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.

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.

Why I am so excited about my upcoming book talk.

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from my good friend Matt Richmond. He was reaching out on behalf of the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce, which is the chamber in the community that I have lived in for the past 6 years since moving to Wisconsin from Atlanta.

Matt and the MTCOC (which sounds like a band name), were calling to invite me to speak at the Chamber’s September Luncheon on September 14th. Specifically, they wanted me to share lessons from my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

I figuratively jumped at the chance.

A Bit of Background

Nine months ago I published What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? with Ripples Media. The book is a collection of 80 of the best life lessons I have learned over my human adventure.

The book contains:

  • Lessons that have helped me as a record-setting college track athlete.
  • Lessons I have used as an entrepreneur to launch and grow my advertising and ideas agency The Weaponry.
  • Lessons I lean on as a high school track & field and youth football coach.
  • Lessons I use to develop and maintain strong relationships.
  • Lessons I use to get the most out of every day.

I am eager to share these ideas because they have been so valuable to me.

Over the past 9 months, I have given book talks all over the country. I have shared my learnings and lessons with students, clubs, and businesses. I have shared my ideas at conferences and with teams. I have been on TV shows and podcasts. I have signed hundreds of books for readers. And I have only spelled one name wrong. #oops

Molly told me to throw my hands in the air, and wave em like I just don’t care.

I wrote this book to help readers learn a little, laugh a little and lift a little. The consistent feedback I’m getting indicates that the book hits the target. I have heard countless stories from readers who have been inspired to do more, think differently and reevaluate their outlook.

Like this:

I’m 65 and not looking to start a business or even want to be motivated to do anything! I’m surprised that I not only enjoyed Adam’s humor, but I did become motivated to get going in a new chapter of life! 

-Jenee Sprau

And this:

It’s like a behind the scenes tour of how an ambitious, driven and successful person approaches life. Keep a notebook handy, this is full of gems!!

-Anne Norman

And this:

A terrific book for anyone who needs some a healthy dose of inspiration and a (good) kick in the pants! The bite size chapters are fun reads with loads of humor and actionable insights. Fortune Cookie is relevant for all ages and any part of life – careers, family, passions and hobbies. Pick up a copy and then pass it on to another person who you care deeply about.

-Ashley Gill

I’ve heard from people who have shared the lessons from my books with friends, family, and coworkers. (Which always looks like cow orkers to me.) There are numerous readers who have read the book, then bought 20 more copies to give away to others.

Me and some Mules at a recent talk in Missouri.

Please Join Me

I enjoy sharing my learnings on happiness and success with the world. But I really love the opportunity to share these lessons with my community. With business owners, leaders, and educators who also have the ability to positively impact my friends, family, and neighbors.

Speaking to the marketing group at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. Apparently, my hands are always in the air.

If you live or work near Mequon or Thiensville I would love to have you join the luncheon. I will share some of the best lessons I have learned about happiness and success. I’m hoping to inspire you to help make our community a better place to live and work. I will also try to make you laugh. Ideally, while you are eating or drinking something. Which is my favorite thing about talking at a luncheon.

You can register for the luncheon here.

Fun Fact: Thiensville is a village completely surrounded by the city of Mequon. It’s like our West Berlin. Or Vatican City.

+ If you are looking for a speaker to share positive ideas and inspiration with your organization, or to say something funny while people are eating, send me a note. You can reach me at adam@theweaponry.com.

The amazing moment that made writing my book worth the effort.

In December of 2021, I published my first book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? It takes a lot of effort to birth a book. The process is like running 3 marathons back to back to back. There is a writing marathon, a publishing marathon, and a promoting marathon. And the promoting marathon only ends when you quit. And I’m no quitter.

Is all that work worth it?

I wrote my book to help share the best life lessons I have learned with anyone interested in growth and self-improvement. I didn’t write the book for money. I didn’t write it to become famous. I simply felt that I had accumulated a valuable library of life lessons. And I felt that by sharing those lessons I could make my own valuable contribution to the world. Because teaching the world to sing and buying the world a Coke were already taken.

