People write books for all sorts of reasons, yet few authors reveal those reasons to their readers. By highlighting my life’s philosophies, my forthcoming book goes some distance to explaining why I do the things I do (including writing the book). Apart from the book, my other major interests are many and varied, yet most revolve around a core idea: how to build a rewarding life by being the best we can be in business.
I’ve set up and run many successful businesses. Their success gives me the freedom to do the job I find most rewarding of all: helping others start their own businesses, grow them, and generally succeed in life. That’s why for the past few years, I’ve been an angel investor and mentor, and why I spend much of my time giving talks to groups of potential entrepreneurs about how they too can achieve success and fulfill their dreams.
In early 2011, with my wife Joey Garr, I moved to Barcelona. Why Barcelona? Well, my brother lives here and Joey and I were looking for new challenges. I have business interests in different parts of the world, including Europe, but I can manage them from almost anywhere. Apart from that, Barcelona has other attractions, not least of which is that it is a beautiful, dynamic city blessed with a balmy Mediterranean climate.
As soon as we arrived in Spain, I set myself the task of creating and hosting a meeting group for budding entrepreneurs, especially those interested in starting online businesses. Apart from my brother, Joey and I knew almost no one in Barcelona, so I used the Internet resource “Meetup” to quickly get the new group up and running. The idea of a meeting group gels neatly with one of my core beliefs: that networking in its various forms is vital to both business and personal development. (See my separate blog on networking “Putting Our Heads Together – The Awesome Power of Networking.”) I see my function in the group as a cross between mentor and facilitator. The Barcelona Internet Startups Meetup is a huge and ongoing success; as of November 2012, it boasted over 900 active members and it has been instrumental in helping many members launch new businesses or grow existing ones. I benefited greatly too because I derive a huge emotional reward from witnessing lives being transformed by success, whether I’m financially involved in those businesses or not.
My personal satisfaction in being instrumental in success is the more obvious reason success appeals to me. The less obvious and more complex reason is that I’m fascinated by why, all other things apparently being equal, some people succeed in business and others don’t. It always intrigues me that many business people who seem to do everything right and would be expected to thrive, fail for mysterious, seemingly illogical reasons. Luck plays a role, but is only a partial explanation. (See my blog “What’s Luck Got to Do with it?”) The reasons many businesses don’t succeed may be difficult to pinpoint, yet they nearly always fail for the most mundane reasons. Many of my talks to business people and much of my writings address the subject of identifying those reasons and developing strategies for avoiding them, and it’s why I devoted many years studying the phenomenon closely and methodically. More recently, I further refined and distilled the results of those studies in order to make them available to a wider public in the form of a book.
In writing the book, I drew on my own wide experience and that of many other people, successful and not, and spent a great deal of time extracting the vital, though often hidden nuggets of value from an enormous mass of data. The book “There Is No Secret – It’s All About Hard Work” is the condensed product of that research. It’s intentionally short and to the point – I don’t believe in gilding the lily, but in getting right to the heart of the issues with simple, clear language. I hope the reader finds practical wisdom in each chapter and that the whole book becomes a valuable source of inspiration that will be consulted frequently.