Okay, we did say earlier biographies aren't as popular as dramas and reality shows, but that doesn't mean they aren't an important part of a promotional kit. So here is a look at Lee's track record as a writer, designer, speaker, entrepreneur, and musician. Meeting planners scroll to the bottom of this page for a condensed bio. We can also send a resume if needed to qualify for CPU's.
[click here FOR A RESUME]
1985 - 2005
"If you have ever looked at your mailbox and wondered why you don't replace that weathered looking thing, then you would have been my best customer. When I was eleven years-old I started my first business—repainting rusted old mailboxes to make them look like new again, all for five dollars. That summer, I made a tidy sum working when I wanted, doing something I loved. (I took great pride in refurbishing each and every mailbox to perfection.) This experience set me up for a future as an entrepreneur. Since I wasn't afraid of hard work—and was self-motivated enough to master sales, service, and self-promotion—I quickly realized this was the perfect career path for me. From that point forward I started and built several other businesses, but the first one will always be special—and maybe more so when you consider I had to ride my bike to connect with, and collect from customers."
1985 - 2005
"In business, you find a need and fill it. It's also said when you love what you do, the money will follow. So I put these two principles to the test when my brothers and I bought a struggling surf shop in Scripps Ranch—miles from the beach. At the time I lived on Maui, so step one was to move back to the mainland. Step two was to figure out what we could do to turn the tides on this underachieving little store. When we realized our core customers all lived within walking distance and had to go right past us on the way to the beach, we knew what to do. We made our shop the place to be during the day for those who couldn't get to the surf and sand—mostly because they weren't old enough to drive and didn't have a ride—but they did have discretionary income to spend. It worked, too. We hosted skateboarding demonstrations with Tony Hawk, played surf movies until midnight, gave gifts for good grades, taught kids to ride waves at our contests and camps (free of charge), and carried everything a 'landlocked' surfer might need to keep their stoke—and sales soared. That's when we decided to expand."
2005 - 2012
"The term self-employed says it all. Those of us who start businesses do most everything on our own. To get my first four books into bookstores, I started my own small press to publish and distribute my own titles. Never has a person had to wear so many hats—writer, editor, designer, publicist, promoter, accountant, shipping clerk, and the list goes on. I loved the fact that I could flit from task to task and still be productive. In fact, that's why I started another (related) business right away to handle the other aspect of being an author . . . speaking engagements. This endeavor has far surpassed the publishing company I founded—especially since I signed with Random House, and then St. Martin's Press and Career Press—to become my primary focus. Owning a corporate training company is a dream come true, and I am proud to say I am making a difference in the world with my talents and abilities. As one of my former teachers said to me recently, 'Never has someone done so much, with so little.' I assume she was kidding. Right?"
Deep Impact Training / Innovative-Lee Speaking / Waves and Wheels Surfcenters
The Success Shop /
Lee Silber Designs
[click here to REQUEST A COMPLIMENTARY MINI BOOK]
Books and Awards
1991 - 1998
"Mark Twain said, 'Write what you know about.' I guess that's why my very first of 15 books was titled, 'The Guide To Dating In San Diego'. Go ahead laugh, this tiny tome quickly sold through three printings. It also served as a springboard to bigger and better books. The next publishing project was called 'Successful San Diegans'. For this one I was able to interview and profile some of my heroes like Tony Gwynn, Whoopi Goldberg, and Anthony Robbins—all of whom have ties to San Diego. There were over 100 famous San Diegans included, and the book still tanked. Sure, I sold 4,500 copies, but I judged success on how well I was able to fit my car in the garage. The more books I sold, the more room there was to open my door and get out without climbing through the window. The good news was the book received rave reviews (the kiss of death) and allowed me to continue to turn out a book a year before I got my big break."
