From Selling the Shirt Off My Back to My Name and Now: A Book

jason-sponsormybookMy entrepreneurial journey over the past few years has had a few constants. One of them is doing things differently and not being afraid of what people think. Another is hard work. And the last one is making money.

Not surprisingly, there are people out there who think I’m a sellout. They think I’ve “sold out” because I’ve sold the t-shirt I wore or my last name. But I’ve loved those projects and I’ve had complete control over them (first right of refusal, etc.). I believe the true definition of “selling out” is getting paid for doing something you hate. I love being an entrepreneur. I love the journey. I don’t always love the struggle.

Though I'm sure it too will cause an uproar, I am super-excited about my next project: I’m going to write a book. Not exciting, right? Well, I’m doing it differently. I’m not using a big-name book publishing company. I’m not hiring some fancy book agent. I haven’t even written a single page of the book. What I do have is a title (“Creativity For Sale”) and a unique marketing idea on how to launch this book and write it.

You can learn more at SponsorMyBook.com, but here's the gist: There are four premium sponsorship opportunities available. Plus, the book will be 200 pages long and each page will have a sponsorship opportunity on it. The sponsorships start at $600 for Page 1 and the price decreases by $3 each page. Page 2 is $597, Page 3 is $594, and so on. These page sponsorships include an area of text at the bottom of each page with room for 140 characters about that sponsor. So as people are reading the book, they can also learn about the awesome companies and people who are sponsoring (and helping fund) my book.

I’m taking the sponsorship model I created with my company IWearYourShirt, I’m using crowdfunding to raise money for all the book writing and promotional expenses, and I’m going to use this experience to help write the book. And just to be clear, this is a real printed book, that will be on the shelves in bookstores as well as sold on Amazon, etc.

The reason I’m not using a big book publishing company or some well-known book agent is not because I don’t think I could, but because I don’t want to. I’m not interested in having to pitch my idea to them and for them to tell me if it’s a good idea or not. I believe in the idea for this book. I have great stories and case studies to share. And I have the will and determination to make this book successful. I bet you know the feeling.

The truth is, I think we all get caught up in doing things the same way. Just because people do things a certain way doesn’t mean they have to be done that way. Could I have used Kickstarter to launch my book project? Maybe. But I wanted to be different. I’m willing to take a risk with this project because I believe in it and because no one has done anything like this before.

Maybe you feel the same way about your new business idea. Every entrepreneur faces doubt -- their own and others'. But if you believe in what you're doing, trust me, it's worth the journey and the struggle.

Jason Headsetsdotcom, Official T-Shirt Wearer at IWearYourShirt, hasn't always been wearing T-shirts for a living, but has always been creative. Fox Business has called him the "Entrepreneur of the Century."

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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