Charged Up! podcast: Becoming a successful entrepreneur

Episode 40 with author, business consultant Dorie Clark

Jenny Hoff
Managing Editor, Video
International broadcast journalist, podcaster and blogger.

Charged Up! with Jenny Hoff



Dorie Clark is a marketing and business consultant who has written several books dealing with self-branding and business. Her newest book, “Entrepreneurial You,” helps you wherever you are on your journey to entrepreneurship, from idea inception to marketing to running a successful business. Clark really practices what she preaches and turned her own consulting company into a successful brand. Her tips and secrets will be useful to anyone who has to deal with customers and wants to make sure they are always selling their mission.

So, let’s get Charged Up about becoming successful entrepreneurs!

Jenny Hoff: Dorie, thanks so much for joining me today.

Dorie Clark: Thank you so much for having me, Jenny.

Hoff: So first, let’s talk a little bit about your own background in developing your personal brand, turning a passion into a career, and building your own consulting business that is now highly successful. How did you get there?

Clark: Well, it was a winding path actually and my first book was called “Reinventing You,” which alludes to it. I had started out as a newspaper reporter and ended up getting laid off and having to reinvent myself and so I ended up for a while working in politics as a spokeswoman on a gubernatorial campaign and then a presidential race. I was a nonprofit executive director. And then finally 11 years ago, I started my business doing what I’m doing now with marketing strategy consulting and writing and speaking and teaching. But one thing that I really learned in the course of those career transitions was that most people, frankly because we live in a busy frenetic world, are not paying that close attention to you and what you’re doing and how your professional development has gone. Even if you stayed in the same job for a few years, you have been learning and growing and developing. You probably have new goals and ambitions than you did a couple of years ago and yet most people are not necessarily glued into that. And so that’s why it’s so important for us to take charge of our personal brands because we need to make sure that other people really understand who we are today and what we’re capable of today so that they can send the right opportunities our way.

Hoff: Absolutely. I want to go into that a little bit, about building your personal brand, because we hear that a lot in the business world. We hear that in the self-help world but a lot of people, it’s this conundrum, how do I build my personal brand? I am who I am. I’m doing what I’m doing. What have you learned about conscientiously building a personal brand, taking it step by step, and having an end goal in mind?

Clark: Yeah. Fundamentally, when it comes to building your personal brand, what I discovered in the course of researching “Reinventing You” is that it’s a three-step process. The first one is actually understanding what your brand is currently. Because sometimes a lot of the conversation is about “How do I create this brand?” That’s a good question but the truth is you already have a brand now. People think something about you and so the question first is understanding how you’re seen today, getting a handle on that. Then, the second part, step 2 is developing that future vision of how do you want to be seen? What would you like people to say about you when you leave the room? And as you begin to understand the two pieces, where you are now and where you want to go, it enables you to create a roadmap or an action plan for yourself because you can see what you need to do to close the gap, maybe it’s taking some classes to build skills, maybe it is really developing certain elements of yourself, maybe you need to get better at certain things like public speaking, whatever it is. And then the third and final step is understanding that cultivating your personal brand is not a onetime process. It’s not like, “Oh, I did it and now I don’t have to think about that for 30 years.” It’s an ongoing process because people’s impression of you is something that changes and evolves over time. And so we really need to make sure that just in living our daily lives, that the messages that we are sending to people through our actions are congruent with how we would like to be perceived. And so I call that “living out your personal brand” making sure that with everything that you do, that you’re really conveying to people the proper message about who you are and what you’re capable of.

Hoff: How would you go about conveying that message? Do you use social media? Do you bring it up in casual conversation at a party? Is it through networking? How do you go from saying, “OK. I’ve taken the classes. I know who I am. I know where I want to get to. I know what I’ve built now. How do I convey that to my current boss? How do I convey that potential customers, to potential investors?” How do you get to that conveying that role?

