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So Good They Call You a Fake

Welcome to my So Good They Call You a Fake book review!

One-Sentence-Summary: How to document your “genius” system, whether that’s a book, a course, or a process for your business, all the way through to the sales.

booboo real-time book rating: ★★★☆☆ (percentage of books with this rating: 24%)

I want to like this guy. I think I would if we met in person. But his abrasive writing style and his claims are rubbing me the wrong way like the thick plastic thing you buckle up with between your crotch on a rollecoaster ride – I want it to end just to get away from it.

This is going to be a mostly negative review. I’ve been told I should be less up-front with this information or make it favorable for the sake of my online reputation and the potential goodwill I can create by going out of my way writing a review in the first place (hey, the author never shares a negative review!). Whoops. Anyways, I’d like to start with the positives.

So Good They Call You Fake Review – The Positives

Though light on the direct, actionable insight, I continued reading to the end because it was an easy read. He is a good writer.

I liked the quick summaries at the end of each chapter, which served a second purpose of bringing the reader back to the point of the chapter as Lisec often went off on tangents.

The author did give me some good ideas throughout the book. It could have benefited me before my recently published book. General advice. For example, how to structure a book. No one does anything while reading. Better to let the reader, read to see if they’re totally on board, then list out the to-dos at the end. After all, you buy a book to read.

On page 36, we have a nice quote to remember: “Pain is a superior motivator to pleasure.” Remembering this will serve you well.

Another, on page 60: “I drafted more than 300 standard operating procedures (SOPs) for my employer so everything the company did was documented in granular, unmissable detail. As a result, we’d be able to hire the least-qualified, lowest-paid talent available and have them perform like top professionals.” Great business advice. I only started doing this in 2023. If it’s not documented, don’t except it to be done right ever. If it is documented, it’s required to be done right.

Did you know I’m an author? I wrote four books on real estate investing, travel, and language learning.

Advice on Course Creation

I did pick up some nice tidbits on course creation. Here’s the first one: “What is the ultimate outcome your system can promise? The single most valuable result such that if your system’s users get it, they’ll know your system worked?” (p. 71) A good thing to keep in mind. I learned, by asking my program purchasers, what they wanted to get out of it and I was surprised to see the phrase ‘finance freedom’ often.

Profitable Properties Program: A system for profit and finance freedom

Lisec is also responsible for two things I’ve changed on my website related to my online couse (thank you, Joshua):

  1. I don’t know why, but I LOVE the ‘•’ he added to his online course: Author•ity Accelerator; so I changed mine from the Profitable Properties Program to the Profit•able Properties Program.
  2. When creating an online course, add total hours to complete. I remember when I took my first online courses, I was hesitant because they seemed like a bigger time investment that they actually were. Even when I was adding up the video watching of my program, for some reason I had 37 hours in my head when it turned out to be 9.5 hours. You don’t want potential buyers, NOT buying because they wrongly thing they’ll need to commit days to your program.

When you buy your next online course, remember this about the instructor: “…you make more money reaching people how to do he thing and watching them do it than doing the thing itself.” (p. 113) If they make more money teaching, then doing, they are marketers. The course you hear in advertisements is probably this.

#Badverbs by Josh Lisec

I love the part about adverbs or #badverbs – many authors hate adverbs, and I don’t even know what they are. Until now. Thank you, Joshua. You cleared it up, and now I will clear it up for any readers of this book review.

An adverb is adding extra to something that makes it probably false….”this terrible thing literally happened” or “the President essentially said” or “this new law basically means genocide.” The adverb makes it untrue. Can you spot it?

The adverb adds a literary license that should not be added. It adds your own presumptions. Now, you can spot adverbs and see through them and eliminate them from your writing.

Overall Thoughts

The book’s premise is bizarre: if it’s “too good to be true”, then you’ve found the real thing. No. I don’t think so. Nor does the author do a good job of demonstrating his point (I explain below). But for now I’ll just say..

So Good They Call You a Fake by Josh Lisec is FAKE. Ha. Might be the most ironic thing I’ve said this year! Don’t buy the book and, instead, continue reading this blog. Allow me to expose this fraud by his own admission. Please note that I’m an author, and a successful one with 50,000 copies to my name. Also note that I have nothing against the author and only found out about him three hours ago.

