How Alex Hormozi Created a #1 Best Selling Book with $0 and No Publisher

I found this video incredibly informative about storytelling and writing.


Why learn storytelling?

  • The most powerful ability in the world to influence other people is the ability to tell stories.
    • It literally changes people’s brain waves. When they’re listening to your story, they become more suggestible.
  • Alex always has stories heavily ingrained in books because he wants to bring the experience that taught the lesson with it. It gives the context to why the framework that he introduces in that chapter is important.

Actually making something good

  • People think that writing a book is just literally getting the word count to a book size and then slapping a cover on it and shipping it. This is why there are so many bad books.
  • If people aren’t sharing it on their own, then it’s not worth promoting because it’s not good enough.
  • With this particular book, Alex when through 8 full drafts, from about 600 pages of writing down to 200 pages.

The most important step

  • Start with the big idea, define a specific problem to be solved. Make your book the solution to that problem.
    • This is what takes Alex the longest time – narrowing down the focus of the book to a single problem to be solved.
    • A good book is a complete solution to a narrowly defined problem.
  • Then, what are the ways I would think about solving the problem. Usually this results in 3-6 buckets.
  • Once I have those buckets, I’m going to think about the experiences that I’ve had that shaped this belief.

The framework of a story

  • The Setting – where this is happening
  • The Character – the person who’s doing the doing
  • The Desire – the thing they want
  • The Struggle – why they can’t get it
  • The Eureka moment – the thing that changes things
  • Some kind of victory
  • Some kind of resolution
  • Weave together both the external and the internal story
    • External – what you can see with your eyes if you were in the same room
    • Internal – what you’d have to experience as the person emotionally

Writing process

Rules of thought

  1. Use all 5 senses
    1. Smell
    2. Hear
    3. See
    4. Touch
    5. Feel
  2. Show rather than tell; demonstrate rather than saying

How to know what details to include

  • Does it change the story? If no, then you don’t need to go into more detail.
  • Be vivid in the description of the things that matter.

When to add stories

  • When it starts to get heavy, zoom out and add a story that creates more context.

Book structure

  • Big problem
    • Story 1
    • Argument 1
    • Framework 1
    • Story 2
    • Argument 2
    • Framework 2
    • Story 3
    • Argument 3
    • Framework 3

What are frameworks

  • Frameworks/Models are just processes that your mind already goes through
  • They need to be 1. useful and 2. valid
    • Defining validity: how many circumstances can it be applied to and still work.
    • If it isn’t valid, he goes back to the original framework and asks, how would I need to adjust this to incorporate both situations?

Editing process

  • Edit from 12th grade language down to a 3rd grade language
  • Goal: the reader spends as much of their mental capacity on consuming the concepts and not transalting the words into things they understand.
    • Use the free tool
  • If you can eliminate a sentence and the paragraph’s meaning stays the same, eliminate it
  • Use shorter sentences versus long sentences
  • Use shorter words versus longer words
  • Eliminate adverbs whenever possible
    • Most times when you see an adverb it’s because you didn’t use the right verb
  • Use simple tenses versus complex tenses

The 7 components of interesting stories

You don’t have to have all of these, but if you have 2 or 3 in one story it makes it much more interesting.

  1. Recency
    1. How far away the event was to the thing
    2. Think about trends and how influencial they are
    3. Ideal: Something that just happened
  2. Impact
    1. What impact does this have on the reader
    2. Ideal: Something that heavily impacts the reader
  3. Prominence
    1. Involve characters that have prominence
    2. If Kim Kardashian sneezes, it becomes interesting because of how prominent she is
    3. Ideal: Involves incredibly prominent characters
  4. Proximity
    1. A house burning down is somewhat interesting; Their neighbor’s house buring down is much more interesting
    2. Ideal: It hits the reader close to home.
  5. Conflict
    1. Ideal: There’s conflict, tension, something unresolved, or a mystery
  6. Unusuality
    1. There’s something odd, bizarre, unique
    2. You want someone to cast a pattern/expectation onto your story and then all of a sudden you shift it. Their brain will divert resources and attention towards the story because it’s not matching the patterns in their mind in order to reconcile the conflict between what they expect and what is reality.
    3. Ideal: It creates a shift in expectations or breaks the reader’s thought patterns.
  7. Update frequency
    1. How many times you can update the reader on the same thing
    2. Think about breaking news, how live updates from the scene and new information emerging creates intrigue.
    3. Ideal: It has frequent updates.

Book writing process

  • Alex goes as far as he can until he realizes he has a logical inconsistency or an inconsistency with his own experiences that would prove his theory/model wrong at that point.
  • Then, he go back to the beginning and adjusts assumptions.
  • Then, he restarts the book and writes it all again.

The longest process is:

  • Ideating all the pieces that are going to be in the book
  • Then, actually writing the first draft

After the first draft, he gets feedback

  • He sends it to 4-8 of his ideal readers, whose opinions he values
  • On taking feedback
    • If you get lots of different feedback from everyone, then you did a good job
    • If everyone is saying the same thing, you should probably change it

After feedback

  • He creates the third and final draft

After final draft

  • He sends that to an editor for grammar, typos, etc.

After final edit

  • He has a finished book!


  1. I’m so excited to read this one. It’s wonderful!!

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