SPS 158: Lessons Learned In The Trenches Helping 1,000’s Of Authors with Brett Hilker

Posted on May 25, 2022

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Written by Leo Oliveira

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Brett Hilker is an author, entrepreneur, and coach at Self Publishing School. He’s been one of our longtime team members, and he’s fantastic. I think he started around 2018 in sales, and now he is a coach. He brings an exciting perspective after being on about 4500 sales calls and 2200 coaching calls. He’s seen a thing or two about the struggles and triumphs of self-publishing and will share some commonalities and insights. 

Since he’s been around for a while, he has seen the tentative beginning of an author’s journey up and through their successful journey. He also coaches our highest-level students through our Author Advantage Accelerator program. He’s the author of Founder Fundamentals: The Growing Entrepreneur’s 4 Step Guide To Building And Leading A High Performance Dream Team, an action-oriented guide for new entrepreneurs that can help with leadership skills, team-building, and scaling. 

We kick off the episode with why he wrote this book, his biggest lessons learned, and a trick for getting that rough draft out there. Then we dive into coaching insights from what issues can hang up new authors and the importance of not underestimating your sphere of influence. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and shares common traits for success, preparing for a clarity call, and the importance of giving yourself grace. 

Show Highlights

  • [02:12] Brett decided to write Founder Fundamentals: The Growing Entrepreneur’s 4 Step Guide To Building And Leading A High Performance Dream Team, after being a part of Self Publishing School. It became very easy for him to see the finish line.
  • [03:23] Books represent the accumulation of human knowledge. The symbol of knowledge represented in a book and the ability to be mentored by smart people from the past resonated with Brett.
  • [04:59] Biggest lessons learned were tackling procrastination and the writing process. He had set the bar too high. He made more progress once he lowered his expectation of what success looked like.
  • [06:09] By using dictation on Google Documents, he was able to write 20,000 words in one day.
  • [07:43] In the writing process, notice what you’re struggling with and focus on solving that issue. Expecting too much of yourself can sometimes stall you out.
  • [09:50] Authors can get hung up on their mindset, if they are strong at writing. If they are new to writing, then the mechanics of writing can be an issue. It also depends on how willing they are to pivot tactics.
  • [12:14] Launch your book when you have the time and headspace for it. Focus and nail it with dedicated time. Get those initial views, land podcasts, and run campaigns.
  • [14:46] Don’t discount your sphere of influence when launching your book. Tap into your people and remind them how important it is.
  • [16:12] Big picture takeaways from Brett’s thousands of sales calls include the number of amazing stories so many people have to tell.
  • [19:23] Commonalities from some to the most successful students include putting their energy on the importance of getting their book out there. They are solution oriented. 
  • [22:22] Challenges include having to do the one part that they don’t like whichever that part is. 
  • [25:31] People can get hung up on rough drafts sometimes when they forget who their audience is or who they’re trying to talk to. Focus on your avatar first.
  • [29:10] Common traits for success include having a mission greater than the book itself and being open to having their questions answered.
  • [32:59] To prepare for your clarity call have a good sense of who your ideal avatar is. The more specific you are, the easier things will be. Understand your definition of success for the book.
  • [34:30] Maximize your coaching experience by being prepared.
  • [36:13] Give yourself grace. Start small and build up. 

Links and Resources

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
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