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.
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.
It was the last day of the Covid lockdown in Wisconsin.
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.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.)
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 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!
An interesting life is simply a collection of interesting experiences. This week I added to my collection by guest-hosting The Morning Blend on TMJ4 in Milwaukee.
It all started during the Covid Lockdown of 2020 when I decided to fill my newfound free time by writing a book. That book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? was published by Ripples Media in December of 2021. A funny thing happens after you write a book. Not only are people interested in what you wrote, but suddenly people are interested in what have to say too.
My friend Mike ‘Borto’ Bortolotti (I have no idea where Borto’s nickname came from) introduced me to his friend Molly Fay, host of The Morning Blend on NBC in Milwaukee. Borto shared that I had recently written a book and that he thought I would be a great guest on the show.
Soon after that introduction, Molly’s co-host, Tiffany Ogle, posted a question on Instagram asking what new book she should read next. Over 20 people insisted that she read What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? So she reached out to me too. That afternoon I delivered copies of my book to both Tiffany and Molly, and within a week I was a guest on the show via Zoom. You can watch the segment here.
Then a couple of weeks ago, Molly called me to say that Tiffany was going to be on vacation at the end of April and that they had guest hosts lined up for all but one of the days she was going to be out. Then she popped the question. (When I typed the last sentence I initially typed a double O instead of a double P in popped...)
Molly asked if I was available and interested in guest hosting on April 27. I quickly checked my calendar to see if the current date was April 1. It was not. Which was crazy. So I checked April 27, and thankfully I was available. So I quickly agreed.
Then on Friday, April 15th I received another call from Molly, saying they just had a cancellation for the Tuesday, April 19th show. She wondered if I could pull together a segment in time. I said I would. And like a certified letter, 2 business days later I arrived on set, and talked to Molly and Tiffany about how to create Power Habits. You can see that segment here.
This Wednesday was my guest-hosting experience. I received a list of questions that Molly planned to ask me ahead of time. I received a rundown of the show segments that I would be involved in. This included the opening chitty chat, an interview with Tyler Mader, whom I was super impressed with, and the Sound Off Question of The Day responses.
I began Wednesday morning by putting on clothes because they have a dress code that requires it. I showed up at the studio 30 minutes before the show went live. I met with Molly and the producer, Katie Pinkowski. They gave me a few pointers and reminders. Like don’t chew tobacco on-set. Don’t say Let’s Go Brandon, even if Brandon calls in and asks for some encouragement. And resist the temptation to say Scotch, Scotch, Scotch, I love Scotch, or Stay Classy San Diego on air.
I skipped the makeup chair as part of my Men, You Are Beautiful without Blush campaign to empower guys to not feel pressured to wear makeup on camera, on stage or in the bedroom.
I got mic’d up by Dorraine. And I told her the next time I would wear a spandex shirt so she would really have to work to fish the wire up my shirt. Then, about 3 minutes before 9am CT Molly and I made our way to our chairs. Ben gave us our countdown, our camera cues, and pointed at us to get the party started. You can see the opening segment here.
At 9am sharp cheddar (Wisconsin Time) we were off to the races. It was fun and fast. I never had time to get nervous. Mostly because Molly is a pro.
Thanks for the opportunity Molly, Tiffany, Katie and Kim. Thanks for the on-air chat Tyler. Thanks to Ben for keeping things rolling. Thanks for the mickity-mic check Dorraine. And thank you to all of my friends and family for encouraging and supporting me before and after the show aired.
Write a book. It opens the door to amazing new opportunities. Then make sure you take advantage of your opportunities. Because as JFK said, ‘Things do not happen. They are made to happen.’ So make sure to make things happen for you.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
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.
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.
What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? has now been featured on Television and podcasts. I have been in local newspapers too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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:
In 2016, after having been an employee of three successful companies for 19 years, I became an entrepreneur. I left behind the predictable employment, the benefits, the 401(k) and the Free Lunch Fridays.
I pushed all my chips to the center of the table and bet on myself when I launched the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry.(The chip reference was supposed to be a poker thing. Not a potato chip thing. #JustClarifying)
But when I left my job as the Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director of the largest advertising agency in Atlanta to start my own business it never seemed crazy to me. Because I knew a lot of other people who had started successful businesses. They seemed a lot like me. And they all looked like they were fed, sheltered and clothed. (Wait, yep, they were definitely clothed.)
I knew a bloggle of bloggers before I launched this blog.
I knew a stockyard of people who invested in stocks before I bought stocks.
I knew a neighborhood worth of people who owned rental property before I properly rented my property.
You Are Becoming More Like The People You Spend Your Time With.
Your peer group is your mirror group. To upgrade your likelihood of success upgrade your friends. Surround yourself with doers and diders. It creates positive peer pressure that pushes you to do better, more impressive things. The Joneses I know are badasses. And I want to keep up with all they are accomplishing. (Shout out to Bryan, Jill, Adam, Patti, Garrett, Kristen, Sharon, Courtney, Arnita and Rachel! Sorry you guys didn’t make it into that new truck commercial.)
