Dale L. Roberts is a self-publishing advocate, award-winning author, and video content creator. He is an international bestselling author who has published over 40 titles. Roberts is also known as the indie-author community’s go-to authority. His youtube channel entitled Self-Publishing with Dale was voted by Feedspot among the Top 50 YouTube channels about self-publishing.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up the middle child of three in a military family. My father was in the Marine Corps which allowed us to travel the world. We didn’t settle down in Attica, Ohio until I was a teenager. Fortunately, I saw quite a bit of the world and experienced so much by the time I was 13 that living in a small farming town was a nice change of pace. 

Growing up, I got to see my parents work their tails off just to provide for us. They lead by example, so by the time I moved out of the house when I was 17, I got right to work and carved my own path in life. 

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I’m not the most important person in the world. Early on, I only cared about myself and didn’t much pay mind to anyone else if they didn’t serve me any good. Ego used to dictate my every move and in 2008, karma came back to bite me. Once you hit rock bottom, you can either wallow in your misery or learn from your mistakes. I chose to pick myself up and never allow ego to control my life.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Oh, man, I could write an entire book on the bad advice I hear from would-be experts in the world of self-publishing. Instead, I’ll share the one piece of advice that makes me cringe every time – “don’t chase your dreams, they’ll never pay the bills”. I truly believe if you’re passionate about any one thing, then you can make a living out of it. The reality is it’s going to take time, patience, persistence, and consistency. Never give up and never let anyone tell you how you can’t chase your dreams and make a living from it.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

In 2008, I experienced my rock bottom stemming from many small ego-driven decisions. The laundry list of issues included:

  • Divorce – ending a 13-year relationship
  • Assume $22,000 in debt from the marriage
  • Broke my back and needed surgery I couldn’t afford
  • Had to quit pro wrestling because of the back issues
  • Struggle with depression – the cocktail of pain meds and anti-depressants only seemed to make it worse
  • Using alcohol and drugs to cope with the problems

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. I fell in love with the first woman who came into my life, got rid of all my worldly belongings, and followed the woman to another state. I discovered it was a horrible idea and had to move back to Ohio. After living for three months in my brother’s basement, I committed myself to become a better person.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and though that time sucked, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Reflecting on that time reminds me of how much I’ve grown and what I accomplished in the time since. While it’s never easy to suffer through it, the payoff is incredibly fulfilling.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

The biggest reason why I have any success is my willingness to learn, apply, adjust, and grow. Though I wish I could take direct credit for all my success, the reality is all my readers, viewers, and followers are the ones who made it possible. I’m forever grateful to everyone for where I’m at and what I’m able to do as an author and video content creator.

What is your morning routine? Please include the time you wake up.

With the exception of Sunday, I get up every day at 6:30 am and get my workout right away. After I’m done exercising, I throw back my breakfast which is usually a cup of cooked oatmeal with apples and peanut butter. Then, I peel through all my emails shortly followed by my biggest task for the day. My thought is to front-load my days with the hardest stuff so the rest of the day is a breeze.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

The thing most responsible for improving my life is diligently tracking all earnings and expenses. I know my finances down to the penny and rarely deviate from a set budget. When I see my expenses begin to outweigh my earnings, I adjust my workflow and spending. 

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I’m big about goal setting, etching out my schedule, and having a to-do list. While some experts believe to-do lists are counter-productive, I find it suits my needs. With a task list closely aligning with my goals and a schedule keeping me on track to fulfill my goals, I stay focused and efficient.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks by Mick Foley is a book I read countless times. Mick managed to share his story of being the underdog who should’ve never made it in the hyper-competitive pro wrestling business. Despite having no real physical acumen or skills, Mick proved you can live your dream if you never give up and always believe in yourself.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

  1. The man who chases two rabbits gets none.” – Confucius
  2. “Nobody cares what you know till they know that you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  3. “I don’t fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee