He is a 3x bestselling author, a high-energy motivational speaker, investor, and the founder of the Professional Basketball Combine which has helped 70+ NBA draft prospects turn their dreams of playing pro basketball into their reality.
He and his work have been featured on Forbes, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and many other major media outlets.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- Project Bestseller – Jake’s current challenge where he is attempting to write and launch a book in 90 days or less
- Jake’s upcoming book, Big Idea To Bestseller
- Why a book is the best marketing and networking tool
- Why a book is the best way to build authority
- Why 99% of people should self-publish
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the high velocity radio show where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast with Big idea to bestseller. Mr. Jake Kelfer. How are you, man?
Jake-Kelfer: It’s Don. It’s great to be here. Pretty fired up for this conversation.
Stone Payton: Well, we are so delighted to have you on the show. I have really been looking forward to having this conversation. I got a ton of questions. I know we’re not going to get to them all, but I. I think a great place to start would be if you could share with me and our listeners mission purpose. What are you really out there trying to do for folks? Man.
Jake-Kelfer: Man, what a great question to start this thing off. And since I know we got a lot to get to, I’ll keep this one short, but the mission has always been the same, and that’s to elevate people to achieve their own personal definition of success and to live the life they’ve always dreamed of. That’s always been the mission, the vehicle of which we’ve helped people achieve. That mission has changed as my journey has evolved. It started with me being a corporate partnerships assistant with the Lakers. Then it went to me becoming an author, then to me being a motivational speaker, then to me helping NBA players sign their first draft deal. So it’s become something. And now it’s by helping entrepreneurs, executives and people share their message through a book. So the mission has always been the same. We want to elevate people to achieve their own personal definition of success.
Stone Payton: What a fantastic way to serve and what a marvelous way to invest your time and energy and talent and resources. What are you finding the most rewarding about the work, man? What’s the most fun for you?
Jake-Kelfer: I mean, truthfully, I love what I do and I’m very blessed to to do what I do. But the thing that’s bringing me the most joy right now is helping people who have always thought about writing a book. We know that over 80% of people have dreams of writing a book, but very few people actually end up writing it, and even fewer people end up actually publishing it and launching it. And so what’s really rewarding right now is helping people tell their story in a way that can give them credibility, legitimize themselves, create an impact, leave a legacy, start a business, grow their business. And that’s really what’s bringing me a ton of joy and a ton of excitement is is helping people share their story, get their message heard, and help them achieve that that dream of writing a book.
Stone Payton: So what do you think the block is? And maybe it’s more than one thing. What keeps people from from getting it all the way to the goal line, man, what stops them?
Jake-Kelfer: And there’s a few things, you know, and I and I talk about this in my upcoming book called Big Idea, the bestseller How to Write and Launch a Nonfiction Book to Grow Your Business and Make an Impact. But there are a few things that I think are the biggest limiting beliefs, and one of them is I don’t have time, right? Because in our society we’re all busy, We all got things going on. We have families to raise, we have businesses to run, we have life to experience. And so one of the biggest things that we hear is I don’t have time. And then the other big thing that that we hear is, well, I just don’t know what to do. I have a ton of ideas in my head. So many people have told me I should write a book and share my stories, but I don’t know where to begin. And so we literally have found a way for from me writing for books and from helping countless others do the same. We found a way to help people write a book in about an hour a day so they can still be with their family, live the life they want, run their business. And also we found a way to really simplify the process to help anybody take the ideas in their head and turn that into something that can become a book that can impact people well beyond their close circle of friends and family.
Stone Payton: And you’re living into this whole idea yourself. You’ve given yourself a challenge. You’re attempting to write a and launch a book in like 90 days or less right now. Is that accurate?
