Michael Sakraida: Everybody needs a direction in life

Michael Sakraida

Michael reveals the secret to success in financial balance and happiness, showing how things work out best for each individual. Many individuals have praised his art, stating that it is so fantastically intuitive. His message is similar to a do-it-yourself strategy.

You may therefore refer to his work as a self-help book because millions of people desire to read it in order to improve their financial situation, find happiness, and live a balanced existence. Many others have benefited from his thorough fact-checking in order to write this book. Numerous individuals face emotional difficulties, and this book offers strategies for overcoming them.

Michael Sakraida's Money balance joy book
You can buy the book, Money Balance Joy (Amazon.com), Money Balance Joy (from Amazon India)

About Author Michael Sakraida:

Michael Sakraida is the author of the book “Money, Balance, Joy,” which improves your life story. He is also the founder of a coaching-based programme related to his book. Michael is a financial advisor for firms and companies. He brings us to our self-awareness of fulfilling and meaningful lives. Michael guides us on the sidelines of distractive emotions and leverages our positive emotions and values.

What is your book about and when did the idea of writing “Money, Balance, Joy stuck in your head?

Money, Balance, Joy is an intuitive and enjoyable journey – based on research and stories based on many people and professionals’ experiences, including my own – to enable people to improve their life stories by having fulfilling lives of money, balance, and joy. This journey is intended to go beyond the reading of Money, Balance, Joy. I’ve had the idea for this book my entire adult life, but this specific idea didn’t coalesce into this book idea until just over a year ago.

What inspired you to write this book and whom do you think your mentor is?

Instead of helping tens of thousands of individuals and financial professionals over the years, I want to help hundreds of thousands of them – heck, I would love to help a million people and financial professionals. My book, Money, Balance, Joy, is the cornerstone, or spark, of the movement most people need.

What are the key takeaways you hope readers will get from your book and why they should read it?

To help them further along in their lifelong quest for a fulfilling and meaningful life of money, balance, and joy. We all need an understanding of what we’re up against, we all need a better understanding of ourselves and how our mindsets can enable us to overcome what we are up against, we all need a path for our journey, and we all need the outside perspectives, accountabilities, and adjustments that come from the right kind of financial advisor. Years ago, I created a presentation for individuals capturing the essence of Money, Balance, Joy, and, to a person, every one of the thousands of individuals who heard it loved it, were more hopeful, and wished they heard it much sooner in their lives.

What makes your book unique or different from other books on the same topic?

Most books in this investment genre fall into three categories: the first category is what I call the “hero” writer (where it is about how one should bask in their brilliance). Often this brilliance is suspect and comes off as more self-promoting than helpful. The second category is the do-it-yourself book – for 90% of people, it is impossible to substantially improve one’s money, balance, AND joy with this DIY guidance approach. And the DIY approach results in books that are longer than 90% of people want to read. And the third category of such books are written like textbooks and are as interesting as the textbooks of our least favorite classes when we were kids.

How did you research and fact-check for Money, Balance, Joy?

Would you like to share some experiences while writing? Fortunately, there were many studies, including academic ones, that touched upon the human-nature-based financial and emotional challenges and solutions covered in Money, Balance, Joy. And the common experiences I’ve observed with countless individuals and financial professionals over the years drew me to search for some of these studies. In short, I am curious.

What are your plans for promoting your book? Which marketing strategy you loved the most?

As I mentioned earlier, my book, Money, Balance, Joy, is just the initial spark or cornerstone behind my goal of helping hundreds of thousands of people and financial professionals. This is because my book enables me to have related articles written about it. The articles lead to podcasts like yours, which both provide compelling and helpful content to hopefully spread like wildfire through the leverage of a social media-based sharing helping effort. And all this hopefully will lead to the holy grail of radio and television.

How long did it take you to write your book? Have you considered a beta reader for your book?

Off and on, it probably took me over 500 hours from the initial outline in my head to the finished work. I never kept track of it. After my first draft, I had some individuals and financial professionals read it. Substantial improvements came from that feedback – but I had to fight the urge to be defensive or hurt from it.

What is your writing process like and how long do you write a day like targeting hours or words?

I’ve always had the ability to create content in my head first, then create the very basic outline, and then fill it out. I’m only half-joking when I say, “I have the book in my head, now I just need to write it out”. Since Money, Balance, Joy wasn’t my full-time job, I would spend from an hour to 10 hours a day writing, on the days I did write. There were a couple of nights where I just went to bed and great ideas came to me. I jumped up and wrote all the thoughts for hours. Some were garbage, but a good portion was great.

