Yes, okay. I know that’s not the actual name of the book up there in the page title. It’s actually a book about being an entrepreneur. Except that I really enjoyed Kate Toon’s Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur: How to succeed in business despite yourself and I’m not actually an entrepreneur.
I love Kate Toon’s copywriting blog and social media – she’s a very funny and talented writer who tells it like it is. This book is her story of moving from ad agency to work-from-home mum and how she built a successful business despite failing to follow almost all of the stock advice to entrepreneurs.
In doing so, I think she’s managed to put together a rather excellent manifesto on succeeding at life in general in a world where hustle is the new contentment.
2018: Even the girl next door has her own ‘personal brand’
Social media has moved marketing from product to personal. It’s easy to feel like it’s not enough to simply ‘be yourself’. We’re told to ‘work on our personal brand’ – mainly on LinkedIn, but it seems to spill over into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.
This leads to that phenomenon where you feel not good enough, simply because you’re comparing your everything to someone else’s highlight reel. You don’t see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
As Kate Toon points out in the hilarious glossary at the back of her book, the marketing is not necessarily the reality:
PASSIVE INCOME: A product that earns you a six-figure income while you sleep. It may take eight months of 40-hour weeks to create, but we don’t talk about that bit.
Live your own version of success
You don’t need to be the best; or famous; or fabulously wealthy; to achieve your goals. If your goal is to be productive in something that interests you, is worthwhile and means you don’t have to fret over the numbers on the cash register every time you do the grocery shopping, then you can safely ignore much of the hype.
Kate Toon talks about her years of giving into the hype and trying to scale up her business. It worked, but it came at a cost: her health, her time with her family and her sense of peace. This is my favourite passage in the whole book:
In the past few years I’ve realised that I don’t want to build a business empire, and I’m not aiming for global domination. I’m quite happy in my cosy little cul-de-sac, and have no desire to be the next ‘somebody’… What’s wrong with being just me – a happy, financially secure nobody?
Of course, I think Toon may have failed a little at that last point – in addition to her Clever Copywriting School and her copywriting business, she’s just booked the Melbourne Arts Centre for CopyCon 2019, which she ran very successfully for the first time in 2018. She’s – ahem – rather well known, at least in copywriting circles!
Where to find a copy
Whether you’re looking to define your own kind of success in small business or in life more generally, I can highly recommend grabbing a copy of Kate Toon’s Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur:
- Buy Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur from Amazon (Kindle)
- Buy direct from Kate Toon’s website:
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.