1998 - 2002
"One local author suggested all of us get together to support and encourage one another as well as pool our resources. The very first meeting was at the worst possible time and place—and I almost didn't go. Thank God I did, because I met a woman who changed my life. By chance we were seated next to each other and chatted away about what we were currently working on. That's when she said her literary agent was seeking someone just like me for a series of books for Random House. This led to landing an agent and getting a book deal all in one week. The first book in the Creative Person series was 'Time Management For The Creative Person', and it was an instant success. In fact, it is now in its 12th printing and still a strong seller. I followed this up with three more books in the series, all of them won awards and sold well. I was on top of the world, except for one thing, my editor (and biggest booster) left on maternity leave. So she had her first child while my books became orphans within Random House. Hmmmm."
2002 - 2012
"Fortunately, I still had my excellent agent who placed 'Organizing From The Right Side Of The Brain' with St. Martin's Press. Once again, I connected for a home run, but after rounding the bases (signings, speeches, interviews) I felt like I had been there, done that—and had the awards to prove it. It was time to move beyond the limits of writing for a small, but loyal audience and put out a book with mass appeal. So I started with a story in the 'Chicken Soup For The Soul' series which led to an epiphany. The 'authors' of this successful series didn't do it all themselves, but instead relied on strategic partnerships. So my search for a co-author began in earnest—and quickly led to three books in just over a year. I wrote 'Rock To Riches' (a book about business lessons learned from rock stars), and 'The Wild Idea Club' with Andrew Chapman (the latter also included Linda Krall), and 'Bored Games' with Mike Metz. The fact that my next three books will be written by myself ('A Parent Looks at Fifty', 'Wednesdays With Sunshine', and 'Fumble!') has nothing to do with my previous partnerships. In fact, I am still actively seeking someone to team up with for books number 22 and 23."
Show and Tell Organizing / Runaway Best Seller / The Wild Idea Club / Bored Games Rock To Riches / Organizing From The Right Side Of The Brain / Self-Promotion For The Creative Person / Time Management For The Creative Person
[click here to SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS BY LEE SILBER]
Speaker and Corporate Trainer
1991 - 2000
"It's rather ironic when you are reprimanded as a child for speaking up and speaking out and then later get paid for those same things as a professional speaker—and I mean ironic in a good way, because I love what I do. As a teenager I wanted to be a rock star—then I realized I could still be on stage in front of a cheering crowd without having to grow my hair long or have a major drug habit. The benefit of being a speaker versus a rock star is the ability to change people's lives in a positive way—and to me, that is much more fulfilling than just hitting the right notes at the right time. Of course, I have found ways to combine music and motivation by using a multimedia approach to making the main points stick. A lot of what I learned about speaking I learned the hard way—giving over 500 speeches before becoming a paid professional. I cut my teeth on the 'Chicken Dinner' circuit speaking at Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary clubs, spent eight years as a member of Toastamasters, and five years touring the country for SkillPath seminars doing five all-day seminars in five cities in five days—two weeks out of the month. Then, in 1999 I had to pass up a $5,500 speaking opportunity to honor my commitment to SkillPath, that's when I made the decision to go solo and so far, so good."
[click here to REQUEST YOUR FREE COPY OF "SPEAK LIKE A PRO"]
2000 - 2012
"The worst thing a speaker can do is try and memorize a speech. I never did that, but I did believe that preparation and practice made for a polished presentation. I was known for delivering top-notch talks each and every time, but I always felt something was missing. One day my notes were lost and I was forced to go 'off-script' and the results were revolutionary—and I haven't used notes since. Instead, I took a more spontaneous approach and spoke from the heart. My scores and evaluations shot through the roof as a result—and I began getting standing ovations. I still prepare like crazy, but I also realize I know what I am talking about need to be more in the moment to focus on finding creative ways to make sure everyone in the audience is engaged, entertained, and most importantly, educated. Another development that is different (and better) today is the amount of customizing I can do. With 20 years of experience and dozens of different topics, it's a lot easier to create a custom program that solves a specific problem and makes more of an impact—which I have worked well for the clients listed below."
