John Brewer, Jr: Fight For Your Best Life

On episode #222 of The Author Factor Podcast, I am having a conversation with John Timothy Brewer, Jr. His remarkable background as a special forces veteran and founder of Mind, Shield & Spear Consulting Group gives him a unique insight into the world of self-defense. With his new book, "Fight For Your Best Life," John combines a decade of high-stake environments experience with everyday practical safety strategies.

John Brewer, Jr. nonfiction book author

This book is not your average self-defense manual. It's a larger call to empowerment through mastering the mind and body. One big reason our listeners will find John’s book intriguing is its foundation on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. John creatively uses this as the spiritual motivation behind his message, intertwining the importance of safety with achieving one's fullest potential.

John Brewer, Jr. shares his Author Factor

Unlocking the Author Factor: This Episode's Big Takeaway

The key author factor from this episode is the emphasis on understanding how self-defense and personal empowerment skills are closely interlinked and how these can be applied not only for physical safety but also for achieving one's full potential in life. John Brewer, with his special forces background and experience, advocates for a multidisciplinary approach to self-defense that transcends physical confrontation and incorporates leadership abilities, communication, problem-solving, and de-escalation to enhance every aspect of life. His book "Fight For Your Best Life" serves as a foundational piece for those looking to start their journey in self-defense and personal empowerment, aiming to provide knowledge that readers can personalize and integrate into their own lives.

Learn more about John Brewer, Jr. by visiting:


Mike Capuzzi: Welcome to the Author Factor Podcast, where we break down exactly how smart business owners and corporate leaders leverage the powerful advantage of being a published book author. I'm your host, Mike Capuzzi, and you're in the right place if you want profitable nonfiction book writing tips. Can mastering self-defense transform your life beyond mere survival? Meet John Timothy Brewer Junior, a special forces veteran and founder of Mike, Shield, and Spear Consulting Group, whose new book, Fight For Your Best Life, is more than just a self-defense manual. It's a masterclass in empowering oneself through the mastery of mind and body, blending John's decade of experience in high-stake environments with practical everyday safety strategies. John, welcome to the show.

John Brewer: Oh, thanks for having me.

Mike Capuzzi: Well, I appreciate you joining me today. I appreciate your service. You've got a very cool background. So I just alluded to it, John. Can you share a little bit more about where you have been, what you've done, and what you're doing today?

John Brewer: Oh, yes. So essentially, you know, the reason why I wrote this book and the reason why you should hear my perspective is because I started my career in the US Army Special Forces back in 2011. And then from there, you know, we go through this process. It's called selection and assessment where you get picked up and then you have to go through about a year and a half of training, specialized training. And then from there, I was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group, which is in Tennessee, or Fort Campbell, Kentucky. And then also, deployed twice during the conflict in Syria with ISIS. And then from there, I actually reclassed to a medic because I realized how important trauma medicine is, especially in that field of expertise, but even in everyday life.

And then, you know, so now, after my active duty time, I spent 3 years in the Maryland National Guard and just recently got out, and ever since then, I've been focusing on this book and the business that kind of follows behind it.

Mike Capuzzi: So let's talk about Fight For Your Best Life. Tell us a little bit more about who you wrote that book for, you know, why you wrote it, and what will your target readers get by reading it?

John Brewer: Yes. So I wrote the book to be the foundational piece for anybody looking for a starting point or maybe there's just too much out there, and they're trying to, like, really consolidate their thoughts of safety and self-defense. And then also, like I said, personal empowerment because that's what I think goes along with it. I say in the book, the spiritual kind of motivation for the book was Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you know, being the second tier of that being safety and security. Just because I do truly think that if you are always kind of, you know, quote-unquote, looking behind your back to make sure you're always safe or, you know, there might be things that arise in your life that hold you back from your true potential, then that needs to be taken care of before you can actually reach your goals in life and self-actualization and things of that nature. So that's why I wrote the book. I wanted it to be a foundational piece for someone who needed a starting point. From there, the target reader is absolutely anybody, but also, at the same time, I put it in the subtitle to try to make it easy.

So it's those who are into self-help books, which obviously is broad, and then those who are looking to protect their family, and then lastly, but not least obviously, is those who've already been victimized by crime. So living fearlessly, or living fearless is kind of the last demographic that I was looking at because like I said, if you've already been a victim of crime, then I don't think you're going to have a difficult time reaching your life goals and living a normal kind of lifestyle. And so, you know, those are the reasons why I truly wanted to put this book out there. It's just to be that resource for people that need it.

