How to share your best ideas all over the world.

In the fall of 2015, I decided to create a new blog. I had tried writing blogs several times before. Most of them didn’t go anywhere. I hoped that this new blog would be different. Like Nuprin. Or Zima.

Starting At Zero

I started at zero. Zero posts. Zero readers. Zero subscribers. Zero requests for me to write anything. It was just me and my computer, creating new blog posts out of cursors and keystrokes, the way Doogie Howzer used to do it before he met your mother.

I write to help readers learn a little, laugh a little and lift a little.

Adding Value

I just started writing lessons and learnings I found valuable and that I thought would be valuable to others. I shared what I was learning about entrepreneurship as I launched the advertising and ideas agency The Weaponry in 2016. I wrote about marketing and creativity. I wrote about positive thinking and self-improvement. And I wrote a story about a woman who tried to save me from salmonella poisoning and plane crashes at a Piggly Wiggly.

Developing The Habit

I felt like the Time-To-Make-The Donuts Guy from the Dunkin Donuts commercials of my youth. That guy got up every day, without fail, and would make donuts, day after day, because the world needed donuts. He had created a donut-making habit. I created a similar habit at 6 am every day. Only I was writing, not baking, glazing, sprinkling, and holing.

The Compounding Effect

The compounding effect of a habit repeated over time is remarkable. It often sneaks up on you, like the way you catch a unique rabbit. At the start of 2023, I looked at the statistics page on this little blog project and I noticed 3 things that surprised me.

Adam Albrecht Blog Surprises

  1. I have now been writing the Adam Albrecht Blog for 8 years. I determined this through rigorous data analytics where I took the current year (2023) and subtracted the original year of publication (2015).
  2. I have published 828 blog posts.
  3. I saw the world map of where my blog has been read.

Here’s the map.

By writing day after day for years the blog has been read around the world. In fact, it has been read in 170 Countries or territories. According to Google and The United Nations (of Benneton), there are 195 sovereign nations. (And one seven-nation army.) One of my favorite statistics is that there are 38 countries that have at least triple-digit reads.

Notable countries that are boycotting this boy’s blog:

  1. Iran (So far away)
  2. Cuba (Gooding Jr.)
  3. North Korea (De Janeiro)

I get that those countries don’t allow people like me to just wi-fi into their countries, spreading positivity and pop culture references. So I am not hurt.

But then there is Greenland. That large landmass in the north apparently wants nothing to do with me. This has been a source of frustration for me for years. I just can’t seem to crack the Greenland market.

French Guiana is the only other area in the Americas that is not down with the AAB (Adam Albrect Blog). I don’t know if it is their Frenchness or their Guiananess that is to blame.

The Lesson

I started this blog at zero. I have never done any paid promotion of this blog. Yet, the ideas I have shared here have been read by people all over the world, thanks to the power of the internet and the WordPress platform.

By writing at least 5 days each week for years I also developed habits, ideas, and stories that enabled me to write my first book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? In the book, I shared 80 of the best life lessons I have learned. But it never would have happened if I hadn’t first started this blog.

I have now published 2 books, thanks to the writing and publishing habit I developed through this blog.

Key Takeaway

The key to long-term success is to get started. First comes the action. Then comes the accumulation. Studying doesn’t get you success. Planning doesn’t. Goals don’t. Actions do. Habits do. Simply not stopping does. So get started today. And just keep going.

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

+If you found value in this read, please subscribe to this blog to have new posts delivered fresh 3 times per week.

Do you listen to audiobooks? (Here’s an easy opportunity to be mentioned in mine.)

A year ago this week, I published my first book, titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? The response to the book has been extremely rewarding. People have appreciated the book enough to write great reviews and gift the book to others. And so far, no school districts, governments, or Tipper Gores have banned or burned the book.

But over the past year, there is one question I have been asked over and over, again. (Like Tim McGraw and Nelly.)

“When is the audiobook version of your book coming out?”

I would love to have an audio version of the book. I listen to audiobooks all the time. They are great to listen to when I am driving. Because I have found that when I read regular books while driving bad things tend to happen.

The book is currently available in paperback, hardback, and digitalback.

However, I wrote this book in my writing style, which also mirrors my speaking style. My ‘voice’ contains regular, random asides and uncited pop culture references. Because I wanna know who really gets my jokes. (And I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?)

