From Tennis Coach to Published Author
Joe Barnes is the author of Escape the System: The Ultimate Guide to a Life of Freedom and Greatness and the soon to be published, How to Create an Income with Working a Boring Job.
He writes for people who are disillusioned with conventional ways of living, and working, and want to create the life of their choosing. He blogs at Screw The System and you can download his FREE course here. He also works as a hypnotherapist and tennis coach.
Today, he talks about his book writing process, what got him to write about escaping the system, staying connected with people, and how to create an income without getting stuck into the system.
What We Discuss with Joe Barnes:
- Conceiving the idea of writing a book
- Being stuck in a system and getting out of it
- Creating revenue streams from writing
- From self-publishing to traditional publishing
- Joe’s book writing process
- Tapping into the power of mentorship
- His goal of setting a million books in total
- How to stay connected with people around you
- How his bubble got burst back in secondary school
- Returning to politics
- What goes with getting an advance from a traditional publisher
- Joe’s message to aspiring writers
- How to escape the system
- How to achieve financial freedom in 3 ways
[00:40] Conceiving the Idea of Writing a Book
Joe conceived the idea of writing a book back in 2002 and it took him five years to properly put it into pen and paper. Believing that nobody can make money being an author or you never get to publish, this led to major procrastination until he felt he had to start writing.
He started writing his book in 2007, which took him four and a half years until it got published in 2012.
[01:45] Being Stuck in a System
Joe first became aware of being stuck in a system while he was in the university. You’re told to get good grades so you can get into a university and then you’re told the same thing to get a degree and a good job. But that doesn’t stop until there. It was a life where you continue chasing the whole time.
Wanting to create a life he wanted, he then became a tennis coach and then a hypnotherapist, while writing his book during his free time. Even back at the university, Joe had this vision of himself standing in front of the audience, speaking and inspiring them in some way.
[07:30] Creating Revenue Streams from Writing
The book has been published as Screw the System in 2012, which got updated in 2015 as Escape the System. It was only this year that it’s starting to make money to entirely support himself. Because of this, he was able to scale back to his tennis coaching and hypnotherapy.
He also got a publishing deal from his new book as well as a writing project for a company that pays him to write insights they’re selling on their app. Joe also does some online coaching – finally, being able to create revenue streams through his writing.
[08:55] From Self-Publishing to Traditional Publishing
Joe initially decided to self-publish. He sent a proposal to publishers and they eventually got back to him. Now that it’s making its way through traditional publishing, Joe is aware he’s not getting loads of money from it and that he’s going to have to keep on writing.
He plans to release a self-published book soon to keep the momentum going as he sees this as only the stepping stone on the journey.
[11:40] His Book Writing Process
Joe describes writing his first book as having no particular strategy and just trying to write an hour a day.
He actually sought the help of a mentor and he learned a lot from him in terms of improving his writing. He didn’t struggle with getting ideas. Instead, he struggled with getting in the flow.
Now, he would write 350 words every hour, which he strives to increase to 400.
[18:20] Staying Connected with the People Around You
Joe runs a monthly meetup group called Success Club based around the two books he has written. Additionally, he still works as a tennis coach and a hypnotherapist so he still gets to meet clients in person. He also does online coaching.
[19:33] Getting His Bubble Burst
Joe had a very happy childhood and went to the school he loved. Then he left and went to secondary school at 11 years old. For the first time, he encountered the “outside world” which he described as a difficult time in his life. He felt being outside of the world having trouble fitting in. He ended up spending a lot of time on his own.
He always used to think he had to fit into a system. Then he realized when he reached his 20s that he didn’t have to, actually. Moreover, Joe seeks to return to the field of politics, specifically focusing on the issue of climate change.
[23:35] His Thoughts on Authorship
Joe considers his first book as being a part of his soul while the second book was more of a practical book on how to create an income without working a boring job. This idea to write it actually sprung out as an answer to a question left on his YouTube channel.
Joe will be given an advance on the book he’d sell at the rate the publisher says to earn money at. This means you don’t get further royalties until that has been paid off.
[27:30] Tips for Aspiring Writers
Joe recommends getting a book writing mentor. Set yourself a schedule – be that a certain amount of time a day or words a day. Then stick to it no matter what.
Commitment is what gets things done.
Analyze your work and read back. Deliberately look for things you can still improve and change.
[29:35] How to Escape the System
Change your mentality. As long as you don’t believe all the stuff society tells you, you can have a degree of freedom.
Start to see yourself differently and believe in your dreams. Then you will feel a sense of relief and start to feel optimistic, giving you a sense of inspiration.
Financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming a multi-millionaire, but just doing something you enjoy so you’re not necessarily working just for money.