Clark: There’s actually some really simple ways of doing it. I think sometimes people think it has to be this elaborate process. It’s like when a corporation rebrands, you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the new logo and a new color scheme, and all these things. But for an individual, of course, that’s not what we need to do. It’s really just investing strategy more than anything else. I’ll give you a couple of quick examples: One, which I feel like is a wasted opportunity for so many people is that almost anywhere you go, literally, you’re going to a networking event, you’re going to a cocktail party, someone, if they have met you before, they run into you, they’re going to say, “So Jenny, what have you been lately?” This question literally always happens. So this is the moment where you have the opportunity. Someone’s asking you and you can either use that moment wisely or not. A lot of people just say, “Oh, you know, not too much. I just got back from vacation.” Fine, those are decent answers but really, what you could be doing if you are trying to shift your brand, if you’re trying to be perceived in a different way is to use that opportunity to drive home a message about your new thing. And so you could choose to say, “Oh, you know, I’m really excited about this new project I’m working on.” Or, “Oh, I’m really excited because I have been working in sales but I recently have shifted over into doing HR and so I’m super pumped about that.” Here’s why I made the shift, et cetera. It helps get that message out. You can do that in person and then you can also do it online. I mean these days, almost everybody has a social presence on one social network or another. So you can use that opportunity to just do some basic things like for instance sharing articles that are relevant to your new field so that people begin, over time, to associate you with a new thing rather than the old thing.

Hoff: Absolutely. I definitely want to get into your steps of generating an idea to turning them into a business to actually making money from that. But first, we’re talking about this personal brand and I noticed with you, with your website and with your books, you are so on point with your brand, right? So you are a management consultant. You do this marketing consulting, and yet some people do that and their website feels a little disorganized or something feels a little bit disorganized and yet with you, I’ve been really impressed. I interview so many people but from scheduling the interview to looking at your site to the assessments that you have on your site to the resources, it just totally lives to exactly what you’re providing people. I think that’s a really important thing for people to keep in mind. If you are going to be this one person or this one business, everything needs to speak to that, right?

Clark: Yeah. Well, first of all, thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it.

Hoff: I was very impressed.

Clark: Well, one of the things that I am a little fanatical about is productivity and efficiency because the modern imperative, we all the pressure that we need to do more and get more done and all that. I think that it becomes really important if we are able not just to do more but to really focus on the things that matter, that matter to us, that matter to our career. How are we going to leave an impact above and beyond just answering emails all day? We need to be able to carve out time and protect time for doing things that actually have an impact. And so there’s a scheduling tool that I use called Schedule Once that I really like because it enables you to create a calendar of open time and then you could just send people the calendar link so they can book the time directly rather than having back and forth about, “How about Tuesday?” “No.” “How about Thursday?” Even something as simple as that can save you three or four emails back and forth, and each of those compounded over time, makes a difference. I actually offer an online course called Be More Productive. This is one of my mantras, that one of the best things you can do for yourself is have certain days – this is actually drawing from a philosophy espoused by a Silicon Valley thinker named Paul Gram, who calls it Manager Days versus Maker Days. On Manager Days, that’s when you have all your meetings. In my case, I think I have 9 or 10 meetings today. I mean it’s a little bit crazy but I have podcast interviews. I have calls with my coaching clients. I have just all the different things that I need to accomplish but clustering them enables me to have other days that are completely empty, completely blank. That gives me the freedom to dive into a deeper and more involved projects.

Hoff: That’s fantastic. I think I’m even going to take your online course, to be honest. Because I think that when it comes down to it in any business or anything that you are doing, if you can learn to streamline the process so that you are not caught up in this confusion and trying to figure out dates like you said. I will tell you, a lot of people I’ve tried to interview before, it confounds me they’re trying to sell a product and yet they’re almost impossible to reach. There’s no email. There’s no phone number. You have to track them down on Twitter. Getting ahold of them is impossible. And then scheduling it is equally difficult. I will say from somebody who’s been a journalist my whole career, for business people out there, you want people to reach out to you and interview you, you need to be reachable and live your brand and do those things. And so equally important as coming up with a great idea is making sure that it’s accessible to other people. Now, I do want to talk about basically let’s get into the entrepreneurial mindset. I would love for this to apply to people who either have their own little business that they want to grow, are thinking of starting a business, or even they work for a company they’re not looking to necessarily quit but they want to be entrepreneurial within their company to build their brand there. Where do you first need to start as far as getting into the mindset?

