All the listicles in the world won’t make you an entrepreneur.


I don’t want to read these articles anymore. I don’t want to read lists of the shit that I can learn from weird sources.

I don’t want to read “What entrepreneurs can learn from Harry Potter” or “What entrepreneurs can learn from pirates” or even “What entrepreneurs can learn from Pablo Picasso.”

These are all legitimate things that people have written, and they’re mostly pointless.

Because when you click through, all they’re going to tell you is to follow your dreams, practice good management, focus on your value, be inspired, be motivated, drink warm water, get up at 5 and make sure you get the drop on the East India Trading Company.

They’re an example of the total bullshit that entrepreneurs are fed. All the crap we’re meant to consume, to supposedly make us good entrepreneurs. Most of which just doesn’t apply or isn’t really actionable, or is intended to make us follow the words of gurus.

So you know what? The most accurate take I can think of is this. You know what entrepreneurs can learn from 17th century privy shovelers? We’ve got to get through an awful lot of shit.

You aren’t going to be an entrepreneur if you listen to all the pundits and experts and influencers with their top 10 lists. That’s not going to happen. You will only be an entrepreneur if you start a business, and sell something, and generate revenue.

That’s the real work of it, the real actions that make the difference between an entrepreneur and someone who just talks out of their ass half the time. There’s a real danger that if all you’re doing is constantly consuming all of this stuff, instead of taking the time to build, you’re going to end up frozen with absolute inaction.

I’ve talked about this before, and it’s worth repeating:

Let’s be real fucking honest here. No matter how many lists you read that promise to give you the tools you need to be successful, it’s still going to come down to you. You alone. You, completely alone.

It’s going to come down to whether you have the cast iron guts that it takes to strike out on your own, or share your work with the world, knowing it could be ripped to shreds. It’s going to come down to how long you can hold on when you’re struggling every day against the unending silence of your audience, your customers and your own voice of hope.

I had to get that out of my system. Because I’ve read enough of articles that have promised to show me the 10 books, 15 habits, 20 traits, 25 quotes and 30 fucking morning routines that will turn me into Elon Musk. I am not Elon Musk. And neither are you.

We like to think we can find those formulas for success. We like to think they’ll take us to where we want to be. But they won’t. They might inspire, and they might give you some cool shit to read or watch, but you’ve got to ignore the phrasing.

At the end of the day, most of this writing is really there for the author’s benefit. It’s not there for yours. You can take it as gospel, but at the end of the day, it’s just a random list of crap. It’s not going to have a lasting impact, and I know that, because I’ve read just as many as you, and I can’t remember even one of ’em.

There’s some great writing out there that will help you. Bianca Bass, Mike Sturm and Todd Brison create some shit that should be read.

But there’s also a lot of stuff that’s being churned out just to make you click, without making you really think, and while it might promise to teach you how to found a business like Gandalf the Grey, all it’s going to do is waste 5 minutes that could have been spent building something, or reading something better.

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