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It’s time for a Wake Up Call!

My book is officially available! Here is a short video sharing ways you can help me one more time. I am very passionate about getting this book into the hands of high school students across the country. Thank you for all of your support throughout this process.

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How It Came to Be (Part 7 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It.

Here we are. Tomorrow is the day. The time has finally come for me to share with you what I’ve been working on for the last year!

It is hard to believe that I am one day away from being a published author, a process that has been a string of events I could have never planned starting the day I stalled an airplane two years ago. I feel incredibly blessed to have an opportunity to make a positive difference in young lives, and I’m hoping that this book will be a Wake Up Call for students across the country.

Thank you for reading along as I’ve told you How It Came to Be. Some people call these experiences serendipity, where everything falls into place for a reason. I think I agree with the author, Sam Horn, when she says “Serendestiny” may be a better term to describe it.

I will be posting a video tomorrow, April 17, to share Wake Up Call with my family, friends, and acquaintances. My hope is that you all will share this video with your family, friends, and acquaintances to help me spread the word of the book and help engrain the leadership lessons within the book into the lives of every student in the country.

I am more excited than ever to release this book! Thank you for all of your support!

It’s time for a Wake Up Call!

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How It Came to Be (Part 6 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It.

The rest of the process felt as though I had rolled a snowball down a mountain. I said in an earlier post that “I thought” writing would be the hard part. Turns out everything is the hard part when it comes to getting a book to an audience: writing, editing, designing, publishing, marketing; none of it could be overlooked, and it all seemed a little more difficult after I kicked my coffee addiction.

I had asked my friend, Steve Novak, a shooting guard for the New York Knicks, to write the foreword, which he agreed to, and everything he had to say was incredibly humbling.

I was excited and nervous. The time had come to order my first book.

I’ll never forget the day that I placed the order. Please refrain from judging me when I tell you this, but it was 8 pm in the FOCUS Training office, I was the only one there, and I had Tupac on full volume. The feeling was surreal. I had worked on my book for over a year, and it was about to be a legitimate, physical copy.

When I received the first one, I thought back to the reason I wrote the book. It was never to feel glorified or to put it on a list of accomplishments. It went back to that conversation in the first class cabin of an airplane; I wanted to have a positive impact on youth across the country. So believe it or not, I did not feel a great sense of accomplishment when I received the first copy of my book; it hadn’t impacted anyone yet.

I have always been a firm believer that the only way this book will reach students across the country is if people believe in the lessons within it and share it with everyone they know. No marketing strategy in the world can sell something that people don’t want or don’t believe in.

I’m two days away from releasing this book to my family, friends, and acquaintances, in hopes that they will pass it along to their family, friends, and acquaintances before the official release on May 6. I really think that together, we can get this book to every student in the country!

Days Until WAKE UP CALL!

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How It Came to Be (Part 5 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It.

Just to catch you up: at this point in the story I’ve stalled a plane, made a bet, had an idea, met a celebrity, made a decision, noticed a trend, took a break, and accepted an offer. Keeping up?

When I signed my contract with FOCUS Training, a big piece of my job would be providing leadership workshops and keynote speeches to high school students around the country. If you know me or have been keeping up with these posts, you know two things.

  1. This is something I’ve become very passionate about

  2. The way this fit with the book I was writing could not have been scripted more perfectly

FOCUS Training was way ahead of me on the second train of thought. They had written a book deal into my contract, and I excitedly agreed to have them publish my book. If I thought the pressure was on before this, my commitment to finishing the book was now in a written contract!

I recommitted to finishing my book, and in December, close to a year after I started writing, it was done…or so I thought.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Days Until WAKE UP CALL!

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How It Came to Be (Part 3 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It.

I was heading into my second semester of senior year at Marquette, and I was boarding a flight to Atlanta. I was on time, and I didn’t have to stall the plane for anyone else so life was good.

When I took a seat (in the economy class), to my surprise, I wasn’t the one who introduced myself to the people next to me. A woman enthusiastically extended her hand, and we started a conversation I still value today.

“So what do you do?” I asked her.

“I actually am an author, and I do some speaking.”

Boy, was that the understatement of the century! Looking her up later, I found that she had published 9 books, made regular t.v. appearances, and spoke all over the country. (She was also a top 10 finalist in Miss Black U.S.A. but that’s neither here nor there). Basically, this woman was a celebrity.

But this was a crazy coincidence, I also wanted to run for Miss Black U.S.A. Okay, bad joke, but really. I had just read two books that got me thinking about writing a book of my own, and I was already starting to speak to high school students about leadership; she could be a great resource.

Trying not to be too forward, I absolutely grilled her on what it took to write a book. She told me all about the formatting and the necessary outline I needed to establish. She also told me that I needed to start, and I needed to start now. I made a couple lame excuses, and she let me get away with them for a moment.

I tried to change the subject. “I’d love to read one of your books. Is there one you’d recommend?”

I’ll never forget this.

“Yes, there is.” She took out a bookmark and handed it to me.

The book was entitled, What’s Really Holding You Back?.

I got the message loud and clear.

I bought the book as soon as I got home and read it quickly. This was my turning point. I wasn’t going to make any more excuses. It was time for me to write my first book.

Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Days Until WAKE UP CALL!

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How It Came to Be (Part 2 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It.

I walked slowly and happily up to first class after talking two flight attendants into stalling an airplane for my boss, and I took a seat next to a man in his early forties.

Now I’m not much for small talk. Who am I kidding? I’m all about small talk. Plus, this was first class; I’m sure this man had something interesting just waiting to be shared. I struck up a conversation and listened intently to his responses.

We talked for hours about business and life. He told me about an author named Andy Andrews and the impact this author was having on so many lives. The man then made an interesting proposition.

“Kyle, I’ll make a bet with you. You’ve told me about your favorite entrepreneurs and the books that you’ve read. I’ll bet you that, if you read two of Andy Andrews’ books, he will have more of an impact on your life than any of the other people you’ve told me about tonight.”

I was just curious. “What happens if I read them and still think a different book was more beneficial?”

“I will pay your round-trip airfare to anywhere you want to go in the country.”

I was not expecting that!

“What? Really?” This bet seemed ridiculous, but I suppose, I was in first class.

“Absolutely. You just have to agree to read my two favorite Andy Andrews’ books, and we’ll talk about them afterward. You can be honest with me, and if they don’t have a tremendous impact on your life, I’ll fly you to anywhere you want to go.”

Like any sane person would do, I shook the man’s hand and agreed to pick up the two books as soon as possible. Long story short, I read them, loved them, and called the man a few weeks later to tell him he had won the bet.

The books did have an influence on my life, but they had a different impact than I think the man in first class could have anticipated. While I agreed with the lessons inside each book, a part of me couldn’t stop thinking about the lessons that were not presented or the audience that would not relate to the way these lessons were written: youth. Young minds are influenceable, and the impact that foundational life lessons can have on young leaders can make a positive difference in the direction of their lives.

I began wishing that each book was written differently. I thought about the things I would change or the lessons I would convey if it were my book. Most of all, I wished more people had the opportunity to learn foundational life lessons early on in their lives. Things like responsibility, service, and action don’t only become relevant when individuals are in their twenties.

Even though all of these thoughts were racing through my mind, I was still a college student! I would never find the time to start writing a book during my senior year!

Well, sometimes I think God places the right people in your life at the right times. The next plane ride I took, that is exactly what happened.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Days Until WAKE UP CALL

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How It Came to Be (Part 1 of 7)

The Story of My Book and Why I Chose To Write It. 

“You need to hold this flight!”

It’s amazing how one encounter changed the direction of my life. My first book, Wake Up Call, is coming out one week from today, and I’ve decided to tell you the story of how the book came to be. I’ll post a piece of the story every day until it comes out on April 17th. Oddly enough, this is where it began.

“Please, you cannot take off yet.” I was absolutely begging the flight attendants.

“Sir, you will have to take a seat.”

“You don’t understand. My boss is not on this flight yet. Do you know how terrible this could be for my career if he misses this flight because I wasn’t able to stall it for 5 extra minutes?” I had just started my senior year of college.

The flight attendants, one man and one woman, looked at each other. “Well, how close is he?”

“He’s already through security! He’s running here as we speak.” I had no idea how close he was.

The flight attendants looked at each other again. “We’ll give you five more minutes. You can have a seat now.”

I turned to move toward my seat, but decided this would remove all of my bargaining power. I turned back around and smiled calmly. “Do you two have to deal with things like this quite a bit?”

Boy am I glad I started that conversation.

We talked about the intricacies of being a flight attendant, and I told them my story-an intern at a leadership development company looking to become a leadership trainer and keynote speaker. 15 minutes later, they gave me another 5 minute warning, and shortly after, my boss ran onto the plane with his shoes and belt in hand.

The flight attendants gave me high fives, and I finally moved to take a seat.

As the flight attendants moved through the cabin checking the overhead compartments, and ensuring people had their seat belts fastened, the gentleman flight attendant stopped at my seat.

“Hey Kyle. We have an extra seat in first class. We thought it would be a little funny if we let you sit up there. You can rub it in to your boss when you land.”

Now, I hadn’t sat first class on anything before this, and I don’t know if I’ll sit first class on anything again so I was more than happy to accept the offer.

Moving toward first class, I gave a head nod with a smile to my boss. He shook his head. Later, he said, “I’ve never seen anyone get upgraded for stalling a plane.”

I took my seat in first class and began a conversation that changed the direction of my life.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

Days Until WAKE UP CALL

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