Why Focus on Six Figures?
Though it might surprise you, it’s not about the money. Let me tell you my author journey to show you what I mean …
I published my first book in 2004, The Journey Toward Relevance. The truth is, I didn’t know what I was doing. No one had mentored me on the finer details of writing, publishing, or marketing. Naively, I thought I’d sell a million books and make a million dollars, and I realized many other writers have made that false assumption as well.
Why did I—like so many other authors—think that would happen?
I thought I could do the writing thing as a full-time gig because I saw so many other successful authors doing this and earning at least six figures. After all, if they could do it, surely I could find a way to make it happen. While I loved being a pastor and serving the community through my church, I still felt the pull between my day job and my dream job. Every once in a while, the phone would ring or an email would come in asking me to go speak somewhere about my book. I remember telling the caller, “Hold on. I’ll have to get back with you. I need to check with my boss.”
I’d bring up the request in our next weekly meeting with my Senior Pastor. He was a very generous leader, but rightfully so, I’d have to sell him on why it was a good idea. I’d explain why it was a good thing for me to leave my job as a pastor for a couple of days to go and talk to groups of people who needed to hear the message behind my book.
Sometimes, he’d let me. Sometimes, he didn’t. Sometimes, I’d have to sell other people on the idea, too, like the director, other staff members, ministry leaders, elders, etc. They didn’t always understand why leaving to do those talks was so important to me.
I Needed Permission to Do My Passion
When I didn’t get permission, I’d squeeze in a speaking gig here or there on the back end or front end of a vacation. In those days, our vacations weren’t that glorious. It probably meant Kelly and I visiting her family in Michigan or my family in Wisconsin. Still, it always felt like speaking invitations were a stressful experience because I had to defend my rationale for wanting to take them.
And then there was the actual writing of the books. For those of you out there who try to work in writing time around your work schedule and time with your family, you understand how challenging that is. So, all the responsibilities involved with my writing passion started to add up, causing even more stress to a future I was—and still am—so passionate about.
I am a father of three children, and they are each two years apart. Imagine having a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a one-year-old—and trying to fit in time to write as well. Since I had absolutely committed myself to being the best employee, father, and husband, that meant writing a total of four books in the margins of life. Those books were written at 12 a.m., 2 a.m., or sometimes even 4 a.m., in between feeding the babies.
I’m not complaining.
I loved those moments of bonding with my son and daughters. And since I was up anyway, I thought rather than go to bed, I’d crank out a thousand words of the next book that loomed over my head. After all, I still had to meet deadlines set by my traditional publishers.
I Needed to Find a Better Way
Needless to say, the pressure of being a pastor, Daddy, husband, doctoral candidate, author, and speaker wore on me. I treasured all these roles I filled in my life, but something had to give if I wanted to fulfill my dream of becoming a full-time author.
I tried to do it all … AND because I wasn’t a six-figure author, I needed to do it all.
Writing books was only a part-time job. It paid some bills, but it certainly didn’t pay ALL the bills. And because it didn’t, I needed to keep my day job. This reality created a growing internal tension. The more successful I dreamed of becoming, the more work I had to do.
I found a way to make it work—until the day they asked me to be Senior Pastor. Don’t get me wrong: I worked for an amazing church on so many different levels. The people were unbelievable, and the elders were extremely kind. I seriously considered becoming the next Senior Leader in my church.
But there was a catch. The church wanted to identify me as the next Senior Pastor, then begin a ten-year succession plan. As a young man in my mid-thirties, I knew this wasn’t in the cards for me.
Although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I knew I didn’t want to sit on the bench for the next ten years while I was still in the prime of my life. And so I got incredibly focused. I told myself that I’d find a way to become a six-figure author more out of necessity than out of desire. That was a defining moment in my writing career, and it could have passed me by if I didn’t stand up to take notice.
If I wanted to do what I loved full-time, then the priority had to be to provide for my family. I knew this meant replacing my income so I could pay for health insurance, mortgage, school, vehicles, food, clothing, and the money required to start a business.
How Did I Become a Six-Figure Author?
It’s been eight years since I left my day job. Looking back, I wish I’d had a map or even a model, but I didn’t. I had to figure it all out on my own. Prior to leaving the church, I felt a ton of fear, and it all centered around not being able to pay the bills and provide for my family.
David Branderhorst, my friend, told me I was like a bird in a cage. The door finally swung open, and I sat in the cage staring at freedom, wondering if I really wanted it after all.
I finally found my wings and a way to become a six-figure author right out of the gate. I made three critical mental shifts, and I also devised a system to turn my books into 18 streams of income. We did this with Your Secret Name, then The Deeper Path, Day Job to Dream Job, and even my last book, a fiction one called Elixir Project.
This model worked so well that I also began sharing it with other authors who also became six-figure authors, too. Fast-forward seven years, and today, we have a global seven-figure business. We’re helping over a thousand other authors achieve their financial goals so they can have the freedom to do their passion full-time, too.
You Have a Choice
What about you? Are you an author? Are you an aspiring author? Have you bought into that myth that you need to be a starving artist to do what you love? Or do you want to believe it’s possible to write full-time?
You have a choice, and the choice will make you.
I’d like to extend my personal invitation to you to join me in the FREE 6-Figure Author 5-Day Challenge. Here’s why:
Writing as a hobby or a part-time passion is a tough gig. I tried it for eight years with my first three books. Then, I discovered a system that helped me turn my passion into a full-time gig. I turned each of my next four books into 18 streams of income and six-figure businesses. Join our FREE 6-Figure Author 5-Day Challenge Facebook Group, and I’ll show you how.
You Have a Challenge
You can think about becoming a six-figure author, or you can take the first step to becoming one. All it takes is one simple click. It’s FREE, and it will connect you to a supportive community of authors exactly like you.
Change can happen in a moment. And when you prepare for the moment, the moment is prepared for you. You can prepare for your next big moment in your writing career by joining my FREE community of authors who share the same dreams.