Srini Rao, David Janner and Jared Easley

IIP040: How To Make 2014 Your Best Entrepreneurial Year

Inspiring Innovation Podcast
Inspiring Innovation Podcast episode 40  Get it on iTunes

4 Entrepreneurs, 4 Questions, One Amazing Year!

Happy New Year! The party is over, and now it’s time to make this year count. It’s time to make 2014 your best entrepreneurial year!

In order to achieve this mighty goal, I set up an ad-hoc mastermind with three inspiring entrepreneurs, on the last day of 2013.

Together, we will each answer the following 4 questions: 

  • What are the most important non-fiction books that every entrepreneur needs to read this year?
  • What podcasts (other than this one!) should an entrepreneur follow in 2014?
  • What’s one thing that really worked for each of us in 2013, that you should try in order to make 2014 work for you?
  • What’s the one thing we’re each going to focus on in 2014?

My Partners In Crime

Srini Rao

Srini Rao

He is the creator and host of Blogcastfm, where he interviewed over 400 successful entrepreneurs in almost 4 years.

The-Art-of-Being-Unmistakable-sirini-Rao-Glenn-Beck-BookIn 2013 he wrote a book called The Art of Being Unmistakeable: A Collection of Essays About Making A Dent In The Universe among other amazing achievements (that we will discuss in greater detail in the episode)

David Janner

David Janner
David Janner

He’s a medical doctor by training that left the profession years ago to become an entrepreneur, aiming at making a $100,000 monthly revenue.

Make App Mag logo He produces apps full-time for iOs, Blackberry and Google Play, and also intermittently writes on his blog –

If you want to hear amazing tips on goal setting and setting crazy-high goals, check out my interview with him at IIP033: The Flea Circus, And Making $100,000 A Month!

Jared Easley

Jared Easley and his family
Jared Easley and his family

Starve The Doubts by Jared Easley
Just a year ago I met Jared at Pat Flynn’s meetup in Vegas. A year later – he hosts the podcasting sensation, ‘Starve The Doubts‘, where he already featured amazing guests (like Seth Godin) and now – he’s an NMX speaker!


The Answers!

What are the must-read books for entrepreneurs in 2014?

Little Bets - How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Srini: I recommend Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims. It’s all about how doing small things can lead to bigger things; taking affordable loses (things that won’t bankrupt you or leave you destitute) approach to the risk and innovation. Anybody who does creative work should have this book in their arsenal.

A Million Miles In a Thousand Years - How I Learned To Live A Better Story by Donald Miller

Jared: I recommend A Million Miles In a Thousand Years: How I Learned To Live A Better Story by Donald Miller. This book was recommended to me by Peter Billingham, one of my listeners. It’s a book that challenged and inspired me; it’s about telling a bigger and better story.


Flourish - A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin E. P. Seligman

Learned Optimism - How To Change Your Mind and Your Life Martin E. P. SeligmanDavid: I’m currently been reading books by Martin E. P. Seligman, one of the founders of the Positive Psychology Movement. One that I recommend is Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being by Martin E. P. Seligman and the other one is Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind and Your Life Martin E. P. Seligman
– what I like about Martin’s books is it’s evidence-based a scientific studies unlike other gurus
– In his book, I learned to do the “gratitude of 3 blessings”, a habit before going to sleep at night to write 3 good things that happened in the day

The Pumpkin Plan - A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business In Any Field of Mike Michalowicz

Meron: I recommend The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business In Any Field of Mike Michalowicz, which tells the concept of kicking out the ‘best practice’ – of trying to get tons of customers, and realizing that you don’t need tons; you just need the right customers that are like you. You want only the customers that you understand, and understand you. That’s how you make a business that makes you happy and not just makes you money.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield


Another one would be The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield, which helped me realize when, where and how I was self-sabotaging and failing myself due to my own fears and doubts.

What podcasts should an entrepreneur follow in 2014?

Srini: I recommend Off Camera by Sam Jones; Jones interviews comedians, musicians, filmmakers and people like Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta — a bizarre mix of people you don’t typically find in the online world.

Jared: Although it’s not about entrepreneurship, I’m recommending Parenting On Purpose by Dr. David Barnes, which is good for families and raising kids. Another one would be Ray Edwards Podcast, which is for creating sales copies.

David: I recommend something I discovered in Inspiring Innovation — Eventual Millionaire by Jaime Tardy.

Meron: Mixergy, a must-listen podcast for any entrepreneur.

What’s one thing that really worked for you in 2013, that entrepreneurs should try in order to make 2014 work for them?

Jared: First is the simple act of doing. Go ahead and take that step because no one wins by sitting on the sidelines; you have to get in the game. You may not have all the answers but just thinking about your current job or business, you didn’t have the answers when you first started that. You were either mentored or asked questions to people who knew and you learned. As you learned, you get to be competent; you’ll figure things out and you shift and pivot along the way.

Second, Consider being the “noticer“. If you can first notice other people, there’s a likelihood that those people will begin to notice what you’re doing, and the law of reciprocity will eventually kick in. So, for people who are trying to build an audience or trying to grow their brand, consider ways that you can notice your prospect first and that will have a powerful opportunity to build up into a rapport-building relationship which can then grow to be a client or customer.

David: Get a business coach or get someone to mentor you, especially if you feel a bit stuck, not quite sure, you’ve been trying and been going at it for awhile, but things haven’t been quite fallen into place, I think sometimes you need a bit of outside perspective that can help get you on track.

The Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggSrini: Write a thousand words a day. It’s done wonders for me. Don’t think of it as a task or a to-do, think of it as a habit. To learn how to form this habit – check out The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  [we go through Srini’s  habit cue, routine and reward loop in the episode – MB].

The thousand words don’t have to be good. By creating all these crap, you’ll be able to find gold.

Meron: Figuring out who’s your avatar, who are you really talking to. This helped me immensely realize what I can offer them and what do they really need. Once I did that, the resonance multiplied by a huge factor.

What’s the one thing you’ll focus on in 2014?

Srini: The Instigator Experience, the conference we’re doing that will make a lasting impact and complete other things.

Meron: Shipping. I need to stop worrying about if things will do well or not – just ship and find out. The focus is going to be to get things out the door.

Jared: Shipping, too. I have a product launch coming out and I wanted to do more meet-ups. I see the power of meeting face-to-face and at this point in the game for me — I’m just new and don’t have a massive audience yet — that just makes sense to continue to do that: Strategic alignment with key people just like Inspiring Innovation — bringing people together and learning from them, he’s going to do that as well.

David: The plan is to focus on the App market, create bigger apps and games, and also pre-empt some adjacent services which will be offered to app developers.

Final words…

Srini: Really, at the end of the day, it just boils down to your tolerance for risk. The more you keep upping the ante and the more you keep trying bigger things, the more interesting outcomes you’ll get. The other thing you have to realize is it’s not just about winning, but also learning. If you do something and it doesn’t work and you learn and develop a skill that you can lead on to something else, that can be tremendously useful.

Jared: Read ‘Little Bets’, read ‘Flourish’ and listen to ‘Mixergy’!

David: A lot of people are focused on finding their passion and can be paralyzing sometimes. It’s great to find something you are passionate about – if you manage to.

I think it’s better to focus on doing and seizing opportunities that you see. Sometimes passion comes later; you can find passion in what you’re doing. If you really want to leave your job and start a business, then just start even if it’s not perfect. That might give you the opportunity to leave your job and later down the track, do something that you’re really passionate about once you already have the funds and can do that more easily.

Meron: This quote: “I won’t let anybody walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” –Gandhi

Look, you hear these podcasts, read these books and blogs, have all these inspiration and then someone close to you — friends or family or whatever — somebody just crushes your confidence. If you want 2014 to be amazing, you really need to resist that.

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Stay awesome,



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[spoiler title=”Episode 040″]Still in progress, please come back later![/spoiler]

10 thoughts on “IIP040: How To Make 2014 Your Best Entrepreneurial Year”

  1. I love hearing the guest stories. Very inspiring. Better yet when they give you those little tips that make all the difference.

    Btw, I don’t see this episode on Triberr’s feed. I checked until my refresh button was giving me the look, “if you touch me one more time…” lol

    1. LOL! Thanks for letting me know. I fixed my feed URL there and it’s showing up now… hopefully! I’d pull Dino’s hair if it doesn’t work… but he’s in Vegas for NMX so not very possible at the moment 🙂

      The problem with so many amazing tips every week is implementing all of them, isn’t it?? 🙂 At least that’s my problem!

  2. Love the panel. You guys interacted great, lots of great content. Meron, did you use Skype and record them all at once?

    1. Thanks Bill! I’m very glad you enjoyed it. I usually use Skype and record to an external recorder, plus having eCamm recorder on the computer as my backup. For this specific session I used Google Hangouts though, since G+ seems to perform a lot better for calls with multiple people. It was recorded on my external recorder and edited on Adobe Audition.

    1. Thanks, Rob 🙂 I was going for a “new year’s bargain” 😉

      Happy new year, by the way! Saw your 2013 passive income report – good job! What are the plans for 2014?

  3. Great show good advice, especially about #Happier. I just created my account, installed it on my iPhone #Happier. I hope I can keep up with finding those 3 happy moments everyday and that it actually can make me happier and achieve a higher purpose.

    1. I just reinstalled it on my phone because of your comment. We can keep each other accountable in finding 3 things every day for the next 30 days 🙂

      What do you think?

      PS – so happy you’re enjoying the show!

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