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Startup tips from The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth book by Chris Brogan

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The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth — Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators by Chris Brogran

Even though I don't like bats and was scared by the cover, I picked up this book anyway for three reasons:

  1. I never judge a book by the cover -- I try to find out what the table of contents are, before I make any decisions
  2. Already read prior books by Chris Brogran, attended talks by him and have been listening to him online -- I trusted him
  3. Met Chris at the New Media Expo (#NMX) in 2014 and saw he is a nice, helpful, real person -- I knew and liked him

Loved this part that started on page 8 and drew me right into the book:

You don’t have to wait for permission to turn your entrepreneurial vision into a reality. However, you do have to find a way to get your product or service to the people who will want to purchase it.

Chris goes on to give an example of Hugh Howey, a science fiction author who didn’t want to wait for permission, so he went ahead and published his Wool series on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform. After tons of efforts via himself, Simon & Schuster made a deal with Howey for print distribution rights - which ended up $500,000 on top of what he’d already made from his digital distribution. He then went on to sell the rights to a movie version. “… showing us yet again that the mainstream doesn’t have to be your only path to a success that matters to you.”

I would like to take a pause a stress the importance of this phrase: “ … a success that matters to you.”

As a person who has been slowly, but surely converting a BIG vision into a viable business; I wish I had found one person in the beginning who shared that I don’t need permission to start -- I'd be a lot further ahead. No worries here, because now, I have tons of great stories to tell. But, that is why I decided to write this book review. There are too many people on the sidelines still waiting for permission. Let me continue on with the highlights of this awesome book in hopes that you'll jump into action to start shaping your idea, vision or personal knowledge into a success that matters to you.

Chris goes on to talk about the challenges that stand in your way:

“Of course, there are many ways you might find your path to success thwarted. You might find money getting tight and feel the urge to surrender your unique style and intentions and try to fit in.” (Please don’t — this is where branding is soooo important — focus on being YOU.) If you don’t do this, as Chris echoes, you might quit too soon. He then goes on to point out the three main challenges you will face and what I have witnessed with lots of people, including myself:

  1. Lack of a clear goal. “How will you know what success means to you if you don’t define it?"
  2. Seeking money from the wrong part of the value chain. “Be sure you know both who you are serving and who your customer is.”
  3. Feeling of isolation. “Being different (a freak!) means often surrounded by people who don’t ‘get’ you.”

I have so many favorite parts of this book, but the above three main challenges to overcome and the below five keys should help YOU to turn ANY successful idea into a viable business:

  1. Start by taking the first step.
  2. Define what success means to you.
  3. Set your stepping stone goals to move you closer to your definition of success.
  4. Don’t try to do this alone - find trade partners, mentors, incubators and/or collaborators.
  5. BE yourself - if you don’t “get” you, no one else will. Figure out you, your beliefs and values.

Thank you, Chris Brogran, for writing a book about real life struggles and joys for entrepreneurs!
Now people can identify the roadblocks before getting blindsided by them.

If you have passion and believe you can change this world for the better; please read his book. If I did, I would have saved a lot of headache and heartache for myself and others; yet it wasn’t available until now, so you have an opportunity here. Take it.

What do you think? Are you a freak? What are you struggling with?

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