Book Shoutout: Entrepurpose, by Rusty Pang and Brian Laprath

Book Shoutout:  Entrepurpose, by Rusty Pang and Brian Laprath

I’ve always said I love it when other authors get published.  These particular authors and this particular book makes me that much happier because Rusty is a friend of mine.

Let’s start with the book blurb for Entrepurpose:

Begin blurb

14680572_349703372032090_6956008003380102308_nYou are here for a reason. So, the question is: Why?

Entrepurpose is a book inspired by 13 intense years of struggle to find the answer to the question,

“Why am I here?”

That journey took me through three depressions, alcoholism, and unhealthy weight gain as I tried to reconcile my life without purpose.

Now that I know my why, I have experienced an infusion of life and focus that I have never felt before.

This work has become my mission, and I can enjoy it more fully each day. But, it came at a price. That price was 13 years.

My story is our gift to you.

Inside these pages are the tools and principles that led me to understand what I was born to do.

If you apply these principles to your life, you will begin to see that every experience, no matter how painful, is part of your strength. If you feel different from others, a misfit perhaps, this book will show you why different is better than better. Maybe, for the first time, you will begin to accept who you are.

Whatever the reason that brought you here, know that you are here for a reason. That reason can be understood, and once you know it, you will have a responsibility to impact the world in the way only you can.

Welcome to your rebirth.

End blurb

This book is already doing well, and I couldn’t be happier for the creators.  It reached number 1 in three categories: Business and Money, Education and Education and Reference.

What’s most important about this book is, it’s designed to help people who truly feel low.  All the feedback I’ve seen and all the messages I’ve read continue to say, “This is what we need.”  Every writer wants his or her book to have an impact, and the early returns on Entrepurposve indicate this book does that.

Now let’s meet the creators.

rusty-profile-webI met Rusty somewhere around two years ago.  We both teach at the same school.  Over the last few months, we’ve been working more closely as he’s teaching the same segment of the course I teach.

There’s a bond between authors.  They don’t have to recognize it or accept it in any way.  It’s a bond of caring for your craft.  You see it when they’re a bit tired the next day because they rushed home to eat up whatever time they can with their family before they toil away at another job that takes not just a great deal of effort, but an insane amount of mental energy.  I’ve watched Rusty as he’s pushed himself to share this with you.  It’s not just his story, which alone is something compelling; it’s his passion.

Every day I see him talking to people about personality types and how they gather information.  Every thing he does as a teacher is driven to understand how the student thinks and learns, so that he can teach more effectively.  I haven’t had a chance to read the book just yet (it’s next on my TBR), but his story and his effort to find ways to reach people are already strong motivators for me.

brian-laprathI haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Laprath.  He’s currently a reservist in the Air Force, and any time I can help out a fellow veteran, I’m going to.  You can find out more about him on the Entrepurpose website.  That site also has a blog and a ton of information worthy of checking out.

So I wanted to take a moment today and share this with you.  As most of my followers and those I follow know, I love giving shoutouts when dreams come true.  I relblog posts where authors announce they’ve finished a book.  I like it when people achieve their dreams, and I wanted to share this achievement with you.

Thanks for reading


Origins: Two Moments That Changed My Life

Origins:  Two Moments That Changed My Life

My birthday has come and gone.  At least from your point of view as you read this.  It’s still to come from my point of view as I type it.  Which means we’re both time traveling in a way, and that’s awesome!  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  I read a blog from A Penny for my Thoughts the other day that reminded of a few things.  As my birthday was approaching, another tradition of mine made this a pretty great opportunity to talk about two very key moments in my life.

12_19_13_DWhen I was about 8 years old, I saw my favorite movie for the first time.  Krull is the story of a man who must rescue his princess from a mountain castle that moves each time the sun rises.  I often say if anyone wants to understand me, watch that movie (and another I’ll mention briefly below).  It explains everything from my fear of spiders to my affinity for fiction.  It was quite formative for me as I think back.

I recently shared a video on Facebook talking about the Top 10 Fantasy Movie Weapons.  The cool weapon in my favorite movie was number eight.  I watch this movie and Valley of the Wind every year on my birthday.  It’s my way of feeling like a kid again.  So let me go back to those days…

As a boy, watching what has been my favorite movie ever since, I sat crying as my favorite character dies.  My biodad wasn’t a nice person in any stretch of the imagination.  He gave me a scoffing laugh and said, “If you don’t like it, write something better.”

