How to share your best ideas all over the world.

In the fall of 2015, I decided to create a new blog. I had tried writing blogs several times before. Most of them didn’t go anywhere. I hoped that this new blog would be different. Like Nuprin. Or Zima.

Starting At Zero

I started at zero. Zero posts. Zero readers. Zero subscribers. Zero requests for me to write anything. It was just me and my computer, creating new blog posts out of cursors and keystrokes, the way Doogie Howzer used to do it before he met your mother.

I write to help readers learn a little, laugh a little and lift a little.

Adding Value

I just started writing lessons and learnings I found valuable and that I thought would be valuable to others. I shared what I was learning about entrepreneurship as I launched the advertising and ideas agency The Weaponry in 2016. I wrote about marketing and creativity. I wrote about positive thinking and self-improvement. And I wrote a story about a woman who tried to save me from salmonella poisoning and plane crashes at a Piggly Wiggly.

Developing The Habit

I felt like the Time-To-Make-The Donuts Guy from the Dunkin Donuts commercials of my youth. That guy got up every day, without fail, and would make donuts, day after day, because the world needed donuts. He had created a donut-making habit. I created a similar habit at 6 am every day. Only I was writing, not baking, glazing, sprinkling, and holing.

The Compounding Effect

The compounding effect of a habit repeated over time is remarkable. It often sneaks up on you, like the way you catch a unique rabbit. At the start of 2023, I looked at the statistics page on this little blog project and I noticed 3 things that surprised me.

Adam Albrecht Blog Surprises

  1. I have now been writing the Adam Albrecht Blog for 8 years. I determined this through rigorous data analytics where I took the current year (2023) and subtracted the original year of publication (2015).
  2. I have published 828 blog posts.
  3. I saw the world map of where my blog has been read.

Here’s the map.

By writing day after day for years the blog has been read around the world. In fact, it has been read in 170 Countries or territories. According to Google and The United Nations (of Benneton), there are 195 sovereign nations. (And one seven-nation army.) One of my favorite statistics is that there are 38 countries that have at least triple-digit reads.

Notable countries that are boycotting this boy’s blog:

  1. Iran (So far away)
  2. Cuba (Gooding Jr.)
  3. North Korea (De Janeiro)

I get that those countries don’t allow people like me to just wi-fi into their countries, spreading positivity and pop culture references. So I am not hurt.

But then there is Greenland. That large landmass in the north apparently wants nothing to do with me. This has been a source of frustration for me for years. I just can’t seem to crack the Greenland market.

French Guiana is the only other area in the Americas that is not down with the AAB (Adam Albrect Blog). I don’t know if it is their Frenchness or their Guiananess that is to blame.

The Lesson

I started this blog at zero. I have never done any paid promotion of this blog. Yet, the ideas I have shared here have been read by people all over the world, thanks to the power of the internet and the WordPress platform.

By writing at least 5 days each week for years I also developed habits, ideas, and stories that enabled me to write my first book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? In the book, I shared 80 of the best life lessons I have learned. But it never would have happened if I hadn’t first started this blog.

I have now published 2 books, thanks to the writing and publishing habit I developed through this blog.

Key Takeaway

The key to long-term success is to get started. First comes the action. Then comes the accumulation. Studying doesn’t get you success. Planning doesn’t. Goals don’t. Actions do. Habits do. Simply not stopping does. So get started today. And just keep going.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+If you found value in this read, please subscribe to this blog to have new posts delivered fresh 3 times per week.

6 Tips to help you read more books this year.

Every year I set a goal of reading 12 books. The number is based on reading a book each month. It has nothing to do with eggs, donuts, or disciples.

Typically I read far more than my goal. Because I read at least 12 to 15 physical books and listen to 15 or more audiobooks each year while driving, mowing my lawn, or trying to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

I want to be purposeful with my reading. So on New Year’s Eve, I identified and gathered the 12 books I want to read this year. The books all share valuable lessons that I want to learn. Which is why I consider them my coursework for the year.

