Every month, we read a book and hold a discussion night to talk about our takeaways from the book. During May, we read Two Weeks Notice by Amy Porterfield for our book club. Porterfield is an online marketing expert who has dozens of digital courses and a top-ranked podcast for entrepreneurs.
This book is her outline of how to become a successful entrepreneur - starting from the decision to become your own boss to overcoming common pitfalls. It’s a very practical book with exercises, templates, and plenty of examples. She also writes about her own difficulties on the journey of entrepreneurship to share how she overcame them to become a multi-millionaire.
I’ve attended one of Amy Porterfield’s online courses on email list building in the past, so I was a little familiar with her work before reading this book. I love that she is willing to share so much of her successful process to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals too. My copy of the book is full of highlighted ideas to come back to!
If you are serious about becoming an entrepreneur, I highly recommend reading the whole book yourself. However, here are our top 3 key takeaways to give you a taste of what you can find inside.
1) Commit To Your Dream
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to really commit. It means making an exit plan at your current job and taking steps to starting your own business. Just daydreaming about being your own boss won’t get you there.
It’s scary to make the leap to becoming an entrepreneur. The worries can be overwhelming. There are going to be times when things go wrong and there are going to be times when you feel like you’ve made a huge mistake. To overcome all of these difficulties, Porterfield says that your reason why you want to be your own boss has to be strong enough to make you keep going in spite of it all. Your why will keep you going in the hardest times.
“We are scared that if we crash and burn, we won’t be able to get back up. Feeling safe feels comfortable. I get it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, right? But the devil you know is still…the devil. Security tricks us into believing that we have enough and that we don’t desire more - even when it’s very obvious that we do desire more. A security mindset dims our light. It neglects the fact that we have big dreams and hopes that can only be realized on the other side of our comfort zone.”
So when you decide that you want to take on the awesome adventure of becoming an entrepreneur, commit. You have to choose an exit date from your current job. You need to build a “runway” to help make the transition as smooth as possible. You’ll want to tell your trusted friends and family. And don’t worry, the book lays out exactly how to go about doing all of these things.
It won’t be real until you start taking these concrete steps toward your dream. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
2) Your Email List is Everything
Amy Porterfield is a huge proponent of the email list. She says in the book that her biggest mistake in running her business was waiting to start growing her email list. What exactly does she mean by email list and why is it so important?
Your email list is the names and email addresses of the people who are subscribed to your content, attended your event, or given you their contact info in some other way. They are the people who want to hear from you and are most likely to become paying customers (if they aren’t already).
The reason this list is so crucial to your business is that it’s the best way for you to get the word out about your offerings and share content with the people who are most likely to buy from you. It’s something that you own and have control over, unlike followers on social media. According to a study shared in the book, email converts prospects into paying customers four times more effectively than social media.
What do you do with this list? Share your weekly content like blogs, podcasts, or videos. Give your email list early access to new courses. Keep them updated on the latest news happening with your business. The ideas for how you can use your email list to grow your business are endless.
Several chapters of the book go into detail on how to set up your email list from a technical standpoint, what to write in your emails (with templates!), how to grow your email list, and more. It can seem intimidating at first, but Porterfield has plenty of practical advice on getting your email list to work for you. There are also several templates in the back of the book and additional resources on her website.
3) Don’t Let Failure Keep You Down
Unfortunately, failure is going to be part of your journey as an entrepreneur. I love that Amy is willing to share many of her own mistakes throughout the book. It’s easy to look at her website or listen to her podcast and think you could never be as successful as she is. But as the book shows, it wasn’t always that way for her and she’s spent many years of working hard to get to where she is now.
When you make a mistake or something doesn’t go quite as well as you hoped, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. It doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of owning your own business. Sometimes it might be a big setback, but as long as you keep working toward that next step, you’re still moving forward.
If you stay focused on your why, avoid comparing yourself to others, and take things one step at a time, you can create your own successful business, even when failures happen.
“The truth is, becoming your own boss is not always going to feel like a fairy tale. It’s a journey that takes time, perseverance, a thick skin, and a determined heart. You don’t just quit your job on a Tuesday and wake up Wednesday feeling like the ‘boss babe’ you see all over Instagram. Unbossing happens decision by decision, experience by experience. Over and over again you’ll be forced to redefine your values, update your operating principles, and learn what it means to be the leader you want to be.”
I didn’t want to try to summarize the process of creating your own digital course or how to promote your business online as discussed in the book because there’s not enough space here in a blog post. Instead, I hope that you learned some of the big mindset takeaways needed to be a successful entrepreneur from the book. If you’re interested in learning the details about content or email list building, I strongly recommend reading the full book (although I always recommend reading the full book after reading these blog posts!)
Are you hoping to become an entrepreneur? Or are you already somewhere along the journey to being your own boss? Let us know what you thought of the book in the comments below!
Our book for next month will be Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley.