John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing, shares his entrepreneurial journey and how it led him to write his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur.

This conversation is so important because we dig into what it means to be an entrepreneur and how establishing habits of mindfulness and contemplation build a foundation that keeps creative energy flowing and helps keep us from burning out as content creators.

Learn more about John’s work at and visit to grab your own copy of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur.

Episode Transcript

Ep. 10: John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur

John: I've written 5,000 blog posts, you know, over my career people like how did you, how did you get the energy to do that? It takes so much time. And you know, at first I had time, but then when I got busier, you know, I started hearing from people saying, you know, this book changed my life or this idea really helped me, you know, get my thing on course. And that kind of impact I think is something that not only gives you the energy and the fortitude to keep going, but it makes you realize that this thing is worth it. Those are kind of the stages that I've gone through multiple, multiple times. I've gotten to the point where I recognize them now and I recognize when I'm stuck and what that means and how to get unstuck.

Josiah: That was John Jantsch, one of the marketing greats and Founder of Duct Tape Marketing. And in this episode he shares with us his entrepreneurial journey and how it led him to write his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. This conversation is so important because we dig into what it means to be an entrepreneur and how establishing habits of mindfulness and contemplation build a foundation that keeps creative energy flowing and helps keep us from burning out as content creators. John shares so many valuable takeaways in this episode and I can't wait to share it with you so let's jump in.

Announcer: You're listening to the Content Heroes podcast where entrepreneurs, marketers, and creatives share how they build profitable businesses on their own terms by creating content online. And now your host, Josiah Goff.

Josiah: Welcome to Content Heroes, everyone. I am here with the legendary John Jantsch who is a Marketing Consultant, Speaker, Author of Duct Tape Marketing, and several other books including his most recent, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Really excited to share this conversation with you guys today. John, thank you so much for being on the show.

John: Oh my pleasure.

Josiah: So for those who are listening, who might not be as familiar with your work, can you share with us your origin story and how you got into marketing and the journey of Duct Tape Marketing?

John: You bet. So I'll try to keep it brief. It's a long story. I've actually own my own marketing consulting firm for coming up on 30 years now. So can you imagine that we were marketing stuff without the internet? How is that even possible, right? A few years into that, I decided I really loved working with small business owners, but they were kind of challenging. I still work with them today and they never had the same budgets or even attention span, you know, for doing marketing. And so I decided at some point I needed to create an innovation, I guess, in how marketing consulting was delivered. And so I created a very systematic approach where I walked in and said, here's what I'm going to do. Here's what you're going to do, here's the results we hope we can get, here's what it costs. And in trying to solve my frustration, I realized I tapped into what is today still one of the greatest frustrations for small business owners. It's very hard to buy marketing services. It's gotten harder because everybody's selling a piece of the puzzle and there's all these new technologies, some platforms and things. And so the fact that somebody said, you know, we're going to start with strategy, we're going to install a system for marketing and you're going to know what it costs was kind of music to their ears. So I built my practice doing that approach. I started writing and blogging. You know, when that first came around online, I started realizing that I could actually create this and document this system and sell it. And that was really the genesis of duct tape marketing. That was about 2003 that I created the duct tape marketing system and started selling it actually as a course before, you know, people were really doing that. That started attracting other marketing consultants who also had that belief that they wanted to work as small business owners. So I actually then created the duct tape marketing consultant network. So, in addition to the work that we do with small business owners as marketing consultants, we also have about 150 independent marketing consultants and agencies around the world that licensed the duct tape marketing system and really work with, you know, thousands of small business owners. Kind of with this systematic approach. I came up with the name duct tape marketing because I really wanted to kind of productize marketing. I needed a brand kind of name, but I would have never guessed in my wildest dreams that that name would have been so appropriate. And the metaphor just meant so much, you know, sense to a lot of small business owners. So probably the best decision I made was to, on a whim, really decide on a name that certainly then became the name of my first book then in my podcast. And in my blog I put it pretty much on everything.

Josiah: Yeah. And I gotta say, so someone recommended duct tape marketing when I was first starting my agency. And I'm so glad that I read it starting out because it made a huge difference in how I approached everything. It should be required reading if you are a small business owner. Because I feel like people, I know you, I know you've run into this so much where they're good at their trade, they just completely skip over the marketing side of things. And then they start to struggle actually growing their business.

