Don Jones®

Tech | Career | Musings

On January 1st, 2020, I’ll be launching Be the Master, 4th Edition. Some outlets already have the book available for sale, but for me the 1st is the “official” launch date. This book is a big deal for me, and I’ll share why:

I started Be the Master in 2017, and have produced a new edition every year.

The first edition was really all about the core message, “help other people.” The book grew out of this blog post, which posited that wherever you are in life, at least a small number of people helped you get there by offering you knowledge, skills, and experience, often at no cost to you. I suggested that you owe it to them to pay it forward, drop your Imposter Syndrome, and start helping others the way you were helped.

In speaking with people who read the first edition, the biggest push-back I got was, “I’d love to, but I don’t have time, and I need to focus on my own career.” So the 2nd Edition expanded the message to include “Achieve Success.” I wanted to make the point that you can be successful, but that you need to develop a methodology for doing so.

The next push-back was, in hindsight, predictable: “but how do I achieve success? What is success? And what about my personal life – isn’t that important, too?” Yes. And so the 3rd Edition moved on to discuss “Defining Your Success,” with an increased emphasis on the 2nd Edition’s push to “Define Your Self” as well.

Both the 2nd and 3rd Editions were accompanied by a workbook I call “The Grind,” which is a formalization of the journals I’ve kept for myself for the past decade or so. These journals are how I keep myself focused on who I am and what I need to success. They’re how I know when I have succeeded, so I can stop trying, and instead start focusing more effort on other people.

With the 3rd Edition, I started doing online and live workshops, and really sitting down and helping people, hands-on, work through these ideas for themselves. And for dozens of people, it worked. I’ve met people who are delighted they could “exit the rat race,” actually appreciate what success meant to them, and start giving back to the communities that have supported them.

There was still something missing, though, and it took about a year of reflection to figure it out:

I’d gotten the message backwards.

I believe that your life, and the people you’ve chosen to be in it with you, are the most important thing there is. Any success you achieve should solely be to support that life. You work to live, in other words, rather than living to work.

And so that’s where the 4th Edition – about a 30% rewrite, with the remaining 40% reorganized and edited pretty heavily – comes from. I truly believe that, if you read the book and take the time to understand the message, it can make a difference. I truly believe that if you do The Grind, however silly it seems at first, it will work. I know, because I’ve now got hundreds of people who’ve extended their trust to me, gone through with it, and come out better-off.

In many cases, as one reader said, “I think I went in expecting answers, but what I really learned was which questions to be asking, and I realize that’s more important.”

Be the Master is one of the projects I’m proudest of seeing through this far, and I feel the 4th edition is where the book can now sit for several years.

As part of the 4th edition launch on 1-January, everyone who’s signed up for the mailing list on BeTheMaster.com (just scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up) will receive a huge list of special offers, including:

  • A free copy of the book in ebook form
  • A copy of the book in hardcover form, using a just-for-this-event “vintage” cover design
  • Access to a $99 online workshop in February
  • An opportunity to support the development of an audiobook
  • …and more.

I hope you’ll take advantage. If you’ve gotten a past copy of Be the Master and never quite got through it, I hope you’ll consider making a New Year’s resolution to get the 4th edition, dig in, and give it a shot.

Thanks for all your support.

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