Mike Capuzzi: Now, you and I were talking before we hit record. I mean, there are a number of similar books. I own a bunch because this is a topic that's important to me. I'm a father like you are, and you know, it's just, it's I think it's important to be as prepared as possible, whatever that might mean to you, the individual. But with your background, John, what would you say like, when we help our clients publish books, I always try to uncover their special sauce. What makes them? Obviously, your background makes you unique in your perspective. But your take on self-defense, can you share a little insight there, why your book is different or how it's different than other books that might be available?

John Brewer: Yes. So that's mainly my book is different because well, there is my perspective, but also, it's a multidisciplinary approach because, you know, a lot of self-defense books out there, they're very, most of them are, you know, they deal with either hand-to-hand combat or maybe firearms training, stuff like that, which for me, I don't learn that way. So, you know, I can't just read a book and be like, oh, well, now I can do it. You know, I would have to. I'm a visual learner, or I obviously have to, you know, go through the motions. So at the same time, my book is more conceptual, and it's also meant to be a template. It's meant to be, you know, kind of give you the framework so that you can easily just plug and play your personalization to it. Meaning you know? And then also at the same time, you just, and I say it in the book, you know, you take what you need and you leave what you don't.

And so I try to give people a broad overview of a lot of different concepts that they can borrow from, because truly that is the mastery of skill is when you understand something so much that you can then make it your own, and that's really what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to give you the knowledge to be able to make something your own, and I do go through, there are 5 sections of the book, and it goes all the way from self-assessment, self-development, all the way to the aftermath of an event. So, you know, and obviously, in between there is the event itself and then stuff you can do beforehand. But I'd say that's another avenue that I took that's different than others is that it is a step-by-step approach to where we start from the very beginning, which is yourself. We work outwards, and then we bring it back to what we're talking about, which is self-defense scenarios, and then how to prepare for it, how to act in them, and then how to take care of yourself afterward.

Mike Capuzzi: So I'd love to get your perspective. I wanna go a little deeper in on your book because, again, it's a topic that I've read a lot of different books. I appreciate, you know, I think it's important just to be aware and prepared and just, you know, eyes on the back of your head kind of thing all the time, like, whatever it might be. A lot of folks don't, you know, either live that way or think that way. I've fortunately have never had any issues or had any you know, so including my family. So thank god, you know, no issues like that where we were victims, but we all believe in just being smart. What would you tell someone, John, who might be listening to this interview, you know, they're gonna grab a copy of your book, what are some of the fundamental things that you think people who don't actually think about self-defense, like you lived it, what would you share with those people? Like, what, you know, how do you start thinking this way? What does it really mean to think this way, etc.?

John Brewer: I mean, like I said, the kind of the foundation of you know, the true motivation behind it was Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And if anybody understands that, then they understand that, you know, 1, I look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a kind of a stepping stone of, you know, not only just life fulfillment, but also when you pick up a skill, it needs to be applied to every aspect of your life. And what I mean by that is that anytime you pick up a skill so we'll start at the bottom. We'll say, you know, obviously, food, shelter, water. Used to we used to hunt and gather and things of that nature. Well, that hunting and gathering, the hunting aspect anyway, also could apply to self-defense. So you're using a bow and arrow or using the spear. So that's that transferable skill part.

And then next, we go up one level up, you know, when it goes to, you know, socialization, things of that nature. Well, sometimes in self-defense, it's better to talk through it than it is to actually act in some type of manner, whether it be physically or whatever it is. So now you have the social aspect. So now you have to know how to talk to people. You know how to end an argument and things like that. And then from there, obviously, those social interactions can either help you or hurt you when it comes to self-actualization, especially in this day and age. Oh, day and age. I always get that.

I said it correctly. My wife always corrects me. Anyway, I say it the way I say it. And so what happens is that all these skills are transferable to the next level, and that's what I'm trying to get people to realize in self-defense is that it's not just specific to self-defense. Yes. There are certain skills like carrying a firearm and then and using that firearm. Yes. That's probably gonna be very specific to self-defense scenarios.

But other things like leadership ability, communication, de-escalation, all those kinds of soft skills that people use every day in their life, but maybe aren't in problem-solving. Actually, that's one of the biggest things. Problem-solving, you do we do it every day, but maybe we're not as great at it as we could be, especially if we've never had a high stakes scenario to where we really had a problem-solve and were really stressed out, and there was life and death, a part of it. Because, you know, my theory is that if you can handle that, you can handle any situation in your life. And eventually, obviously, everybody always deals with life and death. Not not saying it was always in a traumatic manner, but at the same time, it comes around eventually. So just to be exposed to those concepts and skills, I do think that it helps you out in every aspect of your life.

