The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur is organized as a daily devotional. with 366 entries, one for each day of the year, including Leap Year.

Each day starts with a reading from a transcendentalist era author, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Willa Cather, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau, followed by a reflection and application by the author for today’s entrepreneur.



Is a marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine, and SEO for Growth.

His newest work, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur: 366 Daily Meditations to Feed Your Soul and Grow Your Business taps into the wisdom of 19th-century transcendentalist literature and the author’s own 30-year entrepreneurial journey to challenge today’s entrepreneur to remain fiercely self-reliant while chasing their own version of success.

In addition to his own writing, speaking and consulting career Jantsch is a podcasting pioneer, with a continuous string of weekly podcast episodes dating back to the summer of 2005. He has interviewed thousands of guests and appeared on the other side of the mic, as a guest, hundreds of times.

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Why Entrepreneurs and Transcendentalists? 

Many of the transcendentalist writers featured made a case for what,

at the time, were seen as radical ideas that many of today's entrepreneurs embody:

  • That holding and sticking to your own beliefs is more important than following the well-worn track of others.
  • That producing value rather than acquiring possessions is a far more useful contribution to the world.
  • That the essence of success is gained through individual experience and self-examination more than by following prescribed doctrine.
  • That observing nature provides the most perfect example of how to live.
  • That inner peace is a goal worth diligent pursuit.
  • That present moment awareness is the secret to lasting joy.
  • And that the essence of life is to explore how all things are connected.

Why is this topic relevant now?

The literature chosen for the book was written during a time of great upheaval in American society. Abolition, women’s rights movement, religious reform and the dawn of the American Civil War informed a great deal of the writing and this independent, self-reliant tone translates to current societal discord and the desire for many to follow their heart to create businesses that serve their dreams rather than follow the well-worn paths of others.

Potential starter topics

  • What it means to be a self-reliant entrepreneur
  • How to remain true to your entrepreneurial dream
  • How to get back up and start over after you fall
  • Little known women authors from the mid 19th Century.
  • The role of mind, body and spirit in the entrepreneurial journey. 
  • Nature's example of how to live a joyful life

Possible discussion questions

  • This is a very different book for you, what made you want to write it?
  • Why this body of work from this period?
  • Do you see any parallels in society to the mid 19th Century and today?
  • Entrepreneurs sometimes struggle with internal demons - fear, fatigue, failure - how to do they combat these?
  • The book often addresses practices such as mindfulness, meditation and solitude - how do these serve entrepreneurs?
  • Let’s admit it, there’s a spiritual component to this book - what place should this have in a book aimed at entrepreneurs?
  • Who was your favorite author?
  • Could you read the entry for my birthday?
  • Are there any surprises in the book?