The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

As many that know me are aware, I am an avid reader. Mostly, I read about franchising, small business, entrepreneurship, business & restaurant ownership, self-help and just about any related topics. I’m a sponge for information and resources that I can use in my life as well as in my business, and also for my team and clients.

I typically arise by 4 AM on the weekends and spend 4-6 hours reading through the 300+ digital publications, newsletters and blogs to which I subscribe and that I’ve bookmarked throughout the week. Some I file away for future reference. Others I save to share across social media. And a few I share with friends, colleagues and clients as may be appropriate and relevant based upon a recent conversation or as information, motivation or inspiration I believe will help them.

Over the course of a year, I will read between 35-50 books relating to the same topics I’ve listed above. Some I read and they’re one and done. Others I refer to as needed for reference or as a resource for a particular project. I also have a few go-to books that I refer to quite often for my own inspiration and motivation.

I do love biographies and autobiographies about entrepreneurs, successful business people and leaders. I marvel at these recounts of both success and failure. I’m intrigued by the journey of these individuals. I’m motivated by their passion. I’m amazed by the obstacles and challenges they’ve faced and overcome. And I’m inspired by the possibilities that come to mind as I relate their stories to present day times.

Why do I have such hunger for the written word? Well, my formal education is limited. I never graduated from college as quite frankly, I found it boring. I was not interested in the typical basic courses and although I always looked ahead to the courses I knew I would really enjoy, I fretted about the prerequisite courses that were required before being able to take the courses of which I had the most interest.

To compensate for not having a formal education, I knew I had to work my ass off to get ahead. Marrying and raising a family at an early age was a choice, and a great motivator. It was an experience of which I take great pride, especially as my wife and I have been married for 45 years. We have four great children, their wonderful spouses, and four – and soon to be five – extraordinary grandchildren.

Sure, I regret not completing college and although I have given significant thought on numerous occasions about going back to school, life always got in the way. So, early on when I read Lee Iacocca’s autobiography, Iacocca, I was inspired to learn more about this great man and leader. I read his second book and sought out to read all I could about other successful people.

My motivation to read all that I could was driven by an explanation by Iacocca that still resonates with me to this day. To paraphrase… A man is not as smart by what is in his head as he is by the information he could put his hands on, and that information is in books. And so began my quest for information to educate myself as much as humanly possible.

Oh, I do wish I had complemented it all with a formal education but there’s no use crying over spilt milk, right? There’s no reason to look back. Although, the “what if” questions do haunt me at times, yet they inspire and motivate me just the same.

No doubt I was self-reliant, so when I first heard about the book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, I knew I had to read it. When my daughter, Jennifer asked me what I wanted for Christmas two years ago, I asked her for this book. Maybe the method to my madness was to start out making this book special as it was a gift and one that I knew I would treasure.

Well, as you can see in the image at the top of this article, the book sits at the top of a handful of books that sit on my desk at all times. These books are rotated quite often from the one I’m currently reading to others that I may be referring to for a special project I may be working on. Yet, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur always sits atop the pileWhy? Because the book is meant to be read each and every day.

But what really makes the book very special is the author’s commitment to helping others. You can just tell he put a great deal of thought into the book. But to me, it’s even more than that as evident by an experience I had yesterday on LinkedIn when I posted the following:

This is my second year reading through the book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur by John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing). The book is comprised of 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business.

Today’s meditation is very spot-on in light of current challenges and economic uncertainty and especially the following sentence:

“As entrepreneurs pushing through fear and trying so many new things, we feel so intoxicated by the sensation of new that we are tempted to hold on and loiter – breathe it in, remember it, then turn the page and grind on.”

I highly recommend entrepreneurs everywhere purchase this book AND diligently follow the daily meditations. The book is great for aspiring entrepreneurs, as well.

Well, the author, John Jantsch personally responded, asking me to share my experience. I mean, who does that? Who takes the time to genuinely ask for your input? Well, it spoke volumes to me, as does this fantastic book.

John asked me, How are you finding you have changed this go around? I responded:

The first time I felt I was just reading. Sure, I always took away something from the various passages but I never seemed to give them much thought afterwards. This time around, I’ve found myself applying what I’ve read, or even like today, I found that it actually reinforced the message I shared in my daily LinkedIn newsletter, Acceler8Success Cafe.

More so, as I often write about what’s going on in my own mind, many of the passages either reinforce my own confidence or motivate me in my own writing as well as in my business. To summarize, first time around I’ve read to read. The second time, I’ve read to apply.

One more thing… For anyone that wants to learn about entrepreneurship or expand skills as an entrepreneur, this book is perfect because so many feel they don’t have time to read a book, but with The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur that’s all they have to read is one page each day. It’s the best 5-10 minutes I spend each and every day!

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Interestingly, this morning’s meditation is titled, Original Giftedness. Well, I was already given a gift of John’s response yesterday, so today’s meditation is an appreciated extension of the same. Thank you, John.

If you’re interested in purchasing, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur, you may do so on Amazon. I highly recommend you do so today. Also, I also believe it’s a great Christmas or Graduation gift that’ll make a difference in someone’s life. I know it’s made a difference in mine.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!