You see, in my family, we don’t take kindly to challenges.  I had “small kid” syndrome, “picked on” syndrome, and a huge case of the ego, so when he threw down the gauntlet.  I picked it up.  I marched into the dining room, sat down and scribbled away some 10-plus pages of a sequel that explained how my favorite character did not, in fact, die.  I did not know what copyright infringement was.  I will of course also take full credit for creating the genre known as fan fiction.  You’re welcome.  (*Note…I probably didn’t invent fan fiction, but who can blame a guy for trying?)

(NOTE:  The years start to blend together.  I’m pretty sure this all happened my freshman year in high school, but there is a chance it happened in junior high.  I’m fairly certain it was high school, but in the interest of honesty and integrity, I felt the need to disclose that fact.  Aside from what year of school I was in, this story is accurate.)

scribbling-152216_960_720I’ve been writing ever since.  I didn’t finish that sequel.  But I fell in love with storytelling.  It also gave me a love for attention.  Well, if I’m being completely honest with you, I’ve always loved the spotlight.  Which brings me to my Freshman year of High School.

I’m a proud graduate of Yuma High School.  I was number 35 on the football team, and let me tell you I single handedly kept the bench from harming any of the other players!  That first year though was quite an experience for me.  I was egotistical, arrogant and still getting over some adjustments in my life.  I was a little shit.  I actually planned out a series of skits and pranks to take over class.  I once interrupted finals for the semester by pretending my left hand came alive to kill me.  I had not yet seen Evil Dead 2.  The next semester, my English teacher  tried to do a lesson on metaphor using Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I, of course, made it my mission in life to correct her on every account and pretty much just continued to make an ass of myself.

Evil-Dead-2-you-bastards-You-dirty-bastards-e1331538533608So the funny thing is that teacher had every right to do anything from give me detention to enforce stronger behavioral medications.  She didn’t do either of those things.  Despite the fact that I was indeed a trouble-making instigator, the records for both high school and junior high school say I was a model student.

I was so unruly, that this teacher put her faith in the other 20-something 14-year-old freshmen in the class more than one of me.  She’d stop class whenever I started, um, drawing attention to myself.  She’d take me for walks.  She’d ask about my day.  She’d ask how I was.  She invested in me.  Then she asked what I wanted.  I said I wanted to be a writer.  So she made me a deal.  If I kept my work and grades up (which was never a problem), I could write my first book during class, and she’d read it.

man-857943_960_720So there I was a kid crying out for help in all the wrong ways, and she heard me.  I’m such a horrible human being, I don’t even remember her name, but I’ll never forget she gave me a shot.  I never finished that book either, though I still actually have what I did write of it.  She gave fuel to a passion I’d already fired up to a substantial degree.

Not too many years later I’d become a substitute teacher.  I ran into that teacher’s husband while subbing at a local high school.  He knew me on site.  I apologized for being the worst human ever, and told him how much of an impact his wife had on me.

Now I’m a teacher.  I’m a writer.  Even better!  I teach about writing.  Those two events had such an impact on me.  At work, I tend to gravitate to those students who aren’t doing well.  I’m excited for those with high potential, but I want to be the guy who helps students who could make it, if only they had the same chance my teacher gave me those many years ago.  I write fantasy books because I want people to feel that same sense of wonder and I I feel every time I watch those two movies.

Life is funny in the way that it shapes a person.  I have a pretty sharp memory.  These are the ones that I tend to focus on.  One stokes that competitive fire in me.  The other memory refuels my passion to be patient and teach even when I have every right to punish.  Don’t let that fool you.  There are a great many MCs out in the Navy that will tell you how quick I am to hold people accountable.  That’s true.  I’ll never be as patient or understanding as that teacher of mine was.  Also, I teach young adults, not high school students.  I’d like to think, however, that even when I hold a student accountable, I still look to correct the issue.

I thought I’d share those little stories.  What moments helped shape who you are?  What people influenced you most in your life?  Don’t be afraid to share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,




I have a confession:

I’m afraid.  I’m afraid all the time.

I’m afraid I’ll never be a better author, so I’m writing at midnight.