Jake-Kelfer: Yeah. It’s always funny when I hear somebody asked me that question because, you know, 74 days ago at the time that we’re recording, the 74 days ago, I started on this on this journey. And I decided, you know what? I don’t want to be one of those people that just talks about things but doesn’t actually do it right. I don’t want to be one of those entrepreneurs who just talks a big game but doesn’t back it up. And so I said, You know what? I’m going to prove it. And so I ended up taking on a challenge to write and launch a nonfiction book in 90 days or less. And I’m excited to say that we’re going to officially launch the book on day 87. And a couple of quick statistics that that I think will be really important for for the listeners to understand is I wrote my rough draft in 17 days. All right? I just followed the process that we teach the people that we help. But I wrote my rough draft in 17 days, and as of today, on day 74, I have spent on average 45.5 minutes a day working on this book to get it completely done, edited, designed, formatted and ready for the official launch. So it can be. Owen. You just have to know where to go, what to look for, and have some guidance along the way.
Stone Payton: So two of my favorite questions in the world in a lot of different areas are who and why. So who should be writing a book in your opinion, and maybe even more importantly, why?
Jake-Kelfer: All right. Big, big, big answers and great questions here. So in terms of who should be writing a book, you know, there’s there’s a variety of different people that should be writing a book. But essentially, anybody who has a story to tell can write a book. Does that mean everybody should write a book? No, not necessarily. But if you have a story to tell and we’re going to talk about the why in just a second, but if you have a story to tell and you want to be remembered, this could be a great avenue for you if you want to impact people without actually being present in real time. A book is a great way to carry on a legacy and create an impact. Now, when it comes to why should people write a book? We specialize in helping people write nonfiction books. So some of the big reasons why people might want to write a book and why I truly believe it’s it’s the ultimate differentiator in your business is because it can help you sign new clients. It can help you sell products. It can help you start a coaching business. It can help you get speaking engagements. It can help you raise your rates. It is a way to make an impact. You build credibility.
Jake-Kelfer: You become the go to expert. You can create months of social content from this. So by doing the work one time, you now have a tangible asset in the form of a book which could be sold and given away to clients prospects, or it could just be sold and you collect passive income. You put in the work one time and then you reap all of these other benefits that you can use to really grow your business and make an impact. So who can do it? Pretty much anybody who wants to who should do it. People that have a core purpose and a core intention and then why you should do it is for some of the reasons that I just listed below, and that kind of gets people excited, gets people started, gets people thinking about books and a little bit different of a light then maybe, Oh, I just need to spend all this time lock myself in a cabin in the woods for two years, go dark and then come back. Because in reality you don’t need to do that. You can do this and do it while you’re present with the people that matter most to you in your life and still being able to operate at a high level in your career.
Stone Payton: So in writing your own books, did you find, in addition to all of those marvelous benefits that you just shared, did you find that it also equipped you maybe like helped you crystallize your own thinking and equip you to articulate your ideas and communicate even even that much more effectively in your client work as a result of of committing your ideas to paper like that?
Jake-Kelfer: Oh, 100%. I’ll give you a quick little story here. So I was working for the Lakers during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA season, and I ended up writing my first book in between traffic jams because I’m in L.A. and there’s always traffic on the freeway. So I’d leave super early and I would just kind of be waiting before the workday started at the Lakers office. And so I actually wrote my first book, and I was 23 years old when I launched this book. Kobe retired, I retired, I launched this book. And the crazy thing about it was I was just a kid that had a message to help people who were a year younger than me figure out how to get the dream internship or their dream job. What ended up happening was that led to me speaking at colleges and high schools all over the country. It led to my book being used in college programs as required reading for their classes. So when you say, Does it impact my message beyond. Absolutely. The book was the vehicle that gave me permission to express the message, and then the reception of the book allowed me to further enhance the message and develop the process and the teaching behind it. And so I kind of use that to kick start my whole book career. And now as I released my fourth book, Big Idea to bestseller writing, this book has just allowed me to fine tune my process, fine tune my program, make adjustments as I actually go through it. And it is just helped me build out so much more clarity in depth, improve my communication, made me a better leader within my team and so many other benefits. But to answer your question, absolutely. Writing a book has helped me and helped so many others improve upon their message and their clarity around the bigger vision.
