I asked this question to Adam Shepard who wrote Scratch Beginnings which is a great story of him starting from nothing (literally) in a town and what happens 6 months later…
Why should anyone read this book and what will they get out of it?
There are a couple of reasons to read this book…
First off, it’s entertaining as hell. I met a cast of guys that are way more fascinating than myself (and got my butt kicked by one of them), and to be able to tell their story is what this was all about for me. My story is cool, sure, but the guys I met have some pretty interesting tales to tell.
More importantly, though, I learned so much about what it takes to really make it. Not just with $25. Not just out of a homeless shelter. But in life, and, more specifically, in business. I was humbled to the Nth degree by the experiences I had, and I’m happy to carry those experiences with me now that I have more than $25. Not much has changed in my life. I still drive a beat up hooptie. I still go on cheap dates. My friendships are stronger today than they have ever been. And now, I don’t, by any means, take work ethic for granted. Or the strangers I meet every day. (If you only happen to pick up Scratch Beginnings at the bookstore for a few minutes, read “Job Hunting 101 with Professor Phil Coleman,” where Phil, a random homeless dude, teaches me – “Adam Shepard, the King of the American Dream” – how to get a job. My ego went for a ride, but I didn’t care. I’ll never forget meeting that guy.)
What was the most unexpected thing about starting from nothing?
The whole experience was way more difficult than I expected. I figured I would get off the train on Tuesday night, sleep under a bridge, get a job on Wednesday, and move into a weekly rental by Thursday or Friday.
And then I got off the train in the frickin’ ghetto and immediately saw that things weren’t going to go as I had planned. I quickly made my way to the shelter where I gathered my bearings and strategized what I needed to do to start working my way up.
What can entrepreneurs learn from your experiences?
The same rules still apply for me now as they did when I was walking down Rivers Ave. in North Charleston with a twenty and a five-spot in my back pocket. It’s always a hustle. And that’s what Scratch Beginnings is about, and that’s why I think so many people are able to relate to this story regardless of whether they have $25 or $25,000. When you’re ahead of the game in the world of entrepreneurship, you can either make the decisions to take your business to the next level OR you can squander your money to country club memberships and expensive trips just because, “Hey, I get to write it off anyway!” I’ve had friends whose businesses have flourished or failed because of what they do with their money. And that’s the same way it was for me in Scratch Beginnings.
The most interesting comment will get a free copy of the book.