11411687_10152795626552142_8556923609387053801_oI’m afraid my family will never truly understand how much I love them, so I drop  everything I’m doing to pick up the phone when they call or spend time with them when they ask.


150922-N-PJ310-002I’m afraid I’ll never be a good enough teacher, so I spend every day at work looking at
every mistake my students make and consider them my own.  I look at them and try to find a way to be better.

I’m afraid the mentors in my life will never know how much of an impact they’ve had on my life, so I mentor everyone who asks me what I think, and I do everything in my power to help them be better.

13450200_10207558565216811_3399308763271495402_nThat makes me afraid I’ll never be a good enough mentor, so I pick up the phone every time one of “my Sailors” sends a text, sends a message or calls.

I’m even afraid I’ll never find that one person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, so I have this rule to go out at least once a week because barring God’s extremely kind will, the likelihood of her delivering my next pizza is extremely low.

I’m afraid that the crew members aboard the H.M.S. Slush Brain have welcomed me to their crew and I’m not good enough to be among them.  I’m afraid they’ve asked me to contribute to their anthology and I’m not going to measure up.

12118869_10153070475562385_5683470808026635644_nI’m afraid my friends will never know how important they are to me, so I never let them go.  Even if we don’t speak for days, months or years, I remember them, and I make it a point to be there when they need.  I’m afraid they’ll need me, and I won’t be there, so sometimes I just check in on them.

I’m afraid I’ll never sell a thousand books, so I plan to write 1,000 of them and sell at least one of each.  I’ve only published one book, and I’m already 200 sales ahead of my plan.

I have another confession:

I hope none of these fears go away.  (Well, actually I could do with a few of those being resolved, but I promise I have a point.)

I do hope I never stop being afraid because – fuck fear.

I’m up today writing at 12:30 a.m. because I’m afraid of never taking the chance to be better, and if I ever wake up one day feeling like a great author, where do I go from there?

I’m afraid every day and I use my fear as a target to pursue that which I feel is impossible.

This is for you.  I don’t know who you are, but if you’re reading this, and you think I’m talking to you – I am.  I am, and I love you because you’re afraid, and it’s okay.  I know I love you, because I’ve dropped all the other things I’m afraid of so that I can tell you it’s okay to be afraid.

Use your fear.  Use that fear to chase away everything you’ve ever been afraid of.

I’m afraid there are people out there who I have loved and will love my whole life that perhaps don’t even remember me, so I wrote a book to create a universe that reminds me nothing can break apart that which love has connected.

I’m afraid of being afraid, so I wrote another book about people who find superpowers in facing their fears.

street-sign-141396_960_720I do the things I’m afraid to do because if we never dare to try the impossible, we never achieve the impossible.  I do the things I’m afraid to do because if we never face our fears, fear wins.  I understand the paradox I’ve created.  It’s true.  Ultimately, I do the things I fear most because of my innate fear of failure.  So I’m fighting a battle I’ve already lost.

Fuck fear.

There are battles worth fighting, and I’ve come to believe that some of those battles must be fought even if those fighting already know they’ve lost.  These battles are so critical that the result means less than the need to fight.  I imagine people who fight what they see as loosing battles are terrified, but they fight, and every now and then, they win – even when they shouldn’t.

Use your fear to seek out that which you want most in life.  What is the thing you won’t give up anything else for?  For me, it comes down to three things.  My family, my students and my writing.   I’ve been told I’d be happier if I gave up teaching.  I’ve been told I’d be happier if I gave up writing.  No one’s ever been moronic enough to imply I should give up my family, so that’s something.

I would be more comfortable.  I’d be less afraid if I just let fear keep me from trying to do the things I’ve wanted to do, but I’m afraid of being a hypocrite.

I tell my students a lot of things.  I’m afraid they don’t hear me, so I say it over and over again, and I find different approaches to let them know all of these things I’m afraid they’ll never learn if I don’t make it a point to show them or teach them.

Fuck fear.

There’s one thing I say that’s the most important thing I tell my students, nieces, nephews, and everyone else I can.  I share it with you now.

I don’t care WHAT you want in life.  Just WANT SOMETHING!