Josiah: Or worse, you know, today they just copy what they see everybody else doing. And you know, unfortunately a lot of what everybody else is doing is not really who they are. It's not their brand. It's not what they should be doing. And so that's a real danger.

Josiah: One of the things that I loved in duct tape marketing is your simple definition of what marketing is. Could you talk through that a little bit and share kind of at a high level what duct tape marketing is?

John: You bet. So my definition is that the definition of marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you. And once you accomplish that, then you turn know, like, and trust into try buy, repeat, refer. And that's really become kind of those seven stages that I just listed - know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer are really in my mind the seven stages of the customer journey. They're the behaviors that people want to participate in with the companies they do business with. And if you understand that framework, then really all of your work and strategy, all of your work really in the tactics and deciding, you know, what, what platforms to be on, should really be informed by, you know, how do we guide people through those stages. So that in essence is a great description of kind of what we do. But it starts with a point of view that marketing is a system in the business, like hiring's a system, you know, producing the products and system getting the accounting done as a system. And those, those are all systems that people readily admit they need in their business. But probably the thing that we tapped into, and I still scratch my head today when this sounds like such, you know, a revelation, you know, to people that that marketing is a system and it's not this kind of made up, you know, thing that you gotta go hire creative people who know how to do that. You know, it really is the ultimate system. I think it's the system that if you don't crack, if you don't, you know, document or figure out, you know, you're not going to be around very long. So that point of view is really the foundation of what we do. But then another thing that's still today in the world of small business is an innovation, is that your system starts with strategy, not with tactics. And so many people are first off, they don't understand what strategy is or what that term means because it's been bastardized so badly. But I think also there's so many people selling, you know, a tactic. Facebook ads, that's the thing you need, you know, or you need to be on Instagram. That's all you need. And, and those are, you know, may or may not be valuable tactics, but if they're not based in who makes an ideal client for our business, you know, what is the unique problem that we're solving for that ideal client and how do we communicate the promise to solve that problem? If we don't start there, we're really just guessing.

Josiah: Absolutely. Yeah. That's great. I want to shift gears a little bit here and talk about your new book, which I'm really excited about and this book is, it's kind of a departure from you. It's different from the other books that you've written, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Could you talk a little bit about that book and what it means to be an entrepreneur?

John: Yeah, I'll be a little bolder. It's a huge departure for me. This is actually my sixth book and my five other books have been squarely about how to do stuff. You know, how to do marketing, how to get referrals, how to do SEO. I mean the real tactical nuts and bolts stuff of marketing. I have owned my own business for 30 years. I think entrepreneurship is one of the greatest self-development programs available. I mean we're constantly, if you're not constantly working on yourself, you know, you're in trouble. And so I feel like that's been really, you know, a journey of self-development. You know, I think being an entrepreneur, when I first started my business, I didn't call myself an entrepreneur. I didn't think of it that way. The reality is I felt like I had limited job potential. And so I just said, I'm going to do my own thing. You know, now of course being an entrepreneur is, you know, that's everybody's dream. We want to, you know, do our own thing. We want to start our own business or, or side hustle or you know, 10 businesses, you know, at the same time. So I really think that there's been a huge shift and it doesn't matter almost what generation. I mean I talked to 50 year olds that are, you know, thinking 60 year olds that are thinking, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm going to finally make my mark and do my own thing. And I think it as much as anything, you know, being an entrepreneur or thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur is as much a mindset, you know as it is a job title. I know people who work, you know, 40 hours in an organization that they love, that they love being on a team, you know, but they think of themselves as an entrepreneur as opposed to like an order taker or you know, a rule follower. And I think a lot of organizations, corporate organizations in fact are starting to value, you know that kind of thinking and that kind of mindset and actually encourage people to start side hustles because it makes them more valuable to the organization. But certainly somebody who starts a business, you know, somebody who, I know a lot of your listeners based on the title of your podcast, a lot of your listeners are creating content, doing things that build audience, that build traffic, you know, that allow them to maybe make a full-time or part time income. Well, I think every single one of them could consider themselves an entrepreneur if in fact what they're thinking is that, you know, my job is to go out there and make sure that I'm having joy in what I do. Finding ways that I can experience things that, you know, that helped me grow. I mean, that's the human condition I think, and whether we call it entrepreneurship or business ownership or whatever, I think it's a much better way to go through life.