To avoid beginners making the same mistakes, what are some of the challenges you faced while writing your book?

I should have had more discipline with avoiding procrastination – the story of my life – and getting feedback earlier.

Everyone develops their own writing style. What are some of your favorite writing tips you would like to share with your readers?

All these tips are for my own writing style – not everyone can realize the same results as I did – this is the definition of one’s own writing style. I wrote the same way I would talk if I had an actual one-on-one conversation with the reader. I let my personality, humor, and mission permeate Money, Balance, Joy. I made my book about the reader, not about myself – in other words, I took my mission seriously – with humor – but didn’t take myself seriously. And I considered the human nature of the reader, to write in a style that resonated with their feelings, rather than their brain.

Do you have any advice for aspiring non-fiction authors?

First, have an overall mission to help people – not make money. Second, consider their human emotions to have a book that has an intuitive and motivating read and journey that extends beyond the mere reading of the book. Third, make sure this is an enjoyable journey for the readers. And, last, use lots of stories and have research that backs up your assessments and solutions.

Would you like to share some of your expertise on how you got started as a non-fiction author?

As a professional change agent, I always had to articulate new thoughts to people in companies and firms with an “infotainment” approach. Infotainment is the presentation of information and concepts in an entertaining way. And I quickly learned that I had to map out the journey for the change. This mapped journey is needed because most people HATE change or focus on changing the wrong things. This is why the first chapter of Money, Balance, Joy is “Zen and the Art of Change”. All this made it easy for me to write my book.

What are your biggest influences as a writer?

The human psyche – what makes us do great things and bad things, even though we mostly know when they are bad things. Then how do we use this self-awareness – mostly with the help of others – to achieve fulfilling and meaningful lives by sidelining our destructive emotions and leveraging our positive ones.

Non-fiction takes a lot of hard work. What are your goals for your writing career?

Yes, readable, and change-inducing non-fiction takes a lot of work. I already have two more non-fiction books “in my head” right now – one of which I can make a series of books. But first, I need to get further along with my mission to help over 100,000 people – the reason I wrote Money, Balance, Joy in the first place.

Authors have a free mind that keeps searching and finding what they want until they find its roots. What do you enjoy most about being a non-fiction author?

I love the readers’ positive reaction to my mission, and the journey I have shared with them for me to accomplish that mission. For my abilities, non-fiction is the best way for me to help people have more fulfilling and meaningful lives that will improve their life stories.

What are some of the challenges you face as a non-fiction author?

I need to flesh out the criticism of those who’s way of life I’m threatening with my mission and flesh out the equal criticism of those who are frightened by my mission. But both are necessary so that I can address them in my book.

For beginners and Amateurs, what advice would you give to someone who wants to become a non-fiction author?

Write down what your mission is right now for helping people. Then write down a high level “first thoughts” review of the path you have for them to follow. If you can do that, you can try to write your non-fiction book. If you can’t do that, you need to first work on your mission and/or your path. In your bookshelf how many books are there and what are you reading right now. Also, list of your favorite books and authors I have bookcases of historical books - a few signed by the authors – and human-nature-based self-help and self-awareness books. In Money, Balance, Joy I mention much about human nature and emotions that can be learned from history.

My history book specialty is books written about somewhere in the period between and including World War’s one and two. We really didn’t have two world wars but had one world war with a pause in the middle. I just read “Range – why generalists triumph in a specialized world” by David Epstein. It is a great guide for anyone wanting to do great things. Also, I love books by Malcolm Gladwell, David McCullough, John Grisham, Tom Clancey, and others.

Which types of books do you love to read? You prefer hard copy or electric version and why? What are your favorite books of all time?

I love the feel and vibe of hard copy books over electronic versions. In terms of “vibe” grabbing a book and reading it on a plane, the beach, camping, wherever, I feel like I’m unplugging and having a mini retreat to “sharpen my ax blade” as a friend puts it. Also, when I read non-fiction help-based books, I’m constantly underlining key points and making notes in the margins about specific ideas I have in incorporating those key points in my work or my life. Otherwise, its just entertainment, in my eyes.

What are some of your hobbies and interests apart from writing?

