John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing has run his own business for 30 years, so his advice about both marketing and entrepreneurship is worth taking. I invited John to Marketing Smarts to talk about his latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business. You'll even get a sneak preview: today's reading and challenge question!

Listen to it later:

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Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

Being a 'self-reliant entrepreneur' doesn't mean you don't take advice and inspiration from others (02:24): "If you Google the term 'self reliance,' there's a lot of websites about how to build your own house, how to make your own clothes, how to render a pig. How to basically live without any interaction with people. That's certainly not the take here at all. When I talk about a 'self-reliant entrepreneur,' I'm really talking about somebody that just sees their life as a work in progress, and that one of their goals in running this business is to come to a point where they trust themselves so fully that they're not really driven by what other people think. That that's not the only path that pulls them forward or stops them from going forward.

"You could substitute 'self-trust.' It's really more about trusting your idea and believing in your truth and your ability, and what you have now is enough so that you can more properly access all of those other resources that are available to you."

Step 1 to being a successful entrepreneur: listen to inner voice (03:32): "The thing that stops a lot of people is that what they think they want to do or what they believe they need to do seems kind of different. And they were not told that that was a path that they should pursue. Or worse yet, people are telling them every day that that's a dumb idea. So I think the first step is to be able to tune all of that out. Which isn't to say that none of that's valid, but [don't] let it control you or control your decisions."

Marketers today can learn a lot from the writers of the mid-1800s (05:44): "I can't tell you how many times I'd be reading something and go, 'There's no way that was written 150 years ago! Thoreau was talking about the problem with Facebook right now.' It's absolutely amazing, and I think the reason for this is, we lean on a lot of all these changes and the technology and [say] 'oh, it's our iPhone's fault.' I think the human condition hasn't actually changed, and that's why what they were talking about and revealing in those writings is still true today for human beings."

"The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur" is actually for everyone (21:20): "This book could easily be called 'The Self-Reliant Human Being,' because the ideas, I've experienced them as an entrepreneur, so I feel very qualified to write about them in that context, but many people have suggested that this is a book that anybody who wants to [can benefit from]. I even talk about that in the intro—that being an entrepreneur is not necessarily about what you do, it's about who you are and how you think."

To learn more, visit You can also follow John on Twitter at @ducttape, and pick up a copy of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business.

John and I talked about much more, so listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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