014 – Are Best-Selling Authors Gaming the System?

014 – Are Best-Selling Authors Gaming the System?

It seems like “best-selling” authors are everywhere. As with anything else, of course, some are lying about their accomplishments. But some are very genuine.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David delves into the world of best-selling authors and whether they’re all gaming the system.


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00:17 – Skepticism regarding best-selling authors
00:33 – Gaming the system
02:30 – The facts
02:57 – A great book
04:36 – Access to a significant following
06:27 – Access to resources
07:15 – You can’t achieve best-seller status without at least one advantage
08:04 – David’s experience
08:23 – Is your skepticism warranted?
09:41 – Seasons in business
11:39 – Different motivations for becoming a best-selling author
13:33 – Crabs in a bucket


Coming soon.

It’s All About How it Hits You

It’s All About How it Hits You

A universally praised book, film, or course could leave you feeling bored and uninspired.

How is that possible?

Besides the fact that we are talking about fundamentally subjective things, there is one other factor often not accounted for – ourselves.

Sometimes, you’re not ready for it. Sometimes, you’re beyond it. And sometimes, you’re not feeling it.

If I had based my impression of Dan Kennedy on the first two books of his I’d read, I would have missed out on a wealth of knowledge that ended up transforming my world.

Our opinions on something aren’t always based on a deep understanding of the subject. We could be missing the foundations or the context. We also need to be honest with ourselves when we haven’t given something a chance or haven’t examined it thoroughly.

Ultimately, it’s all about how it hits you. There are specific resources that are for us at specific times in our lives. That’s probably true of any of my favorite books.

That’s why you can’t stop digging. Because you never know when you’ll come across exactly what you need now.

What do You do for Self-Improvement?

What do You do for Self-Improvement?

My self-improvement routine changes periodically.

Currently, I’m focused on three things:

  • A two-year intensive leadership program. The program requires 12 to 15 hours per week of my time. There are calls, meetings, and classrooms that make up most of that time.
  • Blogging daily. It takes discipline to blog daily, but I enjoy it. I am currently reassessing whether to continue with this.
  • Working out four times per week. I started getting back into working out in February. When I was getting started, I was only working out once or twice per week, but as I got back into it, three to four times per week became the norm. I have been getting four workouts per week consistently for at least three weeks now.

There are other activities I value highly, like reading books and listening to podcasts, audio programs, and audiobooks. Although I may still engage in these activities here and there, the above remains a higher priority.

What You Get is What You Get

What You Get is What You Get

There is no universality to the results produced in a program.

Every course, seminar, or workshop promises something, whether overtly or subtly. But just because it’s the promise of the program doesn’t mean it’s what you’ll get. Just because students of the programs are giving glowing testimonials and reviews doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get the results they’ve gotten.

There are a whole host of factors seen and unseen (usually unseen). Things like:

  • Some were ready to take life by the horns when the course was presented to them
  • Some had specialized knowledge, expertise, or financial resources available (that you didn’t have) upon starting the program
  • Some had already invested heavily in themselves and their ongoing self-education, to where the new program was like the icing on top of their personal development cake

If the creator of the program blames you for your failures (get out), or if you even find that you turn to self-blame, it’s time to look at the facts with a sobering mind.

Look at the other people who’ve taken the program. Who are they? What have they accomplished? How do they behave? What is their life like?

A blurb accompanied by a picture on a website can create trust and connection. But if you don’t have direct contact with these people, it’s like chasing shadows. You don’t know all the contributing factors to their success.

Which may sound depressing.

But what you get out of a program isn’t wrong. Your discoveries aren’t worthless. The knowledge and skills you’ve gained aren’t without merit.

You got what you got. That’s it.

But there is more available if you do it again. In a new space and time, old concepts and ideas can leap out as if they had never been there before. Of course, they were. But this is the magic of spaced repetition. The program didn’t change. You did. You became something different over time. It’s inevitable. And as you become something different, you see things through new lenses.

You’re getting what you’re getting. Others are getting what they’re getting. And there’s nothing wrong.

But if you feel like you were shortchanged, don’t give up. Keep growing. Keep learning. Something will connect.

These 4 Learning Methods are Disproportionately Better

These 4 Learning Methods are Disproportionately Better

I’ve often said that there’s an abundance of free resources available: Articles, blog posts, eBooks, physical books, events, conferences, trade shows, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, videos. And what I’m starting to discover for myself is that there are some learning methods that are disproportionately better than others.

1. Newsletters

Number one for me is newsletters. Newsletters contain very specific targeted information. The one that I subscribe to is Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Letter. It contains information on marketing and sales and copywriting.

And whenever I read these newsletters, I come away feeling inspired, with great information in hand. Ready to act on a few things I’ve learned in the newsletter and get into action in my business.

2. Books

Number two is books. Books go very deep into a singular subject. It’s like downloading the author’s brain into your own, adopting their mental frameworks, their methodologies, their thought processes. You get to try them on for yourself.

And I think there’s really something to sustaining your thinking on a singular subject for a certain amount of time. There’s something magical about it.

Just like reading newsletters, the information is super targeted, but it’s also deep, it’s going very, very deep into a singular subject. And that has a way of getting me into flow and inspiring me because I’m making new connections.

3. Video Courses

Number three is video courses or home study courses or whatever you want to call them. These are excellent sources of information as well.

Typically, they’re even more focused than let’s say a newsletter or a book. You might be learning specific aspects of digital marketing like email, or how to use Facebook or things like that.

And while I have not always found them to be the most inspirational sources, certainly not as inspiring as a newsletter or a book, in some cases, I have come away from courses feeling lit up with the actionable insights I could now take to my own business.

4. Audiobooks

And then number four for me is audiobooks.

Now in a way this goes hand in hand with books. The difference I suppose is that you can listen to podcasts or audio programs or audiobooks in your car as you’re driving about.

Over the years, that’s really been the number one place for me to listen to these. But at one point, I was so obsessed that I even listened to them in the bathroom.

But compared to something like a podcast, which I don’t always find inspiring. I don’t always find new information to act on. And the subject matter being covered may not always be relevant to me right now. I can intentionally go out and find audiobooks that are relevant to me and are speaking to my situation and are sure to leave me with insights I can use in my business.


So, while there are a lot of great resources out there, the point is to invest in your education. You’re going to value these resources more. I pay for newsletters, I pay for books, I pay for video courses, I pay for audiobooks. Whichjust goes to show that I am more heavily invested in those than a blog post I read online.

What learning methods inspire you most? I know a lot of people say they like to watch videos. And there are certain visual things like how to tie a tie. That’s better suited to the video medium than say the audio or written word. But with a lot of how-to information, I’ve personally found that video is often unnecessary.

Either way, I would love to hear which sources of information and which learning methods work best for you.