Your friends are your on-ramp to success. Surround yourself with others who have already done the next big thing you want to do. It decreases the perceived degree of difficulty. It increases the odds of you successfully completing the same challenge. And the more successful your peers are the more insight they offer to all you can accomplish in your lifetime.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
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.’
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.
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!’
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.
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.
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.
We all have multiple identities that form our self construct. When you were young they were simple. You were a boy or girl. A son or daughter. Maybe a brother or sister. Or perhaps you saw yourself as a Bo, Luke, or Daisy.
As you grow, evolve and participate in more activities you add identities. You become a student, a girl scout or a baseball player. Throughout your schooling and into your career your identities expand and multiply in interesting ways. All of which morph your self construct, without the need for hallucinogenics.
Your identities influence how you see yourself. But they also determine how the world sees you. Your identities help broaden your self-image and give you more flavor, complexity and stability.
Here’s a partial view of my identity stack:
Dude ( I recently entered this when asked for my gender)
Red Sox fan
Perpetually but non-offensively immature
In the past year, I have added a surprising number of new identities to my self-concept. Especially for a seemingly full-grown human.
Before last spring I would never have called myself a coach. Despite the fact that I coached a youth flag football team for 3 seasons. That just felt like the type of coaching that non-coaches do because the kids need a coach to be able to have a team. In other words, I simply identified as a dad doing some coaching. It’s like a dad playing the role of a chaperone, instead of adding the identity of bodyguard, or animal tamer.
But last spring I became a legit high school track and field coach when I started coaching the shot put and the discus for Homestead High School’s girl’s track and field team in Mequon, Wisconsin. In fact, 2 weeks ago I attended an all-day and all-evening event for track and field coaches in Madison. That really made me feel like I should walk around with a whistle or a stopwatch around my neck. Although you don’t really need either of those things to coach the shot put.
Then, last fall I began coaching youth tackle football. That was a multiple-times per week thing. With real strategy, conditioning and hype. I have a logoed polo, a hat and a picture of me and other coaches and 16 boys in full uniform looking very serious together to prove that I am now also a youth football coach.
The week before Christmas I published my first book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? Now, I add author to my self-identity. Despite the fact that I have been a blogger for nearly 7 years, author feels different. It’s more official, more difficult to attain. More respected by others. And authors get asked to sign their books way more often than bloggers get asked to sign their blog posts.
It’s hard not to add the author identity when the internet adds it for you. Here is how my online footprint has expanded since I published my book:
The other surprising new identity that I have added to my self-construct is Speaker. I have done a lot of public speaking throughout my life. Over the past couple of decades, I have seen myself as a business professional speaking about what I do or things I know. But now it feels different.
Since I published the book I have received many requests to speak at local, state and national events. I have booked 6 speaking engagements in the past couple of weeks. It is an exciting and enjoyable new addition to my self-identity. And it helps me spread more positivity and inspiration with the world. Like Jonny Fortunecookieseed.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, at the end of January I also got my first dog ever. Now I add dog owner or dog haver or whatever this makes me to my life resume. It may seem like a small thing compared to the attention you receive as an author, entrepreneur or public speaker. But when you come home to that wagging tail and face licks it is special. And when I am picking up dog poo, it’s hard to deny that I am a real Dog Dad.
Adding to your self-identity keeps you growing and evolving. More self-identities not only make you more interesting and creative, they add to your stability and resilience. Multiple identities help expand your social circle. They expand your reach and influence. The more identities you have the less likely that any one of them has the ability to negatively impact you. Conversely, the successes you experience in any identity helps to add to your overall self-esteem. All while making you a more interesting and valued contributor to your family, friends, communities, and planet. So go on with your bad selves.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
I had a fun start to my day yesterday! I was a guest on The Morning Blend, a great morning talk show in Milwaukee hosted by Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle. Although I admit, I thought the show would be about all kinds of blends, you know, like blended foods, blending into a crowd, and blended families. But it turns out the name is some kind of play on coffee. Who knew.
We discussed why positive thinking is so important, and how it contrasts with negative thinking. We talked about the first thing I put on in the morning. We cracked open some fortune cookies on air. And we discussed the mindset needed for entrepreneurship.
We also talked about the challenge of finding a venue big enough for my book signing. Which was meant to be a joke. Because when I had to fill out the guest information form for the show it asked if I had a book signing event that I wanted to promote. But thanks to the Covid spike, bookstores and libraries are holding off on hosting live book talks and signing events right now. So instead of simply saying ‘no’, I wrote, ‘We’re still trying to find an event large enough and the proper crowd control for a book signing.’ But I love that Molly and the producer, Katie ‘Guestinfo’ Pinkowski shared my silliness on air.
When I sat down to write my first book, I believed it would be pretty good. After all, I planned to fill it with some of the most valuable life lessons I have learned so far. I planned to make it positive. And I planned to sprinkle humor throughout the pages as a reward for readers who invested their time in my book. Because Bezos knows that readers have a lot of other options.
