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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed author Wilbur You about his life and career, what motivates him, and the creative process that went into his new book; Happy. Humble. Motivated.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

I’m Wilbur You, Founder and CEO of Youtech, a digital marketing agency specializing in advertising, design + development, e-commerce and marketing. A Chinese-American immigrant, I moved to the States at the age of two. My knack for problem-solving began at age 10 when I developed an online game, attracting over 10,000 active users.

Wilbur You, author of Happy. Humble. Motivated., founder of YouTech, interview on The Table Read
Wilbur You

Though the game would eventually get shut down from copyright infringement, this kindled my entrepreneurial drive. In the following years, with only $600 and the help of two friends, I launched Youtech, cold calling 100 companies a day while working up to 80 hours a week.

Since then, Youtech has only moved upward – now comprising 70+ creatives, and ever-growing, servicing over 200+ companies that include household names. My success with Youtech landed me on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 this year, an achievement I’m proud to have under my belt.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for years once Youtech started to take off. It was always just about the timing. I wanted to inspire those who might walk a similar path, but I wanted to make sure the path was worth walking first.

When did you take a step to start writing?

I ran the idea past a few of my close friends and employees, and they all loved the idea. That was all I needed to kickstart everything.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

It was about six months to a year in total. It was likely a bit easier for me than most since I already knew the story I wanted to tell.

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What made you want to write Happy. Humble. Motivated?

I thought that sharing my chronicles of success, failures, and lessons I’ve learned along the way might inspire young entrepreneurs who want to pursue similar career paths.

What were your biggest challenges with writing Happy. Humble. Motivated?

I just wanted to make sure everything was conveyed correctly. I didn’t want to come across as too cocky or confident. I also didn’t want to come across as someone you should feel sorry for. We all have obstacles in our lives, and I want to help inspire people to overcome them. We’re all somewhere in the middle.

How did you plan the structure of Happy. Humble. Motivated?

A majority of the book is in chronological order in terms of when the events occurred, so it really just came naturally as I went along.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Happy. Humble. Motivated. need?

A little here and there, but not much. I ran the book past my CMO, Michael Norris, who has a writing background. He was one of the first people to read the book and critique it.

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Wilbur You, author of Happy. Humble. Motivated., founder of YouTech, interview on The Table Read

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

Writing a book sounds like a really daunting task, but so is any big accomplishment. If you want it bad enough, you need to just sit down and do it. Power through the writer’s block. Come back to it again and again after getting some sleep. It’ll eventually work itself out.

We might have some tricks up our sleeve regarding books in the marketing world, but nothing too concrete at the moment. Ask me again in a year!

And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I really am. Everyone wants to be a NY Times Bestseller, but it was never about the sales to me. If I can help one person who’s struggling, I’m happy.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

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