This is a follow up story for The Disruptors. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 4 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hi guys! My name is Matt Ward, and I’m a sci-fi author, entrepreneur and startup advisor/CEO coach, and futurist podcast host of Disruptors.FM. If you couldn’t tell, I’m interested in the future, a little ADD and hoping to leave the world a better place.
I’ve built and sold 7-figure businesses, coached 1000s others to do likewise, and been a burned-out founder who built himself a shitty job.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
The Disruptors podcast has been growing strong and transitioning to a more startup and social entrepreneurship focus, highlighting triple-bottom-line businesses, founders and innovations focused on improving the world (more so than simply incredible tech).
Set goals, realistic ones, and don’t hate yourself if you fail to hit them.
Advertising has picked up as more companies strive to reach our listeners and we’ve had some out of this world guests, like the father of synthetic biology, George Church, Jurassic Park’s lead science advisor, Jack Horner, renowned media theorist, Douglas Rushkoff and hundreds more.
How was the transition from running a podcast to becoming an author?
Today, I’m mainly focused on three things: my career as an author (mostly speculative and dystopian sci-fi: Check out my books FREE here), helping socially-responsible founders build a better world, and pushing the world’s smartest folks on everything from clean meat to climate change, inequality, authoritarian and space travel… and much more, on the podcast.
My career as an author started out of a burned-out passion project. I’d ALWAYS wanted to be an author. It was a bucket list thing. And not business books mind you. Those don’t count, not for me. But fiction, to entrance someone with a new world and take on the ride of a lifetime. That was thrilling for me.
And becoming an author has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. (I wrote a whole brutally truthful post about the ordeal, turned down by 391 agents) I did EVERYTHING wrong initially. Hundreds of rejections. It hurt, but that’s how it works.
But now, my book, Cynetic Wolf, a YA sci-fi dystopia on a post-gene-editing world where humanity’s splintered to multiple unequal subspecies is in the process of being published (Grab 1st five chapters here). It’s been a journey, and I don’t have results or metrics to share yet. But with my background as a marketer and growth hacker, I’ve been brainstorming innovative strategies to boost sales.
Being a self-published author is a completely different beast: a mixture of creative and analytical, of writing and of selling yourself in a way that’s totally new for me. And all that while continuing my long-form TED-style futurist podcast and consulting founders.
To do all that requires a team, and focus. I recommend both founders starting out. Don’t do what I did. Choose YOUR thing, and do that with everything you have.
Lessons learned/re-learned the past year
- Outsource sooner, and everything: Social media, Instagram, outreach, podcast scheduling...
- Stop trying to do too much!* I’ve double down on writing and my career as an author.*
- Focus on what you do best and no one else can: Writing books and coaching startups.
- You are a human being, not a human doing… learn to enjoy life.
- Being a parent is hard work and forces you to be brutally efficient.
- Think bigger (no matter what stage you’re at).
Plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years
The universe laughs while you make plans. That said, for me personally, I’m doubling down on my career as an author. It gives me something no other aspects of business/career have before. And it is something I love.
Within a year, I plan to have two books published: Cynetic Wolf and Death Donor (scientists invent a cure for aging, the catch, it takes a life to save one…), and another two on the way.
Within five years, I plan to have a fully-automated full-time income from my back catalog and continue to hone my craft, growing my author business at my own pace. I’d love to hit the NY Times Bestseller list within that timeframe as well.
And from a personal perspective… Let's see where life takes me.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
- Bust your ass, but be smart about it. Focus on the 20% that delivers 80% of the results.
- Set goals, realistic ones, and don’t hate yourself if you fail to hit them.
- Find a mentor or mastermind group to talk about your struggles and get support.
- Build systems so you’re not building a job, but a business. That way you can take yourself out at some point.
- If you are holding yourself back, figure out why. Is it because you don’t know what to do, you’re afraid of success, or you’re building a business you don’t really want to be building…?
- Construct your all-star team. Much easier said than done.
Where can we go to learn more?
Interested in my upcoming dystopian sci-fi? Grab the 1st five chapters FREE here, and get exclusive early looks at my upcoming books.
Or Instagram: @mattwardwrites
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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