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feature image Dr. Wish with book in front of flags

In the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, Dr. Peter A. Wish was just where he wanted to be: traveling with Mitt Romney’s campaign. His goal? Help Romney show voters he was their best choice for president of the United States.

After years spent counseling political candidates—not to mention extensively researching neuroscience and social psychology—Dr. Wish knows that when it comes to voting, people go with their gut, not their brain. In other words, if a candidate doesn’t make an emotional connection with a voter, that voter is unlikely to support them.

Dr. Wish felt that Romney and his campaign team were over-focused on policies and not paying enough attention to persona. Dr. Wish saw that the candidate was struggling to connect with everyday people. Voters didn’t trust him. They didn’t like him. Worst of all, they didn’t feel that Romney cared about them.

“I tell candidates I coach that they must demonstrate to the voter in every interaction that they empathize with them. Mitt was great at sympathizing, but he couldn’t empathize.”

Dr. Wish knew that if Romney didn’t increase his likeability, he was in danger of losing the election. So, over and over, Dr. Wish shared his best advice about how Romney could build empathy, authenticity, and relatability. But without the bona fides to establish himself as an expert in how to win elections, his suggestions were ignored.

Dr. Wish knew a book could give him better credibility to succeed.

Dr Wish speaking

On election night in Boston, Dr. Wish’s predictions came true. Voters turned away from Romney to choose Barack Obama—the empathetic candidate dripping with charisma—instead. Dr. Wish was angry, not to mention frustrated. Mark McKinnon (who wrote the foreword to Dr. Wish’s book), chief media advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain, and co-host of the award-winning show The Circus, put it this way: “If Romney had listened to Wish, he would have been president.”

The loss was tough for Dr. Wish. He had spent two and a half years traveling with the campaign raising money—two and a half years going to all the debates, all the seminars, all the retreats. And in the end, it was a painful loss of a winnable election.

“I came back home from Boston and moped around. Finally, my wife told me to stop moping and do something about it.”

At first, Dr. Wish resisted. What could he do? He was exhausted. But his wife reminded him that he had the experience and knowledge to turn lemons into lemonade. She suggested he write a book for candidates.

His first reaction was an immediate and emphatic no. He had written a book 20 years earlier, and after only selling a few thousand copies, he swore to himself he’d never write another one. But the seed was planted. The more he thought about all the emotional campaign malpractice he observed, the more he realized that, done right, a book might be the key to moving forward and helping other candidates not make the same mistakes Romney did.

And, a book could provide the credibility he needed to ensure campaigns were open to his advice. The book would provide a roadmap for political candidates on how to be more emotionally aware and intelligent. Even better, it could be a vehicle to attract more clients, so he could grow and scale his political coaching business.

Dr. Wish struggled to compile his extensive knowledge into a compelling book.

Once Dr. Wish realized how many benefits a book could bring to candidates and campaign teams, he spent months thinking about how to conceptualize his message. As he thought back to the Romney campaign, one thought kept coming up.

“I realized this campaign committed sins. That’s when it hit me. Framing the book around the seven deadly sins, then showing candidates how to convert those sins into virtues, was a great concept.”

Excited, he sat down and did a preliminary outline. He had the knowledge to write a book that would be a definitive guide for candidates.

Almost immediately, though, he hit a major snag. The thought of sifting through and organizing the vast amount of research he had compiled—research he culled from reading over 400 articles and 40 books—to create a cohesive, engaging book was overwhelming.

Additionally, he had no idea how to publish the book on his own, or how to market it so it sold better than his first book had. He knew he needed expert help.

After working with a traditional publisher for his first book, Dr. Wish knew he didn’t want to give up control again. He had no experience with self-publishing, though. He was stuck. Armed with an outline and the rough draft of an introduction, he knew if he couldn’t find someone to help him with the other publishing mechanics, his book was never going to see the light of day.

Scribe offered Dr. Wish the expert help he was searching for.

Dr. Wish with framed book

As he mulled his options, Dr. Wish toyed with the idea of reaching out to the woman who helped him edit his first book. But he quickly admitted to himself that, while she was good at what she did, she didn’t have the expertise to help him with the rest of the publishing process.

So, he decided to turn to Google. The first company to catch his eye was Scribe. Intrigued, he dug a little deeper. It wasn’t long before he realized Scribe might be the solution.