I love being creative with my hands, with many different activities. This was my first love, before writing and giving emotions-based help to people. This could be cooking, gardening, building things, like a 10-foot high spongebob square pants pineapple house for a kid’s birthday party.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Having people tell me how I helped them and/or rhetorically asking me why no one else ever covered this topic this way?! And I love knowing how many lives I can impact.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life and how did you overcome it?

Oh, I had a triple threat, emotionally wrenching year in 2001. I unexpectedly loss my wife, less than a month before 9/11. Oh, and I lost my job before both, because of the collapse of the Internet bubble. I don’t know if I fully overcame that year, but I’m better at living with it, and I’m a better person through surviving it.

Everyone and every day we learn something and add it to our learning. What is the most important lesson you have learned in life that you would like to share with your audiences?

You cannot change people, but you can change how you interact with them and help them. That’s why in Money, Balance, Joy, I guide people on “sidelining” their destructive emotions – I don’t try to guide them on “eliminating” those feelings.

Author Raphael Sohnn on writing first chapter of novel

Author Raphael Sohnn on writing first chapter of novel

Many authors get stuck somewhere while writing the first chapter of their novel or book. As a result, the most crucial act of every book author is how to begin the paragraph.

Many of them must have separate chapters in order to remain optional. We discovered Raphael Sohnn's unique technique of selecting his chapter one and why while conversing with him in an interview.

About Raphael Sohnn

Raphael Sohnn is a British / Indian author and poet.

Raphael followed the traditional route of educating himself to either become a professional or turn his attention towards the family business – the latter of which he did. Though somewhat of a daydreamer in class and even during his years in further education, ideas began to take shape in his mind and eventually found themselves on the pages of his debut novel, The Captains of Legend, some twenty or so years later.

Set at a time, some 700 hundred years ago, when kingdoms were ubiquitous in what would eventually become India, the book is about the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of the residents of the palace – both royals and those that serve them – at the heart of the Kingdom of Bhagava. Very much a human story, in it, the characters must navigate not only the paths set out for them supposedly from birth but also the calling of their individual destinies and the cries of their hearts, knowing that war has shaped all they now have and may also be just around the corner.

Follow Author

Facebook | Instagram | Website

Interview with Author Raphael Sohnn on writing first chapter of novel

Have you ever wondered how to write the opening chapter of your book?

Raphael: Not really. Every story has to have a beginning, naturally. So for me it has just to be able to set the scene, as it were. In my book The Captains of Legend, I believe I’ve been able to encapsulate the main theme of the tale, the realisation that the relationship between the two central characters, Holasiyan – a young warrior, and Meena – the princess and his childhood friend, is becoming far more profound. It speaks quite early on as to the hurdles their blossoming love faces in that opening chapter.

There are numerous cases where the majority of the book captures the reader's interest in the first chapter of the book; what is your secret to achieving this successfully?

Raphael: Although my book is set somewhere in northern India very many centuries ago, the central issues are in my opinion timeless, especially those that concern Holasiyan and Meena. They can be transposed to today, and are I feel, struggles that many young people can relate to. In India as well as many other countries around the world, class or one’s perceived status still plays a fundamental role in relationships being favoured and hence blessed, or not, as the case may be.

Author Raphael Sohnn on writing first chapter of novel
Author Raphael Sohnn on writing first chapter of novel

What aspects did you learn or believe included crafting a superb first chapter of a book?

Raphael: Thanks firstly, for your kind words. Personally, I at times felt the opening chapter of my book to be a little uneventful, comparatively speaking as regards the rest of the book, though I suppose perhaps I’m looking at it through the perspective of he who knows what is to come. Again, I felt I had to capture the essence of the situation of the two young protagonists. I’m certain that was achieved.

What is the significance between writing the opening chapter of a book and writing the first paragraph?

Raphael: In my book the opening paragraph encapsulates quintessentially that which young Meena, the princess desires and the pursuit of those therein. The chapter from then on elaborates upon it, fleshes it out so to speak.


Tell us about your book, how your writing ideas evolve over time, and what inspires you the most.

Raphael: My book is about the lives of a host of people who live side by side, yet inhabit different strata in their society. It is a story of the protectors and those they protect, and how each individual’s existence is intertwined with that of the person upon whom their actions may have an impact, favourably or detrimentally.

As far as my writing ideas go, I’m not sure that I’ve been writing for long enough for it to have yet evolved. I suppose I’ll leave that for others to judge one day. What inspires me is anything which can move one on a purely emotional level, whether that be a painting, music, poetry or prose.

I recently purchased a print of the most majestically depicted lion I’d ever had the privilege to look upon (it appears in one of my Instagram posts on a wall behind me). Just the other day someone very close to me mentioned how wonderful a picture it was. I remarked that it caught my eye at the far end of an enormous furniture showroom. I was there to buy a bed, yet I couldn’t stop gawping at this image. I decided in that moment, bed or no bed, that painting was going home with me. It moved something within me. I hope I’ve done that experience justice in attempting to explain it and to further elaborate the point.

Aamir Khan Holding the Captains of Legend
Aamir Khan Holding "The Captains of Legend"

What is your favourite quote that motivates you and why?

Raphael: I’m not sure if I have one that stands head and shoulders above all others. That said, the poem If, by Rudyard Kipling is exceptional, and the final few lines are hard to beat.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

…now that’s inspirational.

What are the most crucial things you believe every aspiring writer should know about producing a killer first chapter in any genre of fiction?

Raphael: Again, I’m not sure it’s for me to describe the first chapter of my book as ‘killer’. Nevertheless, there have to be moments in the story as a whole that are capable of making one smile, laugh and even cry. I reckon I’ve been successful in that regard. Some of the very kind reviews I’ve had so far have spoken to that.

How do you prioritise your day, especially when you have outstanding chapters to rework and new ideas to jot down?

Raphael: When I’m writing, I simply sit at my desk and type away. I usually have a good idea about where I am – or the story, I should say – is heading. I already know what have to try and convey, and so it’s about getting that on to the page. However you are right when you talk of reworking. That is an ongoing process, and passages, lines, paragraphs and at times entire chapters must be revisited, then edited, re-written or removed altogether. It’s all part and parcel of the process.

What are your favourite novel's beginning characters, and why did you chose them?

Raphael: If you mean which are the favourite characters that I’ve created, then I have to say that I love them all; after all as mentioned, they are my creation, though I have to say that Dilawar Khan, the current captain is a character very dear to me. He is a paragon of virtue, brave and loyal, kind and yet a fearsome warrior. He is the perfect example of what it means to be a man, and a mentor without parallel to those under his wing, in this case his young charge, Holasiyan.


10 CC: About to shake Indian medical community

10 cc

This is a tale of chemistry between a chain-smoking medical intern and the time he spent with his sedative addicted boss, owner and in-charge of a small town ICCU equipped hospital. The boss makes the patient buy sedatives on pretext of a wonderful Intramuscular injection guaranteed to provide relief. He pockets the vial with the efficiency of an illusionist and injects air in patient’s butts. Is air injected in human body fatal? I’ll explain below.

The primary issue raised in the novel is the biggest taboo in our medical fraternity, which is addiction among doctors. It is a known phenomenon in Western countries. There are special hotlines to report substance abuse and rehabilitation centres for addict doctors. This novel touches almost every medical malpractice in Indian society. When this novel will hit big, government will be forced to make many reforms. It will scare a lot of powerful people and will bring about positive changes in Indian society.

The novel starts with our protagonist joining a small town ICCU, without any experience. To make the medical procedures and terminologies easy to understand, the protagonist in this novel is shown to be good just in theory and lacks practical aspects. Either he remembers details about the situation or someone tells him. You won’t feel like you are entering some alien world while reading. The hospital is in an old residential building, the dirtiest place ever spawned, infested with mice and spiders. The staff is untrained, rude and without any morale.

The events in the novel slowly unfold to show how a hospital works, and the protagonist discovers his boss is addicted to a sedative. Worse, his boss makes the patients buy sedatives and injects air in the buttocks of patients. As the novel progresses, our protagonist starts getting good in his craft. At the same time, antagonist cranks his addiction to 11 and weird hijinks start. Protagonist thinks about leaving, but he is now addicted to chaos along with cigarettes.
This novel is a dark comedy and full of cuss words. The protagonist is a man with no name, as I wanted every reader to associate with him.
Plenty of issues regarding medical care and social problems in India are raised in this novel like
• Addiction among the doctors – Both antagonist and protagonists are addicts, along with most of the other male characters. They are sometimes drunk on duty.
• Air injections – Small amount of air, if injected in muscles, is painful but rarely fatal. Up to 100 cc or 100 millilitres air injected in venous blood of an adult male without any debilitating disease is rarely fatal. A small amount of air injected at a slower pace in arterial blood might cause air embolism, but is rarely fatal. So, the game depends upon amount of air, speed of injection, site of injection and the host. Our antagonist knows his game and never loses.
• Neglecting government authorities – Government watchdog authorities are not keen on keeping watch on private hospitals, especially in rural areas and other healthcare institutions like PHCs. Under trained staff is appointed at many hospitals. Authorities make an occasional show of raids, and everything gets back to the way it was in a few days.
• Costly treatment – Relatives fighting over bills of few thousands will sound shaky for many people, but the story is set in 2007, in town of Yavatmal in Vidarbha region, place of 1/3 of farmer suicides in 2006 and 2007 in Vidarbha. And comparing with the ‘facilities’ provided in hospital, it’s too much for the people around there.
• Attacks on doctors – Due to politically aspired goons, negligence from doctors and delay in treatment, attacks on doctors are more frequent in India. A brief mention of a mob beating an MO and throwing a table on him is in Ch.3 as ‘girl bitten by snake died’ and another in Ch.34. Reasons are inability to control crowd in time, lack of infrastructure and serious staff.
• Domestic violence – A woman getting unconscious during beating and the relatives running away with patient in Ch. 18 and 19 show that the women in rural India are still abused and few of the events are reported. And worse, women have greater participation in abusing other women.
• Use of bizarre things to go high – Traditional liquor, tobacco and drugs are lagging behind as doctors and non-doctors are experimenting with prescription drugs and making ‘cocktail drugs’ and other things like sanitizers, whiteners as mentioned in Ch. 10.
• Corruption in medical companies – In protagonist’s confrontation with MR, protagonist gets small idea of working of pharmaceuticals. Lot of references like costly medicines instead of cheaper ones like Ranitidine are also scattered throughout the book.
• Doctor's symbol – Whether it is caduceus or Asclepius rod? And from where they are derived? Which one is correct? An attempt to answer these questions in a satirical way is present in this book. Mindless copying of caduceus for doctor’s symbol is the subject of widespread debate.
• Confusing scientific data – Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. This one is longer, but stay with me. It will be interesting.
We live in the scientific world. But the scientific data, instead encouraging the knowledge, is misleading people and working in favour of pharmaceutical companies. It is explained best when protagonist wants to find information whether cheaper heparin or costly fractioned heparin is best for patients and gets extremely confused seeing two articles on same website.

Five of the researchers-writers are the same in both articles, giving apposite views using soothing words like ‘No statistically significant difference was observed when the efficacy and safety of low-molecular weight heparins were compared with those of unfractionated heparin. A cost-effectiveness analysis of low-molecular weight heparins versus unfractionated heparin must be done urgently to establish more firmly the place of low-molecular weight heparins in the management of unstable angina.’ And ‘Enoxaparin appears to be superior in efficacy to UFH and similar to UFH in safety. No difference in costs was detected in this study.

The greater inhibition of platelet aggregation observed in the case of UFH compared to enoxaparin indicates that there may be more bleeding complications with UFH.’ It was stated in first trial that drug ‘enoxaparin’ containing trials were not taken in consideration. So does that means one should go for enoxaparin instead of other low molecular weight heparins or undergo another trial for efficacy of un-fractioned heparin and enoxaparin which was not covered in meta-analysis or prescribe as one wishes or what the pharmaceutical wishes? Is costly fractioned heparins are really better than un-fractioned heparin? And most important, who is the authority responsible for taking final decision on making a drug prescription protocol and what is its stance on this confusion. Bored after thinking for some time, protagonist decides to go for a smoke, feeling nothing is possible to do against such information overload not giving concrete information.

You’ll be wondering is it enough to actually shake Indian medical fraternity? I don’t think so. I believe they’ll laugh how I missed some even bigger issues. But I have something else.
I have a document from a pharma company that shows how doctors make black money. It explains how a doctor has to prescribe certain number of medicine in the given time, and he is awarded an iPhone, TV set, a bike, or plain hard cash. I also have invoices from pathology labs that give details like name of patient, cost of said investigation and cut forwarded to the doctor for that month. I am looking for people who can help me spread awareness among Indian people about this blatant corruption. And I am ready to talk about it.

So, in all, 10 CC is not just another novel. It could be the beginning of a revolution against corrupt pharma and other medical practices. Lives of a lot of Indian people could be better because of you guys. All I want from you is to spread the word until it gets the attention it needs. You can interact with me on Twitter.