How to Be Happy on Mondays: Life Lessons to Acquire Wealth, Health, and Happiness Every Day of the Week
Independently Published (2022)
Bruce McCombs is an alum of Oracle Corporation, an expert in enterprise software sales, and is an award winning certified coach, through the International Coaching Federation, helping sales leaders improve their performance.
Bruce published his first book, How to Become a $1 Million Enterprise Sales Leader in 2020. How to be Happy on Mondays is his latest book, published in June 2022.
Bruce is a decorated ballroom dancer, mentor, philanthropist, and speaker. His favorite title is servant leader.
Hi Bruce, Thank you for joining us today at Reader Views. Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming an author?
Journey of becoming an author; now that is an insightful question! I retired from the high-tech industry selling enterprise software for Oracle Corporation, the world’s second largest software company, at a relatively early age. I was blessed to be prosperous with the help of many people along the way.
During my career, I learned many skills how to sell large enterprise systems that often sold for eight figures. I said to myself, “I have knowledge that can help enterprise sales leaders become successful and create wealth, why don’t I write a book about it?”
Very few, if any, sales books offered the knowledge and skills that I wrote about in, How to Become a $1 Million Enterprise Sales Leader. Therefore, I wrote the book and published it 2020.
What is How to be Happy on Mondays about?
In short, the book is about, reinventing myself, vulnerability, and openness! After I finished writing the manuscript, I asked my editor, “Am I being too honest?” She said, “No, that’s what will differentiate your writing from others and draw your audience into the reading.” I trusted her, and along the way, I learned being vulnerable takes courage. That’s why at first the book feels like a homespun memoir to gain the readers trust, and then quickly morphs into a life filled with actionable lessons each step of the way.
Your title is fabulous, almost like a call-to-action message, urging readers to “pick me up and read me!” How did you come up with it and what is the significance of being happy on Mondays as it relates to the contents of the book?
The title of the book came to me in the subject line of an email I read after I returned from an extended trip to Europe. It was the catalyst that enabled me to leave high tech sales, align with my values, and become the man I am today!
What inspired you to write How to be Happy on Mondays?
Many experiences inspired me to write the book. I buried a few things that I did not talk about, or heaven forbid, wanted to admit because I did not know how to be vulnerable. But as I said in the nearby section, I learned it takes courage to be open. I also wanted to document my history to gain clarity where important events in my life were missing and to set the story straight regarding the family dynamics between my mother and my brother’s wife when he returned home from Vietnam.
In addition, my epiphanies played a pivot-able role in my journey, and because I acted on them, in the end, my story turned out to be a happy one. I am grateful for that!
I have 3 stepchildren and 2 grandchildren that I am close to. They know me, but do not really know me. Now they can, when they read the book.
Along the way, I developed a flexible model to manage the Sales Navigation System. This model has been adaptable enough to incorporate into my Circle of Life and the lives of my clients. It is the foundation for my self- help tools that enable me to reinvent myself, including the Plan for Success, the Comeback Wheel and my mental rehearsal practice that keeps everything moving. In the end, I hope these tools can help others in some way!
Your book is categorized as self-help and motivational but reads more like a memoir instead of a cookie-cutter how-to book. What moved you to write your book in this manner?
It seemed natural to me to introduce myself to the reader early on so they can form an opinion if the author is trustworthy. In the first chapter, I tell the story about how I formed a pattern of feeling that I was not good enough. I took a risk that by divulging the source of this discomfort, it could jeopardize how my relationship to the source is perceived throughout the remainder of the book. It was at this moment, in the book, when I asked my editor, “Am I being too honest?” I weighed on the side of laying bare and vulnerable, and trusted that my editor was right. I felt if I could capture the reader’s trusts early, they will be more open and accepting as my story is unfolds. When people trust, they believe. And that’s why I am disarmingly frank in the book about my life.
The publication encompasses twenty-five short, impactful, chapters. Each deliver a vital message about our perspective on the many twists and turns of life, and the way to be happy on Mondays is to create a life you love.
What was it like combing through your memories as you prepared to write?
As I mentioned in the previous section, I took a risk that I may alienate my readers by pointing out that a close relative was the source of my discomfort. I struggled with whether I should take the risk or leave it out. So far, my honesty has been accepted in the reviews I have received!
Intriguing is how much of my life I had buried because of family dynamics at an early age. As I got into my high school years, my memories became so vivid, it was as if I was relieving them in the present moment. I guess because those years were some of the happiest in my youth. I could make sense of it all, playing sports and receiving recognition from my peers.