Clark: Yeah. This is so important. I’m glad you raised it, Jenny. My new book “Entrepreneurial You” really focuses squarely on this question because some of your listeners may have heard this but there is a stunning statistic that multiple studies that had been done estimate that by the year 2020, 40 percent of the American workforce is going to be freelancers or contract employees. We are very rapidly coming to the point where half of American workers are entrepreneurs in one fashion or another. And even for those who aren’t, I argue in the book that it behooves to begin to try to think more entrepreneurially. Even if you would like to stay at your job forever, it is a good idea to create at least one side income stream for yourself. If nothing else, just as a form of career security so that you have something in your back pocket in case something happens. I know firsthand, I got laid off from my first job as a journalist, and so I needed to move fast. And so having something that you could fall back on is an increasingly wise idea. But also, in “Entrepreneurial You,” tell the story of multiple professionals who have full-time day jobs, love what they do, but actually were able to be promoted and advance faster based on the entrepreneurial side initiatives that they had, whether it was creating an online course or experimenting with building an app. Things like that that they did for fun, they did as a hobby. They did maybe, “Hey, let’s see if we can make a little money on the side.” But the learning that they got out of it actually got them noticed at work and they moved up faster as a result because people saw that initiative.

Hoff: Absolutely. I love that idea. And so, how do we start with getting our idea? I know there are some people who have notebook full of a million great business ideas. How do they whittle it down to the one that actually is the most promising and also the people that maybe somewhere in their head, there’s probably ideas but they haven’t actually made anything concrete. Where do we go to actually generating the right idea to start with and actually take the leap with?

Clark: Yeah. I think this is a critical starting point. One of the best ways to do it actually to just take note of what people are already coming to you for. Because there’s a great temptation for all of us to come up with some amazing idea and just say, “I think it’s awesome so clearly everyone else will as well.” Sometimes that can be faulty. But if you actually look for what people are already asking you for, that is a pretty good indication that there might be market demand. And so for instance, one of the stories I tell is about a guy whowas born in Serbia. He works in the U.S. now. He has a great, successful, high level career at a major biotech company. But one of his experiments as an entrepreneur, he first decided he was going to create this app and he thought it was brilliant idea. He thought it would be amazing and so he spent a lot of money getting it made, getting it developed, and of course no one was interested. It just didn’t go anywhere. And so he was burned for a while but he started to notice he had been very successful at work and he kept getting promoted. And so people, a lot of them, would come up to him and say, “Hey, what are you doing? What’s your secret here? How is it that you’re always getting promoted every year?” He realized that there actually were some very specific things that he was doing that other people weren’t. And so he created an online course focused on that, about how do you get promoted faster. That became a hit and he’s actually made now, on the side, tens of thousands of dollars from it and it all was because he realized, “Oh, I shouldn’t be pursuing this idea that I cooked up and thought was brilliant. I should be pursuing the thing that people are already asking me.”

Hoff: Absolutely. That’s a great example. It’s something that he wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t forcing an idea though the pipeline just to have an idea and to start it but it’s actually paying attention to your surroundings, what’s the advice everyone seems to come to you for. And then you figure out how to monetize it. Correct?

Clark: Exactly. Yes.

Hoff: I know a lot of people who are starting their own businesses or have one person consulting firms or whatever it is they’re doing, and social media is their basically No. 1 way to reach people. How important is social media? If you are going to use this as your marketing technique, what do you need to do right in order to make that successful?