He set up a call with Rikki Jump, Head of Author Strategy, to talk through his options.

“She outlined the process and shared what they could do. It was immediately clear they were going to assign competent people to help me every step of the way.”

After his call with Rikki, he knew that investing in the Scribe Professional program was the right call. Because he could speak his book to a scribe, he wouldn’t have to labor over the exact words to use. And, his scribe could help him wade through all his research and assist him to present his concepts in a way that resonated with his target audience.

Most importantly, the book would be a collaborative effort between him and his team—he would have full creative and editorial control. He would also have the scaffolding to support and guide him to make sure all sections of his book were everything he dreamed of—and more.

The choice was clear. He had found the experts who could help him turn those lemons into lemonade.

With Scribe’s support, Dr. Wish created the book he had dreamed of.

Soon after signing up with Scribe, though, doubts began to creep in. Dr. Wish’s book was very niche. What if the scribe he was assigned didn’t understand politics? What if they didn’t have any experience with candidates, and they tried to water down or change his message?

“I told them I had to have somebody who understood politics and had some experience with what I was doing.”

Scribe’s response? No problem. They had exactly the right person for him. Cautiously optimistic, Dr. Wish scheduled his first call with his scribe. It wasn’t long before he realized he had nothing to worry about. His scribe understood and captured his message and voice from the outset.

Throughout the process, Dr. Wish kept finding new material to add. Scribe stayed flexible to all his changes and allowed him the creative control they had promised him at the outset. Eighteen months after he started, he had a completed manuscript.

Although the book ran 100 pages over the original target length, his editing team worked with him to whittle it down to maintain its readability and appeal. Happy with the result, and delighted by the cover art and layout, Dr. Wish signed off on the book.

When he held the book in his hands for the first time, nearly eight years after Mitt Romney’s failed campaign, he felt an incredible sense of pride in his accomplishment. He couldn’t wait to see what people thought of it.

When the book launched, it rocked the political campaign world.

Leader Kevin McCarthy, Dr Wish & Rep Tom Emmer (R-MN)

When The Candidate’s 7 Deadly Sins launched in March of 2020, it was a #1 bestseller on Amazon in its category. And around the country, the political world took notice.

Dr. Wish was invited onto a wide array of podcasts, including The Armstrong Williams Show, The Politics of Truth, and the Cygnal Pulse Podcast. He was also interviewed by Anthony Scaramucci on his podcast, Mooch.FM. These were the heavy hitters, and to be recognized as a thought leader by them was incredible validation.

After the book was released, Dr. Wish was contacted by people and companies interested in his message. For example, he’s working with a large-scale polling firm in Washington, DC to help them develop a new area of focus called behavioral sentiment analysis.

“Campaigns have always thought that if you raise enough money, it’s good enough to get elected. Well, it isn’t. We are pioneering a whole new field of Emotional Optics, and it’s gaining traction.”

The momentum has continued into the midterm election season. In the last month alone, for example, seven different congressional candidates and two gubernatorial candidates—from all over the country—have called him to discuss their campaigns. He didn’t solicit any of them. Because of the book, he didn’t have to.

It’s clear to Dr. Wish that the book is serving its purpose. Prior to launch, over the past few years, he had coached several state and local candidates. Now, with the credibility boost the book has given him, candidates everywhere are lining up to work with him.

Dr. Wish’s book is helping candidates win their elections.

As happy as these opportunities make him, for Dr. Wish, the biggest reward has been seeing the real-life impact the book has made. For example, he recently gave an invited guest lecture at a venue in Florida. One of the attendees was the mayor of Sarasota, a young man just 32 years old.

“He stood up and said if it hadn’t been for my book, he wouldn’t have won his election. He said my book was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He learned how to tell his story and connect.”

For Dr. Wish, hearing these messages make the whole journey worthwhile. So do messages like the one from a Supreme Court justice who reached out to tell Dr. Wish that he shares the principles in his book with his law students.

Dr. Wish even gets messages from business people, who contact him to say that they’ve applied his message to how they interact with customers and employees.

Dr. Wish wrote the book to help political candidates and boost his own coaching business. Knowing that his book has impacted people beyond the political sphere, for him, is truly the icing on the cake.

Here are a few more people who have been impacted by Dr. Wish’s book.

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