I bought So Good They Call You a Fake because of a wild claim on the author’s website, that the book was way better than the recently released $100M Leads by Alex Hormozi, which I just read and thought was excellent. Read my $100M Leads book review here.

But, before we dismantle the author’s claims, I want to share my overall thought from the book:

I think Lisec is trying to claim some credit for things he may have done and he feels slighted, this is my assumption after reading this book. I wrote that line before reading this: “..I won’t be stealing credit, as is the way of other ghostwriters and self-publishers. In my profession, it’s oh-so-typical to contort your personal brand into the mentor-turned-villain. Look how great I made them; they would be nothing without me!” (p. 5)

Whoa, crazy! I wrote the bullet point above not three paragraphs before reading that quote. It’s actually exactly what Lisec sounds like.

Not surprisingly, the author referred to Blue Ocean Strategy, another underwhelming book I didn’t finish.

Cringe-Worthy Quotes

The number of annoying paragraphs like this one is mind-boggling: “Yeah, yeah, be really good, Josh, I get it, you might be thinking. First of all, you should have picked this up by now: Call me Joshua, not Josh.” That’s an actual quote from the book. The author made up a line to critique. Wait, what..putting words in the reader’s mind only to insult them.

Another: “…all Best Way courses have brought in just shy of $450,000 since 2020, as of this writing. A six-figure side hustle is not bad at all, especially since my main promotion channel was Twitter, and I only had a few thousand followers when I started. However, Lisec Ghostwriting has been a multi-million-dollar operation in that same period.”

Yuck. Eww! Lol. He wants to ensure you’re aware not only he is a multi-millionaire but that he’s made all these sales ‘as of this writing’. When the fuck else would the data be from? A future projection of earnings?

Or how about this one: “Having been the invisible hand of influence for over a decade, I’ve discerned who is and is not a powerbroker.” (p. 153) Just another unverifiable claim by Lisec, but if I had a million bitcoin to bet on this clown, I’d say no, he’s not some behind-the-scenes mega influencer.

Oh! Oh! Oh! I’m glad I was about to find this one: “And I say authors because that’s who most often beg me to help them.” (p. 46) Who refers to their potential customers as beggars? Lisec. That was followed up later in the book by: “I used to start sales call by just starting. ‘OK, so you want to write a book and you want my help. Why should I let you hire me?'” (p. 148) Let me clarify: That sales pitch did not work. It wouldn’t work if you were good. It wouldn’t even work if you were so good and everyone knew you were so good because people are mostly emotional and not logical (sorry, economists!).

My Skepticism Kicks on Page 3

Let’s get to the point, and by point I mean my very first impressions because I’m currently on page three. Right off the bat, I noticed some strange inconsistencies with the author’s bold claim. He’s saying he’s a very, very good ghostwriter. In fact, #1 ghostwriter in the world. That’s ok. But, let’s see what you got to back up that claim!

Well, his book was released two months after my recent book and after three months, it has the same number of reviews. Make no mistake about it. That’s strange. Why? If he did, in fact, do what he claims, like publish international bestsellers and award-winners and promote nobodies so well they became household names earning millions per year then some of these very famous authors have huge audiences and feel very indebted to Lisec, right? Maybe. I think that has to be true for at least a few of them. On the other hand, the authors may not want to admit their book was ghostwritten. That seems plausible.

Let’s move to oddity number two: the author who wrote the foreword to his book claims to have sold 20,000 copies. That’s ok. But I’m assuming this author was chosen because he’s got an extraordinary result from Lisec’s ghostwriting abilities. My first book sold 50,000 copies with 784 reviews in five years. The foreword author’s book has 934 reviews in two years’ time. Better, yes. But not that much better. And I did nothing special. No marketing. I mean, I’m not that good. I’m not some prodigy.

I’m just saying if you’re a professional making these massive claims, I will be skeptical. You should probably sell a lot of books because you’re a world-class writer and have world-class connections to promote your book. Lisec also promotes a book titled Level Up or Die. It has a measly 52 reviews in two years. Given the effort it takes to write a book, that is a BIG fat failure. Lisec has 30,000 followers on Twitter, so at least that bodes well for him.