Here’s my initial reading list for 2023.

But Wait, There’s More!

To help me reach my reading goal I didn’t just pick out the books. I took 5 more steps:

  1. To help cue my reading goal I displayed my collection of books prominently on the shelf right behind my desk in my home office. So there is always something there to remind me of my reading list for the year. (It’s what Naked Eyes would do.)

2. I brought one book to my office at The Weaponry so I can read during lunch. (And so I can put a book on my head and work on my posture while working at work. Which is 3 works in 1.)

3. I placed one book on my nightstand. When I have a few minutes before bed I can read a few pages as my day’s intellectual dessert. (Note: I read in a chair in my bedroom. I never read in bed. It’s against my Ja rules.)

4. I placed one of the books in my car so that I can read while I am waiting to pick up my kids from school, practice, or jail.

5. I keep one book in my work bag. Because that thing goes with me everywhere. That way I will always have a book with me when I am stuck somewhere, when I am waiting for someone, or when I need a little paper to start a fire to save my life.

Key Takeaway

To meet your reading goal for this year don’t just say you want to read more. Find the books you want to read and create your 2023 reading list. Display the books where you are reminded of your goal, and where you can easily pick up the book when you have a few minutes to spare. Having a book at the ready when boredom strikes will prevent you from wasting your spare moments by twiddling on your little digital buddy. Because you don’t need more time on your phone this year. But you could always use more knowledge and inspiration.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Do you listen to audiobooks? (Here’s an easy opportunity to be mentioned in mine.)

A year ago this week, I published my first book, titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? The response to the book has been extremely rewarding. People have appreciated the book enough to write great reviews and gift the book to others. And so far, no school districts, governments, or Tipper Gores have banned or burned the book.

But over the past year, there is one question I have been asked over and over, again. (Like Tim McGraw and Nelly.)

“When is the audiobook version of your book coming out?”

I would love to have an audio version of the book. I listen to audiobooks all the time. They are great to listen to when I am driving. Because I have found that when I read regular books while driving bad things tend to happen.

The book is currently available in paperback, hardback, and digitalback.

However, I wrote this book in my writing style, which also mirrors my speaking style. My ‘voice’ contains regular, random asides and uncited pop culture references. Because I wanna know who really gets my jokes. (And I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?)

Because I wrote the book in my voice, readers have insisted that I also record the audiobook. Which means that I have to find the time to read and record the audio version.

Recording the audiobook entails reading for about an hour each morning, day after day, until I finish the 290-page book. I would read first thing in the morning to ensure a consistent sound to my voice. And I expect I can only read for about an hour before fatigue would make me sound less enthusiastic than listeners deserve.

I am considering making the recording an End-of-2022 Project. But before I wake up and read my book to myself and my recording device for a couple weeks I have 2 questions for you.

1. Do you listen to audiobooks?

2. If so, where and when do you listen to them?

Your Opportunity:

Please leave your response below, text me at 614-256-2850 or email me at adam@theweaponry.com. If you provide your feedback, and I do record the audio version, I’ll include you in my acknowledgments section of the book. Heck, you can even game the system and share this with all your friends and family. Whoever responds will get included. (If no one responds and I record the book anyway, I will dedicate the book to crickets. And the sound of silence.)

Key Takeaway

It’s easy to make the mistake of creating products, services, or entire businesses with no natural audience. Before you jump into creating something new, do a little market research to see if there is an audience interested in what you are about to create. That way you ensure you invest your time, energy, and money into projects expected to offer good returns.

*If you know someone who would like to be mentioned in an audiobook, please share this with them.

+If you still need an inexpensive Christmas gift written to help readers learn a little, laugh a little and lift a little, you can find What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? here.

My first book turns 1 today! Here are some highlights from the year.

