write a book

I set out to write a book and became a best selling author

My 3 biggest takeaways from learning to write a book (best seller!) and how to apply them in your daily life

It all started 6 months ago when I asked myself two pivotal questions:

What do I know?

How can I help others?

I had been building a following on my blog Fundamental Mindset while working part time for the Los Angeles Lakers but I wanted to do more. I wanted to do something that very few people had done. Once I asked myself those two questions, I quickly realized what I needed to do. One thing led to the next and the end result was I decided to write a book – Elevate Beyond. Elevate Beyond is a real world guide to standing out in any job market, discovering your passion and becoming your own person.

The book became in a #1 best seller in multiple categories on Amazon which I am extremely thankful for. However, I am even more thankful for the lessons writing a book taught me and how they can be applied to every big challenge you face.

Learning from those with more experience

One of the biggest takeaways from writing a book is learning from those with more experience. At 23 I am an extremely young author and I knew that in order for my book to be successful I would need to learn a lot. Not just how to write a real, tangible paperback book that people would want to read, but literally figure out how to self publish it on Amazon through CreateSpace.

One of the first and most influential meetings I had was with a UCLA professor and he told me that I needed to develop my writing into a full sized book. Originally, I was going to write a short eBook but he told me that I needed to take the knowledge I had and share it with the world in paperback and other formats. So, I listened to him and began to expand my writing and find people to interview and include in the book.

Another valuable meeting was when I interviewed Jake Kassan, CEO of MVMT Watches for the book. He shared his story with me and really showed me how every interaction you have can be treated as an interview. As the CEO of a very successful company, I took that to heart and it created a chain reaction. That meeting led to interviewing Brock Vereen, safety for the New England Patriots and talking to him about the NFL Draft interview process. These meetings became a huge part of my book and added a unique view to the interview process.

In order to write a book about anything, you need to have something to talk about.

Thankfully enough, I was the kid in college who spent a lot of my time on hundreds of networking calls, asking older fraternity members for interview and resume advice, and speaking with my teachers about what they look for in ambitious students looking to break into certain industries. All of this great advice and everything I learned from them are displayed throughout the book. I am fortunate enough to be a messenger of knowledge from some incredible people.


Lastly, I learned so much from my online teachers. From Jon Gordon to Lewis Howes, I was able to learn so much about the book creation and book marketing process. I even learned how to create an implement a launch team from Pat Flynn’s podcast interview with Daniel Decker which became a huge reason for my success.

My recommendation is that no matter what you are trying to do in life, always have an open mind and be willing to learn from others. You never know what might come as a result of paying attention to the details and being a great listener.

Hard Work

You hear it time and time again that hard work is the key to success. I am a huge believer in this as I have always been the underdog. From being a 5’4’’ sophomore trying to make the varsity basketball team to starting my first business as a college freshman, hard work has always been my competitive advantage. When I started writing this book, most people didn’t think it was possible. They critiqued me and tried to steer me in a different direction. They asked and wondered how is Jake going to write a book and launch it in 6 months. But that didn’t stop me. It fueled my fire and my desire to work even harder. I wanted to outwork and outsmart everyone so that I could create the best book possible to help as many people as possible.

When you combine hard work with intellect, you create a fierce competitor. One of my biggest inspirations for this book besides my family came from one of my best friends who passed away at a young age. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma his senior year of high school and was forced to change his journey and his original plans. Yet, instead of giving up, he worked even harder to beat his illness. With every surgery and obstacle he faced, he always persevered and came out on top. He left an incredible legacy and when I think of him, I think of how hard he worked to overcome and beat cancer.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – David Stroud

My recommendation is that it doesn’t matter what people say or think about what you are doing. If you are willing to put in the work and take action, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I am still on my journey to success and I have a lot more work to do to achieve my definition of success, but I encourage you to make a promise to yourself to work harder than everyone else. Hard work doesn’t take skill; it just takes a great attitude and effort. Remember that!

Rely on Your Support System

Probably the biggest takeaway from writing Elevate Beyond is relying on my support system. I am blessed to have two parents who love me and support me. I am blessed to have a brother who motivates me and gives me confidence. While I am blessed to have such an amazing family, it is crucial to rely on your support system. It is so important to learn from, ask for advice from, and get constructive criticism from your support system. Writing a book was probably one of the biggest tasks I have ever taken on and my support system helped me get through it. Not only did they help me power through the challenges I faced, but they elevated my game to the next level. They pushed me to be the best I could and create the best book I could and as a result, I have been able to help thousands of people across the country through my writing.

I know there are a lot of people that don’t have an amazing family life and that is okay. My recommendation is to find the people who do care about you and ask them for help. Rely on the people you love to guide you through the tough times and celebrate through the good times. Life is about the journey, so spend it with the ones who matter most.

To tie it all together, writing a book was an incredible experience. It taught me so much about myself, who I could count on, and how much of an impact I can have on the world.

You’ve seen what my biggest takeaways were from writing a book and now it’s time for you to dive in and take action. Big results start from little actions and I believe that we all have an incredible story to tell.

Whatever you decide to take on or whomever you decide to learn from, remember to have fun, stay motivated and enjoy the journey!