The feedback I have received has been extremely rewarding. Readers as young as 15 and into their 80s have told me how much they have enjoyed the book. I assume the 90+ crowd is too busy to provide feedback.

Leigh Peine

Shortly after my book was first published by Ripples Media, my client-friend Leigh Peine, Senior Director of Marketing and Client Solutions at Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), contacted me to say that she wanted to order copies of the book for her team to read like a book club. She then requested that after they all read the book we gather for a book talk.

Fast Forward

We gathered for our book talk 2 weeks ago. The ECE marketing team brought their copies of the book with them for me to sign. It was amazing to see a team show up at a talk with copies of the book that they had already read.

The questions asked by the group were different and deeper than they are at talks where people are first introduced to the book through the talk.

But the moment that stood out to me was when I saw Marybeth Gruenewald’s book.

Marybeth and her Technicolor Dream Book.

Marybeth, the Director of Global Initiatives at ECE not only read the book, she made the book her own. She flagged new and interesting ideas that stood out to her. She made notes. She highlighted lines. She turned the book into a beautiful piece of art. And her liberal use of Post-it Notes will likely impact 3M’s Q3 revenue numbers.

I was absolutely stunned when I saw Marybeth’s book. Not just because it was so interesting to look at, which it was. But this copy of the book visually demonstrated where a reader found value. Where they encountered ideas worth remembering. Where a new thought had reached them. Or where a new phrasing of an idea connected.

This book visually represents what I hoped would happen to people as they read. Their minds would light up and expand. Their brains would grow and add dimension, depth and texture. Their thoughts would brighten, and lighten and lift. (Oh my!)

Marybeth’s copy of the book is beautiful. I wish I owned it. (Perhaps I will make a replica of it in art class.)

Thank you Marybeth for bringing your copy of the book to the talk. Seeing it was one of the great pleasures of my author’s adventure.

Thank you Leigh for sharing the book with your team and organizing a talk. It was more rewarding for me than I can express. (Although I suppose this blog post probably expresses it fairly well. I’m just a big fan of hyperbole.)

Thank you Greg Haag, Leigh Peine, Melissa Ganiere, Marybeth, Zak Holochwost, Whitney Mosby and (joining via Zoom) Kimberly Hejec for your time and your interest in the book!

Key Takeaway

Share what you know. Pass along your lessons and learning and ideas. If it works for you, chances are it will help others too. We can all benefit from hearing new and differing perspectives. If you lead a team, find ways to introduce new ideas to keep your team learning and growing. Like Leigh Peine did for her team at ECE.

*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.

How deeply do you think?

Great ideas come from time spent thinking.

One of the best ways to think is to write.

Writing is like mining for ideas.

But with less black lung disease.

And more Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Every line you write digs deeper into a vein of thought.

The more you write, the digger you deep.

The digger you deep, the more you discover.

If you force yourself to sit down and write for an hour or 2 or 3 you will discover new thoughts and ideas that you had never considered before.

The pencil is your pick.

The pen is your shovel.

The keyboard is your drill.

Write to find new ideas.

Mine deep.

The more you write the more you will reach.

There are deeply buried gems waiting for you to discover.

But the only way to unearth them is with your writing utensils.

Scratch with each stroke.

Tap and type and claw toward those ideas.

Don’t stop short.

Get to the gold.

Discover the diamonds.

Mine for the motherlode.

The clues on the surface give you a starting point.

But the treasure is always deep below the surface.

Well below the obvious.

So write and find it.

Write fast and furiously. (Like Vin Diesel)

Write slow and smart.

Get to the spot where each word feels hard.

And important

And real.

And new

Go as deep

and

far

as

you

can

think

to

go.

Collect and share the great value in your stories.

A life is a collection of stories.  

Are you collecting yours?

If not, eventually they will be lost forever.  

Like when Goose didn’t take Meg Ryan to bed in Top Gun.

