Be more you in 2022.

Here we are at the beginning of a new year. Just as each new day presents an opportunity for improvement, each new year presents an opportunity to write a great new chapter in the story of your life. You get to decide if this year brings rising action, a plot twist, the climax, falling action, or if pages are missing and the story doesn’t make any sense.

Remember, Life is Short and Precious.

Last Thursday night I received the type of call you never want to get. My brother-in-law, John Scufsa’s mom, Pat Marsnik, was killed in a terrible car accident. She was out with her husband Ray and brother Bob celebrating Pat and Ray’s wedding anniversary when another driver crossed into their lane near Ely, Minnesota. The accident put a final period on an outstanding story. Pat was in her early 70s and still full of twinkles. She had been an important member of my family for over 25 years. She was a wonderful, warm, friendly, funny woman who no one here on Earth was ready to part with it.

But let Pat Marsnik’s unexpected passing be a reminder that our time here is limited. You never know when your final page will be written. You have to take advantage of the time you have been given. Just like Pat did.

My Mantra for 2022.

There is a phrase that has been pinging in my brain the last few days: Be More You in 2022.

It is a reminder to do more of the things that your ideal you would do. Take on the great challenges. Grow. Go. Improve yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Develop more and better relationships. Mend fences. Heal wounds. Build bridges. Read. Learn. Travel. Go snipe hunting. Try the Rocky Mountain oyster BOGO special.

In 2022 you have to do things on your bucket list. Take initiative. Take on greater challenges. Do things that scare you. Make the year an amazing part of your story.

There is a very good chance that this is the year that Covid shrinks from lion to house cat. That’s not just my wishful thinking. There is data and science behind it, as reported in this article in the New York Times titled Reason For Hope. (Which I only read because I thought it was going to be about Bob Hope.)

Key Takeaway

Get going. Live your life as if you don’t have a lot of time left to become who you always wanted to be. Pick a couple of big things to focus on this year. Add some small, easy wins. Get a little bit better every day. And be more you in 2022.

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

If you are looking for more positive ideas on growth and self-improvement check out my new book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

I did my first podcast about my new book.

I dreamed about writing a book for a long time. But I never had the time or focus to make it happen. Then came Covid. I quickly recognized that the Covid lockdown, which began in March of 2020, was a golden opportunity to write something significant. So I did. I emerged from the lockdown with a 50,000 word first draft of a manuscript. And a Boo Radley-type of tan.

Today the book that only existed in the back of my mind before Covid is now all of the United States. Just as the baby bird learns to fly and leaves the nest, my paper baby has left the printer and learned to hitch a ride with an Amazon delivery driver.

I’ve seen pictures of What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? in homes from California to New Hampshire, and from Florida to Oregon. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.

My little friend Drew Lowsley delivering a book in Dallas. If I could get him to deliver all of my books like this I’m sure I would top all the bestseller lists. #DarnChildLaborLaws

Now I have started interviews about the book. Which is an interesting process. It forces you to answer questions like:

  • Why did you write this book?
  • Who is the book for?
  • Why are you the perfect person to share this message?
  • What was the inspiration for chapter 56?
  • Why did you say that entrepreneurship is a game that is sometimes Monopoly, sometimes Go Fish! and sometimes The Running Man?
  • Why didn’t you prepare more for this interview?

My first interview on Jeff Hilimire’s Begin The Begin podcast is available here now. Or you can find it by visiting your favorite podcast dealer. But hitting that link above is pretty easy, so I would just do that.

Jeff and I had a really fun discussion about my book and his interesting role in bringing it to life.

I realized during the fun interview with podcast host and entrepreneur Jeff Hilimire that I hadn’t answered most of the questions he asked me before. No one had ever interviewed me as a published author before. No one had read my book and asked me about the details. No one cared about my inspiration, because they didn’t know I was inspired. And no one knew about chapter 56.

I am happy to have my first interview complete. But I recognize that I will become better at telling the story of my book and of me as an another as I do more interviews. I am preparing now. So if you know a podcaster, blogger, vlogger, reporter, or a student who needs to do an interview for a school project, send them my way. I’ll be ready.

Key Takeaway

Don’t worry about not being great when you start something new. Simply start. Learn. Then get better as you go. Each attempt will teach you how to prepare better for the next time. Stack your learnings. And let your accumulated experiences make you greater and greater as you grow.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them. If you would like to read the first few pages of my book from Ripples Media you can do it here.

Writing a book is like running 3 different marathons.

This is a really exciting week for me. And not just because of Christmas and that Michael Buble Christmas Special/Bubly Sparkling water commerical on NBC last night.

This week I published my first book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? It’s a project I have been working on for nearly 2 years. You may think that publishing a book is like running a marathon. It is not. It’s like running 3 different marathons. So you will want to carb up before hand.

The 1st Marathon

The first marathon starts with the idea for the book. It includes all of the researching, writing, and re-writing. It ends when you think you have something worth sharing. Sharing your manuscript is kinda like getting into good enough shape that you wouldn’t mind if someone saw you naked. It’s kinda awkward. You’re kinda proud and excited. But you don’t know how you stack up against the other people your publishing partner has seen naked. It’s fun and interesting. As long as they don’t pull out a laser pointer to point out your remaing flaws.

The first step to writing a book is to sit down and write. Or stand up and write if you have one of those stand-up desks. But that doesn’t sound as good. So sit down to start, just so that you can say you did.