Josiah: Absolutely. I struggled with the same thing when I first started my business. I got demoted at my previous job and it was already kind of a really toxic work environment for me and so I realized, I came to this realization that I was just holding on because I had stock options and they were on the verge of getting acquired and it was not worth it to me. And so I quit. I had no plan. I just left. I had about two months of runway and I said, I'll just figure this out. You're absolutely right that, that entrepreneurship is, it's just like a crash course in personal development because the growth that I experienced, you know, especially in that first year, removing that safety net for me and putting me in that position where I was sink or swim, I leaped and had to build the plane on the way down. Right? It forced me to confront all of the garbage that was in my life. All of the, you know, the mindset stuff and all of the habits and all the things that weren't serving me well, forced me to confront them and to do something about it. And actually I've never, I don't think I've shared this before, but the company actually ended up getting acquired about three months after I left and I did some math and I missed out on about an $80,000 pay day. And I was upset for about a day. And then I realized that what I gained from leaving when I did was were so much more to me than the money I would have gotten from an acquisition. And so absolutely the, that mindset shift of being an entrepreneur is really vital. So if you could characterize like what is that mindset?

John: Yeah, I talked about it and I wrote a blog post about this, about four years ago. There's not only a mindset shift, there's kind of an arc to, you know, how you grow in this and, and it's not like the one arc you have in your life. I mean, I, I've done been doing this for 30 years and I feel like I've restarted in terms of, you know, my need to understand what I'm doing about 10 or 15 times. It really ultimately starts with what you were describing. You have to trust yourself enough that you can do it yourself. That your idea's not crazy, that you know that there will be a payday. You know, at some point. And I think that's the first step that people have to come to is this level of self trust. That if you've spent your entire life in corporate, I mean a lot of times that's beat out of you because it's, you know, it's like no, do what we say, you know, go over there and be a cog and do what we say. And when you jump out on your own, it's like now I have this total freedom, which also comes with like I a huge amount of responsibility, you know? And so now I have to sometimes even know in the face of like uncertainty and fear, you know, I have to trust myself enough to know that I'm following my heart and following my path. It's going to work out. And that's, that's hard. I mean, a lot of us, you know, had teachers and parents, unfortunately that, you know, that told us otherwise, you know, and so overcoming some of that can be difficult. But that is the first stage. I don't think you become an entrepreneur until you start saying, you know what? I'm going to follow my dream. Now, a lot of times we have absolutely no idea what that dream is. So to me that's the second stage is you start discovering, Oh, this is actually what I like to do. You know, this is who I actually like to work with. And I think we have to stay in it enough and be flexible enough to do that. Because a lot of times we go, no, here's the plan. You know? Well, once you go out and start kind of showing people the plan you realize, you know, there were parts that you don't understand and that you couldn't figure out, you know, until you actually experienced them. So we have to get through that because that's what I think a lot of times happens is kind of purpose starts showing up in our life, you know, because we're going out trying a lot of things and we don't define purpose on a piece of paper. It, you know, it starts showing us up and kinda not gonna sit in the head. But also that's usually the place where things, I don't know if you experienced this, but you start to feel like, okay, you know, I'm getting a little momentum and that's the place where like a competitor shows up or something didn't work or you got a client that you thought was awesome that stiffed you. Failure starts showing up. It's almost inevitable. You know, once you get the car going a little faster, you know, the danger of of failure and careening off the road shows up. And the most successful entrepreneurs that I've worked with, you know, that's the place where they're able to be so resilient. They don't look at it as failure, they just reframe it as, okay, this didn't work. What did we learn from that? You know, these are teaching moments that start showing up and I think you get through that and you, you know, ultimately maybe by luck in some cases, but you ultimately get something that is working. You know? That's the point where I see a lot of entrepreneurs then begin to start think about what's the meaning of all this? You know, what impact am I actually having? You know, what one or a hundred or thousand people's lives am I making better because I'm doing what I'm doing? And so often we forget to look for that part, you know, or intentionally plan that part. But that's really to me where I think the joy comes from and that that's also the, the thing that in my life is, you know, given me people that ask me, I've written 5,000 blog posts, you know, over my career people. Like how did you, how did you get the, the energy to do that? It takes so much time. And you know, at first I had time, you know, but then when I got busier, you know, I started hearing from people saying, you know, this book changed my life or this idea really helped me, you know, get my thing on course. And that kind of impact I think is, is something that, you know, not only gives you the energy and the fortitude to keep going, but it makes you realize that this thing is worth it. Those are kind of the stages that I've gone through multiple, multiple times, kind of the ever changing seasons of the entrepreneur. I've gotten to the point where, where I recognize them now and I recognize when I'm stuck and what that means and how to get on stuck. And I think that that a lot of that's benefits from hindsight, but I think those are things that if we start looking for them, you'll see them showing up.

Josiah: Oh, that's so good. That very accurately describes the, the path that I've been on.

John: You're not alone. That's a good.

Josiah: That is the good news. So how does the book fit into this? Like, so cause the book is very different like you said. Can you share what inspired you to write this particular book?

John: So first off, let's um, thoroughly discuss, you know, how the book is set up. We've been calling it different. First and foremost, it is not a how-to book. I call it a why-to book. And it is not a book that you sit down over a weekend and read. It is a book that you come and read two minutes every day because it is a daily, some people will call it a devotional. So every date in the calendar has an entry for that page throughout the year. Each page is actually anchored by some writing that I curated from mid 19th century which I think is still some of the greatest entrepreneurial writing ever created. We can go into a little more description of that. Then there's a 150-200 words from me to maybe kind of contextualize the reading and then I end every day with a challenge question. So as you can see, it's kind of designed as almost like a workbook that you would, you know, maybe build into your daily practice. I know a lot of entrepreneurs have a journaling, reading, meditating exercise kind of routine that they like to go through in mornings. And so this really was designed to fit very squarely into that. So it's a little inspiration and maybe it's a little kick in the pants. Maybe it's a little, Hey, here's something you might not be thinking about. You know, based on wisdom from the ages as well as maybe a little bit of experience from somebody that's been doing this for a really long time.

Josiah: That's awesome. So why did you choose to focus on this particular body of work from this period, as you said, the mid 19th century?

Josiah: Yeah, so a lot of people, if you go on Pinterest and Instagram, you'll find quotes from, you know, Emerson and Thoreau. Those are probably the two that I see, you know, the most from entrepreneurs because there again, there are some amazing quotes, amazing ideas about self-reliance, about, you know, being able to depend upon yourself, being able to not have to listen to what other people say you should do. I mean, that's why a lot of people have really kind of grabbed on to, you know, some of the writing from that period. But as I started to dig in and I did want, you know, there's a reason that stuff is, you know, lasted the test of time and I wanted to anchor the book in, you know, not just John says, you know, but, but here's something to really give you something to think about that is, you know, from I think some of the greatest writers, you know, ever. So as I started to dig into, I realized that what was going on in America, at least at that timeframe, which, you know, you think about 1850 we were on the cuspis of the civil war. Women were marching in the streets to get the right to vote. We were trying to abolish slavery. It was the first true counter-cultural period in America. And so a lot of the writers, you know, Emerson and throw overtly, you know, were saying, Hey, it's time to stop listening to your preacher or to your parents, to, you know, your elders. You have to follow your own path. You have to decide what's right for you. We're all endowed with a unique soul, and we all have a unique path. I mean, that was like radical thinking at the time. It's obviously very, very well accepted thinking today. But what I also found was the fiction from that period, we were all asked to read books like Moby Dick and the Scarlet Letter and Little Women. That was the first time that the protagonist in fiction were also characters who said, hey, I have to follow my own path. This may cost me, you know, to go this route, but I have to be true to me. And I think that that message is still today is, I think there's a reason why we're asked to read those books still in college, in high school. I think that message today is still one of the most potent messages for entrepreneurs and anybody who's going out there trying to do their own thing, trying to be true to themselves. So, you know, I have an idea. We've been talking about the structure. Why not read a page? It takes two minutes. That's the beauty. Sometimes less.