GM / HP / DDB / Sempra / Roche / Petco / Lucent / Padres / Wells Fargo / Border Patrol / Marriott / MedImmune / AMN Healthcare / Paramount Pictures
[click here to FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN GET $100 FOR RECOMMENDING LEE TO SPEAK AT YOUR NEXT MEETING OR EVENT]
Designer and Teacher
1987 - 1999
"It's great to be able to go back to school (so to speak) as a keynoter at art schools and colleges across the country because I can clearly remember what it was like to be both a student and a teacher. As a student I switched from a traditional college to a trade school when I knew what my strengths were (writing and design) as well as my weak points (math and science). When I finally found my calling, I fell in love with learning and wanted to know everything I could. Later, I passed on what I had learned as an instructor for SkillPath Seminars. It's an amazing feeling to figure out what brings out the best in you and be able to do it on a daily basis. To this day, I still take on design projects that I am passionate about. What I find is time flies when I am working on a website or writing copy for an ad. It's also a joy to share something I find fascinating with others who are eager to hear to learn. It's my mission to help students discover what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to design—a powerful focal point, heirarchy of information, plenty of white space, and effective use of typography that blends coolness with readability."
[click here to buy "Self-Promotion for the Creative Person"]
Media and Miscellaneous
1987 - 2012
"They call it fame and fortune for a reason. In many cases the media can make you a star by getting the word out about who you are and what you do, which can pays off in both sales and marketing. From the very beginning of my career I have learned how to master the media and make the most of any and all opportunities tp appear on radio, television, or in print. I went back in my files and found my first few interviews—which were all local—and how these led to bigger and better opportunities. Over the past 22 years I have appeared in the media over 1,200 times, which seems like a lot, but remaining visible has to be a part of any promotional plan. Having Dr. Laura rave about one of my books on her syndicated show (with over a million listeners) led directly to more sales. Appearing in USA Today meant meeting planners were calling me instead of the other way around—the same goes for features in U.S. News and World Report and HOW magazine in 2011. Making an appearance on The Leeza Gibbon's Show (a top talk show at the time) provided a boost to my business. After being a guest enough times, I finally got my shot as the host of a radio talk show. This was a labor of love, and after a long layoff from the airwaves, I will soon be back on with a new talk show on Voice America next year. "
[click here to LISTEN TO INTERVIEWS WITH LEE]
1989 - 2012
"For most men, a lot of our time is spent thinking about things other than work . . . like sports. What did you think I was going to say? For me personally, I have been happily married for 18 years, and madly in love with my wife for 23 years. (I know, my math is off, but only because we married five years after meeting.) This has freed up a lot of my time (and brain) to focus on my career. Having a supportive (and successful) spouse really does help a husband be all he can be. When people ask for my advice on what makes for the perfect partnership, they are surprised when I don't say hard work. For me, it's like breathing. Things just are, and things are good. Adding kids to the equation has made a good thing even better, too. I am a very involved parent (not in a creepy way) and I know spending quality time with my two young sons has helped my career. The proof is the book 'Bored Games', which is all about how to entertain kids using things from a pocket or purse. Not only are my kids never bored, I am having a blast, too."
[click here to GET YOUR COPY OF "BORED GAMES"]
The Condensed Version
Lee Silber's Bio in 250 Words or Less
Lee Silber is a surf shop owner who became the best selling author of 19 books. He started his first small business at the age of eleven and has since founded five others including a chain of retail stores and a corporate training company with clients that include the San Diego Padres, Marriott, Petco, Lucent, HP, GM and Proctor and Gamble. Silber has hosted his own radio talk show and been featured in USA Today and appeared on CNN. An award-winning speaker, Silber has given over 1,300 speeches to over 850,000 people around the world. Lee lives with his wife and two young sons in Mission Beach, California.
[click here to REQUesT A HEAD SHOT]