A year ago today my first book went live on Amazon. It was crazy to see What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? on the virtual shelves at Bezos’s Books n’ More! So I ordered one right away. It came the next day because Bezos makes things happen.

The first time I held my paper baby.

I had no idea what to expect over the next year. The people who pre-read the book told me it was really good. But I didn’t consider that an accurate predictor of public reception. After all, the pre-readers were either friends or part of my publishing team. And the friends were selected specifically because I thought they would say good things. Because sometimes you need support more than you need honesty. (Sometimes we really do notice that zit but there’s nothing you can do about it.)

But the real-world feedback has been amazing. The online feedback has been extremely positive too. (Except for guys on GoodReads named Zac, or Zach or Zak.) A year later I can confidently say that people (other than Zacs) genuinely enjoy the book.

Here are some book-related highlights from the past year.

Gifters: The number of people who have bought 5, 10, or 20 copies (or more) is a total surprise to me. Numerous people have bought many copies to give as gifts. I am honored and humbled every time this happens. And I’m thrilled I haven’t been asked about my return policy.

Speaking Opportunities: I have been giving regular book talks throughout the past year. I love being able to share the lessons from the book live. The follow-up interest in the book after the talks tells me that we are talking about important lessons and ideas. Another upside to the book talks is that I kinda want to have a hot mic faux pas that will circulate on YouTube and lead to my 15 minutes of fame. (The Hot Mic Faux Pas sounds like a bestselling book. Or maybe an album title.)

New friends in Missouri.

Meeting new people: People (and smiling) are my favorite. I have met countless new people this year thanks to my book. (I tried to count, but a woman in Cleveland kept moving, which threw off my tally.)

Me and my friend Jonathan Taylor, who said he would write the Foreword to my next book.

The Impact: We all have our own unique life experiences. By sharing 80 life lessons with the world, I knew that each lesson would speak to readers in different ways. Hearing the impact or value that specific lessons have had on readers has been insightful and rewarding. But the true impact of the book will not likely be known for years. Or even decades. So I’m eating right and exercising to be around to see it.

The ultimate copy of my book.

The Markups: I love seeing books that have been highlighted, underlined and filled with stickies. It shows me where people found value. And it makes me wonder why all valuable things in life are not made in highlighter colors so they are easier to find when we lose them.

My guy Adam Emery reading in St. Croix.

The Oreo Style: There are several different ways to eat an Oreo Cookie. I twist the cookies apart, scrape the filling stuff off with my teeth, then eat the chocolate-ish cookies individually. (Usually just before walking into a dentist appointment so that I get my money’s worth.)

I’ve also found that there are several different ways people read What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? Some people read it all in one day. Some people read it steadily over a week or month. Some people read one chapter each day, like an advent calendar, and spend time focusing on one specific lesson. While other people simply pick up the book, open it randomly, and read whatever pops up, considering the lesson presented as a sign from the universe. Or at least a message from the world of physics and book-binding science.

The Morning Blend Over the past year I have been invited to appear on The Morning Blend talk show 4 times. The show is the primary morning show on NBC in Milwaukee. I love talking to hosts Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle about positive lessons from the book. Plus, it’s a good test of what kind of humor I can throw out on the fly on live TV without getting zapped by the censor.

Podcasts: I have been invited on several podcasts to tell my story and share lessons from the book and about the writing process. I love being able to share the stories behind the stories. Plus, someone else has to do the editing, which to me feels like dining and ditching.

Travel: The fact that this book led to organizations paying me to travel to talk at their events amazes me. It combines a few of my favorite things. Kinda like brown paper packages tied up with string.

The pictures: Receiving pictures of people with my book from all over the world has been a great bonus that I didn’t imagine when writing. To know that my book and the lessons I have shared have migrated to all corners of the United States, and countries all over the globe means that my paper baby has seen things I haven’t. #bookenvy

2X Olympic discus thrower Kelsey Card sporting a cool hat and a copy of my book. Both of which she could throw very far.