Josiah: Let's do it.

John: Okay. So I'm picking out, I'm going to read December 2nd I think it's, there are different lengths of these. We are recording this actual on the third, but I want to, I like December 2nd I'm going to read it.

Josiah: Okay.

John: Every day starts with a title, a reading, 150 words from me and a question. So today's title is: There Is No Try. I like trees because they seem more resigned to the ways they have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree knows everything I think of when I sit here. When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything. I begin just where I left off. That's from Willa Cather's O Pioneers, which was written in 1913. A great deal of stress in our lives is caused by some form of not being who we were meant to be. This even includes the energy expended, trying to be a loving, kind, or positive person. Like the tree in today's reading, what if you spent more time allowing, rather than trying. Simply be who you are and practice bringing your unique gifts to the world. Hey, and the good news is that it's so much easier that way. Go into silence or meditation today and toss out every label you've applied to yourself. Forget your job, your age, your community, your family order. And for that moment, resign yourself to live as you were meant to. Your challenge question today: What can you stop trying and start allowing?

Josiah: Oh man, that's so good. I'm like getting into a meditative state on the podcast while I'm listening to that.

John: Good. 'Cause that's the intention and I, there is, unfortunately it's a little lagging, but there is an audio book that will be coming out to just after the first of the year, depending upon when people are listening to this. And I think a lot of people have do those apps or things that they can do guided meditations and whatnot and, you know, maybe it will fit into that.

Josiah: Yeah, absolutely. So there were a couple of things in there that I just, I loved and I wanted to touch on it. You know, the themes that I pulled out of that were, one is alignment. And I know that we talked a little bit about that staying true to yourself. How do you feel like alignment fits in with the self-reliant piece?

John: Well, it, you know, completely, I mean, you know, you trust yourself to, you know, believe that what your path and your core beliefs, you know, are what you know are true to you. I think one of the challenges is, and each month I actually gave a theme, one of the month's themes is congruence because I think one of the challenges, you know, congruence is certainly another word for alignment in a lot of cases. But, I think one of the challenges as, as entrepreneurs is that we see how other people are doing it. We see what we think is, you know, how do you know, marketing's a great example. I mean, you see a lot of people who are not being very congruent in their marketing. And it's not because they're bad people, it's just because they think, well, this is how everybody does it. This is what I see other people doing. And it's really easy to get knocked out of alignment or congruence. And sort of ironic too, because a lot of people leave corporate jobs because that corporation or that job was not aligned with who they are or what they believed, you know? And so they go, I'm going to do my own thing. And then they actually get knocked farther out of alignment because there's no compass. You know, I mean, well there is a compass, but you know, it's really easy to get knocked off course. And so I think, one of the most important things you can do is developed, you know, are your five or six core beliefs that you want to bring to every conversation, to every meeting, to every decision and use that as kind of a guide to say, you know, is this work I would be proud of? You know, is this an email I would be proud of? I mean, you can, you can take that idea, you know, down to every single thing you do and it just becomes such a great filter for, you know, I think how to stay alive. Now having said that, I know that a lot of times it's I gotta pay the bills and that's the thing that has you take a toxic client, you know, or that has you kind of say, yeah, this is work I can do. I'll figure it out. You know, even though you know, it's probably not something that's going to allow you to deliver value to that person that you promised it to and it's, you know, it's a constant struggle, constant battle. But, I think that a practice like this coming to it every day, you know, not just this book but you know, journaling, meditation, you know, all those things I think really help you kind of stay aligned because there definitely are going to be a lot of things trying to push you out off course.

Josiah: Yeah. I love that word. Congruence. I feel like, especially for content creators, you get into a, my friend Jeffrey Kranz calls it a content treadmill, right? Where you, you feel like you just got to keep putting out content and putting out content and you kind of, you get trapped in this cycle and in the day to day and it's hard to pull yourself back to get enough perspective to even think about things like, am I aligned to, you know, is everything can grew it for me?

John: Or is this work even any good. Yeah. You know, I mean that's usually when you get on that treadmill, it's like 500 words is the goal rather than, you know, quality of, you know, our values.

