Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA
28
JANUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho

As furniture subtly crept into our daily lives, a unique entrepreneur from Sweden made life easy for humanity. Kamprad blessed the world with Billy bookshelves, Friheten sofas, Kallax shelf units, Lack side tables and many more. Ingvar Kamprad, the brain behind the outstanding success of IKEA, a furniture-making company, has died at the age of 91.

According to his family, he died “peacefully” in his sleep on January 27, 2018. He left quietly but the echoes of his footsteps as he departed has woken everyone in the neighbourhood.

 

As the world pay tributes, I am here to share about the ingenuity of a young industrious man who climbed the slippery ladder of wealth with a fortune made from furniture. I am naturally attracted to creative and innovative people – Kamprad, a trailblazer belongs to this clan.

 

I want to write about the ambience of intelligence and creativity that beam with smiles when you stroll into a store full of IKEA furniture. I want to add letters to the simplicity that flows from the frugal life of the Swedish business magnate and the excellence he left behind for unborn generations.
He molded a company that “cares” about the needs of the common man who can’t do without a piece of furniture. Kamprad started a revolution that has outlived him – you can set-up your furniture (chairs, sofas, wardrobes, cupboards) yourself from a flat-pack in 45 minutes. He pioneered the flat-pack furniture series – an innovation that raised him shoulder high above his competitors.
Here are some interesting facts about the exceptional business tycoon.
The Eight Fascinating Facts

1. Kamprad made his first business deal at age five.

At a young age of five, Kamprad started developing his entrepreneurial skills by selling matches in his village, Smalad. He started this business when he discovered that he could buy matches in bulk at a cheap price from Stockholm and make appreciable profits from sales.

The farm boy with a bicycle at seven traveled to neighbouring fields to sell his matches. He later expanded his line of goods by selling fish, Christmas decorations, ballpoint pens, seeds, and pencils.

2. He started IKEA at age 17.

Kamprad started IKEA in 1943, four years into the bloody World War II. He used some money he got from his father as a gift for performing well at his studies despite his dyslexia. He started out by selling carbon copies of his Uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. Five years later, he diversified his product lines and added furniture. He retired as CEO in 1988 and stepped down from the company’s board in 2013 at the age of 87.

3. Kamprad lived a frugal life.

Despite the success of his company, he was the billionaire with a reputation for penny-pinching and an epitome of extreme frugality. During the inventory of his estate in 2013, it was reported that he had only two cars – a 2008 Skoda and a 1993 Volvo 240. He was known for flying economy class and shopping for second-hand clothes at flea markets.

 

4. He was the second richest person in Europe.

According to The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the worth of Kamprad before his death was $59billion. At the time of his death, he ranked as the second richest man in Europe behind Amancio Ortega and only seven men were ahead of him on the world map.

5. Kamprad left Sweden so he could pay lower taxes.

In a bid to reduce his taxes, Kamprad left Sweden for Denmark in 1973 and eventually settled for Switzerland in 1976. He lived in Switzerland for 38 years before returning home in 2014.
“Creativity and believing in your work is absolutely a necessary part of success.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Before I conclude, let’s look at some interesting facts about his multi-billion dollar company, IKEA.

6. IKEA is an acronym.

The first two letters of IKEA originates from his names – Ingvar and Kamprad while the two remaining letters came from the name of the farm he grew up, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village, Agunnaryd. His love for Sweden can be seen in the two main colors of IKEA which can be found on the Swedish national flag – blue and yellow. He placed Sweden on the world map.

 

7. IKEA is the world’s largest consumer of wood.

The furniture-making company has grown over the years with a total of 412 stores in 49 countries. To meet the demands of their ever-increasing customers, they munch wood and consumes 1% of the world’s supply of wood.

 

 

8. IKEA has a store on every continent except South America.

Well, there is an IKEA store in the Dominican Republic and this part of the world is often considered as the Carribean. Hopefully, South America will get an IKEA store soon.

 

Source: Store locations by continent as at Aug. 2016 (www.ikea.com)
In conclusion, this is the story of a young farm boy from the village of Smalad that rose through the ranks of life to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Kamprad’s life teaches about the discipline to stay focused on an idea until it blossoms.

It unravels the power of an idea successfully birthed by a visionary leader that understood the essence of consistency. I hope this inspires you to chase success pants down and remain undaunted in the face of challenges until you lay hold of greatness.

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?
02
JANUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho
I started the new year in the midst of brethren, we prayed and worshipped Yahweh until 2018 strolled in like a new baby in swaddling clothes.

 

The whole ground reverberated because of the enormity of the ecstasy that filled the auditorium. The tremulous energy was inundating, to say the least.
I only wish that our determination to succeed this year would wear the same regalia as our physical acrobatics. Unfortunately, only a few carry the grit of the first minute of 2018 into the second day of the year.
New year resolutions crash even before the first day gets completed. 
The year 2018 will chart the same route just like its siblings – 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 if we keep doing the same things over and over again.
Sadly, you must have heard this before but its true – “Nothing happens until you change.” However, “change” is relative and means different things to all of us.

 

What will you do differently this year? 
Will you reduce the number of hours you waste on social media? 
Will you increase the number of hours you use for personal meditation, retrospection, and thinking? 
Will you read those dusty books on your shelf? 
Will you write that pending book? 
Will you create that blog? 
Will you start that business and give wings to your creative ideas? 
Will you start that saving scheme? 
Will you enroll in that online course?
The world is waiting… And time is ticking away.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. It’s just like saying that Arsenal FC will win the English Premier League when Arsene Wenger is still at the helm of affairs with his rigid tactics.

