Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur
Posted by Wayne in Books, Business Growth
Starting a business (one day) is a dream for many people. The freedom. Unlimited earning capability. Pursuing your passion. Doing what you love each and every day.
Unfortunately, this dream in all of its glory can quickly and easily fade into a nightmare. All the paper work. All the options. All the obligations. All the stress. Often the dream dies. And with it, the passion and hope.
Much of this stress is brought on by our own doing. We tend to complicate more than we should. I’m often guilty of over-complicating and over-analyzing each and every decision. What should be clear-cut decisions eat precious time and mental energy.
Having a clear vision (link to visioning) has drastically helped me make decisions. With a clear vision, I’m able to ask, “Does this bring me closer to, or further from, my vision?” Asking this helps a LOT. But often, it’s still not enough, and that’s why I love reading books like Who Owns the Ice House.
Who Owns the Ice House does an amazing job of boiling business down to eight core principles for success. For me, this book served as a reminder to not complicate my business and the decisions (even the strategic ones) that are involved.
Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book:
“Opportunities do not always come with identifying signs screaming: I AM AN OPPORTUNITY. COME GET ME!” – pg. xvii
“For some people, the most difficult thing to do is to change or to think differently about their lives, to think differently about their futures. They have become accustomed to sameness.” pg. xxx
“We all want to succeed in life, to thrive and prosper, and yet we often make inaccurate assumptions about what it really takes to succeed. We presume that success requires us to possess rare talent or have access to money, power, and privilege. We assign success to a unique personality, to luck, or to happenstance – all of which are beyond our control. And by assuming that this is how it works, we inadvertently blind ourselves to opportunities as well as to our own untapped potential.” pg. 55
“It is the willingness to challenge assumption and reexamine old ideas that enables entrepreneurs to recognize opportunities that others overlook. It requires a subtle shift in our perspective, one that begins when we ask “what if?” rather than simply mirroring or declaring “what is.” It is a tiny shift that enables us to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.” pg. 56
“…it is the choices we make that ultimately determine the outcome of our lives.” pg. 57
“Some unconsciously accept their circumstances as something they cannot change. They get stuck on the problem rather than on overcoming it.” pg. 71
“Others have an inside-out perspective. Rather than identifying problems and finding solutions for other people, they set out to solve a problem for themselves and hope that others will buy in to their solutions. They mistakenly believe that “if you do what you love, the money will follow,” and they strike out on their own. They mistakenly believe that entrepreneurs are gamblers, so they often take unnecessary risks that lead to financial disaster.” pg. 72
“Like an invisible fence, many of us have invisible barriers, self-imposed limitations that are buried deep within our minds. We make assumptions about the world around us, about who we are and what we’re capable of. By making these assumptions and accepting them to be true, we shut ourselves off from a world of possibilities. Sadly, we never know what we are capable of simply because we never try.” pg. 87
“Once we accept that it is our knowledge combined with effort that ultimately determines the outcome of our lives, we become internally driven and accept responsibility for where our lives are headed.” pg. 103
“It’s been said that if we were to amass all of the world’s wealth in one place and then redistribute that wealth evenly among the entire population, that wealth would find its way back into the hands of its original owners.” pg. 119
“Mentors play a vital role in nearly every entrepreneurial success story. They provide valuable knowledge and insight that can guide us through the challenges and uncertainties that we all must face.” pg. 154
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It is a mindset that can empower ordinary people to create extraordinary lives. It is a mindset that exposes opportunity and ignites ambition. It is a mindset that fosters innovation and initiative, curiosity and lifelong learning, as well as the self-reliance and resourcefulness of which we are all capable.” pg. 164
What is Who Owns The Ice House like?
If you’re wondering what you can compare this book to – I’d say it’s a mixture of Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Growing a Business by Paul Hawken. The storyline is compelling and easy to follow. The business lessons are simple, yet profoundly inspiring.
Who’s it for?
So will you enjoy the book? Well, if you’re looking for a book full of hypothetical formulas, or a lot of detailed case studies, then this isn’t the book for you. However, if you’re looking for a book that will encourage you that regardless of your background, education, or experience that you can succeed – then I highly recommend this book.
If you’re considering starting a business, or if you’re already a well-established, successful entrepreneur in need of some inspiration (and a reminder that business doesn’t have to be complex or complicated), you’ll enjoy this book.
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