The Right Components of a Successful Family Business with Henry DeVries, CEO of Indie Books International

Sep 16, 2020

Henry DeVries is the CEO of Indie Books International and a weekly marketing columnist with Forbes. He works with consultants who want to attract high-paying clients by marketing with a book and speech. In the last decade he has been a ghostwriter, editor or publisher of more than 300 business books, including his international bestseller from McGraw-Hill, How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett.

As a speaker, Henry trains business development teams and business leaders on how to sell more services by persuading with a story. He is also the president of the New Client Marketing Institute, a training company he founded in 1999. He is the former president of an Ad Age 500 advertising and PR agency and has served as a marketing faculty member and assistant dean of continuing education at the University of California, San Diego.

Henry earned his bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego, his MBA from San Diego State University, and has completed certificate programs at the Harvard Business School. Henry is hosting free monthly webinars on publishing and you can register now at htttps://!


What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Where Indie Books International is at currently; an update on the last year of business.
  • The impetus to set up the business for succession beyond Henry’s career.
  • The three people who helped take Indie Books International to the next level.
  • Positions at Indie that are occupied by Henry’s family members.
  • Henry’s thinking in preparing his daughter for a leading position in the company.
  • The methods that Henry learned from his father about imparting knowledge and skills.
  • The DeVries family’s Dutch heritage and the traits they have embraced in their business.
  • Cultivating the right components for a family business; no pressure, noble work, and clear communication.
  • The values of Indie Books International and the importance of the explicit statement of these. 
  • Lessons in succession that Henry has taken from all the books he has published on the subject!
  • Fostering the right familial environment for healthy communication and growth.
  • Dealing with disagreements and avoiding nepotism in the larger business.
  • Unspoken and spoken trust; talking about issues as they arise.
  • Henry’s feelings about stepping down from his position; concerns and hopes.
  • The language used in companies and what it means to call a business a ‘family’.
  • Henry’s current motivations for Indie Books International and how this impacts his strategies.



“It is just an option. The family business is a tool and if you want to be in it that’s great.” — @indiebooksintl [0:25:51]

“The more generous I am, the luckier I get.” — @indiebooksintl [0:28:09]


Facebook Posts:

“Nothing should be implied and anything worth noting should be written down.” — Henry DeVries [0:27:40]

“Our mission is to become the Henry Ford of consulting books, so that every consultant in America can afford to have a book that will attract clients.” — Henry DeVries [0:29:03]


Additional Resources:

Free Monthly Webinar on Publishing: htttps://







Links Mentioned:

Episode 51:

How To Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett:


Warren Buffett:

University of California San Diego:

Tiger Woods:

Henry Ford:

Bill Gates:

Steve Jobs:

Walter O’Malley:

Jim Collins:

Built to Last:


Sharon Spano: