Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Helping Creators Reach Their Potential

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How Brandon Sanderson Made $41,754,153 in One Month

What if you could make $1,000,000 a day and still:

  • Raise a family
  • Sleep until noon
  • And play video games

Brandon Sanderson is a fiction author who’s hit the NYT Bestseller list over 15 times. His books, like the Mistborn series, have sold millions of copies worldwide.

He doesn’t wake up at 5am, take cold showers, or do 90% of what “productivity gurus” say you should do.

Here’s a peek into how his unconventional approach led to him generating over $41 million in a month…



He starts by getting into a creative mindset, which is a 3-step process:

  1. Ramp-up
  2. Super productive/flow state
  3. Cooldown

We naturally cycle through this process. But if we get interrupted, we have to restart—which can be a Herculean task.

Sanderson schedules “uninterruptible” time so he can go through this cycle seamlessly. Because even the smallest interruptions can completely derail you.

Here are some common derailers:

  • Popping on social media for “just a minute”
  • Spouse asking what you want for dinner
  • Neighbor knocking on your door
  • Email notifications
  • Text message

A 30-second derailer can take 30 minutes to get back on track.



It’s a lie that successful writers shouldn’t have a family.

Yes, families can be distracting. You have way more freedom when you’re single and have zero attachments or family obligations.

But what’s the point of all the sacrifices and years spent building a better life if you don’t have people to share it with?

It’s possible to balance a creative career with a family.


Instead of trying to “multi-task” like most people, where we half-ass quality time by trying to hang out with our loved ones but actually spending it distracted with the half-dozen tasks we need to work on, Sanderson takes a different approach.

He blocks off time in his schedule for dedicated family time—no work, no distractions.

In turn, his family helps protect his creative time.

For example, because he spends quality time with his wife, she feels respected and appreciated. So if a neighbor knocks on their door during Sanderson’s “creative time,” she answers it to help him stay focused.

*high five for teamwork*



But don’t you still have to wake up at 5am and hustle 24/7 to make great content or build a business?

Nope. Sure don’t.

Sanderson’s found a routine that works for him.

  • Noon: Wake up
  • 1pm-5pm: Dedicated writing time
  • 5pm-10pm: Dedicated family time
  • 10pm-2am: Dedicated writing time
  • 2am-4am: “Goof off time” (video games, podcast, reading)

This process has led to Sanderson hitting the NYT Bestseller list over 15 times.



He’s built an army of raving fans hungry for his next creation.

So when the pandemic happened, he took time off writing his contracted books to…

Write more books.

In two years, he wrote four complete novels. He decided to self-publish them through Kickstarter. But he didn’t stop there…

For the campaign, you could also sign up to get a monthly subscription box with themed swag from his other beloved series.

The campaign goal was $1 million. It finished at $41,754,153.

That’s over $1 million a day.

Sanderson achieved this because he’s built an incredible portfolio of books and an army of raving fans. And he built this empire by developing the unconventional approach that works for him.


Moral of the Story

You don’t have to wake up at 5am and sacrifice family for professional accomplishments. You can be incredibly successful, have a family, and wake up whenever you want. You just have to develop an approach that works for you. This is what building an Intentional Life is about.

Brandon Sanderson:

  • Raises a family
  • Sleeps until noon
  • And plays video games

All while consistently topping bestseller charts and making millions of dollars.

How’s that for unconventional?

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