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.

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.

I had a totally messed-up travel day. And it was amazing!

On Monday I flew from Milwaukee to Cleveland for work. I was excited about the trip. And not just because I have seen all 3 of the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Videos. (If you haven’t seen them before take a moment now. You’ll thank me later.)

The trip had been planned for 5 months. And you know what they say about the best-laid plans…

Here is a list of things that went wrong with my travel:

  • My Sunday morning flight from Milwaukee to Cleveland was canceled.
  • I was rebooked on connecting flights 24 hours later.
  • My return flight from Cleveland to Chicago Monday evening was delayed by 4 hours.
  • I missed my connecting flight from Chicago to Milwaukee.
  • I arrived in Chicago at 11pm Monday night.
  • All rental cars were sold out.
  • There were no buses to Milwaukee
  • I had to spend the night in Chicago.
  • On the way to my Chicago hotel the cab driver kept taking wrong turns and turned a 15-mile cab ride into a 25-mile ride.
  • I had to sternly talk to him about his mistakes and let him know I wouldn’t pay for them.
  • I checked into my hotel at 1am
  • Tuesday morning I had to take a bus from O’Hare Airport to Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Field.
Getting my work on, on a bus!

That Was Interesting

It’s easy to say I had a terrible trip. But it was amazing! I would do it all over again in a second. Here’s why.

1. The Talk

The travel to Cleveland was for a speaking engagement. I got to talk to teachers, and teachers of teachers, at the NAEYC 2022 Professional learning Institute. (To know what NAEYC is just click the link.)

Here’s me and one of my slides. Which is not as fun as a slide on a playground.

I shared lessons from my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? The audience was amazing. They listened intently, asked great questions, laughed at the funny parts, and they made the whole trip worthwhile, even with all the surprises. Thanks to my friend Jenn Koel for inviting me to speak.

Look, no one is asleep!
Talking to attendees and signing books.
Me and Jenn Koel of ACCESS. Jenn was one of the first people to request a speaking engagement after my book was published.

2. The Once In A Lifetime Experience

After my talk, I thought I would have an uneventful flight home. But my flight from Cleveland to Chicago was fouled up by the epic thunderstorms that rolled through Chicago like a Garth Brooks song on Monday evening.

If you know your Great Lakes geography (I know most of you don’t), you know that Cleveland lives a few hundred miles east of Chicago. And if you know your garden variety weather patterns, you know that weather typically flows from west to east.

This means that a flight from Cleveland to Chicago would pass a storm system traveling from Chicago to Cleveland like 2 youth sports teams high-fiving each other after a game. #GoodGameGoodGameGoodGameGoodGame

And that’s exactly what happened with my plane and that thunderstorm.

Once our 6:45pm flight finally left Cleveland around 10:30pm we started seeing flashes through the windows on the right side of the plane. However, I was in a window seat on the left side of the plane. Boo.

As a storm lover, I was eager to see what was happening on the other side of the aisle. (Kinda like a political pundit.)

When we first pushed back from the gate in Cleveland 4 hours earlier the plane was completely full. But because of the delays we returned to the gate and deplaned like Tattoo from Fantasy Island. Many of my flightmates were rebooked because of missed connections. So when we finally reboarded for The Windy City about 1/3 of the seats were empty.

I looked around and noticed the exit row on the right side of the plane was now empty. So I snuck down the aisle and slipped over to the window seat. I eagerly peered out the airplane window. And I was awestruck by what I witnessed.

I have been in a hurricane. I have seen the northern lights in Alaska. I have seen thundersnow. And I have seen lightning strike the same place twice within minutes, just yards from where I was standing. But none of the epic Mother Nature shows I have seen were as intense as what I saw out that little plane over Northern Ohio and Indiana.

The strobe lightning was non-stop until we reached Chicago. I filmed and photographed the storm so I could share what I saw.

On Tuesday, while riding the bus from Chicago to Milwaukee, I shared a video on Twitter. Fox News retweeted it. Then I was contacted by numerous media outlets asking if they could reshare the video. I have also been asked for interviews about the experience. Crazy right?

Here’s the video I shared. Note: that is NOT a time-lapse video. This all happened in real-time.

