Hello my fellow Modern Entrepreneurs! It’s officially February — a month where presidents’ birthdays are celebrated on a day none of them were actually born on and it’s also the beloved month of cheesy, old, stale chocolates in the oh-so-clever heart shaped box!
But in addition, February is also one month after the start of the New Year, giving you enough time from the hustle and bustle of the holidays to have settled down and for you to now be firing on all cylinders as you move into kicking ass in 2016.
And what better time to introduce the Modern Entrepreneur Book Club? As entrepreneurs, we often overwhelm ourselves with marketing materials, panning for elusive gold marketing nuggets that lead to success.
And more often than not, this comes in the form of a book, but there are so many choices and such a high saturation level that it’s oftentimes impossible to know where to start.
This is where the Modern Entrepreneur Book Club comes in. As a curated selection of books based on foundational themes from some of the most well-known authors and experts, the Book Club will not only provide you with a framework to follow but it will also provide you with a community in which to discuss it.
OK – so what is this month’s theme?
This month’s theme is love (yes, I know, cliché — I couldn’t help myself). Or rather self-love. Why go with something so painfully cliché and seemingly unrelated to business? Because it is hands-down the most important thing related to your success as a business owner — and you’re probably overlooking it. I know I was (and sometimes still am).
I can’t begin to tell you how often I see entrepreneurs and small business owners make decisions, behave, or communicate in a way that is not only doing nothing to help their success, it is downright destructive – and it always originates from self-love (or lack thereof).
And the real punch in face? We are all terrible (self) lovers. I’m terrible at it, you’re terrible at it, we’re all terrible at it. We struggle, we hurt, and we get in our own way.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. But in order for that to happen, we need to start having a different conversation around how we think about our business, about how we show up as a leaders and about all the professional development we invest in.
Because none of it matters if we can’t be compassionate, empathic, and loving to ourselves.
But what is self-love?
Well, it’s a lot of things but… it isn’t your business valuation. Or the number of social media followers you have. Or what people say about you in the comments.
Self-love for business owners is the awareness and acceptance of your worth, that you’re deserving of love, and your love (you know, the total and complete unconditional type) for yourself (quirks, failures, and all) has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with your business. Or even your success.
Sounds simple, right? Let’s be real — in theory, it is. In practice — it’s not. Far from it.
When you start your own business, so much of your time, energy and resources are wrapped up in it that it can be really hard to remember that. Or to maybe even know it in the first place.
Just look at the stats on depression on startup founders: In a recent study, the No. 1 reported health condition that was present in 30% of all founders was depression. That’s three times the national average.
And by loving ourselves enough, we have enough to love others and truly invest in our business, our goals and our dreams.
In the words of Beau Taplin, “Self-love is an ocean and your heart is a vessel. Make it full, and any excess will spill over into the lives of the people you hold dear. But you must come first.”
So what does this Book Club look like?
Each week I will feature a different book around the month’s primary theme.
The featured book can be found in Our Shared Shelf on GoodReads, where you can find and actively participate in our discussions surrounding the topics covered in that book.
I will also be curating the top lessons learned from each book that can serve as a resource, affirmation or reminder.
While this month is focused on mindset (because you gotta start there), other months are more strategic or tactical — covering topics like team building and money.
Pick and choose the books you want to read. Or join us for the whole ride. But remember — the only way that any of this is helpful is if you actively execute.
That doesn’t mean you have to participate in the discussions (I’m looking at you, fellow introverts) — but instead means that you actively work through the exercises. Focus less on consumption and more on execution.
While I have read and referred some of these books over the years, I am re-reading them and enjoying others for the very first time – right alongside you. In many ways, this is for me – as much as it for you.
The books that we’ll be covering this month are:
This is your invitation to help get your ass in gear in 2016. I’ll be curating some of the best and most mind-blowing books on entrepreneurship each week. Click here to join the Modern Entrepreneur Book Club. Say yes. Loud and clear. Yes to where you want to go and who you want to be.