The 2nd Marathon

The second marathon is getting the book published. Which includes researching your publishing options, deciding whether to self-publish, other-publish, or a hybrid option. (I published with the amazing team at Ripples Media.) Then you work to eliminate all of the flaws in your book and add anything that may be missing. And things will definitely be missing. This part is like preparing to go to the ball. You get a literary spray tan, botox, and mani-pedi. You get your eyebrows on fleek. You get your hair did. Then you are ready to jump in your carriage, which was recently a pumpkin, and head to the Amazon Ball.

There is my new baby book on Amazon! (I now keep this picture in my wallet.)

The 3rd Marathon

Today, I am at the very beginning of the third marathon. My book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? is published and available on Amazon in both physical and digital form. It’s easy to assume that this is the finish line. It is not. It is critical to remember that getting your book published is simply the end of the second marathon. Now it is time to let the world know your book exists.

A beautiful finished book is a powerful thing. Perhaps the most powerful thing on Earth after the human mind. Because a great book can teach, inspire, entertain, and make you snort cofee out of your nose.

But people have to know about your book in order for it to do the job it was born to do. Others have to be aware that the book exists. They need to understand that there is real value in the book for the reader. They need to know that other people read the book and felt like it was worth their time and their money. Which is why you need to promote the book.

People will also want to know about you, the author. Who are you? Why did you write the book? What is your story? What is the story behind the story? Who have you seen naked? Did you use the laser pointer on them?

Me talking to a class at Marquette Univeristy. Letting people know what I know.

The author’s story is often the bridge to the book itself. This is why the big publishing companies would rather work with famous people. The public has already bought into them. So they will naturally buy their books too. I know it’s lazy, but it’s true.

Key Takeaway

When you commit to writing a book, commit to running all 3 marathons. Write a great manuscript that offers real value to others. Publish your book. Then promote it so that it can have the greatest positive impact on the world. And we all have a world-improving book in us. I hope you write yours.

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

The path to perfection is like making pancakes.

I am not a perfectionist. Perfectionism is a curse. While it pushes you to create the highest quality result possible, it is paralyzing. Because life is not perfect. And if you need it to be you are highly unlikely to get the first version of a new creation out the door in time to make a difference. A difference to you, to the world, to those you can serve.

Instead of a perfectionist’s mindset, I have adopted a pancake-making mindset. If you have ever flipped a flapjack you would bet Mrs. Butterworth that the first pancake won’t turn out quite right. There is some combination of temperature, oil, and griddle seasoning that can’t seem to get synchronized in time to make that first pancake just right. So it always falls short of the glory.

But don’t let that frustrate you. Ask yourself, ‘What would Denny of Denny’s do?’ (#WWDODD or simply #WWDD)

The Prince of Pancakes would work through that first pancake and get to the next round of griddl’n. Because the improvement in the next batch of pancakes is always remarkable.

Real World Example

Right now I am putting the finishing touches on my first book called, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? And I can’t help but think that I have done something wrong in the creation of this book. Maybe I should have made it different in some way. Maybe it should have been longer. Or shorter. Or funnier. After all, I never sprayed milk out my nose while proofreading it.

Maybe my dedication is off. I reworded it about 25 times. (Which shows my dedication to my dedication.) Maybe my bio is too unbio-y. Maybe I didn’t finish it early enough, which caused me to miss the bulk of the holiday gift-giving window. Maybe I shared too much value and would have been better off splitting it into multiple books. Like a cliffhanger-ending double-episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. #yeeeeehaw

Instead of letting my second-guessing about the book stop me, I’ve pushed through. It is my first pancake. I have to make it to be ready for something even better to follow. The second printing of the book would be better. The next book I write will certainly be better in some way.

I have no shame or embarrassment in this. Neither should you. It is how life works. You go and do and try and learn and improve. You can only do what you can do with the conditions as they exist. Each new attempt means that you add more experience to the conditions. Which gets you closer to the ideal. It is the process of perfecting over time that I enjoy. Like a good pancake, covered in real Vermont maple syrup.

Key Takeaway

Don’t be afraid to make your first pancake. It will be less than perfect in some way. But simply by making the first one you will improve, learn, and grow. That is how you make amazing things. Make your first version, and let the challenge of improvement drive you to keep improving. Keep stacking up your attempts like pancakes. It is the true path to perfection.

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

Have you written a book? Or want to?

I am in the final stretches of publishing my first book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? And there is still so much I don’t know about publishing and successfully promoting a book. However, I know how to ask for help. And I know there are a lot of published authors in my universe. If you are a published author I would love to have you join an Author’s Zoom call.

We’ll talk about your author’s journey. Which is like a hero’s journey if authors were heroes, fighting for those in need with word processing software. We’ll discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what you would do differently next time. You know, the basic advice you would give to pre-published you with the wisdom and experience of authorized-you.

The Author Zoom will be author-to-author education. It will also be a chance to promote your book. Which is reason enough to attend. #amIright

The preliminary discussion guide:

  1. Tell us about your book?
  2. How did you publish it?
  3. What was the best thing you did to promote it?
  4. What did you do wrong?
  5. What were your most important learnings?

If you are a published author and would like to join, please leave a comment, or message me directly here or at adam@theweaponry.com. I plan to have this Zoom call in December so that we can all hit the new year with actionable new knowledge.

Epilogue:

If you haven’t published a book, but have been thinking about it, and would like to join the Zoom as a student, please let me know. And please pass this along to any authors or aspiring authors you know. And if you know any Arthurs, let’s get them there too.