But if you collect your stories they can be revisited, remembered and shared, forever. Like 21.

There are many ways to collect your stories.

You can write them down.

You can capture them with photographs.

Or video.

You can record yourself telling your stories with audio.

Or video.

You can record others telling their stories of you with audio.

Or video.

You can share your stories in posts on social media.  

But ironically, if you only share your stories on social media stories they will disappear in 24 hours.

You can capture your stories in tattoos.

(Warning: Grandmas don’t love the tattoo genre.)

Capture your stories and you are capturing their immense value.

Because your stories contain lessons,

Entertainment,

Insights,

Inspiration,

Humor,

And history.

Key Takeaway

By capturing and sharing your stories you are contributing value to the world.

My book is 25% off for 25 hours on May 25th!

My book is on sale until on May 25, 2022! You can get it here now. But if you want the backstory of this promotion read on!

Making Things Happen!

I am a huge believer in the power of false deadlines. Your hopes, dreams, and goals will just float in infinite space until you set a deadline to make them real. The false deadline is my secret weapon to achievement. I’ve used it for everything from starting businesses, to writing books, to having babies. Ok, so I have never actually had a baby myself. But I am a member of a 2-person Baby Cooperative. And the co-op has resulted in 3 babies thanks to false deadlines.

The Book

During the Covid Lockdown in 2020 I gave myself an aggressive false deadline. I told myself that I would finish the first full draft of my first book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? by May 25. The book is a collection of 80 life lessons that have had a significant impact on my happiness and success. And lookie here! Lesson 33 is The Path To Great Achievement Is Lined With False Deadlines.

Why May 25?

I chose May 25 as my deadline to complete the rough draft for 2 significant reasons.

  1. It was the last day of the Covid lockdown in Wisconsin.
  2. It was my birthday.

Then I got to work. And just as planned, by May 25, 2020, I had the first full draft of my book completed. Thanks to that false deadline, I pushed myself to create a 50,000-word manuscript in just 2 months.

I then put the manuscript away for a couple months, as I was instructed to do by Stephen King in his book On Writing. This helps you gain perspective and come back to the manuscript with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. (And I assume it helps Stephen King figure out who should die next.)

Then, I set a second false deadline to finish the second draft of my book by the end of 2020. And just as planned, I finished that draft by December 27th. (My parents’ 51st wedding anniversary.)

Finally, I set a 3rd false deadline to have my book published by the end of 2021. And I hit that too. But it all started with the first deadline of May 25th. Because it’s the first step that matters most. (That’s chapter 9.)

This was the first time I held my book. Or maybe this was when I accidentally squirted lemon juice in my eye.

25-Hour Sale!

Now, to help celebrate this significant book day, and my birthday, I am having a 25-hour sale. Starting at midnight on May 25th and running until 1am on May 26th, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? will be 25% off.

That means that paperback copies will be just $12 on Amazon. You can buy up to 25 copies at that price! (Just kidding. You can buy 25 million copies if you like.)

Even better, the hard-to-find hardcovers are just $19.50. However, you have to contact me directly for those at adam@theweaponry.com. (You can also get the 1-day discount price on paperbacks from me too if you are in the Milwaukee area. (Otherwise Amazon is just as good.)

Author Adam Albrecht and NFL running back Jonathan Taylor. Or what I like to call A couple of Badgers and a book.

What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? is a great read of summer vacations. But it is also a great gift for graduates. So if you need to pick up something for that grad in your world, here’s a chance to do it for less.

Thank You!

Thank you for continuing to read my stories, ideas, articles and musings. Thank you for supporting my book and for helping share worthwhile ideas and inspiration. I hope you all have a Happy My Birthday!

Enjoy What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? for 25% off on May 25th by clicking here.

The new place you can now find my new book.

During the Covid Lockdown of 2020, I had a lot of extra time on my hands. (And on the rest of my body too.) To take advantage of all that extra time I decided to write a book. I published my paper baby just days before Christmas of 2021. Which means that the past 4 months have been full of exciting new experiences.