 

It’s not going to work. (Smiles)
Cheers to a prosperous 2018!
So, what’s the point of my admonition?
I have heard the mantras/prophecies for this year – “My year of awakening,” “My year of greater glory,” “My year of divine speed,” “My year of abundance.” […]
But these words may become slogans that fail to appear in your life if you fail to do one thing to your plans.

 

Execution!
I mean ruthless execution.  

 

It implies chasing your life goals with tenacity like today is going to be your last day on earth.
Create a plan for the new year with a room for the changes you want to implement. The plans will come alive when you take action – execution!
Planning and execution work hand-in-hand for the realization of your goals.
In addition, as you start the new year, there are two things you should watch carefully – comparison with others and negative people. 

The Two Things You Should Do

1. Stop Comparison
I know you have some fears, doubts, and worries but I am glad to tell you that your worries will die a natural death when you no longer measure your success based on the achievements of your colleagues. Social media fuels comparison because we often believe the manicured lies and pedicured deception. Friends, comparison shuts down the revving engines of euphoria within you. Comparison focuses on the needless things and manhandles your peace of mind.

 

When comparison and competition is your motivation, moments of rejoicing with others may become seasons of depression. Stop it! It kills you and renders your potential to pennies because you no longer focus on the strength within. So, what should be my motivation? Find your motivation in the scrolls of your purpose; let your purpose in life be your yardstick to measure success and progress. Oh! You want to leave a legacy here on earth; let that motivate you and spur you on to greater heights. Yes, it’s very possible!
“Negative people are very toxic, say goodbye to them because you can no longer be their clients.”
2. Stay Happy and Shut Out Negative People
I want you to choose a new path where there is no room for any form of complaints or space for murmurs. Climb to a unique terrain where you leap for joy and jump with a grateful heart. In the midst of this newly found cheerfulness lies the power to conquer new grounds and surmount the mountains of challenges.
In 2018, learn how to make yourself happy by doing the things that bring out the best in you. The happiest moments of your life are not in your past, they are days of ecstasy waiting to be lived in your future. The more you realize how beautiful your future is, the quicker you forget your irreparable past. Be happy and learn to shut out negative people. Negative people are very toxic, say goodbye to them because you can no longer be their clients.
In conclusion, avoid comparison, shut down negative vibes, find out what needs to change in your life, create a plan, and be intentional about executing your plan.

 

Welcome to your best year yet!
It’s a new book with 12 new chapters and 365 new crispy pages. Write a story of impact with the ink of time.
Expect explosive and insightful conversations from me in 2018.

 

How do you think I can be of help to you this year?  
I am reviewing my content and strategies. Your answers and replies will go a long way. 
Thanks in anticipation.

 

 

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You
24
DECEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho
The best of entrepreneurs and innovators embark on a personal journey to find viable solutions to their pains and challenges. When compared to an ordinary nagging consumer, innovators see opportunities for scalable businesses where others scream because of a pinch of discomfort. Technology is moving at a top speed and gradually leaving trails that can create a desirable future for its loyal disciples.

Every creative mind knows that the birth of anything valuable is painful – it involves deep thinking, resilience and commitment. I totally agree with American Industrialist, Henry Ford, when he shared his thoughts about the price of thinking: “Thinking is one of the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Irresistible innovation that is often embraced by the world is a product of deep thinking. As usual, we enjoyed some bytes of progress from the castles of technology in 2017 because some creative thinkers went to work.

Here are my top ten inventions of 2017 and I think every creative person out there needs to see this list.

The Top 10 Inventions

1. Fidget Spinners

The popularity of fidget spinners surged in 2017 that it caused a disruption in the way people “handle psychological stress and nervousness.” In classrooms and offices, fidget spinners assisted individuals to indulge in a mild form of distraction. It’s surprising how the “toys” received wide approval from the teeming populace. The craze translated to a spike in sales and revenue for its manufacturers.

 

Although there is no scientific evidence to substantiate the claims, a school of thought opines that the spinners help in the treatment of patients suffering from disorders such as ADHD and autism. As of 2017, the inventor of the fidget spinner is unknown and the status of the patent claims is unclear. At this point, I really don’t care if the inventor is Catherin Hettinger or Scott McCoskery, all that matters is the fact that a spinner is raking in sales from a generation that struggles with low attention span.
Photo Credit: DJI

2. DJI Spark

In the past one decade, the ubiquity of drones is on the increase and on the lips of every digitally inclined mind. Its versatility and multi-purpose nature have made it the target of individuals from diverse sectors. You can use drones for rescue operations, surveillance, relief missions and of course, to capture a cinematic and aerial view of a place either in video or photo formats.

 

The China-based company, DJI have a strong presence in the drone market and its recent release of DJI Spark at a giveaway price of $499USD has changed the way millennials take selfies. I recently operated a drone from the DJI family and I can testify to the cinematic wonder that these flying goblets create. Spark is a smart drone with an average flying time of 16 minutes; sensitive to gestures, easy to operate and free from shakes. It has very impressive features that ensure safe flight and harmless landing.
Photo Credit: Ember Technologies

3. Ember Mug

According to the Cosmopolitan, “Ember Mug is the Apple Watch of tumblers” and I totally agree with this assertion because of its well-thought-out design. Ember Mug gives coffee lovers a completely new experience where they get to have their beverage at the desired temperature. The mug keeps your coffee at the desired temperature for two hours on the go; it retains and regulates heat. Its aesthetic appeal and intelligence have made it the cynosure of all eyes.

