Not by following conventional wisdom

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Commissioned from Conrad Javier — Rights owned by Author

Every author’s dream is for their first book to be a breakout bestseller. Unfortunately, that happened to me.

It’s unfortunate because if I had produced ten more just like it, I might be rich today. But when you have a bestseller, you compare everything else you make to it. If it’s your first book, that can cripple you, as it did me.

How did that book become a bestseller?

Before we get into what I did, let’s talk about what I didn’t do.

I did not:

  • Spend money on advertising
  • Have 10,000 followers on social media to spam it to
  • Revise the book until it was…

Common Sense Business Practices That Aren’t So Common Anymore

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by Shopify Partners from Burst

When my boss approached me to help him run his small business, he had two contracts with total revenue of $365k per year. I had run my own businesses in the past and knew a lot about the industry he operated in. With our shared values about how a business should operate, we had a great foundation for growth.

Fast-forward 16 months, and we’ve grown our small business by $100k per month to revenue of $1.95M. Here’s how we did it.

Don’t Concentrate on the Money

Except for Gary Vaynerchuk, anyone peddling advice these days has their focus in the wrong place. …


Control your emotions or suffer the Paperwhite Kindle Kata

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Photo by Ilya Shishikhin on Unsplash

In the first years of the 21st century…

So begins Equilibrium, the super cool movie that earned Christian Bale the role of Batman. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

The story conflict of Equilibrium centers around what the Grammaton Clerics call “sense crimes” — observing anything that causes you to feel emotion. It was determined that the ability to “feel” is what caused violence among humanity. Take away the capacity to feel, establish world peace.

Easy peasy.

A real-world Equilibrium

While we have physical books, we maintain control of our knowledge — it’s hard to censor what’s on someone’s shelf. But what if we give in to the Digital Age? …


You deserve to live well

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Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

This article features affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase at the linked-to site, the author will receive a commission.

When we allow negativity into our lives, we only hurt ourselves. Negativity breeds all sorts of harmful traits, like:

  • Anxiety
  • Hatefulness
  • Selfishness
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem

And many others.

Psychologists say that we are hardwired for negativity.

“We recall insults more than praise and remember traumatic experiences better than negative ones.” — Verywell Mind

It may feel impossible, but we can overcome this negative bias. According to a former monk, Jay Shetty, three values offset a negativity-focused mind. …


If not, how do you fix it

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Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

As teenagers, life ahead of us seems fantastic. We have so many dreams.

  • Become a basketball all-star
  • Raise a family
  • Master the martial arts
  • Travel

As we age, we lose sight of some of those dreams. Sometimes, what we lose is for a good reason. When we grow up, we leave childish things behind.

I think we all understand, as teenagers, that our dreams will evolve. But what about those big dreams, the ones that we define ourselves by?

What happens when identity-establishing dreams change?

The teenage version of you knows you best

Our identities are formed during childhood and adolescence. During childhood, we absorb the values of our parents and society; during adolescence, we experiment with these values. …


Mailing it to yourself doesn’t cut it

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The feeling of publishing your first book is unlike any other. You’ve spent months, possibly years, working on the thing, and now it’s out there.

The hope, of course, is that it will generate an income for you.

So what happens when the book is stolen by pirates?

You’re crushed! Everything you’ve worked so hard on, spent money advertising for, and built a loving community around, has been stolen. …


How to properly manage your customers

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

“CRM” stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. When most people talk about CRM, they bring up software like Salesforce or Capterra.

Large companies use CRM software for things like…

  • Tracking where a customer is in a sales funnel
  • Setting automatic reminders to follow up with a customer
  • Organizing notes about a customer
  • Tracking and report sales performance metrics

Entrepreneurs of small businesses, such as content creators, plumbers, and security service providers, could benefit from CRM practices in much the same way.

There’s just one problem: CRM makes for cold interactions.

Before we get into how to make your CRM better, let’s go in-depth into how CRM is used. …


How to spot a fake

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Most online seminars are fake. Yeah, I said it. I’ve been had too many times. Here’s what happens:

  • You find great advice on a YouTube video or Medium article.
  • They include a call to action at the end for a live seminar, absolutely free.
  • The seminar is 30-minutes of them not answering your questions while trying to sell you something.
  • You finish the seminar with some additional value, but an integral piece is missing.

Some online seminars are legit.

Most online seminars are prerecorded sales funnels.

Why is that a problem? Because they said it was a live seminar. If they can’t be trusted this early in the funnel, why should you go any deeper? If what they had to sell was of any real value — truly revolutionary, as they say — they wouldn’t need the tricks and gimmicks. …


This is how I did it

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

When we see The Rock or Kim Kardashian on a magazine cover, we jump to wanting their results. Who wouldn’t? Bodies like theirs have become the ideal of beauty in our society. However, the level of intensity it would take to go from couch to Kim would obliterate your motivation.

My aims were always a bit different. I like to move, to fight, and to play. For me, the ideal body looks more like Jason Statham than Sylvester Stallone.

But just two months ago, I couldn’t move very well.

I was carrying around an extra 20 pounds.

Imagine trying to run while carrying two bowling balls in a backpack. No wonder my knees hurt. …

My Medium journey so far

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Sometimes, my Medium journey feels a lot like that picture: write, publish, and pray.

Over the three months that I’ve been writing for Medium, I’ve taken two courses by experienced Medium writers who earn the kind of money I’d like to see from this platform.

In addition to those courses, numerous YouTube videos, and reading a ton here at Medium, I’ve also learned quite a bit from good old trial and error.

Here’s what I wish I had known three months ago.

1. Treat it like social media

When we all started on social media, we started with zero friends and followers. Some followers came automatically because you knew someone already on the platform, but when you take away your mom and best friend, you had to earn the rest on your content. …


Ryan M. Danks

Kindle Short Reads author / martial arts fanatic / host of The Intrepid Journal.

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