These are my personal book notes of Steve Glaveski’s book Employee to Entrepreneur.
Let’s dive in.
- Author: Steve Glaveski
- Title: Employee to Entrepreneur
- Subtitle: How To Earn Your Freedom And Do Work That Matters
- First published: 2019
- Type: non-fiction
- Genre: mindset
- Author’s website: steveglaveski.com
- Rating: 4/5
- Recommended: Yes
Table Of Contents Of The Book
- About the author
- Chapter 1 The future is here
- Exponential change
- What this means
- From employee to entrepreneur
- Chapter 2 Collecting the dots
- Collect the dots before you connect the dots
- Connecting the dots with first principles thinking
- Where to collect dots?
- Be intentional
- Chapter 3 Finding your why
- Are you miserably comfortable?
- Your why
- Chapter 4 Embracing your what
- Find your character, build a startup
- Align your why and what
- How to make better decisions
- Lower barriers to entry = your opportunity
- Beware old maps of the world
- Self-defeatist salary expectations and blunted risk appetite
- Is entrepreneurship the answer?
- Chapter 5 An entrepreneurial mindset
- The trough of despair
- An operating system for success
- Chapter 6 Taking action
- Inspiration without action is entertainment
- What about securing my financial future?
- On procrastination
- Chapter 7 Knowing your how
- Place lots of small bets
- Lifestyle business versus unicorn
- Do I need a team?
- Getting the wrong people off the bus
- How to build brand you
- Chapter 8 Testing your ideas
- You’ve got to be 10xbetter
- Introducing design thinking
- From idea to execution
- Chapter 9 Strengths and weaknesses
- Lessons learned
- Character and workplace attributes
- Chapter 10 10x your output
- My smartphone addiction and how I overcame it
- Virtual assistants 101
- 80/20 baby!
- Agile time management
- I, Robot
- 10x your sales pipeline
- Use your calendar
- Turn bad habits into good habits
- Parkinson’s Law
- Extreme ownership and accountability
- Radical transparency
- Chapter 11 Power up!
- Rock that body
- Mind over matter
- Quality, not quantity
- Final thoughts
Key Concepts & Ideas
The only thing that is constant is change.
This book is about earning your freedom, progressing from being miserably comfortable in a cushy corporate gig where the only thing getting you out of bed each morning is your salary, to running your own seven-figure business, all while doing something you love and find meaning in.
To protect yourself you need to learn to adapt constantly to the changing environment.
Don’t expect government to make sense of all of these befuddling changes and offer you a lifeline, beyond a basic level of subsistence.
If you want to live a meaningful life of financial freedom, growth and fulfilment, you’ll have to take this bold mission into your own hands.
It will never be the ‘right time’.
University or work commitments, saving for vacations, children to take care of, mortgages to pay, bills, school fees, physical limitations… and so on.
Whatever stage of life you’re in, there will always be excuses.
Choosing to overcome them by taking action is a choice, and everyone has that choice.
You don’t need to go back in time to be awesome; you just have to start right now. Regretting that you didn’t start earlier is a great distraction from moving on your dream today, and the reality is that today is earlier than tomorrow.
- Jon Acuff
Entrepreneurship is a vehicle for developing the mindset and skills we need to adapt and to overcome failures.
You don’t even need to become an entrepreneur per se, but by developing the underlying character attributes and mindset of one, you will give yourself the best shot of success in today’s turbulent times, and the best chance of living a fulfilling and rewarding life.
Whatever your situation, you always have a choice in how you respond.
Perspective distinguishes a disempowering mindset from a powerful one.
If you want to do something new but don’t have a family history of risk-taking, the only thing stopping you from changing that is, well…
Finding something you truly believe in is key to sustainable contentment and happiness.
It is also the key to doing work that truly shifts the needle, because if your work feeds your sense of self-worth and self-actualisation (those fundamental socio-cultural, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs), then this creates a positive feedback loop.
It feeds you and, as a result, you keep feeding it.
The truth is that entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging pursuits one can embark upon.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
Mindset shows up often in this book.
That’s because it is more important than any other factor in differentiating success from failure.
I cannot stress this point enough.
The right mindset is critical for creating the conditions to help you find success and fulfilment in both your professional and your personal life.
It comes down to how you show up and respond to adversity each and every day.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
- Calvin Coolidge
Understanding which factors determined the success or failure of a workshop helped inform our testing choices, such as alternative topics or workshop titles that would be more compelling.
For example, ‘How to Think Like a Startup’ is way more compelling and puts more bums on seats than ‘The Innovator’s Mindset’.
What we got during that intensive trial by fire was lots of learning.
Failure is inseparable from success, especially if you want to do something bold and new.
You need to maintain a sense of self-worth that comes from something other than external validation in order to stay grounded, maintain belief and keep moving forward towards your objectives.
The Trough Of Despair
In entrepreneurship, you will inevitably visit the ‘trough of despair’ or the ‘trough of disillusionment’.
Life, in the words of the great Rocky Balboa, ‘is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward’ - it’s just the same with entrepreneurship.
One of my favourite stories is Homer’s The Odyssey, an epic poem that is among the oldest works of western literature.
The story tracks the journey of the Greek warrior king Odysseus who, after spending 10 years fighting in the Trojan Wars, spends another 10 cruel years finding his way home to his wife and son.
During the journey he must fight mythical creatures; face the wrath of the gods, shipwreck, cannibals and enslavement; and overcome many other terrible trials.