Mike Capuzzi: So let's pivot to the fact that you have a consulting business. This book is part of that, you know, picture, Mind Shield and Spear Consulting Group. Can you share a little bit more, John, about the kind of clients you serve there, you know, you're using the book to try to identify? And then what are you doing for those kinds of, you know, your ideal client? Now we've moved from reader to client. How are you serving those clients?

John Brewer: Yeah. So ideally, the client is reading the book beforehand because it does provide the foundational piece. Not saying that I couldn't provide that in the in-person session, but it just makes life easier when they have at least skimmed over it and kind of know the basic concepts so we can go beyond that. And that's really what the book is about is delegating. Just get delegating the foundational pieces so that I can really look at the more personalized pieces and more tailored solutions rather than just giving you a blanket concept, which is what the book does. And then from there, it's mostly about creating a personalized strategy for your situation and what's going on. And then also at the same time, maybe we dive into a little bit of real world, you know, leveraging, you know, other parties, whether that be looking for somewhere to train or whether that be, you know, maybe you got a real-world situation going on and you need a lawyer, and you've never vetted a lawyer before. You know, we kinda go through the process.

And I speak about it through the book, but really, what my consulting service is about is just taking what the book already teaches and then just personalize that to your situation or to what you have going on in life. And like I said, the target audience is in the subtitle, but at the same time obviously, being a father myself, a lot of my strategies are gonna be well, you know, better for families. It's good for individuals too, but I'm also gonna be a little bit more in-depth about families just because there's so much to cover in that aspect, and then obviously if you've been victimized by a crime before, then there is gonna be that traumatic piece to it that, you know, I can't provide therapy, but we can definitely try to search it out and see who can provide the right help if needed, especially depending on what your situation calls for.

Mike Capuzzi: Now going back to your book, this is your first book. Correct?

John Brewer: Mhmm.

Mike Capuzzi: And it was published, I think it was like, latter part of last year?

John Brewer: Yeah. Back in September. Yes. September. Yeah.

Mike Capuzzi: I did see, and we probably wanna mention it, but, it's on Amazon. Of course, we're gonna encourage listeners to go check it out. But you have a bunch of reviews, which is not an easy task. I'd love to hear more about that. But this podcast, John, is about inspiring others to do what you've done, which is write that first book and get it out there. I'd love to hear any feedback or thoughts that you have regarding the promotional aspect of the book? You it's been out for a few months. I'm not sure what you've done. I know you were talking about something you're doing right now on Goodreads, but is there any strategy or tactic that has worked well for you that you'd wanna share with our listeners?

John Brewer: Yeah. I mean, obviously, it's young, so I'm still feeling it out. Really and I can't remember what the book is now because I listened to it so long ago. But really, what I'm trying to do right now is find those other parties that already have my target audience within it. So they already have the audience. I just need to introduce it. I initially thought that was gonna be like Jujitsu Gyms, which I haven't tried gun ranges, so we'll see. But what I've realized is that you just gotta find where your target audience hangs out at and then go there.

Obviously, podcasts are a good way to do that. You gotta find where your target audience is listening. Get on that podcast. Podcast, I will say, is probably one of the easiest things to do to where I mean, when I say easiest, I mean, you research it or you listen to it, and then just send that host a message whether it's I usually do LinkedIn or, obviously, there's Podmatch and things like that. But, yeah, if you're on LinkedIn, I'd say network with people in the same industry, and then also ask them what they did because I've been piggybacking an awful lot of ex-military authors as well. Actually, the lady who developed my website is who developed another guy's website that pretty much is doing the same not the same thing I am, but he's got a similar model. I was like, why am I gonna reinvent the wheel?

I might as well just use what, you know, use what's out there and and and, and kind of piggyback. So, you know, to kind of summarize all that, I'd say find your target audience and and go where they're at. And then also at the same time, look at similar authors in your area, and then just whatever was successful for them, piggyback off that. And obviously, you don't like you know, you don't wanna copy them, you know, word for word, so to speak. But at the same time, if their strategies work, most likely, it will at least give you an avenue to then pivot from if you need to.

Mike Capuzzi: What about the strategy for getting that many testimonials? Is there anything you could share there? Because, again, that's you've got a lot of great testimonials in a short amount of time.

John Brewer: Yeah. So, is where a lot of those came from because they're, you know, they're a book review site, for authors. There are other ones out there too. I think I can't remember off the top of my head. But the reason why I didn't go with them is just I can't remember now. But probably, they have a good system going, and it's pretty flexible too. And then also because what I've been doing is, since I have 2 children now, I just review children's books. So any book that comes up that is a children's book, I grab them and then review them.