The Giggle Reports: Readers regularly write me to tell me they keep giggling while reading. Which prompts those around them to ask ‘What’s so funny?’ That may be my favorite feedback of all.

Signings: Nearly everyone who buys a book from me asks me to sign it for them. At first, I thought this was weird. Because I thought only famous people signed things. But I have quickly warmed to the ritual. Now a year into this author thang, I have signed hundreds of books. Including 35 in the past week.

Just as it took me a while to dial in my personal writing style, it took me a couple of books to find my book signing style. Now I write in the book as if it were a high school yearbook.

  • I write: To (name of book owner):
  • I add the day’s date for context.
  • Then I write a brief message, summarizing some of my most important lessons within the book.
  • I finish that note with my initials (-AA).
  • Then I sign my name right under my printed name on the title page of the book.
  • Finally, I put my initials (AA) on the table of contents next to a few chapters I think will be valuable to the reader. Readers seem to enjoy this. Here’s an example of a response I received via Twitter about my AA-marked chapters in the table of contents:

I received this special delivery from my good friend and partner in doing hard things creatively, @annenormsen! Thanks so much Adam for the signed book, note and guided instructions—I am reading the AA asterisked lessons first—and they are exactly what I need! @adamvertising 

@telisayancy. (AKA Telisa Yancy, President of American Family Insurance)

Key Takeaway

I wrote What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? to have a positive impact on the lives of those who read it. But the person who it has impacted most is me. It has fundamentally changed my life. I have received more positivity and support than I ever imagined. It has inspired me to write, share and do more for others. If you are thinking about writing a book, do it. Start now. Develop a regular writing habit. And by this time next year, I may be reading your book.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of the book for yourself or as a Christmas gift you can find it here.

  • If you’d like a signed copy of the book (or the secret hardcover edition) please contact me directly at adam@theweaponry.com.
  • You can also find a copy of my new book The Culture Turnaround, co-authored with Jeff Hilimire, on Amazon or at Ripples Media.

What life has taught me about the importance of organizational culture.

On Monday my friend and former coworker Jeff Hilimire and I released our new book, . The book shares 9 proven ways to create an undeniable culture. A great culture is the X-factor that both magnetizes and propels an organization. When you get it right, you create magic. When you get it wrong you create the Los Angeles Lakers.

The “Before the Book” podcast

One of the most enjoyable experiences in the process happened last week. Jeff and I sat down to record a podcast talking about our life and career experiences that have taught us the importance of culture.

I loved recording the podcast. But it was weird how the book & phone floated near Jeff’s head the whole time.

This fun 30-minute-ish podcast covers:

  • Engauge: (How we found our momentum after highly disruptive mergers)
  • Weness: How it fuels culture. (So follow your weness.)
  • My Family’s 5 Most Things: One of them surprised and delighted Jeff.
  • Our families: I find it interesting that Jeff and I both have 3 sisters and no brothers.
  • Sports: We were both college athletes. (I talk about my college track experience and my high school football team.)
  • Bad bosses: (They teach us so much. Like the importance of finding a new job)

You can listen to the podcast here now.

If you are still looking for a great gift for people in your life, you can find The Culture Turnaround here. And you can find my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? 80 Life lessons the universe is trying to share with you here.

My new book, The Culture Turnaround launches today!

Good morning!

I am thrilled to announce that my new book is available today!  The book is titled The Culture Turnaround. It shares 9 Proven Ways to Create an Undeniable Organizational Culture. 

I have always been a huge believer in the power of culture. It is the secret ingredient that magnetizes humans to each other. Culture is what helps make families, teams and businesses greater as a collective than they are as individuals. (Plus, you can’t make yogurt without it.)

I first experienced the transformational power of culture through team sports. In high school, I was part of a state championship track & field team. And my high school football team made it to the state semi-finals twice. #GoMarauders! In college, I was a member of the University of Wisconsin track and field team that won Big 10 Conference championships in both my junior and senior years. #OnWisconsin!

In business, culture is one of the most important and least understood ingredients of success. My co-author Jeff Hilimire and I worked together at Engauge after our previous advertising agencies merged in an acquisition.

Instead of letting territorial battles ruin the new organization, our leadership team purposefully created a new culture based on ‘weness’ and high performance. As a result, Engauge flourished and began a new business win streak like I had never seen before. (#streakingthequad) This ultimately led to Publicis acquiring the agency.

I went on to launch the advertising and ideas agency, The Weaponry, and Jeff launched another great agency called Dragon Army. We also both started writing books to share our learnings with the world. (Which is easier than buying the world a Coke.) 

Today, Jeff and I share insights about what we helped created together at Engauge. The Culture Turnaround is a fictional story that shares how you can change the trajectory of an organization by focusing on its cultural foundation. The book offers 9 practical ways to improve your team culture or establish a great culture in a new team.

The book is available in paperback and on Kindle. The piece of wood is not included.

Where To Find It.

If your organization could use some help in the culture department, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of the book at Ripples.media/shop or at an Amazon website near you. The book also makes a great gift, which is good to know if you have any major gift-giving occasions coming up in the next, say, 13 days. #hohoho

I also encourage you to check out Jeff Hilimire’s first 3 books in The Turnaround Leadership Series. The first book focuses on leading like an entrepreneur, the second on leading through a crisis, and the third on building a great team. Then, along came The Culture Turnaround.

Let’s Talk!

If you would like to learn more about how to implement a great culture within your organization, please let me know. I’d love to talk.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Your future is the greatest mystery of all. But you get to write it.

I stopped into a bookstore at the airport in Minneapolis yesterday. Since publishing my first book 11 months ago I look at bookstores differently. Now I study them in great detail.

I am curious to know more about everything. The categories. The book cover designs. The titles. The displays. The shoppers. The best-seller list. The people who work in the stores who don’t look like they spend a lot of time in the sun. Or play sports.

Yesterday I was drawn to the mystery section. I noticed it was where the rockstar authors were. And the big names each had multiple books on the shelves. It was in the back corner of the store. The mystery books were clearly the smelly chunks of cheese that the owner placed at the far corner of the store to lure travelers through the bookstore maze to find the delicious story they want to read on their next flight to Des Moines or Myrtle Beach.

People love a good mystery. I used to read a lot of mysteries too. But now most of what I read is focused on self improvement. Because I discovered that the most interesting mystery of all is me. And my mysteries are endless.

  • Where am I going?
  • What am I going to do next?
  • What am I learning?
  • What plot twists lie ahead?
  • What is going to happen with all of these other characters in my story?
  • What kind of success will I have.
  • How much money will I make?
  • What don’t I know yet?
  • What am I about to figure out?
  • Where will I go?
  • How long will I live?
  • Who can it be knocking at my door? (Go away. Don’t come round here no more.)

Key Takeaway

Your future is the greatest mystery in life. You are both the reader and the author. Write an exciting next chapter staring today. Make yourself the hero. Add great characters. Surprise everyone, including yourself, with an amazing ending. Make it a story that inspires others to achieve their own greatnesss. But don’t wait. Because time is ticking.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Why I ordered new business cards that don’t even mention my business.

I recently placed my first business card order in the covid era. The demand for business cards plummeted when we were all locked at home. I tried to give my wife and kids cards just to feel like I was getting my name out there. But they told me they knew where to find me. And my mailman told me he already knew where I lived.

But by the fall of 2022, I had finally run out of my last business cards. Plus, The Weaponry, the advertising and idea agency I lead, moved to a new office in June. Which meant that we had important information to update on our cards. Like our physical address. I also updated the URL for this blog. Because the last time I printed business cards my blog was still called The Perfect Agency Project. But AdamAlbrecht.blog is shorter and easier to remember. Especially for me.

My Other Card

But I also decided to create another business card. One that didn’t mention my role at The Weaponry at all. You see, 10 months ago I published my first book, titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media. Since then, I have added the role of Author to my growing list of job titles.

Today, I have had so many conversations as an author that I felt like I should have a card that represented my role as an author and speaker. Plus Moo.com was having a 25% off sale. So I figured it was a sign from the universe.

The Design

On the front of the cards, I included a picture of myself, real estate agent-style. Sure, this helps people remember what I look like. But I felt like the picture matched the tone and style of both my writing and speaking. Which is fun, positive, and energetic. If I was a horror novelist and used this picture nobody would buy the book. Because I don’t look like I hunch in my basement dreaming up evil and grody stuff.

I title myself an Author and Speaker. Because I have found that people love to hear authors speak. I have had tons of speaking engagements over the past 10 months. And I have many more scheduled, including 3 speaking engagements within 5 days this fall. Not only do I really enjoy speaking, but I have also met a lot of great new people through the experience.

On the card, I note that I am the author of the book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? Although, I debated whether I should also include the other book projects I am working on. Including a new book that I have co-authored with Jeff Hilimire set for release in November, titled The Culture Turnaround. But I figured I could always order more cards as my little library of writings grows.

The front of the card includes hard-working contact information, like my mobile number, email, social handle, and book website address.

But like a good mullet, the fun side is on the back.

After talking to people about my book I always wish I could give them a few key lessons from the book to take with them. Like CliffsNotes. Only I cut Cliff out. So on the card, I included a list of 10 lessons from the book that fit 2 important criteria:

  1. They are important and useful to everyone.
  2. They are short enough to fit on the card.

I also included a picture of the book so that people would know exactly what it looks like. After all, Amazon sells every book title ever written about fortune cookies. And I didn’t want people to think that I went all Mark Twain and wrote the book under an assumed name like Bernadette Jiwa, Jennifer 8 Lee, or LuMing Mao.

Key Takeaway

Consider creating business cards for your roles beyond your day job. A side hustle, significant hobby, or volunteer position all warrant a special card. They make it easy to stay connected to others you meet in that role. And they provide great ways to share your skills, abilities, and interests with others.

Check out Moo.com for an easy way to make great cards quickly. Tell them Adam Albrecht sent you. If they ask if you mean the Adam Albrecht who is the Founder of The Weaponry or the Adam Albrecht who is the Author & Speaker, tell them both.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this idea, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

6 Great books I read in September that you should read in October.

While driving between The Weaponry’s offices in Milwaukee and Columbus this week I hit my max. No, not max driving speed. Or the maximum amount of time I could stand sitting. Which is a funny thing to say. I maxed out on the number of audiobooks I could listen to this month on my library app. My app (Hoopla) maxes out at 6 books per month. I hit 6 and would have kept going if they let me. But alas, I have to wait until tomorrow to get a fresh allocation of audiobooks. And another opportunity to use alas in a sentence.

Here are the 6 great audiobooks I listened to in September:

  1. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow.

This is a fascinating look at the one-time world’s richest man. It offers great inspiration for entrepreneurs and business humans. But it’s a great story of putting your wealth to good use for the planet. I was shocked at all that the Rockefellers helped create. It went well beyond the oysters and the ice skating center.

Rating: Read it to know how it all happened.

2. Truman by David McCullough. (2274 5-star reviews on Amazon)

This is about President Harry S. Truman’s remarkable life and impact on the world. The audiobook is over 50 hours long. And that doesn’t even include the movie with Jim Carey.

Rating; Read it if you have time.

3. Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg & Alan Eagle.

This was an amazing find about a guy named Bill Campbell who started out as the head football coach at Columbia. He then joined Apple and became the CEO of Intuit. He went on to coach some of the biggest icons and best companies in Silicon Valley, including Google and Apple.

Rating: Highly Recommend. And not just because Bill used the F-word a lot.