Stone Payton: So as your practice has evolved, have you had the benefit of of one or more mentors to sort of help you shrink the timeline, remove some of the friction and navigate the new terrain along the way?
Jake-Kelfer: I wouldn’t be on this call with you right now if I didn’t have mentors along the way. Now, some of these mentors have been people that I’ve invested a lot of money to learn from and get access from. And some of these mentors have been from people that I’ve just developed friendships. One of my first mentors who encouraged me to write my my first book at 22, 23 years old, he was a professor at UCLA and he was the dad of a kid. I went to high school with. Another one of my mentors was someone who I did an internship under in college and we stayed very, very close. And he’s a digital marketing expert. Other mentors, I’ve paid for specific skill sets or paid for specific things because it’s all about, you know, who do you know and how can you really help them. And the truth is, no one would be where we are today without the help of somebody else. And so I always try to remember that. And in any situation, you might have the opportunity to step up and be a mentor or to be mentored by somebody. If your mind is open to it and you’re willing to receive feedback and be coachable.
Stone Payton: Well, you know, you’ve mentioned Kobe a couple of times, and it’s my understanding that even people who reached Kobe’s level, even they got help, right? They had coaches, they had specialists that helped them on different aspects of the game. That’s true, right?
Jake-Kelfer: Oh, of course. Of course. I mean, let’s look at a baseline level of of LeBron James, who’s playing right now. And there’s people that have said all types of things, but you have your basic, basic coaches, right? You have your head coach, you have your assistant coach, you have your skills coaches. Those are the coaches that are on the floor that are constantly helping you become a better player. But in LeBron’s case, he spends somewhere around $1,000,000 a year on other coaches, on other people to help him stay and optimize his gameplay. Tom Brady has done something very similar as well, so everybody at the highest level of their game is hiring coaches to optimize specific skill sets and specific opportunities. And so when you look at it from an entrepreneurial standpoint, when you look at it from a business person’s standpoint, when you look at it from a fitness standpoint, if you want to get to the next level, the fastest way to do that is to work with somebody who has been there, who has an experience in a specific area that you’re looking to improve and work with them in that capacity. And that’s why, you know, Kobe did certain things when he was recovering from his injury with his Achilles heel. Right. Like there were a few things that we look at when we look at these greats and we recognize the thing that all of them have in common is their ability to be coached and their willingness to learn from people who have access to information that they want.
Stone Payton: Now, the folks that you’re working with, for the most part, are you counseling them to get the book to A to the point where it can be? I don’t know what the right verb is shopped to publishers or are you counseling most of them to self publish or speak to that a little bit.
Jake-Kelfer: The majority of people that we work with, we encourage them to self publish and there’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route, but it often takes a lot more time and it’s a lot more challenging for a lot of people. So what we try to do is help people write the highest quality book in the shortest amount of time while still retaining 100% ownership rights and royalty. And so the people that we often work with, we help them go from what we say big idea all the way to bestseller, where their book is being sold on Amazon worldwide. And that is kind of the bread and butter of what we do. We coach you through the process. We help you find the right editors, the right for matters. We give you the roadmap, the steps to follow and the coaching that you need to be able to produce an amazing, amazing book in about 4 to 6 months.
Stone Payton: I mean, I just find this idea fascinating that it can be done so quickly and it’s so in line with the with the whole theme of this particular radio show. Right. The high.
Stone Payton: Radio show. I think that’s fantastic. To do that, I got to believe that you have to break through, break down, reeducate, destroy, if that’s the right word, some myths or preconceptions or preconceived notions or assumptions that people have coming into this process. There must be some some of those kinds of myths surrounding this big hairy thing for some of us of writing a book.
Jake-Kelfer: Yeah, no, it’s a great point. And one of the things that I always kind of compare this to is you’re not going to go run a marathon tomorrow just because you have the goal of running a marathon. Now, if you do all the power to you, right? But for most people, we need to break that crazy goal of running a marathon into smaller, actionable items. And so for some people, when it when it comes to a marathon, it’s like, what do I need to do first? And maybe they never run before. It’s I need to commit to it. I need to buy a pair of running shoes. I need to put my clothes out the night before I wake up so that I’m more likely to get into workout clothes. Maybe it’s take that first step outdoors. Maybe it’s walk your first mile, maybe it’s run your first five K, right? And you build up and up and up. And so that’s exactly what we’ve done with the book writing process, because truthfully, it is a daunting task and it is a lot of work. And so what we wanted to do is how do we simplify the process so that almost anybody can do it as long as they’re willing to put in the work and follow the roadmap. And so we’ve really, really gotten clear on, okay, here’s step one, here’s step two, here’s step three and here’s how long it can take you on average.
Jake-Kelfer: And the biggest thing I’ll say here when it comes to writing a book that’s maybe different from running a marathon or some of these other things is when it comes to writing a book, the first thing you should do is not to just start writing. All right? This is where a lot a lot of people go wrong is they say, I want to write a book. Let me just start writing it and hope that I can write the whole thing. And what happens is people start writing it, they get stuck. Maybe they start to revise, maybe they start to edit their book and they’re like, Gosh, this is going to take me forever. I’m a month in and I’m not even a chapter deep. This is going to take me years. And that discourages people and essentially stops them in their track before they even have had a chance to succeed. And so what we believe in is doing the prep work, is doing the prep work and showing up. So we actually have every person that we work with do what we call the five must do’s before writing, and I’m happy to share them with you if we have some time. But we essentially have everyone do the prep work before actually writing, and by doing that, the chances of completion increase exponentially.
Stone Payton: Well, we’re absolutely going to make the time because I personally want to hear about these five must dos. So. Yes, please.
Jake-Kelfer: All right. There we go. So so let’s break this down here. Right. And there’s a quote that I really love that is preparing to fail or excuse me, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. And this is the exact concept that we kind of take with is I want you to be set up for success. Right. Writing a book is already a big commitment for a lot of people. So that’s exactly where we start. So the first must do that anybody should do before writing a book is create a commitment. Now we literally have people sign their own commitment contract and frame it up on their wall so that they can honor that commitment with themselves. Because if you aren’t committed, you won’t do it right. And that’s that coaching me, that hard truth in me that coming out is like, if you want committed to the process, you won’t finish your book, period. So we really encourage people to get committed from the get go and ensure that this is a priority at this point of their life. The second must do is set your intentions all right. And there are typically three questions that we have people ask. The first one is what is your internal intention for writing this book? And this often falls in alignment with legacy impact service giving to others, inspiring others, sharing your story, something that you’ve always wanted to do.
Jake-Kelfer: That’s the internal intention. Then we ask people, What is your external intention? This is why the heck do you actually want to write the book? Speaking gigs, coaching clients, credibility, lead generation, raise your rates, whatever it is. And then the final question we have people ask in this in this phase is what is your definition of book success? How would you determine your book to be successful? And when you answer those things and you set your intention, you will have a much stronger purpose and drive to keep on going when things get difficult. And this is what we find happens a lot. So that’s the second must do. The third must do is you have to pick your book niche, your book audience. If you are writing a nonfiction book and you try to write it for everybody, it’s going to be really difficult to thin out the messaging, get clear on who you’re actually trying to to communicate with, and it’s much harder to write to everybody than it is to a specific group of people, especially people that, you know, you can help them solve a problem. And an example of this would be, you know, people are like, oh, I want to help people in real estate.