My book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media was uploaded to Amazon, on December 16th. It went live on December 18th. I ordered a copy and had the first physical copy of my book on December 19th. That Amazon is pretty amazing.

The moment this unassuming driver showed up with my first copy of my first book. (And I’m just assuming he was unassuming.)

As soon as I shared the news that my book was available I had friends and family members across the United States share that they had purchased the book. First, they sent me pictures of their orders or notes that they had bought the book. Then they started sending me pictures of their new books in hand. Which is mindblowing.

I have now seen pictures of my book in Canada, all across the US and in Mexico. (Keep the pictures coming!)

What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? has now been featured on Television and podcasts. I have been in local newspapers too.

Molly, Me and Tiffany on The Morning Blend. They wore red to coordinate with the book. I didn’t get the memo.

Covid Strikes Again

Because of a massive spike of Covid cases due to the Omicron variant, my in-person speaking opportunities and book talks have been largely delayed. My talks begin in earnest in April. Which is exciting for me. (But less exciting for Earnest and April.) I already have speaking events scheduled through the fall. (And I would be thrilled to add more.)

Now At The Library

Last week I had another new first. I donated a copy of my book to my local public library. As a new author, I was very curious about how the process of donating a book to the library worked.

Here’s how it happened.

  1. I sent an email to my local library introducing myself as a resident of the community who had recently published a new book. I shared that the book contained 80 of the most valuable life lessons I have learned throughout my life. I also shared links to TV appearances, newspaper articles and Amazon reviews to prove that this book was legitimate and worthy of a little shelf space at the local library. As a bonus, I added that I hadn’t been shushed at a library for many months.

2. I got no response.

3. I stopped by the library unannounced with a copy of my book and told the person at the check-out desk that I was a local resident that would like to donate a new book I wrote. The young man told me that I should talk to the woman at the information desk.

4. I walked 50 feet to the information desk and told the woman at the desk the same thing I told the young man at the front desk. She told me that she could take the book. So I handed it to her. And that was pretty much it. She told me it would take about a week for it to be added to the system. But they would try to work on it between all the shushing they had to do.

There was no ceremony. No confetti. No certificate of literary citizenry. And I didn’t get to meet Dewey Decimal.

Donating my book to the library day!

A few days later my daughter Ava announced that she was looking on the library website and found What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? available for checkout. I immediately logged in to see it too. Then I requested my own book from the library. Which was pretty cool. Yet also pretty dumb, since I have about 200 copies of the book at my house already. But I wanted the experience.

Stopping by to check out my book from the library. (Frank is never there.)

Yesterday I stopped by the library to pick up my own book. I entered the library and went into my semi-quiet mode (because I don’t have a Full Library internal setting. I walked to the area of the Frank C. Weyenberg library where they hold reserved books for pickup. And I found my book waiting for me.

Myself on a shelf!

It was interesting to see the book in library form. It looked like my book, but more official. It had a formal clear plastic protective jacket. I felt like my book had won the library equivalent of a Green Jacket for winning The Masters. Or a yellow jacket for induction into the NFL Hall Of Fame.

The book also had new markings. Including a couple of 14 Day Loan stickers, an official system sticker with the number 158.1 and the name Albrecht. Which seemed to be the equivalent to the Dewey Decimal system number, but perhaps newer and Deweyer.

My book, fresh from the library’s tattoo parlor sporting new ink.

The book also had an official barcode for checkout. This was my favorite part. It made it official. Seeing that barcode on my book let me know that my book, with my carefully collected and curated body of knowledge, was not just available on Amazon and at Winkie’s in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. But it was also now a part of the publicly available body of knowledge in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. Anyone in Ozaukee County can now access the most important lesson I know for free by clicking this link.

That barcode makes it official. Even if it’s not at a bar.

While the donation process of the book was anticlimactic and unofficially, the book itself looks like it is part of a special club. Which offered a special and unexpected reward.

Me checking out my own book. I practiced catch and release and immediately returned the book for the next reader to enjoy.