Josiah: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things I love about this book is, you know, not only is the content, but it also gives you a, if you have not gotten into a habit of daily mindfulness or daily meditation and solitude and things like that, it gives you a format that you can sit down and do and just a couple of minutes that can get you started with that daily habit. How do you feel like establishing a habit of meditation? Mindfulness really serves entrepreneurs?

John: You know, I can give an opinion on how I think it does, but it's really just based on, you know, something that I've done for years. I mean, to me it helps me slow down. It helps me focus on what's important. And by the way, 80% of everything is not important. I mean, how many times do we fill up a day with to do lists and appointments and meetings. You know, you get home at the end of the day and your spouse says, what'd you do today? And it's like, I don't know. But I sure was busy. I mean, it's so easy to do that. For me what it does is it helps me in two very important ways. It helps me focus on less, but more important. To me it relieves a great deal of the stress that I might otherwise put on myself to try to be more, try to do more, try to accomplish. You know, what somebody I see on Facebook is doing. It really helps me let go of all of that silliness that unfortunately causes a great deal of stress whether we know it or not.

Josiah: Yeah, absolutely. I've definitely seen that in my life as well. The days that I skip my morning meditation, it feels frantic. Like the whole day.

John: Everything comes so much faster.

Josiah: Yeah. Totally agree. So John, one of the things that I find really interesting about this book is regardless of, you know, whoever's listening the background, there's this, there's a spiritual kind of component to it just because there's a lot that has to do with introspection and connecting with something bigger than ourselves. What inspired you to bring that aspect into a book aimed at entrepreneurs?

John: Well, one of the things that certainly was there for the taking is that a lot of the transcendentalist writers, which is actually a label that was applied to Emerson and Thoreau and Alcott actually were first some of the first writers that brought a lot of that spiritual, almost Eastern wisdom, you know, back into the kind of Puritan Calvinism, you know, Church of the East coast at the time. And so the transcendentalist movement, if you will kind of started as a religious reform movement to say, Hey, instead of, you know, this God that's like gonna punish us all and you know, that we're, you know, we're here to follow the church dogma. You know, again, a lot of them were saying, Hey, maybe we ought to think for ourselves about this. And there's a whole lot of really amazing writing from some of the Eastern wisdom texts that suggests maybe we're all connected in some way. You know, all things in nature are very connected. And I think that's just a terribly healthy way to think about the world we live in today. That we are living things like the trees, you know, outside. There's also a huge nature component to a lot of the transcendentalists writing. And there are some people that would suggest, well, self-reliance means you know, you need to go it alone and you know, do your own thing. And I think it's just the opposite. It means you need to do what's true for your unique path but that depending on others having empathy for others, realizing that we're all sort of one big bowl of soup, you know, is really how you bring a lot more joy and understanding into what you're doing. You know, we can get sort of down a political rabbit hole here, but I think that the, you know, the country is quite divided right now. Probably there are some similarities to where we were in 1850 and I think entrepreneurs have actually always been a force for good. Writing something that's wrong out there, creating something that helps solve a problem that people have. I think entrepreneurs have always been kind of that force for good. And I think self-reliant entrepreneurs are really that point of view about that we're all connected, that we need to have empathy, but we also need to listen to our own, uh, tune in our own path. I think it could be potentially a way that we got maybe a little back together in next generation or two.

Josiah: Oh yeah, I love that. I heard it. I don't remember where I heard this, but somewhere I'd heard there's three stages as you were growing up and maturing. And so you start off independence, so you're dependent. And so when you're a kid, you're, you have to be dependent on your parents and then, and then as you grow, you learn to become independent. Right? And that's the second stage. But then there's a, there's a third stage that it sounds like aligns really well with the self-reliant piece of it because self-reliant isn't just independent. It's interdependent where you have the ability to be completely independent, but you're choosing to put yourself in a place where we're depending on each other. And recognizing that, hey, guess what, we do depend on each other. We all, we're all in this together. We're all part of this whole thing. So I love that. I definitely see how the writing from this period of time and the spiritual or whatever word you want to use for it, aspect of it definitely fits into the life of an entrepreneur. I'm curious, who's your favorite author from this time period?

