Here's something a little different...
Next month marks 14 years since I became a business owner. In April 2002 I decided that there were no forms of 'employment' that suited me or my goals. I applied for an ABN (Australian Business Number), conjured up a business name (that I still love today) and I set out to make myself an income on my own terms. I had very little idea how I was going to do it but for the past 14 years I have figured it out, year by year, month by month and sometimes day by day.
I call myself a consultant, solo professional or small business owner. But am I an entrepreneur? And does it matter?
I've never really identified with that term but here's a definition for you:
Entrpreneur - a person who organises and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk (Wikipedia)
Looking at that definition, I think I might be - and you might be too. There's certainly initiative required because if I don't find clients, develop ideas, design new products and services and deliver to deadline there's no one else who will. There are a whole lot of risks too, although as an optimist I don't dwell on these.
If you're a fellow blogger, or a small business owner, a self employed professional, someone who runs a volunteer organisation, an artist, or you have a side hustle providing social media marketing guidance or making and selling beautiful things at markets then I reckon you also fit the bill as an entrepreneur. In fact the more I think about it the more I realise that I am surrounded by creative, passionate, innovative, hardworking women with initiative, who take risks and are doing everything they can to live life according to the goals they have for themselves and their families.
Welcome to the entrepreneur club!
So I'm going to do a little experiment over the next few weeks. In addition to my usual Tuesday psychology blog posts I'm going to share some of my thoughts and experiences as an entrepreneur (still getting used to that term) and I'm going to pop them on the blog each Friday. If you like it, let me know and I'll do more. If you have questions, or topics you'd like covered, let me know those too. I might be getting used to the idea of being 'an entrepreneur' but after 14 years of self employment I can certainly share what I've learnt about running your own show.
So to kick things off, here are 5 entrepreneurial type books that I'm reading, enjoying a learning a lot from right now.
1. #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media and Self Awareness, Gary Vaynerchuk. If you haven't seen any of Gary Vaynerchuk's video check this out. He's manic but I love that amid the tech talk and business advice he advocates passionately for self awareness as a key ingredient of success. In this book he also covers parenting, family business and gratitude! Right up my alley.
2. Daring and Disruptive: Unleashing The Entrepreneur, Lisa Messenger. The tag line says it all for me - and here we've got not only a woman's take on entrepreneurship but an Australian woman at that. Like many of these books, Lisa's story here is not just about business; it's about following dreams, taking chances and living a bigger life.
3. The 7 Day Start Up, Dan Norris. In January I participated in Dan Norris's 7 Day Start Up Challenge and I've since joined his online membership group. What I love about Dan is his down-to-earth. no pretence attitude (another Aussie). He's infinitely generous and genuine.
This is Dan's story of how he established his business - WPCurve - in 7 days, not because he could but because he had to. After a series of failed businesses the money was running out and he had a family to feed. He shares his experience and then gives us tips not just on how to set up the bare bones of a start up business but how step outside your comfort zone and be true to yourself.
4. Content Machine, Dan Norris. Another of Dan's books. This one is for the bloggers and those of you doing your thing online. I saw Dan speak at ProBlogger last year and loved his session because he's funny and self deprecating and engaging. But I didn't really get what he was talking about - not at the time. This book made it make sense - the notion that our content (our blog posts and podcasts and ebooks and everything else) - build trust and community and that great content, done right, equals great business.
I'd heard this message before but Dan's emphasis on value and on how you help people really strikes a chord with me.
5. The Naked CEO: The Truth You Need To Build A Big Life, Alex Malley. Okay I must confess that I haven't read this one yet but it's waiting in the queue on my Kindle app - and it has been recommended by several people. Reading up on it, it was this sentence that caught my eye:
'As a father of seven, Alex knows that this is the perfect book for parents or mentors looking to inspire the next generation'
Word has it that it's full of anecdotes and real life stories about making a big career and a big life, making it an interesting and engaging read, and I reckon a father of seven whose gone from 'suspended schoolboy to disruptive CEO' just might have an interesting take the world and how to succeed within it.
Do you have any book recommendations for the PP community? Care to share?