This is to document my journey
Year 0 & Year 1:
* Write and publish book 1 by the end of next year & make an audacious goal.
Tom Bilyeu will read it and say the following:
I think a lot of people will see something like that and think it's silly, or that it's unrealistic or that it's associating the opinion of a person (something beyond my control) to an OKR and thus making it a fuzzy goal.
All true. But, sometimes just having a north star to look at, and think "would this meet Tom's standards" is enough.
I made that graphic AFTER I wrote the first book, because if I'd started with his standards, I wouldn't have finished the book. Having a vicious taskmaster of high standards to EDIT ones work is exceptional, but not as helpful during the seedling's beginnings.
Year 1 Results:
* Wrote & Published Book 1
* Let Tom know about the audacious goal.
That "like" was... It's difficult to describe just how powerful it was for me.
It meant so many things. Approval, encouragement, acknowledgment. It simultaneously made him someone to shoot for, but also someone to shoot with. To stand alongside one day and say "hey, remember when I was just some guy liking your youtube videos?"
His simple like said "hey, I've seen what you're doing, and good luck. It'll be hard, but it's possible."
Am I reading a lot into a like? Hell yes. But it had a lot of meaning for me, and it pushed me forward.
Write Book 2
I took an abstract thought of "someday" and started really taking it seriously. I doubled down on my writing schedule and as I started writing book 3, developed a new way of writing and laying out a novel, and liked it so much that I went back and re-wrote book 2, and book 1... and still made my 2019 deadline.
"Let's do it." - Tom Bilyeu
Fuck yeah, let's do it!
Now, again, I know it's not exactly an iron-clad contract. While Tom is a man of integrity and focus, he ain't (yet) a man of memory. I don't expect him to remember or honor this deal, or even to view it as one, but again, this lit fire under my belly to get shit done.
This year, I really learned that my creativity could be compressed. I accomplished approximately four to five times as much as I did in the previous calendar year, and I'm interested to see how much further I can push myself in the next.
In this year I also got to talk with Tom "in person"
If we want to work together, my task list is:
1) Write a rad fuckin' story
2) Figure out how I want it presented
3) Send it to Tom and his team over and over and over again while constantly refining the quality, applying feedback and putting out new books.
Year 2 Results:
* Wrote Book 2
* Wrote Most of Book 3 (publish schedule 2020)
* Re-wrote & published book 2
* Re-wrote & re-published book 1
* Joined ITU
* Blocked out the second trilogy of books 4-6
* Know how book 7 looks (as it relates to book 3's ending)
* Acquired Narrator Team for 2021 audiobook
Write book 3 & expand the mission. While Tom's eventual endorsement is still a "north star" there are other aspects that require research for the mission to be fulfilled.
In order to impact the world at scale, mediums other than the book need to be planned for. Light Novels (possibly), Animated Series & Video Games need to be loosely planned out, reference materials need to be gathered and wisdom sought.
Year 3 Results
* Wrote & Published Book 3
* Made partial drafts of audiobook
- Was unrealistic in my expectations and alienated my narrator
* Began investing process to increase the odds of well-funded, quality work
* Remade all covers "on brand"
* Joined ongoing advertising course
* Mapped out one video game, loosely defined other aspects of goals
* Watched some popular animes for research
Year 4 Goals
* Box Set
* Find new narrator & restart audiobook
* Make books available in Australia
* Level 2 & 3 ads
* Begin writing books 4-6 and aspects of 7.
** (stretch goal: pseudo finish book 5, aside from final edit/betas)
* Decide on an animation style
Year 4 Results
* Box Set complete
* Decided on Marc Thompson. The best! (expensive, though)
* Got series into Australia
* Some Level 2 ads - Level 3 failed
* Massive progress on Books 4-7. Reworked into nested storyline
** Stretch goal combined with book 4, so "sort of" completed
* Animation style chosen
** Bonus: Tom surprised me in a zoom meeting, holding my book and letting me know he was going to read it! Big moment!
* Tom bought the book(s)!
* Found new narrator, but project didn't move forward
* Box set available (only some countries)
* Sales increased by 43%
* Was featured on 5 podcasts
June Update WRITING (percentages are only for non-present storyline)
* Book 4 12% Boy, this was a grunt. So much research bogging down the creative process - made it feel like writing in quicksand haha. Still, getting it off the ground was important. Have the ending which I LOVE and the beginning which I LOVE. Middle part's gonna take some doing. Might put it on pause until I have a better understanding of 5's length.
* Book 5 20%
I love this book. Really enjoyable to write. Most of the research heavy lifting was done already, so it's back into the flow of writing for this one. Not sure how this one ends, and whether or not I'll merge it with book 4. We'll see
* Book 6 0%
nope! Outline still looks like "this guy probably goes here?" lol
* Book 7 100% (Percentage refers to what I needed to write in order to write book 4, not the book's progress itself - that will not be undertaken until 2025)
I wrote enough to know what it is I needed to know in order to write book 5. Ah, nested storylines... they crack the skull of the writer but they flow soooo beautifully when they're finished <3
Completely reworked books 4-7 into a nested storyline. Book "4" is now all the books, but maybe split somewhere. Huge project, lots to consider, but making progress. 33% timeline, 60% progress. On track.
Year 5 Goals
* 80% Project.
-Most of the story & structure fleshed out and ready to be refined.
-Section breaks established.
* Update first trilogy edit + spacing
* Sixpack & Investment Portfolio benchmarks
+ Pro edit & Marc narration for trilogy 1
* Be featured on 12+ podcasts
**Stretch goal: Complete first audio readthrough/edit