John: So, I get asked that question a lot and there's no, you know, no denying that Thoreau shows up more than anybody else in this. And I think that's because I personally had a longer history with his work, if, you know, forced to choose. That's probably what I would say. But one of the things that was really fun about doing the research, and I mean, it was like I got a sort of a minor in, uh, you know, mid 18th century literature, doing a research on this allowed me to uncover a lot of authors that probably don't get a lot of publishing unless you're an academic. And particularly women writers, you know, obviously that time women weren't, in some cases, weren't even allowed to go into libraries, let alone, you know, have their work shown to the world. So a lot of the writing that was done in that period kind of never really got outside of, you know, very small like family circles and things, but now has been collected in journals and books. And so people like Margaret Fuller and Willa Cather, who was the reading that I did today. It was really fun for me to not only dive into their literature and discover them, maybe anew myself, but also I kind of, you know, one of the side benefits of this book, it's, it's like a mini cliff notes, you know, to some of the writing from that period. And I have a lot of people telling me that they're going back now and reading and finding and discovering some of those folks.

Josiah: That's awesome. Hey, could you do me a favor and read the entry from my birthday?

John: You bet. And what date is that?

Josiah: October 21st.

John: October 21st. All right, so you get Emerson today.

Josiah: Oh.

John: Okay. The title is: Expert On You. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to this and that. The only right is what is after my constitution. The only wrong is what is against it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-reliance, 1841. There's a good chance that you're trying to change someone's status quo, even if it's your status quo. And that's going to eventually threaten people. Humans like status quo, in fact, they go out of their way to create institutions and rules and policies and laws and doctrine in order to guarantee the status quo. The transcendentalist movement was founded on challenging the status quo and saying, enough, we're going to think and act for ourselves and remain true to what we believe. Seth Godin, author of Tribes likes to buck the status quo and offers this advice: If you aren't upsetting someone, you aren't changing the status quo. Don't let anyone tell you that your purpose or idea or dream is wrong is the wrong one. You may need to develop a thick skin, but you don't have to listen. You're the only expert on you. Go crack something today. Your challenge question: Who in your life is most threatened by your evolution? Why?

Josiah: Oh, that's good.

John: That's a tough question, isn't it?

Josiah: Oh, that's so good. Oh man. So one of the things that we had talked a little bit about was there a couple of Easter eggs in the book? Do you want to give us some, a sneak peek into some of those?

John: Sure. Well, so the easiest one because I do actually make a note on these, each of these pages. I have four daughters and they were grown. Having babies of their own now. But I thought it'd be really fun to ask them to actually write the reflection, pick the reading, and write the reflection that corresponds with their birthday. And so you will find four entries that have that note. Other than that, there were a couple of times that I did leave something for a Star Wars fans. And also readers of Dr. Martin Luther King's work. There's another Easter egg that I think you'll potentially find there. They aren't overt, but if you're paying attention you'll find them.

Josiah: Oh, that's great. We're huge Star Wars fans in this household. Our second son was actually born on May, the 4th, Star Wars day. So yeah, we're big fans. Oh, well John, this has been so great. I've loved this conversation. Before we go, can you just share with everyone where they can find you online and where they can get a copy of your book?

John: Sure. So the book can be purchased pretty much anywhere you purchase books. You know, I always like to make a plug. I hope you have one of those corner lovely bookstores in your town so you can get it there or again, anywhere online. If you want to just read more about the book. I've done a lot of interviews like this. This interview will show up on this page, it's called You can find a lot of interviews there. And then if you want to find just a little more about the work I've been doing for the last 30 years, it's just and that's D-U-C-T-T-A-P-E

Josiah: Great. Thanks a lot, John. I really appreciate you being on the show.

John: My pleasure.

Josiah: Hey everyone. Thank you for listening to the Content Heroes podcast. I just wanted to take a second to let you know that we have some amazing guests planned for the coming weeks, so if you haven't already, go ahead and hit subscribe so you can make sure to catch every episode. And if you enjoyed today's episode, go ahead and leave a five star review to help make it easier for other content creators to find and enjoy the show. Lastly, I'd like to invite you to join our Content Heroes Facebook community where you can connect with other online content creators to share, learn, grow, and have fun. To join the group, just visit Once again, that is

powered by
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap