Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?
I believe in writing as you speak. This means foregoing certain rules of grammar in order to maintain the flow. However, there is a HUGE difference between understanding the rules of grammar and choosing to bend them (or the occasional error as we are all human) and having your work riddled with horrible grammar simply because you are an idiot. The latter is unacceptable to me.
What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
Although I have a pretty unapproachable face, for some reason people have always shared really personal shit with me and have asked for advice. I tell them exactly how I feel with no sugar coating and people have always seemed to love it. Over time I started to enjoy it and felt fulfilled by helping. Now it’s what I do.
What inspires you to write?
Mostly, things that piss me off. I usually write in a fit of passion on a specific subject that happened to come up. It doesn’t always have to be anger, but that usually does the trick.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Inspired. Though there are times that I schedule myself to sit and write, but I do so knowing that just reading my notes on topics I plan to write about will trigger my inspiration and I will get in the zone. If I ever force myself to write while uninspired, I will almost always delete it later because it sucks when I re-read it.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I do. I love people like Robert Kiyosaki, Dan Kennedy and Michael Gerber. I typically only read books on Business, Finance or History. If it isn’t teaching me something I don’t have the time for it.
Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
Being myself. I can look back at writings in college or eBooks I wrote early in my business career and I still like the way they get the point across but it’s clear I was writing in a style that I felt I was SUPPOSED to. Now, I bend grammatical rules and say things that offend people. Since there is no sugar coat in my speaking, why should there be in my writing? Subsequently, it has helped me relate to people better. Not only is my style more sincere, but most people are bigger “potty mouths” than you would think.
Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?
Absolutely! I started this book about 10 years before I published it. However, I was trying to build businesses and move up through my career so I put it on the back burner for years. Finally, everything came together and it was time. Hell, I have already written half the content for my next few books too. One day, I’ll finish them up as well.
If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?
It would definitely be an eBook that I wrote in 2007/2008. It was called the Corporate Entities eBook and I wrote it as a marketing tool to attract new clients. It did VERY well. It was downloaded and shared more than I could have imagined. However, there are a few things I would like to add (and some small changes based on new laws) but most importantly I would like to do it in the same style as I now use. In fact, I have already added to my long term to-do list to rewrite it as part of the Time to Grab Your Balls series.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
It’s VERY important. It’s the basis of your marketing plan. I played with ideas for a long time on the cover. Then, while researching the best selling books in my genre, I realized that simpler was better. So I designed my own logo for use on the entire series and designed the cover to be super simple but eye catching. The name was a no-brainer; It was what I planned for years. Now I receive random messages through social media saying “I LOVE the name…where can I buy it?”
Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
The obvious answer is my swearing and the approach of saying what many others are thinking. It will definitely turn people off. Hell, the book says Balls right on the cover! But that just creates a deeper niche as far as I’m concerned. A better answer to what is different about my style is efficiency. Most authors use 30 pages to say what could be said in 10. I try to make every word of every sentence count. No one wants to hear me ramble, so I say what I need to say and then I shut up.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
163%. I say what I mean and mean what I say. On top of that, I include personal stories that I don’t necessarily WANT to share but I feel that they help at that particular moment of the book. It let’s people know that we all have our shit; They’re not alone.
Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Nope. They can’t reject that in which I don’t submit. I always knew I would self-publish due to one major reason…I am not changing a single word based on what a publisher feels is more P.C.
What do you do in your free time?
I coach baseball and football, hike, shoot, go to Gun Shows with my oldest son, play golf with my middle son and play legos with my youngest son. The absolute most important thing, however, is that I hang out with my wife. Whether we go out to dinner, relax in the backyard or sneak into the bathroom to talk about our day without being interrupted by the kids, my wife and I ARE each other’s free time.
What is the secret to becoming a bestselling author?
When I become one, I’ll let you know.
Writers are permanently depressed; how true is that?
That’s crap! If you are permanently depressed then your life is shit, regardless of your occupation. The idea that authors and artists and whomever else are sad, lonely, alcoholics and that is where they pull their inspiration is horrifying. These same people would be sad, lonely, alcoholics even if they were Doctors or Movie Stars. You either have your shit together or you don’t. This stereotype also begs the question…why the HELL would you want to read the work of someone so screwed up??
Do writers become narcissists once their book starts to sell?
If they do, it’s because they were narcissists before they started writing. Well rounded people do not begin to treat others like shit just because they made a couple bucks. Success is sometimes the timing that causes horrible personalities to be exposed but it’s rarely the reason those personalities exist. Show me a successful asshole and I will show you someone who was ALWAYS an asshole.
Which writer’s work do you believe most resembles your work?
I’ve never thought about it. However, there is a businessman that does a lot of videos people are familiar with that I believe has the same style as mine and I look up to him…Gary Vaynerchuk. He is the only person off the top of my head that shares my rough-around-the-edges-vocabulary, directness and true passion for helping others.
Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
Always. I either write them in my phone or jot them down on a sticky note. As I write, I go back and make sure every single idea is either added in the appropriate place or veto it as a dumb idea.
Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Not specifically a published author, but that I was destined for something bigger. Oddly enough, one of the first people to contact me after I published my book was my High School English teacher asking for an autographed copy.
Tell us about an interesting or memorable encounter you had with a fan?
Once I was speaking on the phone to a potential new client and I was extremely impressed with her Company Structure. I asked whom she had worked with to properly organize it and she responded that she did it all herself with the help of a fantastic eBook she downloaded. When we got off the phone she emailed me a link to some random blog that had been promoting the eBook. When I opened it, it was my eBook that I had written a couple of years prior. She was embarrassed that she hadn’t recognized my name and, needless to say, she became a client.