But now that the book is published, it doesn’t really matter what I think anymore. What matters now is whether or not the people who read the book like it. I first announced that my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? was available on Amazon on December 20th, 2021, just days before Christmas.
Friends and family immediately began telling me they ordered the book. They sent me pics of their order confirmations from Amazon. Then, as the books were delivered, I started receiving pics from all over North America of people with their books in hand, ready to read.
As people began reading the book I felt as if I was in that scene from the movie Ratatouille when the kitchen staff presses against the window to the dining room to watch the diners try the soup that the rat made. The staff all desperately wanted to know how the diners would react. Only in my case, the soup is a book. And I’m the rat.
Then the feedback started coming in. I received texts and emails, phone calls and DMs. Today, it has all become really real as reviews have begun popping up on Amazon and GoodReads. For authors, this is the moment of truth. (Or perhaps I should say the moment of non-fiction.)
I couldn’t be more pleased to know that people have been enjoying the book as much as I hoped they would. Which is really important. Because as the author you can’t possibly reach all the potential readers yourself. So you need readers to become advocates for your book. The reader-reviewers become the champions offering social proof to the rest of the world that they tried it and liked it. Like Mikey and his Life Cereal. Reader-endorsements give people confidence that others like them enjoyed reading your book. So it is highly likely that they will enjoy it too.
Seeing these initial reviews gives me confidence that there are good things ahead for this book. But enough of me talking about people talking about the book! Here’s what real readers who have read What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? are saying about the book.
An excellent job Adam. There are so many important nuggets (cookies) that show us how to focus our efforts and make use of our most valuable resource (time). This book will never be far from my desk and will be dog-eared in short order.
I highly recommend “What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?”! I originally bought it for my Kindle, but am also going to buy the paper copy to fill with post-it notes and underlining. The life lessons Adam Albrecht passes on in this book are simple, doable, and applicable to people of all ages. As a 51-year-old mother in the twilight of my mothering career, I am eager to bring this information into the next chapter of my life – “Why Not Me? (Chapter 37)”. I am taking Adam’s advice and am going to “let my brain run and play” (Chapter 53), find the secret language that I was born with (Chapter 75), forget my limits like Phil Knight of Nike (Chapter 29), take action and apply The Paper Principle (Chapter 53). Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Adam! The ROI on this book is definitely worth it! (Chapter 70)
Whether you are looking to reignite your fire, find motivation/hold on to motivation, find ways to improve (personally and professionally) or jumpstart your goals, this book will get you there. It’s an easy/fun read where every chapter leaves you with actionable items that you can implement in your daily life. The book is so well written and people of all ages will find value (currently reading out loud with my 10-year old!). I’d give it 10 stars if Amazon would let me! Read it, then read it again!
Saw this book posted on LinkedIn by a colleague. Ordered it on Amazon and read the entire book on January 2. A very motivational way to start off the new year. I would highly recommend picking up your copy today. No matter where you are in your career or life, there are tidbits, fresh insight, new perspectives and pearls of wisdom that either open your eyes, provide you with your own “aha” moment, or simply reaffirm your thoughts that need confirmation. #BadgerAlum
Adam has written an amazing collection of stories and pieces of advice that can help anyone focus in on what they can improve about their careers, hobbies, and lives. From talking to strangers more to orienting your schedule to be more productive, you can find some aspect of your professional or personal life to change. Perfect for early-to-career people.
There is no better marketing for a product or service than the endorsement of a happy customer. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to tell others about the book. It is a great reminder to share good news about good products, services and experiences. It helps put more good into the world. Which makes the world a better place.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.
I dreamed about writing a book for a long time. But I never had the time or focus to make it happen. Then came Covid. I quickly recognized that the Covid lockdown, which began in March of 2020, was a golden opportunity to write something significant. So I did. I emerged from the lockdown with a 50,000 word first draft of a manuscript. And a Boo Radley-type of tan.
Today the book that only existed in the back of my mind before Covid is now all of the United States. Just as the baby bird learns to fly and leaves the nest, my paper baby has left the printer and learned to hitch a ride with an Amazon delivery driver.
I realized during the fun interview with podcast host and entrepreneur Jeff Hilimire that I hadn’t answered most of the questions he asked me before. No one had ever interviewed me as a published author before. No one had read my book and asked me about the details. No one cared about my inspiration, because they didn’t know I was inspired. And no one knew about chapter 56.
I am happy to have my first interview complete. But I recognize that I will become better at telling the story of my book and of me as an another as I do more interviews. I am preparing now. So if you know a podcaster, blogger, vlogger, reporter, or a student who needs to do an interview for a school project, send them my way. I’ll be ready.
Don’t worry about not being great when you start something new. Simply start. Learn. Then get better as you go. Each attempt will teach you how to prepare better for the next time. Stack your learnings. And let your accumulated experiences make you greater and greater as you grow.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. If you would like to read the first few pages of my book from Ripples Mediayou can do it here.