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Building The Business You Want

Yesterday on Smashing the Plateau, Michelle Evans discussed how to pursue the career you really want.

Here are some of her biggest influences:

1) Seth Godin

Seth Godin continues to have a profound impact on my career. His book – Permission Marketing – was one of the first books that got me excited about doing marketing in a whole new way. His book Linchpin continues to be a driving force for me today. Doing work that matters, work that I’ll gladly sacrifice all other alternatives for is something that resonates deeply to me as an entrepreneur. I left a very cushy 6-figure job to become an entrepreneur – and one of the biggest driving forces for me was to do work that matters.

2) Brene Brown

Doing work that matters means doing work that is emotionally important…which can bring up all sorts of strange resistance. Having something that matters means I need to be willing to be vulnerable – to share what’s important to me and be willing to take criticism for my position. Brene’s work on vulnerability has helped me tremendously in becoming comfortable being me.

3) In terms of sales…

One of my biggest skill gaps in becoming an entrepreneur was sales. I’d always worked for companies, and selling a company product/service is NOT the same as selling my own product/service… especially service. So I’ve spent a lot of time studying sales mindset, skillset and toolsets from some masters out there. Here’s a shortened list of some of the books I’ve used to bridge that skill gap: Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale, A.K. Pradeep’s The Buying Brain, and The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy.

4) For mindset…

I’ve discovered that what I do isn’t as important as the mindset behind why I do it. There have been innumerable coaches, classes, books and audios that have influenced my mindset work. Here are a few of my favorite books: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Tapping Into Wealth by Margaret M. Lynch, and MONEY Master The Game by Tony Robbins.

5) For giving back…

When I read Adam Braun’s The Promise of a Pencil, I was inspired to create my own give-back strategy. The biggies for me personally include:

a)     Local shelters that help single parents and families get back on their feet. I believe helping kids learn and grow in a healthy and safe environment is vitally important to our future. This is an area that I continue to explore and I’ve served on boards of directors, as a donor and other capacities in these areas.

b)    Making sure our kids have enough to eat – the No Kid Hungry movement is incredible and I get involved whenever possible.

c)     Helping teachers get the support they need to be successful in the classroom. It’s so easy to jump onto and find a project to fund/help fund. I try to do this at least once a month. Teachers always appreciate the support and once in awhile I’ll get a peek into what the money has done to make a difference (eg: a story, follow up, etc…).


About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

David is the podcast host and community builder behind Smashing the Plateau, an online platform offering resources, accountability, and camaraderie to high-performing professionals who are making the leap from the corporate career track to entrepreneurial business ownership.

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