“Publishers don’t like compilations, especially from first time authors.”

I heard that same feedback from several literary agents as I pitched my draft of a Friday Forward book back in 2017. The book grew out of the simple weekly email I’d started sending two years earlier to my team of 40 people at Acceleration Partners. Within two years, it had spread outside the company to thousands of readers around the world.

As I faced constant rejections while pitching the book, one agent, Rick Pascocello, gave me advice that changed everything. While he also was wary of compilations, he loved the Friday Forward stories and pushed me to write a book about the underlying principles that tied them all together.

His challenge led to two years of painstaking rewrites that ultimately created the capacity building framework of Elevate, which caught the attention of my publisher, Sourcebooks. Elevate launched last year and became a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

When Sourcebooks approached me about writing a second book, I immediately returned to the one that had been rejected years earlier. Often, we have the right idea at the wrong time, and what looks like failure in the moment is just a detour.

With over 200 posts to choose from, I went back and identified the 52 Friday Forward stories that resonated most with readers to create an updated and curated collection of a year’s worth of weekly inspiration, with each post tied to one of the four elements of capacity building. That book, Friday Forward: Inspiration & Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started, launches globally on Tuesday and is available for pre-order today.

I have an ambitious goal for this book: to make the New York Times (NYT) bestseller list.

Writing an NYT bestseller has always been a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for me. It’s a highly challenging, long-term objective that takes patience and perseverance, and I am drawn to the challenge. And, to be honest with myself, there is some ego involved with chasing something that is so difficult to achieve.

But the biggest reason is much deeper, tied to my goal of making an impact on one million people and building a global platform of positive inspiration.

Friday Forward has always been about lifting others up and pushing each other to grow. I am simply the curator of these stories—Friday Forward’s reach today is owed to the community of hundreds of thousands of readers who share these stories each week with others.

I never could have imagined my simple weekly email could grow into what it is today. But now that we’re here, I have confidence that we can make an even bigger impact together. An NYT bestseller is the best way to attract new readers and to have a book translated into other languages. If you want to build a platform of inspiration, it’s the highest rooftop you can shout from.

And the Friday Forward community is big enough, and passionate enough, to make this happen. Here is where I need your help:

  • If you have gotten value from these weekly messages, please buy a copy for yourself.
  • If you have shared the stories with family and friends, please consider buying a few as gifts.
  • If you share Friday Forward regularly with your company or team, we have some great bulk options that include speaking to your company.

Here are some quick purchase links:

We have had enough negativity in 2020 to last a lifetime. I am exhausted by the gloom and doom, and disheartened by how much energy is being used to tear each other down. Friday Forward can be an important part of the solution.

But it will take a village to make that kind of impact. That village starts with you.

Thank you in advance for your support. I hope a future Friday Forward can share how a book many publishers rejected helped create a global platform of positivity and capacity building that made a meaningful impact. Let’s make it happen.

Quote of The Week

“The vision is for an appointed time. You must be patient and wait for the fulfillment of your vision.”


– Lailah Gifty Akita