Momentum Podcast: 333
Can 500 Books Change The World?
by Alex Charfen
One Saturday afternoon, a few years ago, I sat down and started writing and I just couldn't stop. I was trying to describe the Entrepreneur. Before the weekend was out I had written 25,000 words and that's how the Entrepreneurial Personality Type book was born. I printed only 500 copies of the book and gave them all away. It meant so much to me, the books went to people all over the world, some I knew and some I didn't.
The only request was that If you got a copy you would read it and pass it forward and the next person would do the same. Can 500 books change the world? I think so!
Full Audio Transcript
A couple of years ago I conducted a publishing experiment. I wanted to answer the question, can 500 books, just 500, change the world? I have an update for you on our project and some exciting news for you.
A few years ago I sat down to write a book called Constructive Company, a book on how to build a company that does the right things in the right way so it grows over and over and over again. That the universe helps it grow. So that the people around it help it grow, and as I was writing the book proposal, not the actual book, just the book proposal, I got to the section where I had to describe the person who would buy the book. I had to describe entrepreneurs and nothing I wrote felt good enough. It was supposed to be a three to 500-word section. For me, that should have been easy. I should have been able to dictate it in just a couple of minutes, but I kept writing it over and over again and erasing it. I probably tried, started, stopped and erased 20 or 30 times. I got up, walked around, trying to figure out what was going on and I realized that nothing I was writing felt adequate. Nothing I was writing felt important enough. Nothing I was writing felt like it truly represented what entrepreneurs meant to me.
So I went back to my keyboard and after I talked to Cadey, grabbed a glass of water and I removed the three to 500-word limit and told myself, I'm just going to write whatever comes to mind. And I started typing. I remember like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday afternoon and I just didn't stop. Before that weekend was over, I had written over 25,000 words and I don't know how much of it came from me and how much of it came through me, but the book, the Entrepreneurial Personality type was born and it was life changing for me.
It was my argument on who we are. It was my argument on the incredible people throughout history that I had studied and, and obsessed over and been inspired by. It was my argument around the people who I'd been able to work with and why they were so different and it was my argument as to who we are, the evolutionary hunters. The momentum base means that people that were put on this planet to change things, the people who were literally tasked with the drive to keep the human tribe alive. And the book meant so much to me. I wanted to see what we could do with it, how we could change the world with it, how many people could we get talking about it, reading it, understanding it? Rather than publish it like a normal book, we printed 500 copies and gave them away to people around the world. Some of them I knew. I gave them to friends of mine that have big followings that know a lot of people. Some of them I didn't.
I just gave them to people on social media. They saw somebody else's post and said that it might be cool to get one of those books. I sent them to people who were in business for themselves. To people who were thinking about becoming entrepreneurs. In total, we sent out exactly 500 copies with a simple request if anyone was to get a copy that they would read it and pass it forward and ask that the next person do the same. And then read it and pass it forward and ask the next person do the same. The response was incredible. The book got passed around in places where we never expected it to get passed around. I heard from friends of mine that worked in Washington that it was passed around government offices. My cousin who worked at Apple Computer told me that he actually saw a copy being passed around Apple and it wasn't one that I sent him.
A friend of mine, Price Gibbons, was actually able to get a copy from somebody else who had a copy and was one of the original guardians of the entrepreneurial personality type book. Some pretty amazing things happened too. My friend, Dave Asprey, read it, and handed it off to Daniel Amen. That's two of the most well-known people in the medical industry today. It blew me away. Peter Diamandis got a copy and gave it to his friend of his. Joe Polish got a copy and passed it around Genius Network, and the response was absolutely incredible.
I heard from people that the book changed their life. That they understood themselves better, that they understood their kids better, their husband better, that they knew why they had the habits that they did, that they were able to immediately change their lives, change their behaviors, stop limiting behaviors, get into momentum and feel alive.
People told me that it helped them get over depression, that it helped them get past relationships they were in that weren't working, that it helped them create relationships that did work. It was incredible. The feedback that we got from this book, it blew me away completely, and I felt like the experiment was an incredible success because that's what I wanted to do. I want to start a conversation around who we are. I wanted to start a conversation around the entrepreneurial personality type and I wanted to see if we could do it in a way no one else ever had. So that initial print of the entrepreneurial personality type, only 500 books, was a limited edition and those are now out in the world and still, I still hear from people who have had the book passed off from someone to them.
I get messages still today. Some of them have been incredibly moving and have changed my life. In fact, one of the people who read the book, Melanie Kahn is now one of the people who works on my team. It's amazing the relationships that book opened and the difference that it made in my life and the way they got us notoriety, especially on social media because we had this limited edition book so many people talked about. In fact, you can search on #500evolution and go see just how many people got it on Facebook. The pictures and the responses are amazing. We know that, that 500 copies of that book were passed off over and over and over again, so they were read thousands of times. In fact, at one point we calculated we probably had the same readership as the average best selling book because that one was handed off and handed forward and paid forward so many times.
Well, that experiment was amazing and it was life-changing for me and the feedback that I got from the market made me feel like I wasn't alone. It showed me that there was so many people out there who not only recognize the entrepreneurial personality type, but declared confidently that they were an EPT and that they were with me. And today, I'm so excited because we have reprinted a limited number of these books and you can get one now. This book is short. It only takes about 45 minutes to read it, maybe about an hour and a half. If you read slowly, like I do in some other people do. But within 45 minutes to an hour and a half, you will understand yourself better, maybe better than you ever have before. You'll understand why you have the tendencies you do. You'll see clearly the attributes that make you successful and those same attributes, why they will hold you back.
You'll also understand how to activate your entrepreneurial personality type in a totally different way to put you into momentum and keep you there. And you'll understand how to stop limiting behavior in its tracks so that you can create unlimited momentum. This has been a long time coming, but we finally have copies of the hardcover book ready if you like one. In fact, you can go to freemomentumbook.com and all you have to do is pay for shipping and we will get a copy of the book out to you immediately. Go to freemomentumbook.com and check it out.
And for anyone who's listening to this podcast, which now each day thousands of people are listening, we've cleared well over 1 million downloads. If you were part of the original distribution of the books, I just want to thank you. That was one of the most life-changing promotions I've ever done in my life. Was it to get the attention? Absolutely, but the payback was so much more than attention. It was game changing for me to feel the support, to feel the acknowledgment and to feel well, the sentence that I closed the book with, "To feel like there is nothing wrong with me and I am not alone," and I want you to know there's nothing wrong with you and you are not alone. No matter what you're feeling right now, what's happening for you? What diagnosis, what disorder, what frustration, what issue, what challenge you are dealing with someone like us has been there, overcome it and gone on to change the world and there's no reason why you can't do the exact same thing.
Take a minute right now. Go to freemomentumbook.com. Get your copy of the original entrepreneurial personality type so you can see what thousands of people around the world read to change their lives, understand themselves better and get into momentum, freemomentumbook.com