I assume someone below yelled ‘Rat Farts!’ on a golf course.

Here’s another video I took that you are seeing here first.

This pairs nicely with the song Thunderstruck by AC/DC.

The Twitter Activity

In 24 hours this has been seen over 14,000 times on Fox’s Twitter account alone.

Key Takeaway

Look for the good things in life and you will find them. Because of this trip, I made new friends, I enjoyed new experiences and I was able to share some of the best lessons I know with people who were eager to hear them.

Because of my flight delay going home, a window of opportunity opened that allowed me to witness the most incredible light show I have ever seen. (Sorry Trans Siberian Orchestra Pyrotechnics Director.)

After hours of delays, the view out of my window was so incredible and lasted so long, that I would have paid money and waited again just to see the show.

I will forget about the time I spend waiting for the plane. I won’t worry about the night I had to spend in Chicago or the bus ride back to MKE.

But I can never unsee what I saw out that plane window. So I’m not mad. Not even a little. I’m thankful for the opportunity, and the experience.

Remember to look for the great gifts that are wrapped in bad paper. And you will accumulate more rewards than you can imagine.

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

+If you enjoy a good life lesson, you’ll find many more in my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Special shout out to my new friends Vijay Shah and Apshara Ravichandran whom I met on my flight from Chicago to Cleveland Monday morning. #Row27Crew

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.

I guest-hosted a TV show!

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.

The first time I was on The Morning Blend. I was the meat in a Lady in Red sandwich.

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.

My second appearance on the show, talking about Power Habits and demonstrating the 2-handed hand gesture.

Guest Hosting

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.

Can you tell I was excited about the opportunity?

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.

You can see my opening to a segment on farming and Culvers here.

You can see my interview with Tyler Mader here.

This was my favorite part of the show. It is the last few minutes of the show when Molly and I talked about fruit...

Tyler ‘The Smiler’ Mader, Molly ‘The Magic Maker’ Fay, and me.

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.

Key Takeaway

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.

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

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.

Surround yourself with rockstars who have already done what you want to do.

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)

Me and a wall at The Weaponry.

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.)

My man Troy Allen started a design agency before starting the wildly successful Rise Brands.

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.

I knew dozens of authors before I wrote my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

Writing my own book didn’t seem hard. Not even the hardcover.

Always Remember:

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.)

My college teammate Bryan Jones is hard to keep up with, but I am trying.

Key Takeaway

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.

+ If this type of thinking resonates with you, you will also like my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

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.

Are you still adding to your identity?

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.

I’m a father, adventurer and Corn Palace visitor.

Here’s a partial view of my identity stack:

  • Father
  • Husband
  • Son
  • Brother
  • Uncle
  • Friend
  • Christian
  • Entrepreneur
  • Creative
  • Marauder
  • Badger
  • Dude ( I recently entered this when asked for my gender)
  • Vermonter
  • Wisconsinite
  • Adveritisng professional
  • Blogger
  • Patriots fan
  • Bucks fan
  • Red Sox fan
  • Perpetually but non-offensively immature
  • Exerciser
  • Initiator
  • Problem Solver
  • Homeowner
  • Adventurer

Adding Identities

In the past year, I have added a surprising number of new identities to my self-concept. Especially for a seemingly full-grown human.

Coach

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.

This was my best day of coaching. All 4 of my athletes threw their best ever. And I wore the shortest socks I own.

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.

Me and Magnus after our last game of the season. We played on turf, which is why neither of our uniforms are dirty or grass stained.

Author

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.

The time my first book emerged from its brown, paper Amazon cocoon. (As seen on the table.)

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:

  1. If you search my name at Amazon.com you will find my book here.
  2. Beyond carrying my book, Amazon has an Adam Albrecht Author Page which you can see here.
  3. My publisher, Ripples Media also feature’s an author page which you can see here.
  4. There is a website for the book here.
  5. I also have a Boothy set up for giving online book talks that you can find here.

Speaker

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.

Me speaking to a round table at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. Here I am demonstrating the starting position for juggling watermelons.

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.

Dog Owner

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.

Key Takeaway

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.