When Michael Martel was 18 he made the decision to join the Army, wanting to see the world. After spending 13 years in Berlin he knew that traveling was going to be something he enjoyed doing for the rest of his life. He was trained as one of the elite Green Beret and has used that knowledge, and the degrees he earned in Information Technology and Business Management to help formulate the premise for his book, Get Er Done: The Green Beret Guide to Productivity.
I have the greatest respect for Larry the Cable Guy. He has done very well with his comedy act. At the same time, I have heard the term “get er done” since I started in the military in 1982. We were always being told to just get er done. I realize that when I transitioned to civilian life that people were interested in ways to get things done quicker and easier and my military experiences could help with this. Get Er Done: The Green Beret Guide to Productivity seemed like a natural title.
I see that you were a Green Beret. Being one of the ‘elite,’ can you tell us what it was like? What was your most difficult part of training to become one?
The training for a Green Beret can run anywhere from eight months to a year and a half depending what specialty you are going for. As I write in my book, we Green Berets really don’t have any super powers. We just don’t quit. They give you a lot of opportunities to request out. It really is an endurance event. I talk a lot about the importance of staying in the game in my book.
What do you feel was the hardest aspect of writing this book?
This was a new area for me. I hadn’t done anything like it before. I really didn’t know where to start. So, I did what I had been trained to do. I leveraged my army. I talk about the need for your own personal army of friends, associates, etc. I called people and asked if they knew of anyone who had written a book before. They connected me and a got some excellent pointers from them.
Do you intend to write more books, and if so would you be willing to share with us what they will be about?
Yes, definitely. I am starting a series of books based on “Achieve the Green Beret Way.” Each will be focused on a particular area, fitness, team building, parenting, etc. My new website, AchieveTheGreenBeretWay.com, is focused on this.
i strongly believe in the power of a coach. I coach people myself and also use coaches to help me to explore new areas. I was working with a coach who suggested, “Why not try writing a book?” So I sat down and did it.
Can you explain your writing process a little? Did you use an outline, or were you able to construct the book just by sitting down and writing it?
I had a published author suggest a format to me, story, discussion, action steps. I used this format for the book. We decided on ten points or chapters. Then it was a simple matter for me to use the format to write the ten chapters. When I write, I sit down and write straight for about 30 minutes without any sort of editing or proofreading. I don’t go back for a day or so. I find I am much more creative this way.
Did you encounter any struggles in getting your book published? If so, what were they? Is there anything you would change or do differently?
No, not really. Once again, my army led me to someone who had just published a book. I talked with him got all sorts of tips and contacts.
What are your goals for the future?
Take my Achieve the Green Beret Way message out to those who want to do more with less effort. I am accepting speaking engagements and individual coaching clients.
Is there anything else you want to share with us?
Everyone has a story that is beneficial to someone else. Just start writing. You don’t have to get it perfect. Just get it going.