Clark: Social media is good and important but the asterisk that I would always put on social media is that it is not a resource that you own. It is not a relationship that you won. A few years ago, there was this big shock, this disruption and people experienced because Facebook had altered their algorithm and all of a sudden, overnight, companies that gotten used to a certain level of being able to communicate with their followers suddenly had that dramatically dialed down and reduced. If they wanted to reach that same number of people again, they now had to pay. They had to pay for boosted, promoted posts. That felt incredibly unfair that the rules had been changed out from underneath them. But of course, you had to expect it to a certain extent because Facebook is now a publicly traded company. They’re operating in the interest of their shareholders. At any moment, they could take the relationship that you have invested in and built and say, “We’re going to do it a little differently.” And so yes, do social media, that’s great. But the thing that I would really advise people to think about and focus on more squarely is getting opt in email addresses from their customers or their potential customers. Because if people are voluntarily saying, “Yeah, I’m interested enough that you can contact me.” That is a great privilege and it is the ultimate definition of a warm lead. These people want to hear from you. And so cultivating and nurturing that direct relationship that no one else owns, that is a really powerful tool that I think a lot of entrepreneurs and small-business owners don’t appreciate enough.

Hoff: So if you are using social media right now as your main way to reach potential customers and build a fan base, should you then send private messages to all of those people asking for their email addresses so just in case it blows up in your favorite social media, they delete your account, whatever happens, you have that on hand. How would you say it is the best way to generate those email addresses?

Clark: Yeah. The best way to start to transition, if growing an email list has not been your focus heretofore, is generally considered to be developing what’s known as a lead magnet. There’s different names for it. But essentially what a lead magnet is, is a special piece of “gated content.” It’s something that people need to give you their email address in order to access but it’s really good, so they want it. They want to access it and so they are willing to provide their email address for it. So for example, let’s say you provide a really incredibly detailed e-book that just has all these case studies and all these information. It’s like more and better than what people could find normally online. If it’s something that they think is really special, like, “Oh, this is the behind the scenes look. Yeah, I want that.” Or maybe it’s a series of scripts. Let’s say, “How do I actually do that? Oh, wow, it’s your actual scripts? OK.” They see that and you can promote that on social media and say, “Hey, click here to get our free e-book. Click here to get our video interview series.” Whatever your thing is, but it should be a special and desirable item that people will say, yeah, bring it. And then they will opt in to receive that and it will enable you to communicate more regularly with them.

Hoff: Great idea. People shouldn’t be afraid that they’re not going to get as many clicks if they require an email address. Because ultimately, that email address is much more valuable than just somebody randomly clicking on it but you know nothing about that.

Clark: Yeah, exactly. It’s always going to be the case that you’ll have more Facebook followers than just sort of random people or blog readers than you will actual email subscribers, but that’s OK. The people who are email subscribers are going to be your best customers. This is why when you are creating your lead magnet, it is really useful and important to ask yourself, “OK. Is the tool, the lead magnet that I’m creating really aligned with what my product or service is?” Because ideally, the people you want to attract are your perfect buyer. And so if your perfect buyer is going to be really jazzed about the thing that you’re giving them, perfect. Because you don’t need to have 10,000 or 100,000 people following you if you have 100 or 1,000 of a really good customer that when you make your offer, they say, “Oh, that is precisely what I need.”

Hoff: That’s fantastic. You come up with that. I’m going to give another example related to you, Dorie. But on your website, I noticed that you have this assessment that people can take 88 questions to really assess where you are in the entrepreneurial mindset. They give their email address and you get it and they’re fantastic questions. And so I actually wanted to go into some of the most important questions that are part of your assessment that people should be asking themselves but also in that way, you found something that is exactly what people who are looking for how to be an entrepreneur, this is exactly what they want. They want to be able to self-assess first. Correct?