Key Takeaway

Share what you know. Create value. Offer it to the world. It may be more valuable than you think. The process itself will help you learn and grow and have more to share with the world.

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

+If you’d like to learn more about the book you can visit fortunecookiebook.com. You can buy it on Amazon. And if you live in Ozaukee County Wisconsin you can check it out here.

10 things I have learned from writing 700 blog posts.

Back in the fall of 2015, I knew I was going to launch my own business. It was such an exciting adventure that I decided to document it by starting a blog. But like so many big ideas (and Band-Aids on freshly washed hands), I didn’t know if this blogging thing would stick.

Well, it stuck.

Today I am proud to say I have published 700 blog posts. I don’t know many people in the 700 Club, besides Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker. The whole point of the blog was to share what I have learned. But through the process of writing this blog, I have learned a lot too.

My Learnings From Writing 700 Blog Posts.

I do this a lot.
  1. To do something big simply start with something small. The 700th post is not really that important. The most important one was the first post. Just like an estate begins with a single dollar put away, you need that first post, or first step, most of all. If you have a goal (of course you have a frick’n goal!) take the first step!

2. I found my writing voice. I started my career in advertising as a copywriter. So I wrote a lot. But I wrote in the voice of the brands I worked on. Writing this blog has allowed me to dial into my own writing voice. Most people who know me would say my writing voice is exactly like my speaking voice. (I am one of those people.) I simply write this blog the way I think and the way I talk. That’s my style. Once you find your style, writing becomes easier. It just flows out of you. Like pee.

2.5 You can write anything you want in your own blog. (See the last 2 words of the last paragraph.)

I started the blog when I started my business. Both have grown into healthy adults.

3. Develop your good habits. I never think about whether I am going to write in the morning. It’s totally automatic. Like that Pointer Sisters song. Writing is a strong habit for me. Sunday through Thursday morning I am in my office writing by 6:10 am. I write until 7 or 8 am. On Friday and Saturday mornings, I write, read or exercise. Studies show that it takes an average of 66 times to create a habit. Then you don’t think about it anymore. You just do. Today I just do. Like Whitney Houston in So Emotional.

4. A blog lets you take control. The world is full of gatekeepers who are trying to keep you out. They are trying to not let you in up in da club you’d like to be in. I prefer to make my own club. I love musicians who put their music on YouTube. Artists who put their work on Etsy. And Dancers who show off on TikTok. Blogs let writers show off what they can do without anyone else getting a veto vote. The most beautiful thing about technology today is that it empowers you to create and share. So, create and share any way you can.

5. You can be read around the world. I publish my blog on WordPress. This platform is read all over the planet. Today, my writings have been read in over 120 different countries. That’s pretty crazy. This past Valentine’s Day I wasn’t scheduled to publish anything. I was just going to enjoy being in love. But I had an idea on my drive to work. So as soon as I got to work I sat down and hammered out that additional idea and posted it right away. Within 2 hours that idea I had on my commute had been read in 30 countries. That’s wild. That’s WordPress. (That should be their new tagline.) (No it shouldn’t.)

A circle of my people.

6. It’s not about who you know. Before starting my blog and launching The Weaponry, my advertising and idea agency, I read The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffery Gitomer. In his book, he writes, ‘It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you.’ I took that to heart. By writing this blog I have been able to reach and connect with far more people than I could have met on my own. This has brought opportunities my way that I never would have had without the blog. That compounds over time. Like Compound W.

7. I think differently now. I have always been a creative thinker. I have always had a lot of ideas. But by writing a blog and needing to have new ideas to share 3 days a week you begin finding ideas everywhere. When I was a kid Tootsie Roll had a commercial with a jingle that said, “Everything I think I see become a Tootsie Roll to me.’ And the kid in the commercial saw Tootsie Roll-shaped things everywhere. Now, I am like that kid. Except, instead of seeing Tootsie Rolls I see business lessons, creative lessons, marketing lessons, and the ever-popular life lessons, everywhere. My finder is finely tuned to detecting lessons because of the blog. That has been one of the greatest gifts of writing this thang.

