Welcome to Wise Words, a regular feature on the Made of Words blog where I share the content that’s currently inspiring me to work better, faster, smarter.
In September 2015, mere weeks after launching Made of Words, I heard Jack Delosa speak at the Entrepreneur’s Unconvention in Auckland – a high-energy conference run by his company, The Entourage.
Jack hooked the crowd from the moment he stepped on stage. He was charismatic, funny, and insightful. He spoke in a way that made you feel like you were the only person in the room, even though you were surrounded by hundreds of people.
And the best part? Jack was openly selling his product/service – and I didn’t mind. He used powerful emotive rhetoric to make you want to buy his expertise. His enthusiasm for his business was so genuine and compelling that I found myself wondering: where do I sign?
I didn’t end up signing on with The Entourage; but I did end up buying Jack’s books, subscribing to his newsletter, and following him across social media. Maybe one day I’ll convert into a paying customer.
I’m telling you this because his talk was a great example of the power of storytelling. He radiates the same trustworthiness across all of his written content, too. If you want to see compelling, meaningful copy in action, check out his website.
I want to share some insights from Jack’s latest book, Unwritten: Reinvent Tomorrow, a “revisionist approach to our understanding of entrepreneurship and living a life that aligns with your purpose.”
In Unwritten, Jack draws on stories from some of the world’s best thinkers to reflect on what makes a great entrepreneur and how we can learn from the past to create a better tomorrow.
Here are five snippets from Unwritten that resonated with me.
“To know thyself is the foundation of greatness. Whether you want to run a business, be a teacher, grow a vegetable garden, meditate in the mountains, raise a family or work in a bakery (or all of the above), being your best self is not about scale or how ‘big’ your dreams are; it’s about alignment. Fulfilment is not found in reaching lofty heights but in living in accordance with your deepest truth – and evolving at it does.”
So many business books talk about scale, growth, and profit. Jack puts all that aside for a moment and gets to the heart of meaningful success: being true to yourself. I couldn’t agree more. When you’re living in alignment with your truth, amazing things happen.
“It’s important that we do not use the achievements of yesterday to define what we believe is possible today.”
Progress would be impossible if we only looked to the past to guide us. I love reading about history, but some things must be imagined from scratch. Just because something was impossible yesterday doesn’t mean it’s impossible tomorrow.
“It’s not about ‘right or wrong’ or ‘whose truth is best’ – quite the opposite. It’s about finding our own truth and allowing others to do the same [...] It is about realising that there are very few absolutes in life and that everyone has their own unique rule book to living a life fulfilled.”
When we’re passionate about something, it can be tempting to try to convince everyone of our point of view is 'right'. But when you live in alignment with your truth, being right is no longer important or rewarding. You will attract supporters by simply being yourself.
“Creating a vision for your life and your life’s work ensures that everything you do aligns to your purpose, giving your life’s work a direction and a meaning that fuels you along the journey.”
As a writer, I look for meaning in everything. A brochure is never just a brochure – it’s a story, a way of looking at the world. Meaning is infinitely easier to find when businesses are underpinned by a strong vision that articulates the contribution they want to make to their customers. With a vision, the conversation quickly switches from 'selling' to 'helping'.
“We live in a world that worships the results and not the work. The fruit but not the tree. The destination but not the journey. Paradoxically, it is those who are unattached to the destination, with all of themselves fully engaged in the journey, who ultimately find their way.”
Jack’s way of saying: enjoy the journey. We’ve all heard this advice a number of times, but it’s always relevant. Especially in business, when there’s targets to meet and goals to achieve. When we can find enjoyment in the ‘daily grind’, we can find enjoyment in it all.