What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration for The Power of Yet was for many reasons y’nahmsayin’, but was mainly inspired by the fact I paid off my student loans in one year and was debt free at 23. When it got publicized, a lot of people were asking me how I did it and I got tired of repeating myself so decided to put the mindset I used to do it in a book for my chance to display my love for fiction storytelling, while teaching about financial literacy through the self-help concepts I’ve adapted from reading a lot of self-help books.
Another inspiration was based off the fact I’m a motivational speaker so I wanted a book to stand out, and I know a lot of speakers that have books usually make it strictly self-help so I thought I would stand out if I blended both self-help and fiction for a jam packed fun creation. A final inspiration I would say was legacy, because I know I won’t be here physically forever, but student loans and having a financial, growth mindset will always be an issue that people need a solution for, so it’ll be a helpful timeless read for the next couple centuries and beyond.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self one thing: be PATIENT. A lot of times I want things to happen right away, but the only thing I tend to be missing in my recipe is patience because a lot of times, things end up going well how I would expect it to go, or even better so patience is simply what would have been missing from that meal, y’nahmsayin’?
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent as a writer was investing in myself through a Master Mind group. Y’nahmsayin’? It was valuable and gave me the knowledge, wisdom and confidence I applied to believe, plan and execute The Power of Yet. I think if I was stingy with my last dollar, I wouldn’t have had my book be as successful as it has been so far since the thousands of dollars I used for the Master Mind group paid off since my book sales exceeded that initial investment. Also, I wouldn’t have the mindset I used to execute my strategy the way I did with my marketing with things like getting an NBC News TV interview, being on the Breakfast Club y’nahmsayin’, etc. That’s why I emphasize the importance of investing in yourself, so I recommend everyone to do the same.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends on the book I’m writing, but for The Power of Yet I just did research on a lot of different information I’ve acquired related to money strategies for the self-help aspect, so things like different podcasts that have inspired me and listening to different interviews. For the fiction aspect of the book, it was simply inspired by my life y’nahmsayin’ so I didn’t have to do any extra research on that besides reflecting on my life or being cognizant of the moments I came across that might influence me.
How many hours a day do you write?
It varies. With The Power of Yet I was inconsistent, so it got to a certain point that I forced myself to do a 30-day writing challenge where I had to write for at least 1 hour a day, so when I did that I realized writing wasn’t that deep, so from then on, I just made myself write at least 30 minutes a day. So I’ll go with: at least 30 minutes a day (even now) just to continue being in the flow of muscle memory, like using my jump shot consistently and getting those reps up so I don’t forget how to use it. Use it or lose it, y’nahmsayin’?
What was your hardest scene to write?
The Power of Yet is split up in 3 parts (spiritual phase, mental phase and physical phase) and the gist is that you have to take control of the spiritual, mental and physical phases to accomplish something like paying off your student loans or whatever your goal is, y’nahmsayin’ so it’s based off of 3 pillars I call “Believe. Plan. Execute.” because those are the spiritual, mental and physical aspects, respectively. It’s based off a company I founded call GoldenOne Dream and those are the 3 pillars of it.
Anyway, I say that to say the hardest scene to write was a specific scene in the physical phase about execution and taking action in one’s life because the main character in the book (Nia Akintewe) has to execute upon something specific that I don’t want to state to spoil the story y’nahmsayin’, but it was hard for me to write because I reflected on my own life and how 99% of people THINK, while 1% of people actually DO or execute and I guess it struck a personal part in me, because part of my mission is to change that 99% to 98% and make 2% of people doers so as I was writing that scene in the physical phase I was reminded that many people (including myself at times) are like Nia and don’t execute when we’re supposed to with no excuses, y’nahmsayin’?
What is your favorite childhood book?
My favorite childhood book is The Power of Yet, y’nahmsayin’? Just kidding, that’s a political answer. But my favorite childhood book for real would have to be The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and I like all the other Chronicles of Narnia books too, I really liked those books as a kid. I also really messed with Bridge to Terabithia.
I know someone out there is probably going to kill me for not saying Harry Potter but I love those books to so yeah no disrespect to that series. Also, side-note, if there was more representation back then with books like The Hate U Give and Children of Blood and Bone which are some novels right now I’ve read recently, I think I would have chose those kind of books over the Harry Potters and other books because I see myself in those books, y’nahmsayin’ but that’s a conversation for another day. The Power of Yet is out now, so go get that. And people can follow me on Instagram @michobenjamin if they want or are misguided and undecided, y’nahmsayin’ so yeah, thanks for this interview. Everyone have a blessed one.