8. The Blog Was a Gateway Drug. I didn’t know it in the beginning, but the blog was just the start of something bigger. Eventually, all that writing built into more. I have now published a book, and have more books in the works. I don’t know how far this will go. I guess we’ll find out together.

The first time I held my own book. I didn’t know yet not to cover up my name.

9. Getting Paid To Write. All the blogging I do is free to read. I have never made any money directly from any of my blog posts. But people who read the blog encouraged me to write a book. So I did. And while writing a 50,000-word book is more challenging than writing a 500-word blog post, it is a natural extension of what I have been doing for 6 years. Three months ago I published my first book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? with Ripples Media. Now I get paid a royalty every time someone buys a book. Which is exciting. Because it demonstrates that I am providing others with value through my writing. Which is rewarding in multiple ways.

Me at a recent book talk at the Milwaukee Athletic Club.

10. Getting Paid to Speak Throughout my career I have spoken to many different groups. But since writing my book the opportunities have mushroomed. Despite having written 700 blog posts, it was the next step of writing a book that has made people seek me out for speaking engagements. Today I have paid speaking engagements lined up into August and September. By paid engagements, I mean that I am either being paid directly to speak, or the organization I am speaking to is buying books for attendees, or some combination of the two. The key learning here is that I wouldn’t have these opportunities through blogging alone. But I wouldn’t have written the book if it weren’t for the blog. Which means that first, you have to get started. Then you have to keep pushing yourself to the next level for greater rewards.

Key Takeaway

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. And to get to 700 blog posts you have to first write one. But if you create a good habit it will compound over time, leading to bigger and better results and open doors to new opportunities. I don’t know where all of this will lead. But I am certainly glad I started 6 years ago. I encourage you to start that thing you have always wanted to do by taking that critical first step. If you have already created a good habit and developed some positive, value-creating work, ask yourself what’s next? Keep challenging yourself to take that next step. And make it worth writing about.

> For more of my lessons on blogging check out these past posts:

What I have learned about blogging after 200 posts.

12 things I’ve learned from writing 300 blog posts.

+To see where all this writing has led check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

Start with 1 blog post and you just may end up with your own book in 3 formats.

A fun thing happened to me on a recent flight.

Last week I was on 8 different airplanes. Not at one time of course. On 7 of those 8 planes, I didn’t talk to my seatmate. But on my flight Wednesday evening from Detroit to Columbus I had a great conversation with a fun and friendly woman traveling from Greensboro, North Carolina. When she asked me where I was coming from I said Milwaukee. She replied that she was a traveling nurse and that she had recently traveled to nurse people in Milwaukee at Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital

I told the woman that one of my great friends was an emergency room doctor there named Dr. Michael Brin. She said, “Oh, yes, I definitely know his name.” She probably found it on a list of the smartest, funniest, and sexiest E.R. doctors in Milwaukee named Michael Brin. Because he would totally dominate that list.

After establishing that she lived in Worthington, Ohio (Which is Columbus for those of you not down with the 614) she asked me what I did for work. But as soon as I opened my mouth to answer, the flight attendant cockpit-blocked me by jumping on the mic to make her unnecessarily loud announcements.

So I waited a moment. And during a break in the announcements, I tried to respond to the question. But the flight attendant came right back with more announcements.

This pattern repeated comically for quite some time. It reminded me of that scene from Austin Powers when he goes to the bathroom for the first time after being frozen for 30 years. And he keeps interrupting the voice declaring ‘Evacuation Complete’ with more tinkle noise.

After awkwardly trying to share what I do for work for about 2 minutes with no success, I noticed the copy of my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? that I had tucked into the seatback pouch in front of me. I reached down, slid the book out of the pocket, opened it to the author bio page on the inside back cover and handed it to my seatmate. I said, ‘Read this.’

That’s my book on a plane. Which sounds much less ominous than snakes on a plane.

