I Finally Realized Why I Wrote My Book

Writing a book is hard. Writing a book that people want to read, now that is an ominous challenge. I suppose that’s why so many people never follow through with it and why so many books get lost in self-published purgatory.

Calling myself an author, now that’s just downright absurd to me–mainly because I should have never written a book. And I don’t say that lightly–some tongue-in-cheek comment for the purposes of dramatizing the issue–I truly mean it.

In the midst of running a business, raising three small children, and having never written before, the fact that the book was ever finished is a sheer miracle.

I’m not the guy who quit his job to chase his passion of writing.

I’m not the guy who has possessed a love for literature and the craft of writing from an early age.

I’m not that guy.

I’m the thirty-something father of three who was struggling through balancing life and family and business and I decided to write as a way to process the challenges that I faced.

What has emerged is my book, Redefine Rich: A New Perspective on the Good Life. Four months in, the book has sold close to 1,500 copies, reached the top ten on Amazon for Christian Living, and orders are still coming in. More than that are the stories.

I get emails and notes weekly that truly humble me: relationships have been healed, lives have been touched, passions have been ignited, perspectives have shifted. All because of this simple, little book.

Whether I want to realize it or not, Redefine Rich is forever a part of the legacy of my life. But curiously, I never knew why I wrote it.

Until this week.


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The Clarity of Hindsight

I have been engaging in a guilty pleasure lately: The Blacklist. I don’t watch much television, but I’ve gotten hooked on this show. I love the acting, the plot, as well as the interconnectedness of the stories.

Maybe it was the influence of The Blacklist or maybe it was something else, but earlier this week, someone reached out to ask me a few questions. And one of the questions was this:

If you could go back and give any book to your younger self, when you graduated college, what book would that be?

I thought about it and the books began to flood my mind–my favorite authors, my favorite books. Then, it hit me.

My book–I would have given myself my book.

In a flash of momentary clarity, I saw the entire picture:

I wrote Redefine Rich for myself.

And not just at age twenty-two, I need this book at thirty-three. And if the feedback I’ve received confirms anything, I feel certain that I will still need this book at fifty-three.


I will always need to be reminded that my life is broken–that life will never be easy. But it’s not my brokenness or the adversity that defines me, it’s how I respond to my broken places that give me hope.

I will always need to be reminded that richness is found when I forgive and accept forgiveness.

I will always need to be reminded that life isn’t about me, it’s about others: that my life is about my investment in people. It’s about generosity–giving freely because you have been freely given.

I will always need to be reminded that every day is a gift: that I need to be grateful for the blessing of a new day, that life is about holding doors for people, smiling at them, and sharing hope with them.

I will always need to be reminded that my life is part of a bigger picture: that everything I have been given, I have been given by God. I need to be confident in Him, but humble before Him.

I will always need to be reminded that the greatest picture of confidence and humility is the picture of Christ. He didn’t come to be served, he came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

And accepting that truth is true richness.

Friends, as I look back on the journey over the past two years, I am blessed beyond measure that I have the privilege of sharing Redefine Rich with you.

But selfishly, I now realize that I am the one who needs this book the most. I’m the one who needs to be reminded of what a rich life is all about.

I’ll never forget the morning, nearly two years ago, when I sat at the kitchen table, reminiscing on the last moments with my Aunt Trish–the moments that would eventually become the catalyst for this entire story.

As I stand here looking back, there’s no doubt that God uses our stories in the most remarkable ways to reveal Himself. And the fact that He would do that for me is the most humbling thing of all.

Because from this small step of faith, so many relationships have been created and so many opportunities have been brought before me. You guys, my readers, the folks that I have met while speaking, have all continued to give me such great encouragement that there is still so much good to be done in this world.

And lest you think all of this is self-serving, I pray that somehow, all of this would give you remarkable hope on your journey as well.

I’m confident that it will.



If you haven't read my book, there are a couple of way you can: a Kindle version on Amazon, a paperback, and a limited edition hardback copy.
If you have read the book, I would ask you to consider two things:
1. Leave a review on Amazon
2. Share the book with someone else
Some of the most amazing stories that have been birthed from this journey are the ones from folks who have decided to give the book away as a gift:
There's the guy who's going through a leadership course and purchased thirty copies for his peers, there's the girl who bought ten copies for her co-workers before she changed jobs, there's the Financial Peace instructor who bought copies for those that attended the course, there's the real estate executive who purchased a copy for every one of his employees, and the list goes on.
If you're still uncertain, feel free to join us on this blog. If you're curious, you can always check it out. If you find that it's not for you, you can unsubscribe at anytime. But regardless, I'm glad you've stopped by today and I hope you will stick around.


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2 Responses to I Finally Realized Why I Wrote My Book

  1. Milton Friesen May 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey Matt, I had bookmarked this article to read when it first came out but never did til tonight.

    Thanks for writing the book even if you shouldn’t have, and thanks for sharing it with the rest of us, even if you wrote it for yourself.

    And yes, “The Blacklist” is my guilty pleasure too!

    • Matt Ham May 22, 2015 at 5:32 am #

      Thanks, Milton! I think it’s more the realization that when you help yourself from a true place of wanting to grow and pressing into your giftings, that you actually end up helping others in the process. or better yet, when you start concerning yourself more with what you can do for other people it actually helps you.