And, obviously, my book's up there for people to review too. So I do especially if you're an avid reader, get on a book swap site and start reading books and then get your books reviewed as well. And then outside of that, I did have a launch team, where I gathered friends and family that would be part of my launch team and stuff like that. But for the most part, it has just been, you know obviously, it's a very active process. It's not passive by any means. You have to go out there and find people that will review your book and hopefully, it's a streamlined process and hopefully, you're not paying too much for it, especially because there are some, you know, legit book review sites out there to go do reviews, but it costs like $400 to do it. And I was like for one review, I might as well just wait and have, you know, it come in whenever it does. So but

Mike Capuzzi: Yeah. What about any mistakes made or pitfalls or speed bumps that you encountered that if you were to do another book or you'd wanna warn someone about either in the writing, publishing, marketing part of the book?

John Brewer: So, actually, you know, I forgot to talk about this. I did do BookBub ads and actually those were going decently well. The only thing about that is bookbub, you have to have your well for me anyway, I had to have my book discounted for people to really buy into it. If it was just normal price, I didn't see the same success as I did. And when I first started doing that, I spent way too much money. Because I was really trying to and this is I'd say the pitfall that I had, don't try to force that bestseller label on Amazon because I did get it and it was in school safety and violence and so and I still hang around. I'm always like I'm always in the top ten just because that category is, you know, it's it's owned by that book in particular, Columbine, which has been out since, probably almost 20 years now, I guess. So that's been number 1 forever.

And then I just hang around top 10, and and I was bestseller there for a good month, I think. But what it was is I was chasing it because I really wanted to keep it because I knew that, you know, obviously, readers would be more inclined to buy the book if they saw the bestseller label, which they are. But at the same time, it can get real pricey real fast if you're if you're, chasing that. And then, you know, you're kinda letting your ads go away from you. Because I was bringing in, readers with those ads, but at the same time, it was costing me quite a bit of money. So let's say don't chase the bestseller or let it just come that you know, do your strategy the way it's supposed to be done the way you planned it out to be, and then just let things fall into place.

Mike Capuzzi: So, John, as we get ready to wrap up here, I'd love to hear, you know, your thoughts on what it has meant for you. I know it's still young. I know it's only been a few months, but what has it meant for you to be a published book author?

John Brewer: I mean, essentially, it's just the way I look at it is everybody should write a book, and I don't mean that as, like, you know, figures laid out. I think that everybody has a piece to the puzzle that they can contribute. And, you know, because that's what I tell people is that it's a perspective. And maybe it's not gonna be received by the masses, and that's fine. The reason why you write the book in the first place is to reach those who will be receptive to it and then provide some value to it or meaning, you know, something that's meaningful. So, you know, like I said, everybody has a story to tell or everybody has something that they can teach other people, and so really that's what books are about. It's just getting your perspective out there, and you don't even have to be quote-unquote an expert because your life has taught you things that no, you know, nobody else has been taught because it's not their life. And so if you're able to write that in a book or whatever medium, then you should.

Mike Capuzzi: Love it. Yeah. It's really is one of the most profound reasons why we always encourage people, that you're right. Your background, your experience, no one else has that, and there's definitely people that need to hear your message and hear what you're all about and how you can help them. So very good. So, John, how can our listeners learn more about you? Where's the best place to grab your book? All that good stuff.

John Brewer: So is gonna be my website. You can also obviously, you can find the book is published through Amazon. So it's Amazon with the ebook, audiobook, and the paperback. And then also, I'm on LinkedIn. So if you wanna search me on LinkedIn, that's where I do a lot of, you know, obviously, right now, I'm trying to build that professional network for the website itself because I'm always looking for blog writers. So if you happen to be someone in the self-development space, self-defense, or anything like that, I'm always looking for authors to provide their perspective on anything that could relate to what the company and what the message is about, which is a lot, actually. It's very broad. It can be, I even have health and fitness articles up there.

So it all relates. So that's the main focus. So if you are looking to connect professionally, LinkedIn is the best place to do that. But at the same time, I do have my website and Amazon where the book is at.

Mike Capuzzi: Very good. Well, John, thank you for your time today. Thank you for your service and just sharing all the wisdom that you shared today.

John Brewer: Oh, thank you for helping me.

Mike Capuzzi: Well, that wraps up another episode of the Author Factor. If you like what you heard, please rate and review us on Apple iTunes. Subscribe, tell a friend, and go grab the notes and extras at And to learn more about my unique short book publishing services, please check out See you next time.