Clark: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Thank you for bringing it up. I definitely do try to practice what I preach. And so if folks are interested in either taking the “Entrepreneurial You” self-assessments themselves, walking through these steps to develop multiple income streams or if you’re just interested in lead magnets and you want to see how I constructed mine, you can go to DorieClark.com/entrepreneur and download it for free, but that’s really the mechanism. People opt in. They get access to the tool. They get an autoreply email that say, “Hey, here is the tool that you requested and also, I would love the opportunity to continue staying in touch with you and just sending you my best material about entrepreneurship, about marketing, about productivity. You can opt out if you want. Just click the button at the bottom but I really hope we’ll have the chance to stay in touch.” And so by sending that message, most people say, “OK. That sounds interesting. I’ll give it a shot.” And then if you continue to stay in touch with them with high quality interesting content, that’s of course the key. You can’t be spamming them all the time, “buy, buy, buy.” But if you’re providing them with content they actually think is pretty cool, then it enables you to deepen the relationship over time.

Hoff: Absolutely, absolutely. You’re giving them something in return for a little bit of loyalty. They are saying, “OK. Let’s keep this relationship. I’m going to prove to you that I’m worth being in a relationship with.” So let’s now go over some of the questions in your 88 question assessment. You have a lot of fantastic questions. You split them up into different groups so you move from one level to the next. But what do you think are the most important four or five questions that people really need to be asking themselves and really need to be contemplating as they consider growing a business or taking on a new venture?

Clark: Yeah. Well, I’ll mention some of the first questions that we ask people to think about upfront, which is thinking about their current income streams. This in many ways is the focal point of “Entrepreneurial You” because I argue that in this current world, we need more economic security rather than less. We have to think about getting it in different ways. We all know, most people have an awareness that if you are making investment decisions, you don’t want to put all of your money in one stock. That’s a bad idea. If that stock is Enron, you are done. So you diversify. But what far more people have not switched over to thinking about is that you should also think about diversification the same way at the other end, not just where you invest, but the way you earn your money. So for a lot of entrepreneurs and small-business owners, they may feel diversified because they have a number of clients. But if you’re doing the same thing for all of those clients, in some ways, that’s not real diversification.

You actually can find other ways that you can take your skills and apply them. I mean let’s say if you’ve been providing a service to people, maybe you cold coach other practitioners on how to build a business around that service. That’s another way of taking the same knowledge and skillsets but just extending what you’re able to do. That could open up a whole new revenue stream. So the first question is really thinking about what are your current revenue streams? What are the ways you’re making money now? And then what percentage of your income does it represent? It begins to help you see, are you sort of overweight in certain areas and underweight in others? Could you create more legs under the table? Start to think what possibilities intrigue you about creating multiple income streams? Are you interested in the idea of possibly blogging or maybe creating an online course, maybe you’re the kind of person that has gotten intrigued with public speaking. Those are all possibilities that if you nurture them and cultivate them over time, they can become eventually income streams for you.

Hoff: Absolutely. That’s a great idea. And also, I wanted to go into this knowing your income right now. Because I was talking to somebody the other day and he was saying, “Well, I make good money.” He makes pretty high six figures. I wouldn’t have the guts to really quit my job to start a company and give that salary up because I know that it takes a lot to generate that’s same kind of income, starting out on your own. And he says, “People who don’t make much money might have more flexibility in that sense because they don’t have as much at risk.” What would you say to that? Do you think that’s true or do you think that there’s something that they should be starting on the side and not forgoing a really great income before they know that the other venture is going to be successful?

