  Genuine works.

What makes for a good book?
The perfect book causes me to change something permanently.  So any book that inspires a new habit is a great book. A good book is easy to read and flows naturally. Great authors simplify.

Check out “CEO Blog – Time Leadership” or Jim’s company,  Canrock Ventures. You can also follow Jim Estill on Twitter or Facebook.

Rajeev Peshawaria


"Rajeev Peshawaria's counterintuitive new book details an "open source" management system geared to today's unique pressures and opportunities. Unlike so many leadership books, which traffic in platitudes and obvious insights, Peshwaria provokes readers into seeing a big picture most might have missed. OPEN SOURCE LEADERSHIP will help anyone in any organization trying to surf the tumultuous waves of the 21st century business.” — Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and TO SELL IS HUMAN