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

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

The first time I held my paper baby.

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

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

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

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

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

New friends in Missouri.

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

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

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

The ultimate copy of my book.

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

My guy Adam Emery reading in St. Croix.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Other Card

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

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

The Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Reasons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Published Version:

Dedication

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

The Original Version:

Dedication

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

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

Why The Change

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

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

Key Takeaway

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

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

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.