Clark: Yeah. I am really a big fan of testing and incremental approaches to developing entrepreneurial ventures. In our culture, there are sometimes a myth or an adulation around the idea of, “Oh, you know, I just quit and I went all in.” It sounds sexy and of course some of us are forced into that situation like by being laid off, not really a choice there. But wherever possible, I actually advise people to try to be a little bit more patient in building a runway for themselves because it enables you to test to see what works and to really tweak things. If you see that something is working, you can lean in and do more of it or it just provides you with options. So for instance, one of the people that I profile in “Entrepreneurial You” is a guy named Pat Flynn. Pay has developed a very popular and successful podcast called “Smart Passive Income” and he actually publicly posts an income report every month and he’s bringing in over $100,000 a month. This is a multimillion dollar business that he’s created for himself. But the way that he got his start was that he had created an e-book. This is about a decade ago. He worked in architecture and he had created an e-book about how to pass a specific architecture exam related to being certified in your knowledge of green buildings. And so he had blogging for a while about it, about test taking strategies because of course he was trying to pass the test ad figured this would be a good way to learn. And so once he did pass the test, he bundled it all together into an e-book. He put the e-book out there. And because he had built up a readership for his blog, people had found it to be helpful, he had good search engine traffic and within a couple of months, he was earning more money from selling this e-book than he was at his day job. And that actually proved to be really handy because this was 2008. As soon as the economic crises hit, architecture was really hit hard because of course nobody wanted to finance new buildings and nobody had money to finance new buildings. And so he was let go and he realized, thank goodness, I have hits thing up and developing on the side, maybe this could be something.

Hoff: Absolutely. That’s a great story and a great example about how what you normally wouldn’t think of as a side gig for him, you’d think, OK, maybe he consults on architecture or anything like that but he was actually just bringing people along in his journey of him trying to accomplish something on his own and then he ended up getting a great following and learning how to monetize that. So what do you say are three things somebody could do right now to start a new venture or to take their current business to the next level? What are three steps that they should start with before they do anything else?

Clark: Yeah, absolutely. When people are thinking about starting a new venture for themselves, I think that one of the things that is useful is to set a deadline for yourself, to actually frame it as a challenge because this becomes one of the things that for a lot of folks, it’s like, “Oh, I should do that someday. That sounds cool. Maybe one day I’ll do it.” But one of the stories that I really like in “Entrepreneurial You” is about a guy named Michael Parrish DuDell. One of the things he’s best known for is he actually got tapped to write the book related to the television show Shark Tank. It’s business lessons from Shark Tank. When he first started his business — now he is speaking and consulting — he knew that he could write. He knew he had some skills, probably could be a good consultant. But one thing that he really was not sure of, that he had never done, was actually make a sale, actually close some business. He realized, well, if I’m going to be an entrepreneur, that’s pretty important. I have to learn how to bring in business. And so he set himself a goal and in his case, I don’t necessarily advocate being this hardcore, but in his case, he said, “You know what, I’m giving myself a month. And if I don’t close a sale within a month, I’m going to stop. I’m just going to give up being an entrepreneur. I will go get a job somewhere. Because I know that being able to sell is so critical, I am going to just sink or swim here.” That’s what he did. Every day he said he woke and he’s like, “Gotta make a sale. Gotta make a sale.” That deadline forced him to be creative. And so I think for a lot of us, if we are able to give ourselves a real deadline and just test ourselves a little bit and say, “Can I do this?” And even if it’s convincing your friend to give you 50 bucks for a month of coaching, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a tiny amount of money, just closing something actually makes a tremendous difference in terms of your confidence and the seriousness with which you take the practice of your business and yourself as an entrepreneur. So I think that that would be a starting point that I would recommend for people.

Hoff: OK. So start off making a deadline for yourself. To say, “I’m either going to close a sale or just do this one thing that I feel is very difficult for me. It’s not a skill that I have but I know it’s important to business.” Would you say there’s another tip or two of what to do before you even just really launch into full-time?

Clark: Yeah, absolutely. In these early days when you’re first getting started with entrepreneurship, I would say that another thing that is useful and helpful is you need, before you can really scale in a big way, to be building an audience or a community that trusts you, that trusts your opinions. Now, for almost all of us as professionals, if you’ve been out in the work world for a while, you have contacts, you have connections, you have some people who trust you just because “we work together at this job back in the day or I know you’re a good person and so sure, I’ll hire you. I’ll take a chance.” But outside of that immediate circle of people who already know you, you need to take action to develop a trusted reputation so that someone who is looking in on you and seeing that you don’t have that much experience, how do you counteract that and make them willing to say, “All right. Let’s hire her anyway.”

And so, one of the best things that you can do is to really go deep in terms of content creation. This is something that I actually talk about a lot in my book “Standout” because it’s a way of giving people a sense of how you think and what you’re like. I mean, you want your personality to shine through in such a way that a person who sees what you’ve created, whether it’s a podcast or writing or maybe doing some public speaking, whatever your best things is, that they can say, “You know, I really resonate with that. Yeah, let’s do that.” And so one of the stories from “Entrepreneurial You” that I think really speaks to this is actually a guy named James Clear. James has actually built a powerhouse following and blog. For him, he really feels the secret to his success was his commitment, his very, very regular commitment to blogging twice a week. Like a lot of us, he had been blogging for a while but he would do it when he felt like it or when he got around to it and oftentimes it wasn’t that often. But he decided in 2012, he said, “You know what, boom, I am making a commitment. It is a going to be a hard and fast commitment, Monday and Thursday, I am going to be blogging and I’m going to let everyone know that that’s case and that they can expect it.” And so his regularity really built up a following. I mean, first of all, it meant that he was just creating more than he ever had before. He was a minimum of eight posts a week and people came to expect to it, they came to really like and meant that they were more likely to tell other people about it. And so through just this utter consistency and regularity, and especially only driving people to subscribe to his email list so they could get his blogs, right?

Hoff: Right.

Clark: This is another key point. He wasn’t telling people 10 different things. “Follow me on Twitter. Follow me on Instagram. Do this. Do that.” All he was doing was just saying, “I write blogs twice a week. Subscribe here to get them.” He was able to build up his email list to over a quarter million people over about a three-year period from doing that. So content creation and especially consistent content creation can be extraordinarily valuable. That would be another key tip that I would share.

Hoff: I love that. So content creation, getting people to sign up, opt in instead of just following you on social media but actually building that relationship with them and then setting deadlines for yourself so that you’re accomplishing these goals and you’re figuring our these new skills will keep you on the road. There’s so much more we could talk about. Dorie, I’d love to talk to you forever because your mind is so rich with how to build a really successful business but that’s a good way because you have a book out there, “Entrepreneurial You,” where people can pick your brain and learn how to do this for themselves. I also encourage people to go to your website and download that 88 question assessment. I think that’s a great place to start, start asking the right question of yourself and everything like that. Finally, our show is called Charged Up. What gets you charged up about uncovering the secrets to success in business and entrepreneurial endeavors?

Clark: Wow. What gets me charged up is really setting new milestones for myself to see how far I can advance. People talk about “you’re only competing with yourself” and things like that but in a lot of ways, it’s really true. There’s a book that I would recommend called “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile, who is a professor at the Harvard Business School. She’s an expert in creativity and an expert in what really gives meaning to work. In her book, “The Progress Principle,” she relates information related to a study that she did where and her husband, Steven Kramer, tracked several hundred professionals over a pretty extensive period of time. The question that they were trying to answer was, “What is it that actually makes people feel like they’ve done something meaningful? What gives people fulfillment at work?” What they discovered is that the number  one ingredient is having a feeling that every day, they are making progress. It doesn’t even have to be big progress. It doesn’t even have to be a lot. But as long as you feel like you are moving in the right direction, as long as you feel like you are just a little bit better than you were yesterday, that is enormously gratifying to anyone. And so that’s really what I strive for. That with each day, with each book launch, I want “Entrepreneurial You” to be the best book launch yet. And so I get excited about making progress and seeing how far I can take it.

Hoff: Fantastic. Dorie, great insight. Great conversation. Great tips. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk with us today. I encourage people to read your book, go to your website. And if you’re ready to start a business, let’s start it with the right tools in our hands. Dorie, thank you so much.

Clark: Hey, thank you so much, Jenny.

See related: Charged Up! podcast: Becoming a suitcase entrepreneur

 


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Updated: 11-23-2017