 

The ceramic mug which has a charging saucer was launched on Nov. 9 and it’s available for sale in 4,600 U.S. Starbucks stores. The Ember Travel Mug won the 2017 IDSA IDEA industrial Design Awards. These are the inventions of Ember Technologies and the founder of the Los Angeles-based company, Clay Alexander, definitely had his thinking cap on to pull this off.

 

Photo Credit: The Verge

4. Linktree

For lovers of Instagram, the launch of Linktree is a big relief and a shortcut to having a bio that can house more than one link. Linktree is a web application that can help you add multiple custom links to your Instagram bio. It uses your Instagram handle to create one umbrella link that leads to the “tree of links.”

 

If you are a writer or a brand ambassador that’s concerned about the conversion of leads and engagement metrics from your Instagram profile, you can create a free Linktree account. This is a lovely invention and a social media tool that makes life easy for digital marketers.
Photo Credit: Nintendo

5. Nintendo Switch

Gaming just got better with the new release of a hybrid video gaming console from Nintendo. The extra-ordinary gaming console, Nintendo Switch, hit the stores in March 2017 and it was welcomed with a roaring applause. With the new console, you can game on the go with its hand-held tablet format and revert to the normal playing style with its docking station when you get home.

 

The console’s flexibility accommodates both single and multiple players because it has two controllers. Within nine months of its release, Nintendo has sold over 10 million units of Nintendo Switches.
Photo Credit: Engadget

6. Molekule

This is an air filter that does not only trap harmful air pollutants but also destroys them. The physical product made with the aim of helping millions of people breathe better and easier uses a major component called the coated nano-filter. The inventor, Dr. Yogi Goswami started the company with his daughter, Jaya Rao, and son, Dilip Goswami.

 

The price of the air filter is nearly $800 USD, plus $99 USD per year for new filters. Till date, Molekule has raised over $15 million from investors who believe in the dream.
“Thinking is one of the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford
Photo Credit: The Gadgeteer

7. Norton Core

This is more than just a WiFi router as it comes with security and parental control features to protect every device in the home, from PC to smart TVs. Norton Core is a high-performance router that utilizes advanced machine learning and Symantec’s global threat intelligence network to make your use of Internet a safe cruise.

 

If any device on the network gets a virus, the secure wireless router automatically shuts down the device in the similitude of a sick patient in need of a medical attention. If you have a myriad of smart devices connected to the Internet at home and in the office, then you need the intelligent Norton Core to be protected from hackers.

 

8. Tasty One Top

In 2017, the world got the smartest cooking assistant ever; a versatile appliance with an induction cooktop that looks like a hot plate but syncs with the Tasty smartphone app that contains a library of recipes of your most popular meals. The app in conjunction with the cooker guides the chef through the cooking process via a built-in sensor and a thermometer that tracks the cooking temperature.

 

This is a superb invention which is rare; it is going to change the way people learn how to cook their favorite meals. And above all, trying out new meals becomes easy even if you are an inexperienced chef.
Photo Credit: CNN

9. Oculus Go

Virtual Reality is now within your reach with Facebook’s Oculus Go. With no PC wires or extra gadgets attached, Oculus Go is an all-in-one VR headset made fit for you. This is a stand-alone computer that will blow your mind with a variety of spatial VR experience. It is set for release in early 2018 at a cheap price of $199 USD. You can pre-order here from authorized retailers.

 

It is portable and an intelligent attempt to make VR experience reachable to every technology enthusiast; designed with adjustable straps, breathable fabrics, and great lenses. You can literally immerse yourself in 1,000 VR games, social apps, 360-degree experiences, and more.
Photo Credit: The New Yorker

10. Ruggie Clock

This is a revolutionary clock for early risers; a simple but sophisticated reinvention of the traditional alarm clock. If you are tired of snoozing your alarms to steal more sleep on your bed, then you may need to trust the ingenuity packaged in the Ruggie clock. Ruggie clock was built to get you out of bed early because the sound of the clock won’t stop until you place your feet on the soft rug for three seconds.

 

It’s easy to set up; it has a touch activated LED display with powerful built-in speakers.

 

These inventions are bundles of inspirations to every creative mind or anyone that is poised to make a difference in a noisy world. I was humbled by the creativity embedded in these new inventions; kudos to the dogged inventors, the resilient research teams and unconventional product designers that made these things happen.

 

I am curious! I want to know your top three inventions of the year from this list.

 

What are your top three inventions of 2017 from this list? 

 

PS: All the inventions here were featured in TIME Magazine’s “25 Best Inventions of 2017” except Linktree and Ruggie Clock.

 Photo Credit: Tolu Babarinde (Featured Photo)

 

Top 10 Writing Lessons of 2017

Top 10 Writing Lessons of 2017

Top 10 Writing Lessons from 2017
17
DECEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho
Oh! My good friend, the year 2017, is waving goodbye but its departure is never without the blessing of a diary filled with memorable events. From the swearing-in of Donald Trump to the death of Don Williams to the massive blow of Hurricane Harvey to the numerous sexual harassment scandals, 2017 will always be remembered.
To my utmost surprise, 2017 happened so fast. However, my major personal highlights have the recurring themes of learning, unlearning and relearning. As a writer, I conquered my fears of rejection and stepped out in grand style with my personal website. It’s crazy how I have to show up every week with new ideas fleshed out in fresh blog posts. Alas! This is my 11th blog post and I am still alive – that’s good news.
To be honest, I am still a rookie in writing but I have got some simple truths to share that will inspire you. There is a lot to learn in doing the things you talk or write about, you earn a wealth of experience that stays with you forever. Your experience is golden and it’s priceless.
I’ll be drawing lessons from my personal experience and daily interactions as a writer in 2017.
The Top 10 Writing Lessons

1. Don’t Be Scared of Starting

Just as a crawling baby gets scared of taking the first steps of walking, it’s the same way with life. Everyone feels that pinch of fear whenever there is a push to start a new adventure. Fear emanates from several quarters: risks, doubts, rejections, and uncertainties. It’s natural but you must not allow it to kill your dreams.

Starting a blog is not a child’s play and publishing your first book takes an amount of boldness but you just have to start somewhere. It’s funny how the majority of the things you worry about don’t eventually happen.

2. Choose Your Path

Writers churn out poems, novels, blog posts, non-fiction books and articles. A writer employs writing in creating several products which are all content related. It’s a fantastic idea to be multi-faceted and dexterous but it will be hard to make an impact as a writer if you want to be active in the creation of works for all genres of writing.

You cannot write for everybody. Choose a path you love, stick with the flow and grow till you become the best. I chose the path of creating blog posts on themes such as writing, public speaking, personal development, and productivity. I love writing poems but you will never see my poems here because it’s no longer my priority.

3. Stay Focused

The power of focus cannot be overemphasized. In a noisy world, there is a multitude of busy people but only a few productive persons. I have learnt that it takes concentrated focus to complete a task. Yes, you have chosen a path but you need to be focused on your path or else you start misplacing your priorities.

 

For instance, if you want to be a genius in the world of fiction, it’s time to stay focused on reading and writing novels. Focus is a key that unlocks the power within and unleashes the ingenuity in your brain. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to stay focused, the more reason why it works like magic when you switch on the light of focus.

4. Starve Your Distractions

The world is swimming in a sea of distractions. Attention spans are rapidly decreasing; we blame everyone including the social media except ourselves. People that attract success are individuals who have learnt how to detach themselves from distractions.

Distraction is a subtle killer and reduces the worth of your time from gold to pennies. I recently told a friend how I create my own night during the day in order to find time for writing – I shut down my phone and I switch off the Internet. Twice this year, I had to uninstall Facebook App from my phone when it was becoming a huge distraction for me.

5. Be Committed to Deep Work

In the school of content creation, the big players create quality works and not junks. Quality work is a product of deep work; the successful execution of a demanding task. Blog posts, articles, and books that often become reference points are creative works forged in a place void of distractions.

In the process of scripting solid and robust blog posts in 2017, I learnt the importance of personal commitment to deep work. The term “Deep Work” became popular after an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Cal Newport, authored a book titled, “Deep Work.” You should consider adding the book to your library. Deep Work is intense and can be very demanding but it is the only way to stand out.

“You can make anything by writing.”
– C.S. Lewis

6. Be Consistent

Every creative mind knows the essence of consistency and its ability to earn you more followers. In 2017, consistency impacted my writing life immensely in two ways: improvement in my writing style and increase in the number of my readers. It’s true that things get better with time; showing up every week with fresh content is a profound way of honing your writing skill. The more you write, the higher your chances of getting better at it.

Regardless of the message you have, consistency is a flavor that attracts others and gives them an impression of the authenticity of your passion. Someone I have come to deeply respect for his consistency is the American author and marketing expert, Seth Godin; I get emails from him every day and they are always fresh and profound thoughts.

7. Chase Progress Not Fame

If the only reason why you write is to get famous or win awards, the chances are high that you’ll soon be frustrated. The social media is built in a way that people use fame as a yardstick for measuring effectiveness. Unfortunately, fame is ephemeral and it puts writers under undue pressure. I’ll advise you to avoid that trap.

Chase progress and improvement in all you do instead of pursuing fame. The worse thing about fame is that at the end no one wins the race, there is always a tipping point for any viral content and it’s unsafe to live your life based on the lifespan of a viral content. Enjoy the process of honing your craft and fall in love with the craft itself – writing.

8. Seek Personal Growth

The mind is created in such a way that there is always a room for new knowledge and a space for learning new things. In the quest to seek personal growth, it’s highly imperative to read relevant books and enroll in online courses. In 2017, I expanded my skill-set with courses from Shaw Academy, LinkedIn Learning, and HubSpot Academy. These decisive steps have been very rewarding. Be deliberate about your personal growth – it’s a sure way of reaching the apex in any chosen path.

9. Connect with Others in Your Tribe

When you find a member of your tribe, you’ll know. Often, people in your tribe share the same passion and do the same work you do. Connecting with your tribe is a fast way of learning solutions to challenges that are commonly faced by people in your field. Starting a blog as a writer was done with ease because I connected with the likes of Jeff Goins, Bryan Harris, Neal Samudre, Joel Friedlander, Michael Hyatt, Tim Ferris and Seth Godin. I have learnt so much from these virtual mentors and thought leaders; all I had to do was connect with their platforms and listen to them.

10. Everyone’s journey is different

At the end, you need to know and understand that everyone’s journey is different. Desist from comparing yourself with others but compete with the best version of yourself. I admire a lot of great writers but I sincerely don’t wish to be like anyone. I seek to be the best version of myself and that is why I stick to my path with a keen focus on my goals. It’s time to plan for 2018 and hit the ground running.

These are my top ten writing lessons for 2017, I hope it inspires and motivates you to do amazing things as a writer in 2018. Always remember that you only fail when you quit. Stay focused on your path and give wings to your ideas.
What are your writing lessons from 2017?

 

 

Meet the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Authors in 2017

Meet the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Authors in 2017

Meet the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Authors in 2017
10
DECEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho
Writing is a tough job. The ubiquity of writing has made it an indispensable tool for content creation in any space. To communicate an idea, it is either you speak or you write. Writing is one of the oldest forms of communication and it is here to stay. The world is prodigiously blessed with a sea of writers but exceptional writers are scarce.

Except you are making the headlines or you are raking in money, a lot of people believe that writers are jokers or lazy people. From a pile of stories, it’s true that making a living as a full-time writer can be an arduous task.

However, there is a myriad of successful writers in contracts running into millions of dollars. These writers who have redefined the face of artistic contribution through the portal of writing are sources of inspiration to young writers. However, the stories of successful writers have the same recurring themes – persistence, rare talent, diligence, and luck.

With the recent influx of digital tools that support self-publishing, life just got better for writers. From the inspiring stories churned out in 2017, it can only get better. It’s a season of earning big-time money for writers who are diligent in honing their craft and showing up consistently with riveting works.

 

Let’s look at some intriguing figures from Forbes’ top 10 highest earning authors for 2017.

 

The World’s 10 Highest-Paid Authors in 2017
Photo Credit: The Big Issue

1. J.K. Rowling ($95 million)

Leading the clan of the world’s highest-earning wordsmiths in 2017 is the British Queen of letters, Joanne Rowling. Though the magical idea of the Harry Potter fantasy series was conceived in 1990, the book did not hit the shelves until 1997. Ever since 1999, Rowling has topped the Forbes’ highest-paid authors list three times.

In a writing career spanning two decades, she has sold more than 400 million copies of her books. Rowling’s total earnings of $95 million in 2017 quadrupled her earnings for 2016. Her astronomical financial growth can be attributed to the 2016 releases of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The stage play script/book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child co-written with Jack Thorne emerged as the best-selling book of 2016 with over 4.5 domestic million copies sold. The movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, tickled the interest of the Harry Potter fans and subsequently paid off in huge sums for the British novelist.

Rowling has this to say about persistence:

“I’ve been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can’t really say where the desire came from; I’ve always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence because a lot of publishers turned me down!”

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

2. James Patterson ($87 million)

Patterson is not a stranger to the Forbes’ list of highest paid authors. Before slipping to the second position in 2017, he held the first spot for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016.

The award-winning writer is best known for the crime fiction novel series – “Alex Cross” and several of his works are being adapted for screenplays. America’s richest author has written 147 novels, 114 have appeared on the New York Times bestselling list. He holds The New York Times record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers by a single author, a total of 67, which is also a Guinness World Record.

He has sold over 300 million copies worldwide. Even at 70, Patterson is ready for 2018, it was announced in May 2017 that Patterson will co-author a crime fiction novel with former US President Bill Clinton. It’s expected to be a blockbuster and rake in more money for the prolific writer.

Patterson talks about doggedness in a conversation with TIME Magazine in 2010:

“I worked my way through college. I had a lot of night shifts, so I started reading like crazy. Then I started writing. And I found that I loved it. When I was 26, I wrote my first mystery, The Thomas Berryman Number, and it was turned down by, I don’t know, 31 publishers. then it won an Edgar for Best First Novel. Go figure.”
Photo Credit: The Wimpy Kid

3. Jeff Kinney ($21 million)

American cartoonist and author of children’s books, Jeff Kinney is best known for his book series – Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Upon its release with an online version in 2007, it became an instant hit. In April 2007, the book was published. Up to date, thirteen different titles have been published in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series and has sold more than 60 million copies.

Kinney made huge returns from his creative work this year because the ninth title in the series – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul made it to the movies.

Kinney shares this about his passion for writing:

“I only work on my books at nights and at weekends. It is really just like a hobby.”
Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

4. Dan Brown ($20 million)

If you have watched Angels and Demons and perhaps you fell in love with The Da Vinci Code, then you must be familiar with Daniel Gerhard Brown popularly known as Dan Brown. The 53-year old American author has carved a hunt for himself on the hills of thriller fiction with suspense wrapped around themes such as keys, symbols, codes, cryptography and conspiracy theories.
He has written seven books with five out of them serving as subjects of major controversies – the Robert Langdon series: Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and Origin.

 

He has three movie adaptations of his works from the Robert Langdon series – Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno. Inferno was released in 2017 but it could not replicate the sterling performance that made the first two screenplays spectacular. However, Dan Brown made considerable cash from his newly released book – Origin.

 

“When I graduated from college, I had two loves–writing fiction and writing music. I lived in Hollywood CA for a while, doing the songwriting thing. Aside from a song in the Atlanta Olympic ceremonies, I never had much success in music. I woke up one morning and decided to start writing fiction again. Digital Fortress was my first attempt at a novel. I certainly feel blessed that it sold; I’m not sure I would have had the patience to write another one on spec!”
Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

5. Stephen King ($15 million)

The King of horror novels has written a myriad of thrillers that have earned him millions of fans across the world. More fans equal more sales and more money. He is one of the world’s wealthiest authors having sold over 350 million copies of his books.

King’s most popular novels – The Shining, It, and Misery, all have movie adaptations. It made it to the theaters in September 2017 and gathering storm with raving reviews while King’s recent novel, End of Watch sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S. in 2017.

In his book, On Writing, King shared about how he handled rejection as a teenager while trying to publish his short stories:

“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”
Photo Credit: Famous Authors

6. John Grisham ($14 million)

The sixth spot is equally shared by two successful American novelists, John Grisham and Nora Roberts. John Grisham’s exceptional style of crafting legal thrillers has made him the fancy of many readers across the world.

His books have been translated into 42 languages and published worldwide; his first bestseller, The Firm, sold more than 7 million copies. Nine of his novels have screenplay adaptations: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, Skipping Christmas, and A Time to Kill.

He recently published three novels: The Whistler in 2016, Camino Island and The Rooster Bar in 2017. The Whistler emerged as the third bestselling book of 2016 with over 660,000 hardcover sales in the U.S. and the sales of Camino Island is not doing bad either.

Grisham talks about focus:

“My name became a brand, and I’d love to say that was the plan from the start. But the only plan was to keep writing books. And I’ve stuck to that ever since.”

“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time it was too famous.” – Robert Benchley

Photo Credit: Screen Junkies

7. Nora Roberts ($14 million)

Nora Roberts dubbed as the Queen of romance novels and also known for her prolific nature published four novels in 2017 with two new titles ready to hit the bookshelves in 2018. In 2017, Roberts raked in sales from her latest novel, Come Sundown after topping the New York Times bestselling list.

 

She is one of America’s wealthiest writers with a net worth of about $370 million. She has authored over 200 novels and a handful of them have been adapted into screenplays earning her the screenwriter’s credits.
“Every single book is a challenge. No matter how many you’ve written, you’ve never written this one before. And each book has to receive your best effort every single time. No slacking. But that’s the job. I’m lucky to love my job. Certainly the plagiarism, and dealing with the fallout of it, was the most difficult thing I’ve ever faced since I started writing.”
Photo Credit: CBC

8. Paula Hawkins ($13 million)

Zimbabwe-born British author, Paula Hawkins, debuted on Forbes’ list of highest paid authors in 2016 and clinching the eighth spot implies that she is on top of her game. Hawkins strolled into the limelight in 2015 with her psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train, which was widely accepted by book lovers across the world. She has sold more than 2 million copies of the book in the U.S. over the past 12 months.

 

She has other novels under the pen name, Amy Silver but she is popular in literary circles for the ingenuity portrayed in The Girl on the Train. The thriller was recently adapted into a movie and making ripples at the theaters after it grossed $173 million in 2016. Her latest book, Into the Water, was released in 2017 and the rights for its film adaptation was acquired by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners.
In an interview with The Guardian, Hawkins has this to say about her record-breaking book:
“It’s great to break a record. It’s also, though, a slightly artificial thing, isn’t it? I’m not even sure when those records began, and from an author’s point of view, that’s not the most important thing.”
Photo Credit: Forbes

9. E.L. James ($11.5 million)

English author, Erika Mitchell, popularly known by her pen name E. L. James, is the author of the bestselling erotic romance trilogy – Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The first book in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, was published in 2011 while the other two sequels reached the bookshelves in 2012.

Sales from the trilogy pushed James to the top of Forbes’ list of highest-earning authors in 2013 with earnings of about $95 million. She is in the eight spot in 2017 because of the film adaptation of the second title in the series – Fifty Shades Darker, the screenplay failed to receive massive approval from her fans.

The 2017 movie grossed $379 million worldwide, nearly $200 million short of Fifty Shades of Grey. She published a new novel this year – Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian while the film adaptation of Fifty Shades Freed is set to hit the theaters in 2018.

James talks about writing:

“Write for yourself. That’s it. And write every day.”
Photo Credit: Forbes

10. Danielle Steel ($11 million)

American prolific author, Danielle Steel, shared the tenth spot with Rick Riordan after a very eventful year despite her recent induction into the septuagenarian circle of literary sages.

 

At 70, Danielle is rock solid like a steel; published six novels in 2016, seven in 2017 and she has four ready to hit the bookstores in 2018.

 

The novelist known for her romantic stories is the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling fiction author of all time having sold over 800 million copies of her books worldwide. Asides her prolific nature, her books top the charts and 24 out of her 110 novels have movie adaptations.
In an interview with Goodreads, Steel sheds light on her rigorous writing process:
“I work for about six months to a year on an outline and do it by hand mostly. Eventually I type up what I’ve got, send it to my editor, get comments, and alter it, send it back, get comments, alter it again. And I eventually sit down to write the book, and when I do that I pretty much lock myself up for about a month and do only that for about 20 hours a day. And it goes back and forth like a tennis ball between me and my editor for about two years while I rewrite it. I’m usually working on four or five books at once.”
All earnings listed here are for June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017 before taxes and other fees.
Credits: This post was made possible with the annual list from Forbes Magazine.

The Daily Routines of 10 Famous Writers: From Toni Morrison to Kazuo Ishiguro

The Daily Routines of 10 Famous Writers: From Toni Morrison to Kazuo Ishiguro

The Daily Routines of 10 Famous Writers: From Toni Morrison to Kazuo Ishiguro

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NOVEMBER, 2017

Samuel Osho

It could be hard to have the bird of inspiration perch daily in your garden of letters. When do you search for the lyrical whispers of ingenuity and originality? Is it in the darkest hours of the night or when dawn is dancing in the shadow of the rising Sun? As a writer, do you think there is a specific time of the day when you can easily arrest muse for a cerebral exchange of ideas? In this busy and noisy world, you need a daily plan that supports your writing style if you want to get outstanding results.
Writing a book can be a daunting task but we have a litany of highly successful writers that have defied the odds. These distinguished authors are on a writing spree – churning out their creativity in blockbuster novels, poetry collections, and screenplays. They found the magical touch of brilliance, they met the deadlines and the world distinctively celebrates their unique voices with applause.
In my strong admiration for brilliant authors that have earned literary medals, I searched for their daily routines and writing plans to scoop their “secrets.” Perhaps, if there is a new style that I can implement in order to get excellent results. What are the famous and celebrated writers doing that you should also start today? It’s time to find the energy and passion that will kick the half-baked and unfinished works in you to the bookshelves.
Let’s learn from Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Booker Prize clinchers and bestselling authors who have shared the beauty of letters with the world through their works.

The Daily Routines of the 10 Famous Writers

Photo Credit: Princeton University

1. Toni Morrison

At 86, Toni Morrison released her latest work, The Origin of Others, in 2017. The American author has won a huge chunk of notable literary awards, from the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 to Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She is popularly known for The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved. In 2015, shortly after the release of God Help the Childshe granted an interview to Goodreads and she talked about her daily routine.

“Very early in the morning, before the sun comes up. Because I’m very smart at that time of day. Now, at this time of day [4 p.m.], it’s all drifting away. But tomorrow morning I will be sharp for about four hours, say from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. If I get up before the sun and greet it, that’s when I start.”

Photo Credit: Hello Naija

2. Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie, one of the most prominent young African authors, has earned her spot in the international league of writers. Her debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, was nominated for the Booker Prize and Orange Prize in 2004. The Nigerian author in an interview with Goodreads talked about how she wrote one of her international bestsellers, Americanah.

“I wrote the book in both Nigeria and the U.S. I don’t have a routine. I like silence and space whenever and wherever I can get it. When the writing is going well, I’m obsessive—I roll out of bed and go to work. I write and rewrite a lot and shut everything out.
When it is not going well, I sink into a dark place and read books I love.”

Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

3. Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly, the bestselling author of crime fiction novels with the prominent amidst the pack – the Harry Bosch series earning more readers by the day. In an interview with Goodreads, he shared about his writing habits and how he gets the job done. He has more than 30 novels to his name.

“Because of working on a TV show, my writing process is to write whenever I get a chance. Also, my training in journalism has taught me to write—I don’t need to be coddled. I can write in my office, I can write on planes, I can write in cars. I was on a plane last night for five hours, squeezed in so tight, my elbows were pushing into my ribs, but I wrote the whole time and got a lot done. That’s my process: to try to write whenever I can.
A perfect day would be to get up before the light gets up in the sky and start writing and get a lot done before the rest of the city wakes up. That’s what I try to do when I’m at home or even when I’m in a hotel on the road. Morning hours are really good for me, dark morning hours. So in that regard I kind of share something with Renée because I like to work till dawn.”

Photo Credit: The Verge

4. Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer is an American author best known for her vampire romance series, Twilight. The popular four-book collection has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. She is also the author of The Host and The Chemist. In an interview with Goodreads, she spilled her secrets and daily routines for writing blockbuster novels.

“My writing process has morphed mostly in smallish ways—for example, I have a hard time writing to music with words now. I usually listen to classical music and movie scores. I save the metal for editing.”
“None, really, besides time of day. I can never get truly immersed in writing during the daytime. I know it’s a product of being interrupted by work calls and emails, children’s and husband’s questions about where fill-in-the-blank is located, and the dog’s bladder needs.
Subconsciously my brain believes that there is no point in trying to focus when my office door is just about to slam open in three…two…one…. So now, even when I’m in a quiet, private environment, I can’t make my brain accept that it is possible to write while the sun is out. When I’m in the middle of a story, I do my self-editing during the day. That part handles interruptions better.”

Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

5. Stephen King

Stephen King is an American author and a revered King in the palace of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. King also writes under two pen names – Richard Bachman and John Swithen.

King has authored 54 novels, all are global bestsellers and he has sold more than 350 million copies with some adapted as films, television series, and comic books. In this interview which was granted in 2014, he sheds lucidity on his daily routine for writing.

“I start work around 8 a.m. and usually finish around noon. If there’s more to do, I do it in the late afternoon, although that isn’t prime time for me. The only ritual is making tea. I use the loose leaves and drink it by the gallon.”

Photo Credit: Famous Authors

6. Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author of the 1988 bestseller, The Alchemist, has written over 30 books. The Alchemist is a book of literary ingenuity and no wonder it is the most translated book in the world by a living author. The lyricist is the writer with the highest number of social media followers – 29.5 million fans on his Facebook page and 12.2 million followers on Twitter. In this interview, he served a plethora of hints about his daily routine once he is in a writing mode.

“First I say that I’m going to write as soon as I wake up. Then I postpone and postpone and start feeling guilty and horrible and feel that I don’t deserve anything. Then I say, OK, today I’m not going to write. Then I write just to not feel guilty, and I’m going to write the first sentence. Then once I’m off the ground, the plane takes off…when I’m writing, I wake up around 12 o’clock because I write until 4 in the morning. Only two weeks.
Then of course, I have to make the corrections and do another draft. I have to correct the second draft. So the first draft has, let’s say, one-third more pages than the final draft. So I start cutting.”

” I don’t give a lot of advice, but I tell aspiring writers all the time that until you reach the point where you’re writing one page a day, you’re not serious. ” – John Grisham

Photo Credit: Famous Authors

7. John Grisham

John Grisham is the master of legal thrillers and definitely knows how to spin readers in the wheel of suspense. The American bestselling author has more than 30 books under his belt. In 2014, Grisham talked about one of writing habits and daily routine in an interview with Goodreads.

