Meanwhile, YouTubers use it to great effect

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Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

James Patterson is the second richest author in the world. Only J.K. Rowling tops him. But while Rowling depends on a single franchise to carry her, Patterson continues making hit after hit. Of the two, Patterson is the model that novelists can more reliably duplicate, to some degree.

How much does James Patterson make? A whopping $90,000,000 a year! His business model should set the standard for novelists, and YouTubers are proving that it’s effective, but few would ever consider it.

The benefits of James Patterson’s model

The first thing a YouTuber does once they’ve reached a worthwhile subscriber level is message other YouTubers about their success. …


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. …


How to build long-term goals you’ll achieve

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Have you ever created a five-year plan and, five years later, found that it didn’t come true? What went wrong?

Motivation and productivity books tell you to create five-year plans. These are people who theorize about what it takes to achieve things and then run tests on those willing to read their articles or purchase their books and seminars. Unfortunately, motivational speakers who teach you to create goals programs are not in the business of achieving goals.

Theory can only get you so far.

The greatest goal achievers of our time are Olympians and business operators — people whose livelihood depends upon their ability to achieve tangible goals, not think about them. …


An aggressively centrist view of American politics

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Photo by Marco Oriolesi on Unsplash

Though it may not feel like it, we are not seeing the most turbulent time in American politics. No one alive was there, but I’m pretty sure that the political upheaval just before or during the American Civil War was worse than this.

Maybe not by much, though.

America is undoubtedly tearing itself apart, and we’re watching it happen on social media, which might make it worse. Everyone on every feed seems to have a political pundit telling them whom to believe, whom to harass, and whom to silence. None of that is good for our republic.

We are divided, more than we’ve been in over a century. And it’s not going to get better, not while we keep treating the “other side” as enemies. …


200+ hours played on a last-gen console

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Press image from

Cyberpunk 2077 has many bugs, to be sure. People fall through the world after you kill them, weapons randomly won’t fire or be entirely removed from your inventory, and — at least on last-gen consoles — the game could crash at any moment, especially if you go into a marketplace.

Yet, despite having to quicksave every thirty seconds for fear the game will crash or having to reload that save when a vital NPC I need to kill falls through the world, I’ve had a blast playing Cyberpunk 2077 on my X-Box One. …

Self Improvement

It would be a shame to ruin a fresh start after 2020

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Photo by Adrià García Sarceda on Unsplash

How many times have you made New Year's resolutions that you gave up on? Probably as many as the number of years that you’ve been aware of what a “resolution” is. Am I right?

This might be the year you:

  • Lose weight
  • Invest your stimulus check (for real this time)
  • Learn to play the piano
  • Write that novel
  • Get a new job (or a new career, if you’re like me and covid got in the way of your previous one)

No matter the resolution, I have a surefire way to make it stick this time. How do I know it’s surefire? Because I used to abandon my resolutions, too, but in the last two years, I did one thing differently that changed everything. …


Too many needs are not being met

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I bought a Macbook Pro years ago and told myself that I would never switch to anything else. Then my kids got Chromebooks from their schools right around the time my latest Macbook stopped working.

Compared to the $1,800 price tag on a Macbook, those Chromebooks seemed like a steal at $120.

Looking it over and talking with some people who already made the switch, I decided to try it out. Worst case, my kids had a replacement Chromebook when the schools took theirs back. …


Stop being so high-speed

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Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Remember when you were young and had ideas about what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Maybe you’re going through that now, or maybe you’ve allowed life to wash away the vibrancy of it all. You took someone’s masterclass, joined the 5 AM Club, and got a t-shirt that says “hustle hard!”

My sympathies. Truly.

Why the question matters

We answer that question — what we want to be — often with a career choice. There’s nothing wrong with that. But is that really all there is to it?

The question is hardly ever phrased: what do you want to do when you grow up? …


It’s yin and yang in more ways than one

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my life. Most of the companies I worked for earned “best in…” awards for their industries.

Not accounting for big-box companies like Starbucks, here are the best and worst industries I’ve worked in, by revenue.

Criteria: each company has less than 100 employees.

The Worst

Let’s just rip this bandaid off. This one hurts because it was the one I wanted to succeed the most.

I studied for decades to be a martial arts instructor. Have you ever seen Netflix’s Iron Fist? The most realistic thing about that show was how the martial arts teacher, Colleen Wing, was broke as a joke and hit the pavement every day trying to conjure new students out of a hat. …


Ryan M. Danks

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

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