When he eventually gets home, he has to fight off numerous suitors for his long-suffering wife’s hand, and then convince her of his identity, because 20 years of conquest and enslavement left him unrecognisable.
An entrepreneur’s journey is not unlike The Odyssey (without the man-eating Cyclops) and requires the same level of commitment and perseverance to overcome the trough.
If, like Odysseus, you are driven by a greater purpose, you are much more likely to stay the course.
You just need to recognise that darkness and find your own way of dealing with it.
Anita Campbell, founder of the Small Business Trends media company, says, ‘The best antidote [to the trough of despair] is to get some exercise, a bike ride or a run, or some similar activity.
Get a good night’s sleep.
It really does.
In the morning things often seem better.
I’ve had the worst day of the year and the best day of the year happen in the same month’.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could… Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tomorrow really is a new day.
The process of rapid experimentation, learning and adaptation that characterised our early days became a part of our core values at Collective Campus, and in time we started getting not only more than four people attending our free workshops, but people and large companies actually paying us for the privilege.
To get to that point, however, we had to make friends with discomfort.
This is something too many people aren’t willing to do.
Entrepreneurship can indeed feel lonely, especially in the early days.
But through discomfort comes growth.
In my case, had I not reframed my mental map, had I not made friends with discomfort and placed purpose at the core of what I was doing, I would have quit.
But despite all of the initial setbacks and signals telling me to give up, I still believed.
Without belief, it is difficult to follow through with sustained, needle-moving effort.
If you can get better at making friends with discomfort and less than desirable outcomes and choose to empower yourself to respond to them, rather than play the victim card, then you are setting yourself up for success.
When you near the end of your journey and, reflecting on the life you’ve lived, ask yourself, What do I wish I had done differently?, will it be that you had challenged the status quo more?
Will you wish you had challenged yourself and broken out of your comfort zone more?
Will you regret not spending more time with family and friends and on the important relationships in your life?
Or not being more adventurous in exploring the world?
I doubt you’ll regret you hadn’t worked harder.
But entrepreneurship isn’t really about working harder.
It’s about living life on your terms; it’s about spending your life doing work that matters, work that makes a difference in the lives of others and leaves this world just a little better than you found it.
Here’s what I won’t say during my final days:
- I wish I had spent more time watching Netflix.
- I wish I had spent more time shopping.
- I wish I had spent more time on social media.
- I wish I had spent more time watching the news.
- I wish I had spent more time drinking.
- I wish I had had more stock options.
- I wish I had bought more real estate.
Yet this is how so many people spend their ‘spare’ time today.
On stuff that is easy and comfortable in the moment, but leaves us feeling unfulfilled and miserable later on, with all the trappings of wealth but devoid of the joy that the simplest of things can deliver.
Polishing off an entire bag of potato chips might give us a fleeting pleasure high, but it leaves us feeling not only physically sluggish but, more often than not, guilty and hating our lack of self-control.
Life’s most rewarding experiences are those that push us beyond our comfort zone, that drive us to answer questions we don’t know the answer to, that force us to learn something new, to face adversity and come out the other side a better version of ourselves, looking back on the experience, not with resentment or sadness, but with fondness.
You might not know what your ‘why’ or purpose is.
You may have just read this book cover to cover and not yet applied anything you’ve learned here.
Even if you have, maybe your why still isn’t clear … and that’s okay.
Sometimes by starting on a ‘what’, any ‘what’ for that matter, the work you subsequently do will reveal new opportunities and bring you closer to a ‘why’ you truly believe in.
Don’t let not knowing what to do, or not having 100 per cent conviction in your idea, stop you from taking that next step.
In Paulo Coelho’s novel The Alchemist, Santiago, a young farm boy, sets off on a grand journey across the desert to the Egyptian pyramids in search of treasure, only to find that the treasure was at his feet the whole time.
Sometimes the answer is right in front of you but you need to go on a journey to see it.
So my challenge to you is to stop procrastinating, stop waiting for the elusive and subjective ‘right time’, and build momentum.
Put this book down, or give it to a friend who could benefit from it, and take that first step, no matter how small, today.
Go and register a domain or business name.
Declare to the world what you’re doing.
Register for an entrepreneurship meetup.
Complete a lean canvas for an idea you’ve been toying with.
Register a domain name with GoDaddy.
Whatever it is, whatever you can do… do it, but do it today.
And make time to do something, anything, every day from here on.
The small act of doing something will not only build momentum, but lead you to do progressively more, and form a habit, and once formed, like most habits, it will be incredibly hard to kick.
Entrepreneurship is a state of mind.
A well-known aphorism, first attributed to American humourist and actor Robert Benchley in 1920, proposes:
‘There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don’t’.
I guess I’m in the former camp then, because what I’ve come to know of readers of books such as this one is that there are indeed two kinds:
Those who apply what they read and those who don’t.
You might be feeling a sense of accomplishment and be enjoying a serotonin hit from having finished this book.
If you want to build a life of sustainable contentment, meaning and accomplishment, though, you need not only to think bigger but to back up your thinking with action.
Whether it’s on the path to entrepreneurship or following one of the other avenues I’ve outlined in this book, take that first step.
It’s time to stop just doing something and get busy being something.
The world needs you.
I hope you enjoyed reading my notes!
My book notes only cover small parts of the book.
So if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.
Thank you for reading and stay awesome,
Tim for Online Business Dude
PS: Become An Online Entrepreneur, Today!
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