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The very successful entrepreneur Ed O’Keefe said something on a podcast recently that really crystallized an important truth that determines solopreneur success. He said that there are two elements to being a successful entrepreneur: the soft side and the hard side.
Put simply, the soft side is all the things that give you the drive, energy, and desire as a person to be a successful entrepreneur. The hard side is knowing how the hell to properly manage a business.
If you don’t want to lose your mind – or your money – you need both sides to be successful.
Many great entrepreneurs hook up with someone to help make up for their deficiencies, especially deficiencies on the hard side of being an entrepreneur. Typically, someone who is great at marketing will find a partner who is great at operations or the technical side of the business. And as I think about this, I also believe there is a soft side benefit to working as a team: When you’re buddied up with someone else, you’ll be bolder and have more courage than when you’re operating as the lone wolf solopreneur.
But if you don’t have that special person as a partner right now, I have something that can act as a substitute. It’s a book that can give you the courage to be a bold successful solo entrepreneur and make things start happening in your life: Choose Yourself! by James Altucher.
We spend most of our life waiting to be chosen by others. It starts in grade school when kids pick teams. It continues on through college when we wait to be admitted by a college. It doesn’t stop as adults when we wait to hear if we’ve been chosen for that great job we applied for.
When Altucher hit rock bottom during the financial collapse of 2008, he decided that the long string of being chosen by others had to end:
I had to figure out, from the inside out, what was going to transform me into someone who would not just succeed, but thrive.
That’s when it clicked. When everything changed. When I realized that nobody else was going to do it for me. If I was going to thrive, to survive, I had to choose myself.
I’ll be honest with you: I usually don’t like motivational books. Almost all of them are the same stuff just repackaged. However, the truth that Altucher hit on opened a new way of thinking for me. I believe that I had backed into living this truth, but without the clarity that Altucher provides. It was like I was holding the map in my hands, but I had it flipped over and was staring at a blank sheet of paper. The perspective, guidance and tips Altucher provides let me flip that piece of paper over and actually see the map itself.
Now I had direction and perspective. I wish I had this book 30 years ago and I hope you don’t have that regret.
I was close to 60 years old when the economy dumped me out of my teaching job. At that age people aren’t lining up at your door to hire you, although I had always been very employable through my adult life. I knew that if I started to knock on doors, I would just be totally frustrated, so without putting it in Altucher’s terms, I choose myself.
With my writing background, I decided to start freelancing. Further, at my age, I realized that it would be the last chance I had in my lifetime to break away from the psychological servitude of the wage-paying world.
It was now or never.
I’ll go into more details of my journey in other posts, but right now let me just say that as I started to establish myself as a freelance writer, I began to sense a greater world of opportunities out there for me. The problem wasn’t a lack opportunities worth pursuing, the problem was me. Was I ready to reach for them?
That’s when I discovered this book and started to understand what it really meant to choose oneself.
Anything here resound with you:
You’ll find these things in Altucher’s Choose Yourself.
Isn’t it time you did exactly that?