Want something more than you’ve ever wanted something before in your life and don’t let anything else get in your way.  I don’t CARE what it is.  I just want you to find it and chase it until it’s yours.  Then I want you to hold tight to it because you’re too afraid to let it go.

accomplish-1136863_960_720One of those other things I say a lot is, “I hear with my eyeballs.”   I invite you to try the same tactic.  Look at your life.  What’s the thing you do no matter how tired you are?  Who are the people you make time for no matter how busy you are?  This doesn’t diminish the existence of other people or other things, it simply shows you what you’re really putting your time into.  If the things you want aren’t the things you’re doing, then aren’t you afraid you’ll never get the time to do the things you’ve always wanted?

Fuck fear.

Do those things.

My family loves me.  My friends love me.  They love me so much they worry over how hard I push myself.  I’m afraid some of them don’t understand what I’m really afraid of.  I’m afraid that God will call me home (or to Judgement) before I’ve had a chance to ask The Junior if she knows how much I love her. (NOTE:  The Junior is one of my nieces.)  Years ago I invented a game with her.  I’d ask her if she knew how much I love her.  She replies, “There’s no limit to how much you love me,” and I tell her, “Don’t you forget it.”

I push myself because I’m afraid my life will end before I write the best book I’ve ever written, and I’m always afraid the next book I write will be better than the next.  I’m afraid my students won’t get the information they need or the feedback they need.

Of all my fears, death isn’t one of them because as scary as death is, I won’t allow myself to die without doing everything I can to be the man I’m afraid I’ll never be.

It’s okay to be afraid.  Just, please, don’t let fear be that which prevents you from trying.  I don’t care if you’re trying to fly , and you were born without legs.  I don’t care.  Build wings, and take flight.  I don’t care if you’ve been told it’s impossible.  For those like me who are people of faith, only God determines what it is we can and can not do.  For those who do not believe in god, explain to me how we continue to do that which the laws of science once said was impossible.

Maybe I’m too hard on myself, but I’m afraid to give up.

Maybe there’s a better balance, and I’m afraid I’ll never find it.

I’m going to keep trying, and I want you to as well.  You’re scared, and I’m afraid you’ll live your whole life afraid without ever once realizing that we’re all afraid.  I’m afraid of living without the courage to do those things I’m afraid of doing.

Fuck fear.

I have one more confession:

cat-1551794_960_720I’m exhausted.  I wake up at 6:30 and work until 6:30.  I go home, and I spend time with my niece (I have quite a few of those) and sister (and even more of those) because I’m afraid they’ll leave, and they won’t know how much I love them.  I spend time with them until they go to bed because I’m afraid to miss one moment with them.  Then I go downstairs and I write because I’m afraid I’ll never finish revisions on Caught, and that makes me afraid I’ll never start working on Sojourn in Despair.  I’m so afraid that I write as I’m writing now at 1:15 a.m.

I’m not afraid of being tired.  I’m afraid of never taking the time to do all the things I’ve always wanted to spend my life doing.  I’m afraid of waking up well rested one day and realizing that thing I wanted was just one hour away.

Sometimes I lose.  Fear wins every now and again, but fear is my rival.  Fear is my nemesis, and I’m afraid if I slow down for one moment, I’ll fail, and I’m afraid to fail.

I’m going home soon, and I’ll spend every moment I can with everyone I can and I’m afraid there aren’t enough hours in the day to account for all the people I want to spend my time with.  How amazingly blessed I am to have that sort of problem.  This makes me afraid that I’ll wake up one day with one less person in my life I want to spend that time with.  I don’t fear exhaustion.

This is for you, my wonderful dreamers, because I’m just a man with a silly little dream.  It’s mine and no one else’s, but no one else needs my dream.  I want you to dream your dream, and of all the things it’s okay to be afraid of, please don’t be afraid to dream.  Please don’t be afraid to try.

Try.  Dream.  Fight.  In those moments of your life when you’re afraid you’ll never win, and no one is on your side, remember me.  Remember me and my silly little dream to do just any random thing that makes others feel it’s okay to dream.  I’m here.

I’m here for my family, and I’ll be here for them as long as God allows.

I’m here for my students, and I’ll be there whenever they need me.

I’m here for my proteges, and I’ll be there as often as they want me.

I’m here for you.  And on the way home from a writers’ group meeting I was nearly overcome by the fear that you didn’t know.

Fuck fear.