I spent all day yesterday reading a book. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I did that. Usually if I’m reading, it’s an audiobook while I’m at work to keep my mind from imploding upon itself. Or if it’s paper, I get frequently interrupted or whatever. This was like the scheduled cleared itself, the neighborhood noise stopped so I could focus, and the book I needed to start with floated to the top. In short… I made the call, and I got an answer.
The book in question is #BossLiving: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Sustainable, Small Business by G. C. Denwiddle. I have to be honest… I almost didn’t look at it simply because the title starts with a hashtag. But in the words of Admiral Kirk, “Come, come, Mr. Scott. Young minds, fresh ideas. Be tolerant.” Opening my mind to new ideas is absolutely the name of this game. Besides, given how this book just sort of manifest at the right time, who am I to question it?
This is a relatively short book, under four hours to read cover to cover at my snail’s pace. It doubles as a workbook, and while I have not yet done the exercises, that’ll be my task for this week. This post is not a formal review of the book. That said, I think this was an excellent choice to really get my head into the game. It covers the basics, branding, marketing, sales, time management, business plans, and the overall mindset of what’s needed to be your own boss and make a small business work. The thing that truly impressed me was that the book even discussed the separation between the business brand and the personal brand. You drive the business, but you are not the business. Having let the information marinate overnight, I’ve started seeing the operation in my head, getting an idea for the minutiae of what’s involved, anticipating specific problems and challenges, that sort of thing. Holographic immersive experience, or as they like to call it in some circles, creative visualization. Who says all those
years decades of role-playing games were for nothing?
As a springboard to go from pipe dream to workable concept, I think this is most definitely where I needed to begin. I love that the approach is no-nonsense and no frills, but there is emphasis on creativity and curiosity. If anything, this book has more or less convinced me that this is the path I need to take. It’s also prepared me for the notion that the end result may not look like the image in my head. Flexibility is key, because essentially I’ll be moving from crisis point to crisis point for the entire journey. How I adapt and meet the challenges will be entirely upon me, but I think it’ll mean more if I’m not punching a clock and breaking my back to make somebody else comfortable. The mindset required to shift from clock-punching grunt to entrepreneur is absolutely essential.
It’s interesting that while most of what’s here is typically outside of my comfort zone, I have absolutely no problems addressing any of it. I see where I’m not there, and I’m prepared to adapt. The one thing this book stresses is how to adapt to those months when goals aren’t met and living lean is the name of the game. At this point, I’m overqualified. I’ve been doing that little exercise for half my life. What I got out of that is that there will be times when I won’t have to live like that. That’s the attractive part, and sort of the entire point of going into business for myself. All in all, once I work through the workbook sections of this, I think I’ll be better prepared to present my case to potential investors. Talk is cheap, and if I talk enough, I’ll end up talking myself out of this. I absolutely cannot afford that, as proven by the fact that I’m still at this… job. *sneer* Learn, then execute.