Business advice from surfers? A review of "Surge" by Mike Michalowicz

First things first:

I'm THRILLED to announce that the Creative Freedom Entrepreneur Types made their public debut this week over at Charlie Gilkey's Productive Flourishing blog. If you're a creative and you're not familiar with Charlie's work, I highly recommend checking him out.

My guest post is an excerpt from my book, detailing the 3 different types of creative entrepreneurs, along with the process I used to get clear on my target market (which is what started me on this research journey in the first place). Please take a moment to stop in and leave a comment or share the post. The more creatives that we can reach with this message, the better the world will be. I truly believe that.

Also, my accountability partner, Winnie, just posted my interview for her podcast, where we dive into the nature of assessments in general, and why self-awareness is a powerful tool in building your business. The Let's Talk Tech Show takes the mystery out of all the tech-y tools, platforms, apps, and software that solo-preneurs deal with as they grow their business. If you're a Chaotic creative - or otherwise feel overwhelmed by the tech stuff, Winnie's show is a great place to get some basic understanding in plain English.

Okay, on to this week's episode...

I've known Mike Michalowicz for years now. First as a fan of his work, then as a member of his book launch team, then as an editor of his last book, and one of the first certified Profit First business coaches in the world. Now, I think it's safe to say we're friends. And he's an interesting dude. Like me, he's a guinea pig for all the methods he teaches. As a Linear Cusp creative, he's great at creating and implementing systems, but he's got just enough Fusion in him to make it fun and easy to learn what he teaches. Mike's new book, "Surge: Time the Marketplace, Ride the Wave of Consumer Demand, and Become Your Industry's Big Kahuna," is the next installment of his guinea pig adventures. Using surfing as his framework, SURGE is actually an acronym for the steps you need to take to find and ride your own wave of business success.

Does it work? Watch the episode, then read on:

But does SURGE actually work?

If you read the book, you'll see plenty of case studies supporting Mike's process - including examples from his own business. As I mentioned in the video, I was a smidge disappointed about the lack of specifics around the "cool kids" strategy, until I realized I did it myself, without really trying.

I've been doing the research on the Creative Freedom Entrepreneur Type spectrum for about 18 months. Interviewing creatives from around the world, analyzing the data, and testing theories. Back in April, Charlie posted on Facebook saying he didn't resonate with particular a social media platforms. I said that it made perfect sense to me because his creative entrepreneur type wasn't a good fit for those platforms. That got him (and a few others) curious, so I explained a little about the research I was doing. Charlie was intrigued enough to have an email convo with me that led to this week's guest post on his blog (and with a little luck, an interview on his podcast later this year).

Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - which typically looks like work! (Tweet this)

Charlie has a solid track record in the realm of creative entrepreneurship. He's one of the "cool kids" in the marketplace. But I had no idea how to get on his radar until HE said something where I had an opening.

There are a couple of things that you need to understand:

  1. This was not an instant win. Our first conversation was in April. The post didn't publish until June - exactly 60 days from Charlie's Facebook post. I had to do the follow-up work, including the back-and-forth with Charlie's editor and support team, before the post could be published.
  2. I had something of value to offer Charlie (and his audience). I didn't approach him with a pitch. I just shared my experience as it related to his. He responded, and I kept the conversation going with value, not hype.
  3. I did my research and leg work long before Charlie's post. Seneca said that "luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation." I had been "preparing" for more than a year. Charlie and I have some mutual friends, but this was the first time I'd ever had a conversation with the man. As far as I know, he didn't know me from hole in the ground. When an opportunity showed up, I was ready to share my value in a meaningful, helpful way.
  4. I had to pay attention. The nice thing about being in research mode is that I do a lot more listening, watching, and analyzing. I'm much more reflective, trying to connect the dots. Opportunities are rarely handed to you on a silver platter. I think it was Edison who said opportunity is "dressed in overalls and looks like work". I've been saving, compiling, and researching conversations around this topic for months. Charlie's post gave me a window of opportunity, and I took it. As I said, I'm not Charlie's buddy, so if I hadn't seen his Facebook post, this opportunity would have probably passed right by me.

This was an organic way to "reach the cool kids" - and it worked. Will it continue to work? Well, I have a few more "cool kids" to check out before I can let you know!


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