Jake-Kelfer: Amazing. But then we say, well, what really type of real estate do you want to help? And they go, Airbnb. I’m like, okay, that’s a little bit better. And then they go, I want to show people how to make their first six figures with Airbnb, with no money down, with little to no money down. That is a much easier book to write because it’s very, very specific for a specific person. So your book niche will really enhance your ability to communicate your messaging clear throughout the book. The fourth thing here is don’t I’ll wrap it up. Here is to add what we call book time to your calendar, because we know if it ain’t on the calendar, it ain’t getting done right. So you got to put it on the calendar, because what we found is if you don’t put on the calendar and you’re like, Oh, I’ll do it this morning as something came up, I’ll do it this afternoon. A book becomes one of the first things to go down because people in their mind, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not as big of a priority as the sales call they’re doing today as the meet and greet as the lunch meeting.
Jake-Kelfer: And so what we really encourage people to do is to put book time on the calendar and create the habit of showing up that will really, really, really help people when they write their book to be consistent, do the little action repeatedly over time and eventually, boom, you’re going to have your book. And the fifth and final must do is to find an accountability partner. And you know, I love my mom. She’s one of my heroes, but she’s not the person that’s going to be my accountability partner because she’s just going to tell me what I want to hear. Right. And I love that. And so I encourage her to be a supporter of mine and to actually be my mom. Right. But a great accountability partner is someone who’s going to push you, someone who you’re going to show up for and someone who, you know will make sure you get your stuff done in a timely manner. And so those are the five must dos that when you do those before getting into the actual book, you set yourself up for a higher chance of success. And it is a magical thing. What a little preparation can do for you if you want to take on the task of writing a great book.
Stone Payton: Jake I think we have captured more practical content in the last three and a half minutes than we do in most entire interviews. I am so glad that you were willing to willing to share those five must do’s before we wrap, Let’s let’s paint the the endgame a little bit. The last mile and maybe you are a great specific use case example. You’ll have this fourth book out in a little while. Then what? So you’ve got you’ve got the books. So. So now what?
Jake-Kelfer: Well, that’s the question that everybody wants to know. Right? But look, here’s the thing for me in where I’m at at this point of my my career is, you know, my book comes out in a couple of weeks, and the goal is to get it in as many hands as possible. And I want to show people that writing a book is not only possible, but it’s possible to do faster than you ever thought imaginable. Right? And so for me, it’s really leveraging this book and using this book to impact people, get more books out in the world. And then on a personal note, it’s to be able to get more speaking engagements. I travel a lot for speaking, and so I want to continue to do that in the new year and then, of course, to continue to grow our business. And that’s what this book is designed to do. And it’s been a so much fun writing it this quickly. And we’ve already helped a lot of people as I’ve been documenting this entire process. But I’m really excited for for what to come next from there. And this book is just the vehicle to all of my wildest dreams.
Stone Payton: What a breath of fresh air. This this conversation has been inspiring, informative, chock full of practical, actionable ideas. I want to make sure that our listeners can easily connect with you or someone on your team. Begin to tap into your work. So let’s leave them with those coordinates, whatever you think is appropriate website LinkedIn. But let’s make it easy for them to to connect with you. Man.
Jake-Kelfer: Here’s the easiest way, and I appreciate you. You’ve given me the platform today. I really appreciate it. And I hope all the listeners got something out of it that they can implement right after this conversation. So the best place to connect with me is on Instagram at Jake Helfer. That is the the best place. I’m also on all social media at Jake Fromm and Jake Helfer in the world that I know of. So you can just find me anywhere. But Instagram is the place that I hang out with the most. And if you want to write a book, hit me up and we’ll we’ll get you a copy of my new book. We’ll get you an advanced copy. We’ll get you we’ll get you a live copy, depending on when you listen to this. And we’ll just we’ll get that relationship going and have some fun.
Stone Payton: What an absolute delight to have you join us on the program and a fantastic way to invest a Wednesday afternoon. Jake, you’re doing such important work, man. Keep up the good work. Don’t be a stranger. Let us know as your work continues to to evolve, I, I look forward to maybe subsequent conversations. This has been fantastic, man. Thanks for joining us.
Jake-Kelfer: Yeah, I appreciate you. Thanks so much.
Stone Payton: My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Jake Colfer with Big idea to best seller and everyone here at the business Radio X family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.