My seatmate questioned, ‘Is this your book?’ I nodded ‘yes’. Then she proceeded to read the efficiently crafted story of me on the About the Author page.

I quickly recognized that having my book bio handy was the most efficient and effective way to introduce myself to a seatmate. In fact, we should all write an airplane bio, and have it added to the airline’s app. It should be accessible to the people sitting adjacent to us on our flights so that we can know who we are sitting near, what we may have in common, and whether they are on the sex offender list.

My seatmate asked if she could read the reviews on the cover. Which of course I encouraged her to do. I said, ‘Read anything you want. In fact, flip to the table of contents, find a chapter title that interests you, and read that. It was a fun experiment for me to see what someone who stumbles upon my book may find interesting.

The first chapter she picked out was ‘Fill your attitude with helium.’ Which is a great chapter. Within 10 seconds of flipping to that page, she laughed out loud. I asked what made her laugh. It was the reference to all the painstaking research I had done to discover that life is hard. She LOLed several times during that chapter. Each time I asked what made her laugh. It was fun primary research for an author on what kind of humor works in a book.

The next chapter she explored was very important. Chapter 63, Everything changes when you exchange names. This chapter is about how we transform from strangers into friends when we exchange names. Which was odd, because we hadn’t yet exchanged names. But during the reading of this chapter, she stopped reading, and she told me her name. Suddenly, she was no longer my seatmate. She was my new friend, Leslie, from Worthington, Ohio.

Me and my new friend Leslie. And a very tiny woman over my shoulder.

Leslie and I spoke the rest of the flight. We talked about our shared experiences. Our travels and our spouses. We took a selfie, just in case I would need it for a blog post. Which of course I do.

After we deplaned like Tattoo from Fantasy Island we walked through the CMH terminal together and decided to take another selfie by a Columbus sign. She then shared, that she would like to buy a copy of the book, and asked if Amazon is the best way to do it. I said that was a good way (and for most people around the world Amazon is the best way to buy my book.

I then said, ‘But, if you are interested, I have a couple extra copies with me, and I have a QR code that you could scan to pay instantly.’ She said, ‘Yes! Let’s do that!’

Me and Leslie in Columbus. But you probably figured that out without the caption.

I handed her a new copy of my book. She scanned the QR code, which popped open a simple payment field. Then Leslie asked if it would be awkward to ask me to sign the book for her. I said, ‘That’s not awkward. Everybody asks that. It’s like signing a high school yearbook.’

So I pulled out my trusty non-smeary-smudgy Sharpie pen. Because I always carry one now for such occasions. I grabbed a nearby seat and signed my new friend Leslie’s book. After I handed her the book, we hugged. Then she headed to the baggage claim and I headed to the rental car shuttle.

As I sat on the shuttle bus, waiting to leave the terminal I was thinking about what a fun experience that was on a random Wednesday night flight to Columbus. Then I got an alert on my phone telling me that Quickbooks received payment for a book. Imediately after that, I heard a voice say, ‘Hey stranger!’ It was Leslie and her baggage claim bag. She once again sat next to me. This time it was by choice because we were friends. I took another pic to chronicle this chapter of the story.

Leslie and her new book. (Which sounds like a children’s book title.)

Apparently, the universe had us well magnetized that day. Because we ended up walking to the same rental car counter too. (I rent from Hertz, because of OJ). But soon, we were in our rental cars and separated for the first time since Detroit. And I was thankful for the whole experience.

Key Takeaway

The greatest thing about writing a book is the new people I have met as a result. From the people at Ripples Media to the people that I meet at book talks, signing events, or on planes. It is the people who reach out to me because they have read the book, or got it as a gift and plan to read it. Writing a blog a book or a good social post can help introduce you to more people around the world. And at the end of our days, the only thing that will matter is the impact we had on each other. So put more good into the world, and more good will come back to you. And much of that good is likely to be good people. People like my new friend Leslie. From Worthington.

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

+If you would like to check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? for yourself you can find it at FortuneCookieBook.com.