Because I wrote the book in my voice, readers have insisted that I also record the audiobook. Which means that I have to find the time to read and record the audio version.

Recording the audiobook entails reading for about an hour each morning, day after day, until I finish the 290-page book. I would read first thing in the morning to ensure a consistent sound to my voice. And I expect I can only read for about an hour before fatigue would make me sound less enthusiastic than listeners deserve.

I am considering making the recording an End-of-2022 Project. But before I wake up and read my book to myself and my recording device for a couple weeks I have 2 questions for you.

1. Do you listen to audiobooks?

2. If so, where and when do you listen to them?

Your Opportunity:

Please leave your response below, text me at 614-256-2850 or email me at adam@theweaponry.com. If you provide your feedback, and I do record the audio version, I’ll include you in my acknowledgments section of the book. Heck, you can even game the system and share this with all your friends and family. Whoever responds will get included. (If no one responds and I record the book anyway, I will dedicate the book to crickets. And the sound of silence.)

Key Takeaway

It’s easy to make the mistake of creating products, services, or entire businesses with no natural audience. Before you jump into creating something new, do a little market research to see if there is an audience interested in what you are about to create. That way you ensure you invest your time, energy, and money into projects expected to offer good returns.

*If you know someone who would like to be mentioned in an audiobook, please share this with them.

+If you still need an inexpensive Christmas gift written to help readers learn a little, laugh a little and lift a little, you can find What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? here.

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.

Add one valuable new thing to your life every day.

During the 25 days leading up to Christmas, it’s a tradition to count the days with an advent calendar. Each day this calendar is opened to reveal a daily gift. There are a variety of themed calendars. Some offer a good bible verse, a small toy, a chocolate, a saying, or an ornament. (I’m holding out for the mini-oven calendar, where you open a tiny oven door to remove freshly baked muffin tops every morning.) But regardless of the theme, these calendars provide a daily gift to look forward to each day as we get closer to Christmas. Kinda like the Lifetime Network.

For the self-improver, life is like an advent calendar. Every day there is a new gift to be discovered. A new quote. A new idea. A new relationship. A new source of inspiration. A new motivation. A new goal. A new lesson. (And in New Hampshire there is a new Sununu.)

When I wrote my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I collected 80 of the best life lessons I have learned and shared them with the world. Many of the people who read the book tell me they use it like an advent calendar. They read one of the 2-4 page lessons every day. Then they apply the new idea, knowledge, or skill to improve their life. As the author, this is extremely rewarding feedback. As the author, it is extremely rewarding to hear that other people get as much out of the lessons I share as I did.

Key Takeaway #1

Commit to making your life a living, breathing advent calendar. Look for your daily gift that makes you better. Then add that new lesson, story, saying, person or idea to your personal treasure chest by writing it down in a journal. When you do you will quickly transform that once-empty journal into the most valuable book in your library. Remember, when you condition yourself to find a daily treasure the treasure will surely appear.

Follow Up…

Within a minute of writing this post, I got a text from my friend Molly Fay, host of The Morning Blend on TMJ4 (NBC) in Milwaukee. She wrote that they had a cancelation for the next day’s show, and wondered if I could fill in. I responded with an enthusiastic Let’s do this! Then she asked if I had a topic in mind related to the upcoming holidays.

I replied, ‘Yes! Advent Calendars.”

The next morning (yesterday) at 9:00am I was on set with Molly and co-host Tiffany Ogle sharing this idea on TV. You can watch the segment here.

Me, Molly, Tiffany, my book, a yellow couch, and two Yeti cups. No partridge. No pear tree.

Key Takeaway #2

Be the kind of person others can turn to when they need help. Because at the end of our days the only thing that really matters is the impact we have on each other.

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

+If you are interested in daily life lessons for yourself or as a gift, check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Your future is the greatest mystery of all. But you get to write it.

I stopped into a bookstore at the airport in Minneapolis yesterday. Since publishing my first book 11 months ago I look at bookstores differently. Now I study them in great detail.

I am curious to know more about everything. The categories. The book cover designs. The titles. The displays. The shoppers. The best-seller list. The people who work in the stores who don’t look like they spend a lot of time in the sun. Or play sports.

Yesterday I was drawn to the mystery section. I noticed it was where the rockstar authors were. And the big names each had multiple books on the shelves. It was in the back corner of the store. The mystery books were clearly the smelly chunks of cheese that the owner placed at the far corner of the store to lure travelers through the bookstore maze to find the delicious story they want to read on their next flight to Des Moines or Myrtle Beach.

People love a good mystery. I used to read a lot of mysteries too. But now most of what I read is focused on self improvement. Because I discovered that the most interesting mystery of all is me. And my mysteries are endless.

  • Where am I going?
  • What am I going to do next?
  • What am I learning?
  • What plot twists lie ahead?
  • What is going to happen with all of these other characters in my story?
  • What kind of success will I have.
  • How much money will I make?
  • What don’t I know yet?
  • What am I about to figure out?
  • Where will I go?
  • How long will I live?
  • Who can it be knocking at my door? (Go away. Don’t come round here no more.)

Key Takeaway

Your future is the greatest mystery in life. You are both the reader and the author. Write an exciting next chapter staring today. Make yourself the hero. Add great characters. Surprise everyone, including yourself, with an amazing ending. Make it a story that inspires others to achieve their own greatnesss. But don’t wait. Because time is ticking.

*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.

My new podcast interview is out. And we talk about everythang!

There are 2 main reasons that people want to hear you tell your story.

  1. You have experienced success and others want to hear how you did it.
  2. You have failed in a spectacular way and people want to hear how you did it.

I’m not sure which category I fall into.

But I was recently invited to sit down with the great Justin Honaman to record an episode of his ContenderCast Podcast. Justin interviews entrepreneurs and people doing interesting thangs. I either qualified or found a useful loophole.

Like you, I was not born an entrepreneur. In fact, I spent 19 years working for someone else. But in my early 40s, with a significant mortgage, 3 kids and a wife that I really wanted to keep, I switched from Team Employee to Team Entrepreneur when I launched the advertising and ideas agency, The Weaponry.

When I started the agency I also started writing the Adam Albrecht blog, which now has 775 published posts. Most recently, I published my first book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? Did I mention I also juggle? (And jiggle.)

If you want to hear more, check out the podcast. I share my backstory that led to my front-story. I talk about a lot of different stuff. And Justin asks great questions.

Things I talk about on the podcast:

  • Growing up in Vermont
  • My track & field success, setbacks and comebacks
  • My college track & field experience at the University of Wisconsin
  • My advertising career
  • My real-life advanced degree in business
  • How the universe turned me into a mid-career entrepreneur
  • How you can become a mid-career entrepreneur
  • Launching The Weaponry, the advertising and idea agency
  • The inspiration behind the name The Weaponry
  • The technology we used that made us pandemic proof
  • Sharing financial information with our team
  • The No A-Hole Rule
  • How and why I started the Adam Albrecht Blog.
  • Why blogs are amazing platforms for sharing ideas
  • Recognizing the power of positive messages
  • How I wrote My new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?
  • My next book on organizational culture with Jeff Hilimire
  • If you’ve read this far you might as well just listen to the whole podcast
  • How to continuously upgrade your thinking
  • Why I collect keys
  • The first thing I do every morning
  • The 2 questions my wife uses to inspire my career progress.
  • Much much more!

If you want a quick and entertaining recap of my story you can hear the podcast here. Or look for the ContenderCast Podcast from your favorite podcast dealer.

Have a great weekend!

-AA

The best first step to take to be highly successful.

Last week I was a guest on the ContenderCast Podcast with host Justin Honaman, Justin interviewed me about entrepreneurship, and the things I have learned by launching and running the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. We discussed lessons from my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? And we talked about his transition from Diet Coke to Coke Zero. (This paragraph has been brought to you by Coke Zero.)

I can’t wait for the podcast episode to drop. I expect it will change my life the way Sara Blakely’s life changed when she went on the Oprah Winfrey show. So don’t be surprised if the world starts wearing my undergarments too.

Advice

One of the great questions Justin asked me was, ‘What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?’

My answer was clear and instant:

Spend time with people who have already done it.

But that advice is not specifically for want-to-be entrepreneurs. Or wantrepreneurs.

It is the best advice I can share about any type of success and achievement.

The best way to achieve a massive goal is to spend time with people who have already done what you want to do.

When you spend time with superstars their mindset rubs off on you. Unlike tickets on the Polar Express, their mindset is transferrable.

Spending time with high achievers is like going to a Success Optometrist. They help you see success in much greater detail. You see the actions they take, the mindset they have adopted, and the relationships they develop and maintain.

When you see those things up close you realize that you can do all of those things too. Suddenly, your belief in what is possible expands. Your risk tolerance increases. Your view of money transforms. And your excuses fade away.

There is an intelligence that increases with increasing levels of success. It can appear mysterious or unattainable from a distance. But once you have a front-row seat to higher levels of success, it demystifies the process. It’s like seeing how magic tricks are actually performed. You quickly realize there is no magic. There are simply skills developed, practiced, and perfected until it looks like magic.

Key Takeaway

Seek out successful people. Step into their orbit and let their positive peer pressure propel you. Notice the way they act, read, and think. Modify their approaches to your needs and style. Soak up the education and inspiration. It will change your life like nothing else can. Because when you are close to those who model the behavior you want to see in yourself you can’t help but replicate it. It’s like a language immersion program. Only the language is success. Soon you’ll notice others who want to get close to you and learn how you do what you do. That’s when you know it works.

*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.

Why I am so excited about my upcoming book talk.

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

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

I figuratively jumped at the chance.

A Bit of Background

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

The book contains:

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

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

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

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

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

Like this:

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

-Jenee Sprau

And this:

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

-Anne Norman

And this:

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

-Ashley Gill

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

Me and some Mules at a recent talk in Missouri.

Please Join Me

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

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

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

You can register for the luncheon here.

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

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

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

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

Is all that work worth it?

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

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

Leigh Peine

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

Fast Forward

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

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

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

Marybeth and her Technicolor Dream Book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaway

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

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

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

Why I do so much public speaking and why you should too.

Over the past 5 months, since first publishing my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I regularly get asked if I do any public speaking. The simple answer is an emphatic Yes! (And an emphatic Yes! is also the basic message of most of my public speaking.)

The truth is I never turn down an opportunity to speak if there is a chance I can work it into my schedule. Not just because I enjoy it. But also because it is my way of passing along all of the lessons, insights and encouragement that the world has shared with me. Plus, you usually get a free bottle of water.

UW Credit Union hooked me up with 2 bottles of water!

I enjoy offering motivation and encouragement. I like to teach and share lessons from my own experience. Which is why I think about the following philosophy when I am asked to speak at an event:

“The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

-David Viscott

I also love to entertain. If I would have been born with more funny bones I would love to have been a standup comedian. (But alas, I only have the two not-so-funny bones in my elbows.) So when I get asked to speak I always try to find opportunities to make the audience laugh. And occasionally they will.

My recent speaking events include a book talk to a marketing association, company meetings, guest lectures, and 3 TV appearances.

Talk show talking with Molly Fay.

Over the next weeks and months my speaking engagements include:

A Career Day event for 8th graders. (A notoriously tough and attention-challenged crowd. I’ll probably resort to some potty humor to keep them engaged.)

Moderating a panel discussion Tomorrow morning I’m hosting a panel at American Family Field with some interesting and well-known panelists. (Which is sure to induce some panel envy.)

A talk in Cleveland for a large conference. (I hope they don’t throw any of those Cleveland rocks!)

Speaking to the leadership team of a very large household brand in Columbus. (Ok, so it’s really more of a Garagehold brand.)

Speaking to a conference in Chicago about branding. (I had to assure attendees that they would not be getting their hide seared.)

Several association meetings. (I’d like to create a talk titled, ‘Is there an ass in your ociaton?’)

• Guest interviews on podcasts

Plus, I have at least 5 other events in the planning stages.

Talking to the Milwaukee Athletic Club about how to carry 2 watermelons at once.

These speaking events are great opportunities for me to share what I know with the world. I get to pass along energy, enthusiasm and positivity. And I get to remind people that they are responsible for writing a great story of their own life and career every day.

I love the challenge of taking what could easily be a boring and forgettable event and turning it into something fun, entertaining and inspiring. Which is why I get so many speaking requests. And why I am often asked to fill the last slot of the day. (I’m the Keep-Them-Awake Specialist.)

Key Takeaway

If you have great experience and a positive perspective you should share it with the world. Look for opportunities to speak, educate and inspire. Not only will others learn from you, but you will learn from the experience too. The process of sharing with others forces you to organize and crystalize your own thinking. Which means everyone comes out ahead.

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

> If you are looking for someone to speak at your next event you can reach me at adam@theweaponry.com.

+To learn some of the life lessons I like to talk about, check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.