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7 Lessons learned from the book Rework

I’ve heard it time and time again, entrepreneurship is truly the greatest roller coaster ride. I give credit to Adam Carroll, one of our first podcast episodes for that initial concept.  Man, truer words have never been spoken.

Late last week I was on a  Skype call with one of my mentors tossing ideas around for what I should prioritize on my business to-do list. Should I focus on my book writing? Should I focus on creating my online product?  I clearly was on the cusp of a potential downward spiral.  He sensed it immediately and suggested for me to read Rework.

reworkTo be honest, I had heard about this book several years prior but I never got around to adding it to my reading list.  Clearly it was time for me to read it. (total aside: when your mentor strongly recommends something, do it. Don’t delay… don’t belabor. Instead get into action…you’ll be glad you did. It also further nails down the idea that you are very coachable.)

As I was reading the book, I went through many “holy sh*t” moments realizing where I had gone wrong with some of my actions and decisions.  Alas, just one of the many big dips on the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride.

So, with the concepts still fresh in my mind, here are 7 Big Lessons from Rework, (including Rework quotes) that I am incorporating into my business and hope you gain some value from it too:

#1:  Everything you think you know is wrong… 

No, you don’t have to quit your job to start a business. No, you don’t need serious capital to start your business. In fact, Fried & Hansson caution that you really do give away too much power when you brings on investors. Stories of other entrepreneurs whose initial goal was to create a power house business in order to quickly sell it for a healthy seven figures, later regretted the decision to sell. They missed the business they were so passionate about creating…don’t focus on the money, focus on what drives you to create the business in the first place.

#2:  What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan

As a recovering corporate rat, I will say this has been a challenge for me. Over a long tenured career, I was accountable for the goals set up by my chain of command. I would wait to get approval on the “official”marching orders, then I would go and get ‘er done.  My goal was to exceed those expectations within the confines of those marching order though…

Conversely in entrepreneurship, certainly as a solopreneur, you truly are at the helm. I sometimes forget that if it’s to be… it’s up to me. Period.  If I want to start a blog, do I have to wait for senior management approval?  No, just do it.  If I decide to reinvent myself in my business, do I wait for someone’s seal of approval?  Nope, just do it.  If you are just talking about what you are “going to do” not only is that the language of uncertainty and procrastination, Fried & Hansson caution that this thinking is “pathetic and delusional” — OUCH!

#3:  Solve a problem you have. Scratch your own itch. 

Not sure what service to offer in your business? Not sure what to include in your online product? What is the one thing you want people to walk away with that would help them move their business forward? Fried & Hansson encourage us to “pour yourself into your product.”  Make the product your own in its authenticity and solving the “itch” that you once had.  So, if you were once upon a time in pain figuring out how to do Facebook ads and you feel like you finally cracked the code, don’t hoard the learnings. Put together a product that will serve and add value to others, take action.

#4:  Good Enough Is Fine

I wish I would’ve read this book at least a year ago. When I was creating my first online product, I was in such stress over the noise in my head, “will this be enough?”  “should I add just one more thing?”  “Will they like it?”  “What if people complain?”

For the love of it all… I wasted so much time with the noise! If Fried & Hansson would only have said to me, “Hey Patty! Good enough is fine”  In hindsight if my focus would’ve been around creating a product that offered value, that would’ve been good enough… in fact more than good enough… “gooder” 🙂

#5:  The requests that really matter are the ones you’ll hear over and over… You won’t be able to forget them. 

As we are building are awesome Boss Free Baller Community, one of the central themes that Tim and I discuss is “what do the Ballers want to hear?”  Our podcast launched earlier this year, the feedback we’ve received has been super positive.  We’re grateful for that, but as we grow, this “notable” from the book is just a reminder to keep our ears open to listening what problem / challenge you are working to solve.  As entrepreneurs we are in the problem solving business, right?

#6:  Start small

Confession. Do you ever look at someone’s business and say, “Wow! Look at her/him on stage…they are so amazing, I could never do that!”  Whether it’s public speaking, huge product launches, seven figure years, we look at other people’s successes and only see the glory.  Fried & Hansson recommend to start small.  If you want to be a public speaker, start small.  “If you’ve never given a speech before, do you want to give that speech in front of 10,000 people or 10?”  Makes sense right.  Said another way, dues must be paid.

#7:  Be Original

Authenticity wins every time.  “If you are going to be like everyone else, why are you even doing this?… it’s better to go down fighting for what you believe in instead of just imitating others.”  Is there anything more to say here?  Just do you.

These seven tips are just a peak under the tent for what you will receive with this book. I highly recommend this easy read as a great “guiding principles for smart entrepreneurs” book.  Have all my business problems been solved? no. But I do have better clarity on how to cut a lot of the noise I had in my head about where my business is going. I say that was well worth a weekend of reading.

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Patty Dominguez
Patty Dominguez
email:  patty@pattydominguez.com

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