Attitude is everything. It guides the choices we make in both the business and social worlds and allows us to overcome fear and loss. Because of that, simply changing one’s attitude has the power to improve lives at no personal cost. That’s the guiding philosophy behind Jack Nadel’s new book The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, which offers readers a comprehensive and easy-to-read framework for achieving and maintaining entrepreneurial success.
Nadel, an 89-year-old decorated veteran of World War II, philanthropist, and founder of Jack Nadel International, lives with his wife, Julie, in Santa Barbara, where he finds great personal happiness in guiding those wishing to enter the business realm or those who are unsatisfied in their current occupations. He believes that success stems from a commitment to upholding a positive outlook on life and being aware of one’s strengths.
“We can’t change the world and we can’t change the people in it, but we can change our own attitudes,” he explained during a recent interview. “It’s all about understanding who you are, what you love to do, and how to make a profit from it.” Attitude can alter the lens through which we view our environment, the people with whom we interact, and, most importantly, ourselves. From there, he says it’s just a matter of identifying a gap in society and using one’s strengths to fill that gap.
Evolution of an Entrepreneur upholds that positivity results in more creative ways of thinking, something that is key for innovative and successful businesses. With self-reflection comes better problem solving ability. “If you fail at something, you have to say to yourself, ‘What have I done to help cause this and what could I have done differently?’” suggested Nadel, who explains that fear of failure is a leading deterrent from entering the marketplace, but that with the occasional failure comes enormous personal growth. “I’ve learned more from my mistakes than from my successes” he said. “Everything starts in the mind, including fear of failure.” Evolution of an Entrepreneur introduces ways to control and focus our minds so that our fears no longer hinder us, but propel us in new and exciting directions.
He explains that fear is especially a problem for war veterans wishing to enter the business world upon returning home because they return loaded down with emotional baggage and injuries. Nadel uses his own extensive war experiences to identify with this demographic and is able to understand their background more than most. “Society owes an enormous debt to these veterans,” he said, but not much is done to help veterans readjust to society, especially if they are hoping to launch a startup business. “Both political parties agree on one thing,” he continued. “They both argue that the economy will improve when more jobs are available and more products and services are on the market, but neither party is saying how.” This book is different because it offers a “how” and not just a “what.”
Evolution of an Entrepreneur encourages motivation by detailing 50 of Nadel’s best tips for starting and maintaining a thriving business. His ability to emotionally identify with veterans is rooted in his shared experience, making him a reliable and trustworthy source to his veteran readers. After serving in the United States Army Air Forces in 1945 and flying 27 missions over Japan, Nadel was later invited by President Ronald Reagan to assist on a presidential trade mission that took him back to the same country. An emphasis was placed on cultivating a friendly and respectful relationship with the Japanese businessmen before any talk of business deals began, a premise that became a major focus in Evolution of an Entrepreneur. He suggests that while one deal may be nailed down in any given business transaction, allowing for a strong interpersonal relationship to form ahead of time opens doors for additional, unforeseen agreements and partnerships in the future. “As much as you give you get back more in return,” he explained of being respectful and considerate in interpersonal business relationships. “Answers to problems will evolve if we keep doing smart things.”
Answers are not the only things to evolve, either. We as individuals will grow and adapt to new circumstances as well. People are not unchanging, which is why a considerable portion of the book is designed to provide guidelines for how to maintain startups, not just get them going. “We evolve into whoever we are with additional experience,” Nadel said. “I wouldn’t have been able to write this book five years ago.” Businesses adapt as people do, and it is important to keep an open and unbiased perspective in order to advance the business in mindful and healthy ways. As Nadel urged, “Leave your ego out of it!”
With the evolution of business comes the acceptance of new technological mediums that allow for the ease of communication. Evolution of an Entrepreneur was dictated completely via a voice recognition computer program, an invention that is truly liberating for writers. Nadel fully embraces such technological strides, and makes a conscious effort to stay up to date on new shifts. He uses Skype to virtually attend meetings he cannot be present for, and responds via email to the popular “Ask Jack” section on his website. “You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s answers,” he said. “I try to combine all my experiences with the latest technology.”
Technology certainly presents many advantages for Evolution of an Entrepreneur, too. He regularly finds himself networking with people from all over the globe who are interested in the insights his book provides, and it is always a happy surprise to learn that someone from Europe just downloaded the Kindle version of the book with a single click. “It’s a global age,” he agreed. International megasites like Amazon also make distributing digital copies of his book easy. For $4.99, people on the other side of the world can download the book instantly.
Additionally, Amazon offers services like book gifting, which enables the recipient to immediately download a free digital version to their computers or handheld devices. Continuing his ongoing pledge to philanthropic duty, and out of his sense of connectedness to the veteran community, Nadel plans on gifting via Amazon a free digital version of his book to any interested veteran who contacts him. “It’s really just my goal to get the book into their hands,” he said. “I don’t try to teach you to do anything. I try to advance your own thinking so you can solve your own problems.”
The Evolution of an Entrepreneur offers takeaway messages that are not restrictive to the business world. Rather, his ideologies regarding self-reflection, attitude change, and goal achievement are pathways leading to satisfying personal lives as well. The book is not just a framework for business, but also a framework for life itself.
For more information, see jacknadel.com.