4. $100 Million Offers by Alex Hormozi

Hormozi is a highly successful young entrepreneur with a massive following uncommon for someone who typically wears cutoff jean shorts, wife-beaters and flannels. The book teaches you how to market great offers (what I might call offerings or deals) to help generated leads and close sales.

Rating: Highly Recommend.

5. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry

This is about the Mississippi River, attempts to manage the river, and the epic flood of 1927. Read this if you are into history, weather, or still need to learn how to spell Mississippi. I’d like to make this story into a movie.

Rating: Totes Recommend.

6. The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

This is a deep book that takes a look at what our minds and selves really are, and how they are untethered by our physical bodies. It has 26,196 reviews on Amazon. So you know it is better than Waffle House. This is a book you should read to think more deeply about who you really are at the highest level.

Rating: You Gotsta Read

Key Takeaway:

Keep Reading. Keep Learning. Keep maxing out the number of books the library will loan you if you want to maximize your investment in yourself.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+If you’re into books, also check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Why I changed the dedication in my book at the last minute.

In December of 2021, I accomplished a long-term goal when I published my first book. The book, titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? is a collection of 80 important life lessons the universe has shared with me. And because the great lessons of life are typically dispensed after enjoying some egg foo young and chop suey, the book title was obvious.

Surprisingly, one of the more challenging aspects of writing the book was deciding who to dedicate the book to. I’m sure that doesn’t seem that hard. Especially when compared to say, writing the rest of a 290-page book. But it was.

The Reasons:

First, I didn’t know how good the first book would be. After all, the first pancake on the griddle always turns out a little funky. So I didn’t want to dedicate a subpar book to someone really important to me. Although, I wouldn’t dedicate any book to someone unimportant to me. Hence the conundrum.

Second, from the beginning, I planned to write several books. So ultimately there should be several different dedications. Pairing each book with the proper dedicatee complicates things.

Finally, I wanted a simple, focused dedication. Not a long list of everyone I could ever thank. I would save that for the acknowledgements section in the back of the book. And for when I win an academy award.

Despite the challenges, I initially wrote a dedication that I liked. But late in the process, I altered the dedication several times. Which included both who I dedicated the book to, and what I wrote to them.

9 months after publishing the fortune cookie bookie I had more or less forgotten about the dedication dilemma. That is until this week.

A couple of days ago I opened the original digital layout of the book I received from my publisher, Ripples Media. The layout featured the original dedication. And while I am very happy with the final published dedication, I liked the original one too. It was playful. Yet meaningful. It featured both a pop culture reference and some humor. Which is my favorite kind of writing.

Instead of taking this dedication to the grave with me, I’d like to share it with you as a sort of deleted scene from my book.

The Published Version:

Dedication

To my children Ava, Johann, and Magnus. I hope this helps.

The Original Version:

Dedication

I’m dedicating this book to Casey Kasem. It’s a long-distance dedication.

But if I weren’t dedicating this to Casey Kasem (which I am), I would dedicate this to my grandfathers, Alton Archibald Albrecht and Kenneth Adam Sprau. The process of preparing the eulogies for your memorial services changed my life. It made me think about what is important and what lessons I will pass down to others. (I’m not sure if I have to mention that my grandfathers have both passed away or if the eulogy part made that kinda obvious.)

Why The Change

Ultimately, the fact that my grandfathers were highly unlikely to read the book, while my kids would at least crack the cover to see if their names were in the book, inspired me to dedicate it to my offspring.

Truth be told, Ava, Johann and Magnus are the reasons I wrote the book. I wanted to pass along a collection of the best lessons I have learned to them. Because even though I can’t be with them everywhere they go in life, they can always have the book with them. Even in prison. And as the book came together I could tell it was good, valuable, and something I could be very proud of dedicating to my children.

Key Takeaway

When you write a book, make it great, and dedicate it to people who may actually read your book. Who knows, it may inspire them to empty the dishwasher. At least that’s the dream.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.