Skip to main content

Book Review: Scary Close by Donald Miller

I am on a tear finishing books. I just finished Donald Miller’s Scary Close. Donald highlights his personal journey to finding intimacy in relationships. In many specific examples, Donald writes about his courtship of his wife Betsy.

This is much different from my other business-oriented, self-improvement, sales-y books. Not even sure why or how I stumbled on this, but hey, intimacy in relationships is good, right? This is even more true in today’s age of spam and automation.

I don’t have a laundry list of take-aways. Instead, there’s one recurring and clear point – be authentic.

Donald’s book focuses a lot on Betsy calling out Donald when he wasn’t being genuine. Further, Donald learned that he could never fully engage in a true, successful relationship without being himself.

In years past, Donald played some role (acting) that he thought he wanted to be… impress others with who he acted out to be. Each role –and relationship—ended up unsatisfying and short-lived. He found authenticity to be the key to meaningful relationships.

Even in his observation of parents who pushed their kids to be someone or do something they weren’t naturally, Donald realized it was the parents’ lack of self-awareness and lack of authenticity that “motivated” the parents to push their kids in a different direction. He found that the more parents looked inwards (at themselves), they could more fully appreciate who their kids were – their individual selves.

Perhaps because of all the other books I’ve read or the highly personal nature of Donald’s writing, I likely won’t remember too much from this book beyond the theme. The last several years have been transformative for me in being truer to myself – to being my authentic self.

However, good to hear a story of a man who realized the importance of authenticity, and how it helped him find Betsy.

I don’t have to always put an entrepreneurial, self-improvement, sales-y twist on every book I read. However, it’s important to be authentic in all of our relationships. Business, after all, is made of lots of micro-relationships, let alone the macro B2B relationship.


Popular posts from this blog

Vertical SaaS? Horizontal SaaS? It’s All News to Me

Not sure why, but I have only recently heard of a term called “Vertical SaaS”. Okay, there’s also “Horizontal SaaS”, too. Based on some light research, looks like vertical SaaS is also a growing trend and the number of companies fewer than horizontal SaaS providers.
Vertical SaaS borrows its moniker from the concept of vertical integration whereby there is more control over a supply chain from raw materials to point-of-sale. Here, vertical SaaS companies focus on a niche market (industry) offering a solution that enables more process control.
Horizontal SaaS providers get really good at a particular offering, and widen their market to reach scale. Their focus is on breadth of market, and thus, its sales and marketing strategies can require more resources.
Many vertical SaaS companies (such as Veeva Systems, Guidewire, Fleetmatics) are doing well usurping legacy systems of traditionally slow-tech-adoption industries. Here, vertical companies develop a best-of-breed product, and focu…

My Life-Defining Moment Happened When I Failed to Make Varsity in High School

Ever stop to think about who you are? What makes you tick and tock? How about what you truly enjoy and what you’re good at vs. not good at? Or what/ who has shaped you into the person you are today?
I’m at this stage of figuring out whether to continue independent consulting while iterating on ideas for the next startup or take on some full-time employment (consulting, product management, or otherwise). My recent post about my daily/ weekly schedule was an interesting exercise in stepping back and recognizing what I’m actually doing in a day, and made me really think at the macro level.
In one of my recent reflections, I thought about defining moments in my life. One of those watershed events that truly transformed me was my failure to make the Varsity soccer team in high school. I won’t rehash the whole story here – shared the story almost a year ago in my post titled “Getting Through Dark Moments and the Most Vulnerable Story I've Ever Told Publicly”. It’s this moment that I w…

Role of A Startup Advisor

Over the last year or so, I have become an Advisor for a couple startups. It’s been a great experience for me to teach and continue learning as an entrepreneur. I do meet with several startups and entrepreneurs weekly, but not officially as an Advisor save for a couple.
During (and especially after) Body Boss, I realized the importance of having Advisors. Advisors help startups and the executive team navigate the go-to-market waters bringing specific experience to the table – industry, technology, etc. With that comes connections, too.
The role of a startup Advisor includes: Guiding the startup on its directionProvide valuable insight into the industry, competition, market, etc.Share connections to move the company forward – prospects, new hire candidates, otherEstablish cadence around metrics for progress In exchange for devoting time and attention (and reaching success, hopefully), startups typically provide stock or cash to Advisors. This ensures both parties are aligned on objecti…