Some of my warmest feelings were the humorous parts of my life. Playing cards with my friends and the stories we told, awkward situations in sales calls, or a wardrobe malfunction gone terribly wrong while competing in ballroom dancing. It was fun to relive those moments before I embarked on typing the words.
However, I knew that when my mother made her transition from complications with Alzheimer’s, reliving those moments by myself, were going to test my waves of emotion. Just the opposite, I was excited to tell the world how I met my dream girl, fell in love, got married, and traveled North America competing in Ballroom Dancing.
How long did it take you to organize and write your book?
The elapsed time it took me to write the book was 22 months. I began writing in 2005 until I finished about 40 pages. The story was going nowhere. I had trouble being honest and open with my thoughts. Therefore, I let the story set for sixteen years; and I am glad I did because my growth has been exponential as a human, coach, and servant leader!
Who is your target reader and what do you hope people take away from reading How to be Happy on Mondays?
My target audience is 30-to-70-year old’s, and include both women and men, who are curious, growth oriented, and enjoy enriching their lives.
The takeaway is, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself, and to be vulnerable and open, especially if it’s our own story! These traits bring the character(s) to life on the page. Vulnerability takes courage and enables us to connect with our audience.
How to be Happy on Mondays was just published in June of this year. What kind of response have you had from readers so far?
Much better response than my first book because I sent prerelease electronic copies of the manuscript to my Launch Team Leads who referred it to their communities to get more eyeballs on it. In the meantime, I learned how to set-up preorders on Amazon that kickstarted my book sales. As you know, it’s also very important to keep the book in front of readers. I have invested in book reviews by well-known services including Reader Views’ where I received the “Favorite Book of the Week” acknowledgement. I am also developing relationships with readers at Good Reads who review books for a living. If one or two of them review my publication, it could enhance book sales.
As you know from publishing your first book, How to Become a $1 Million Enterprise Sales Leader in 2020, writing the book is only the beginning of the author’s journey. What did you learn during the process that surprised you most?
I was naïve thinking that, “Since there are no other sales books like How to Become a $1 Million Enterprise Sales Leader that enterprise salespeople would “Act to get their copies now!” It doesn’t work that way for most Indie authors. Very few people knew who I was, I did not have a marketing plan adequate to reach my target audience and I had no social media presences. I learned a lot from my first book! The size of the publishing industry can be overwhelming, and I am learning by the seat of pants, one book at a time!
Is there anything you wish you had known before you started out?
Get the prerelease of the manuscript in as many reader’s hands that will REVIEW the book. Many people say, “Yeah, sure I will read and review the book.” Unfortunately, many do not follow through on their commitments. Sadly, that’s when you find out what you thought about these people, is not who they really are.
How to be Happy on Mondays is chock-full of sound advice. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, about writing, or about life in general?
The best piece of advice I have received about writing is, “Writing is a lot easier when you have an optimistic attitude!”
The best piece of advice I’ve received, “Stay humble and outwork others.”
Based on your experience, what advice can you give aspiring authors?
How you think and feel about your craft reflects on the quality of your work. Therefore, mentally rehearse each day until this thought is programmed into your subconscious. “Everything that happens to me along this journey is pushing me closer to my goal of successful authorship.” This means, a rejection from an agent presents an opportunity to improve your book proposal. A negative review offers a chance to rethink your content.
You should also detach from your idea so you are willing to receive criticism and therefore, be able to learn to evaluate your creation and offer constructive criticism of your own.
Determination is the bridge to your destination of becoming a successful author. Every day you must show up and be eager to move forward, no matter how small or large the step might be. For you, authorship is not about the money you will make selling books. Writing enables you to explain your ideas to others and ourselves. Aligning with this, “Is a calling, it is my passion.” That winning attitude will serve you on Mondays and every day of the week!
So, what’s next for you? Do you have plans for another book? If so, what can you tell us about it?
I am a wine enthusiast and have traveled many miles to taste the great wines of the world. Maybe I could write about our wine adventures, republish my first book, How to Become a $1 Million Enterprise Sales Leader, or maybe I could write a series of books, starting with, “How to Be Happy on Tuesdays.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add today?
I have enjoyed the opportunity to share my thoughts regarding my new book, How to BeHappy on Mondays! Your questions really made me think. Sheri, thank you for this terrific interview!
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