Letter to the Reader | jessdennis.com

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JESS DENNIS

Letter to the Reader

March 19, 2019

One of the very last pieces I added to the book before sending it to the publisher was a letter to the reader in the beginning and a conclusion at the end. They felt necessary because I had gotten to know the reader through the process of writing. During the time it took to write the book, I constantly thought about who would read this book and what they were walking through. I imagined us having coffee and discussing business and life and the many responsibilities we all shoulder. I wanted to share the letter with you because it gives a taste of what’s to come in the book. I hope you enjoy it!

Friend, first I want to thank you for picking up this book. It seems surreal that you’ve found your way here and I’m truly humbled and honored that this book is sitting in your hands. I’ve thought about you the entire time I was writing it. I’ve wondered where you are in your journey and in your life. I’ve contemplated the thoughts and feelings that keep you up at night, the things that cause you to act and the ones that cause you to stop. I’ve wondered about what gifts you possess and what your unique purpose is here on earth. But mostly I’ve thought about the similarities in our journeys and how we’re both here to lead exceptional, purpose-filled, balanced lives.

My hope as you pick up this book is that you’re searching for something more or following a calling deep inside yourself that’s telling you not to settle. My hope is that you already know you’re meant for something great, something bigger than where you are now and the life you’re leading today. I also hope your life is already great. Life doesn’t have to be broken in order to seek more. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think it’s when we experience richness and fullness that we get a taste for what we’re meant to have, the life we were created to lead.

I am blessed to have had this stirring for greatness within me since childhood. My parents said I had a strong intuition and maybe that’s what it’s called, but for me it felt bigger than that. I’ve always felt very connected to something much larger than myself. I’ve never doubted that I was called for something great. When I was in college, I remember telling my roommate freshman year that I was going to leave a mark; I was going to change the world in some way. I’ll never forget her reaction because she just looked at me, perplexed and confused, but also full of love. She believed me but what she said next I’ll never forget. She said she didn’t feel the same way, she’d never felt that way, never had a stirring inside her that she was made for something great. Her response baffled me, and I spent many years contemplating what she’d said. I’ve wondered if some people are meant for greatness while others aren’t, or if I had something special that she lacked.

Today I can confidently tell you that we’re all created for greatness. If I am, so are you. It just can’t happen any other way. I’ve been blessed to understand this truth, and I need to share the message with others. Call it God, The Universe, The Spirit, source energy; it lives inside us and all around us. It is meant to guide us, encourage us, support us, and walk beside us through this life. For me it is God and you will hear throughout this book how my faith and God have transformed my life. This book is a gift from God. He walked beside me the entire time I wrote it, all the way until the very end when my mouse died, and I prayed it would work again because I couldn’t imagine editing this entire book without a working mouse! He was there and fixed my mouse with one single prayer and guided the words you will find on the following pages.

You may have a different explanation for that stirring inside of you. That’s okay but listen to it. It’s there for a reason. When the world tells you to just be happy with what you have and grateful for every blessing you’ve received, take the advice, but understand there’s more. That stirring is a gift and no one else can tell you it’s right or wrong or even what it says or means. That’s your job to decipher. My stirring has led me on a wild ride through entrepreneurship when it didn’t always make sense to most people, through multiple businesses, and up to this book. I will be forever grateful I didn’t stop searching and seeking or I wouldn’t be here, following my purpose and walking with you in your journey.

This is the book I wish I’d had when I was 25 years-old, starting my first company and then at 28 starting my second, and so on and so forth. The world is full of noise and everyone has an opinion, but the voice I so wished I had listed to the most was my own. We all have the answers right inside of us, we just need to learn how to slow down, listen, and act. This book is about finding your greatness, the “more” you were created for, in a balanced way. I will refer to this “more” throughout the book as the thing that lights you up. That dream, vision or idea that makes your heart flutter with excitement while simultaneously feeling a deep sense of inner peace. This book is about entrepreneurship because that’s been my path and it’s the best one I’ve found to creating the life of your dreams. It’s also about cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset because wherever you are in life, that’s what it’s going to take to create the life of your dreams and become a balanced entrepreneur.

As a path, entrepreneurship is not just about running businesses. It’s about being the entrepreneur of your life, of your journey. Business is a walk in the park compared to the task of engineering your life to live your best version of it. The goal is to build the life you want to live while simultaneously enjoying the present life you’re creating—that’s balance. The illusion of “someday,” or even retirement, is gone. Most people are unwilling to live the majority of their lives working hard to finally get to retirement and only then start enjoying their lives, and this is a great thing! We shouldn’t live our lives that way. You can absolutely, and should absolutely stop at nothing to create the life today that you want to live every single day because there are no guarantees.

This book is about balance in designing your life because I don’t believe a great life can be lived without it. While you might be tempted to think of my use of the term “balance” as work/life balance, I want to eliminate that idea all together. Work/life balance is far too simplistic and implies that work and life must be equal to offset each other. This is a very narrow view of balance and one I do not subscribe to. So, I am going to introduce you to a new paradigm. When I refer to balance throughout this book, I’m talking about all the critical areas that make up your life. These areas can include: career/purpose, family/marriage, health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, money, faith/spirituality, hobbies/passions, community/friendships and personal growth/learning. As a visual, imagine you; the balanced entrepreneur at the center and all of these critical areas surrounding you. At different times in your life these areas may grow larger in their importance during any given season, but they are always being balanced among all the others. If at any point one area is taking up too much space in our lives, we simply check back to see what areas have fallen in priority and realign by shifting where we spend our time. Our lives will be shaped by all the decisions we make on a daily basis to keeping these critical areas in balance, starting with how we spend our time has a massive impact over our lifetimes.

There are many aspects that make up our lives and they can’t be summed up in simply work and life. Throughout my journey, this idea of balance has come back over and over again and when I’ve been the most fulfilled, I’ve prioritized various key areas to achieve balance. The same is true for when I’ve been the least fulfilled—I’ve made the mistake of focusing too greatly on only one or two areas, which has caused imbalance. We’re going to talk about living your best life in the context of balance because the goal at the end of a life isn’t to be the “most successful loser,” meaning you’re rich in one area while poor in others. The goal is to live in richness and fullness in all the areas of your life and in order to do this, we need to prioritize them starting right now.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you in the following pages. I’ve experienced my fair share of ups and downs, but I’ve learned through all of them. My hope is that my story supports you in your journey. The only thing I ask is that you stay with me until the end. One of my favorite chapters is the very last one, “The Final Gamechangers,” but I don’t believe you’ll receive its full benefits without the others. You’re in the right place and you’ve picked up this book for a reason, so let’s dive in!

– Jess

 

 

 

Buy the book on Amazon: The Balanced Entrepreneur: A guide to creating a purposeful life and living it unapologetically.

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