At the very, very, very beginning of the book, he posts a tweet from someone claiming the author is a fake because the author claims to have written 78 books. What? That’s really what he’s writing about? A vendetta? If you claim to have written 78 books but can’t provide proof, and someone calls you on it, that’s not exactly calling you fake because you’re so good. It’s calling you fake because you have no proof.

Page 95: The 60-Minute Start-Up

A catchy title, although personally, I think ’30-Minute’ has a better ring. Published 2019. Lisec highlights it as if this is a huge success story. Four years later: 129 reviews and 4.5 rated. A giant failure, especially if the author paid Lisec the 6- or 7- figures he claims to charge.

The book cover has a stamp that says Amazon #1 Bestseller. LOL. Let me tell you as an author that any book can get a #1 bestseller in any one of the 16,000 Amazon categories. As they update hourly, that means up to 384,000 new “Amazon #1 Bestseller” are created daily. The championed book currently has an Amazon bestseller rating of 612,413 which equates to about one sale per month. Yes. One out of the 8,000,000,000 people who inhabit this earth buy his book every month.

For reference, my books routinely stay below 100k and have been floating around 40k for the past few weeks. A bestseller rank on Amazon equates to about 5-10 sales per day.

You are reading my book review and summary by Joshua Lisec. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

Page 39: “Neil Malan scam”

Remember to be so good they call you a fake, or a scammer? That’s the premise of the book: “There is no higher praise than being called a fraud.” (p. 14) Lisec claims to have worked with a South African businessman named Neil Malan. Thing is, if you search ‘Neil Malan scam’ there’s loads of content and the scam seems legit (meaning it’s actually a scam). Neil Malan, author of Digital Agency Fasttrack, which sounds scammy as soon as you read the title, has an average rating of 3.0 on Amazon.

That’s Not All, Folks

It’s psychotic to me Lisec is highlighting so many subpar books and presenting them as if they were international bestsellers. Excuse me, he actually claims the following book is an international bestseller:

I Just Want This Done

  • Intenational besteller
  • Won interviews with both valuable local Chicago media and major podcasts with global, multi-million listenership
  • Amazon reviews: 64

I once went on a big podcast with nowhere near multi-million listensehrip and made 10 sales directly from that appearance.

Construction Genius

  • Made the author “look like a genius to readers far and wide.”
  • Amazon reviews: 33

How to Get More Law Firm Clients

  • Lisec claims to have an NDA that he disregarded to highlight this smashing success of a book.
  • Amazon reviews: 58
  • Rating: 4.4

The Infamous Instagram Interaction

Turns out the author is just as unpleasant via digital messages as his writing style would suggest. I’ll explain below, but I think now’s an approprite time to remind you of my ‘brutally honest’ reviews. I’m not a prepubecsent boy who can’t control his emotions and if someone does me wrong, I’ve gotta get them back! You’ll have to take my word for it that I wrote half of this review well before the interaction with the Lisec. And, now that I’m done with the book, I find it strange how the author presents himself as a supreme authority, with a waitlist of clients, only allowing worthy people to pay him because he’s so badass, yet offering a stragner online a supposed 80% discount off his rate.You be the judge:

One More Thing

Towards the end of the book, Lisec describes a situation where a famous person posted on social media looking for a ghostwriter: “So I made the entrepreneur’s job easy when everyone else made it difficult. I said, in my casual, friendly way, ‘Let me help. I’ll write your opening chapter at no cost and be super fast. That means no time wasted and no money spent. If you like it, your search for a writer and editor is over before you ever had to invest all the time on a talent search. What do you say?'” (p. 155)

Anyone mildly successful business owner knows that you never accept free work because those offering free are not good. I have what is probably a midly successful online business and I get free offers all the time. Free video edits, free website, free blog content. No, no, no. An easy filter. And all this after Lisec is telling us about his waitlists, major success, asking potential clients why he should allow them to hire him. Does not add up.

New, Cool Words

Fandom – a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art form, or faous perosn.

Uncouth – (of a person or their appearance or behavior) lacking good mannes, refinement, or grace

Thanks for visiting and thanks to Joshua Lisec for writing So Good They Call You a Fake!

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