“Sure, it’s work. Some days the words flow, and some days they don’t. Some days the characters are alive, and some days they’re not. Some days the plot moves in the right direction, and some days it doesn’t. It’s always a struggle to get it right.
I laugh because I don’t have a job; I don’t really work that hard—I mean, these days I don’t. Back then I worked hard because I was also a lawyer, and I had to [write] as a secret hobby whenever I could steal a half an hour here or there. That goes to the advice part—I don’t give a lot of advice, but I tell aspiring writers all the time that until you reach the point where you’re writing one page a day, you’re not serious. I mean, you’ve got to get one page in per day. If you do that, then the pages are going to pile up pretty fast. That, and knowing where you’re going: that goes back to the outlining. You outline a story, you know where you’re going, you start writing, you do at least a page a day, with no exceptions—you’re going to get somewhere! The pages are going to pile up, and that’s what it takes.”

Photo Credit: Emily’s Poetry Blog

8. Margaret Atwood

Award-winning Canadian author, Margaret Atwood is popularly known for her crime fiction novels and she is one of the most celebrated Canadian writers alive today. At age 78, Atwood has 14 beautiful novels to her name, asides children books, poetry collections and short stories. She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once. Atwood secured a permanent place in Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. In an enthralling interview with Goodreads in 2014, she talked about her daily routine.

“There are no typical days spent writing. Let’s pretend there is one. I would get up. We would have breakfast. Then we have the coffee. That is something I really like to have to get myself started. Then I would probably sit down and type something that I had written in manuscript the day before. It’s a kind of overlap method, in which I’m typing out what I did the day before to get myself going for what I’m going to add on to that. I’m revising and then continuing to write in the same day. Then I do the next bit of new writing in the afternoon. I don’t go by how much time I spent at it but how many pages I managed to complete.”

Photo Credit: Screen Junkies

9. Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is a literary beast that needs no introduction – the master chef when it comes to baking romance novels with an icing of suspense. She is one of America’s most successful authors with more than 200 novels to her name, and with more than 500 million copies in print. Her books have collectively spent more than 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She talked about her daily routine in a recent interview granted to Goodreads.

“I’m an early riser, and I wish I wasn’t. But I’m often up by 5 or 5:15 a.m. It’s ridiculous. When my kids were up, we got up early because we had to catch the bus, we live in the country, and I would think, when they’re old enough I’ll be able to sleep until 7 or 8 a.m. Well, now I’m up at 5 a.m. It kills me! I got used to it. It just seems to be the way my body works. I get up early, before the dogs, and play around for a while. Check Facebook, play a game or read stuff, right now it’s politics. Then the dogs get up, my husband gets up, and I count down the time until he leaves for work because he’s just breathing my air, [laughs] even though he doesn’t bother me.
And then if he’s gonna be around through part of the morning, I’ll just ignore him and start work anywhere between 7:30 and 9 a.m. If I haven’t started before 9 a.m, then I’m just f@$king around. Then I’ll work until 2:30-3:30 p.m., it depends. Are the kids coming? Am I making dinner? Then I go work out, then fix dinner or warm up leftovers. Then I watch TV or read a book and then do it all again the next day. “

Photo Credit: The New Yorker

10. Kazuo Ishiguro

British writer of Japanese descent, Kazuo Ishiguro has authored seven outstanding novels including The Remains of the Day which won him the 1989 Booker Prize award. His 2005 novel, Never Let Me Go was chosen as the best novel of 2005 by TIME magazine and also included in its list of 100 best English language novels from 1923 to 2005. He was recently awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, he shared passionately about how he wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

“So Lorna (his wife) and I came up with a plan. I would, for a four-week period, ruthlessly clear my diary and go on what we somewhat mysteriously called a “Crash”. During the Crash, I would do nothing but write from 9 am to 10.30pm, Monday through Saturday. I’d get one hour off for lunch and two for dinner. I’d not see, let alone answer, any mail, and would not go near the phone. No one would come to the house. Lorna, despite her own busy schedule, would for this period do my share of the cooking and housework. In this way, so we hoped, I’d not only complete more work quantitively, but reach a mental state in which my fictional world was more real to me than the actual one.
By the third day, Lorna observed during my evening break that I was behaving oddly. On my first Sunday off I ventured outdoors, on to Sydenham high street, and persistently giggled – so Lorna told me – at the fact that the street was built on a slope, so that people coming down it were stumbling over themselves, while those going up were panting and staggering effortfully. Lorna was concerned I had another three weeks of this to go, but I explained I was very well, and that the first week had been a success.
I kept it up for the four weeks, and at the end of it I had more or less the entire novel down: though of course a lot more time would be required to write it all up properly, the vital imaginative breakthroughs had all come during the Crash.”
These are the daily routines of some of the fascinating authors in the world. I hope it inspires and motivates you to share your stories and literary works with the world. In a nutshell, I have learnt several lessons and they include:
– The power of focus from Ishiguro’s arduous “Crash.” Do one thing at a time and finish it.
The art of waking up early from Toni Morrison, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, and Michael Connelly. It has repeatedly been proven that great achievers are early risers. And most importantly, they focus on the most important events of the day once they wake up before wading into other matters.
– Take your writing life more seriously, see it as a job and not just a hobby as clearly stated by John Grisham.
Get a writing plan or stick with a period that works for you like Paulo Coelho that embarks on two weeks writing marathon once a year.
What is your daily routine when it comes to writing? Which one of the daily routines listed here is your favorite?
Credits: This post was made possible with interview excerpts from Goodreads and The Guardian.

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