Rock Your Brand Podcast

This week on the podcast, I had the opportunity to interview Jon Gordon, the author of “The Carpenter” and the “Energy Bus.” Today You’re going to learn all about the obstacles that he faced and how he overcame being turned down by 30 publishers for his first book. He’ll dive into all his failures and how he’s dealing with overcoming tough moments. He’s full of positivity, and I’m excited for you to hear from him, so let’s dive right in. 

How Jon Became The King of Positivity 


I consider myself a naturally pessimistic optimist. I always start by focusing on the negative. In fact, I had to learn how to become positive and, after years of practice, firmly believe that somehow, someway we will always get through difficult times. 


The worst parts of my life have to lead me to where I am today, so I am grateful for those moments of growth and learning. I had to somehow find hope and have a strong foundation in order to move forward every time things get tough. I didn’t choose positivity, it actually chose me. 


As a naturally negative person, I know how hard it but also know that you have the power to overcome the thorns and turn the negativity you’re feeling into something incredibly positive. The people who choose to take a positive approach are the ones who take action, are timeless, and end up getting things done. 


I was rejected by 30 publishes when I wrote my first book and it didn’t become a best seller for 5 years after it was first published. I actually started out by doing my own small tour with a few people showing up in every city. 


My vision was to encourage and inspire as many people as possible, one person at a time, and I knew that even though I was starting out small, it was still worth it. The goals for my business have changed over the years, but the vision has always remained the same. My motto is “win today.” If you wake up every day focused on winning just for the day, you will create the future.


You have to overcome fear and doubt and focus on what matters most. I have found that by trusting in God and encouraging others, I am able to set aside negative thoughts. 


No matter how tough things get to continue to work hard, and you will eventually see great success in the future. What you believe in right now will help to determine what you create moving forward.


There is a positive and negative dog inside each of us and whichever one we choose to feed will win the fight in the end. I recommend talking to yourself instead of listening. Feed yourself words of encouragement to motivate yourself and keep pushing forward. Being positive doesn’t guarantee that you will succeed but if you focus on the negative it means that you will fail. 


Note From Scott: Even the most successful people have challenges. We all face obstacles and have rough days. Whatever you feed your brain, that is what is going to win. Whatever you focus on is going to become your reality. 

Jon’s Take Action Moment 

When I had the idea for my book, The Energy Bus, I wrote it in 3 ½ weeks. Every day I got up early to write, took a break to walk, practice gratitude say a pray and do it all over again. At night I would spend some time editing and brainstorm more ideas for the remainder of the book. 


After I finished writing, I found an agent and started to reach out to publishers. I was turned down by 30 publishers, but I didn’t give up. Eventually, it was picked up by a few coaches, businesses, and teachers, and it snowballed from there. 


I self-promoted the book and went on tour. There were some cities where I didn’t have scheduled appointments, but I chose to be fearless and just went for it. I wouldn’t be doing the work I do today if I didn’t do all that. I choose to stay humble and hungry, even to this day. 


The most successful people never think they have arrived and always want to grow and are always on a mission to make a bigger difference.

How Jon Overcame 30 Rejections of His Book 

I just keep showing and up and doing the work. Don’t let the critiques get in your head, and don’t worry about the response you’re getting now. It takes time to see success.


Now in a year or two, if you’re still not getting a response, then it may be time to reevaluate your current direction. For now, just keep going, and you’ll see it start your business grow and hard work pays off. 


Instant success just doesn’t happen. If you love what you do, you’ll continue to work at it. Discipline is easy if you really love doing something, so focus on getting better and ask yourself where you want to be in ten years. 

The Path to Success


  • Love the process
  • Have a vision
  • Start building it every day 
  • Don’t give up if you don’t get a quick response.


How Jon’s Side Hustle Became His Full-Time Career 

My number one piece of advice is not to leave your full-time job until you start to see some success in your side hustle. I owned a restaurant when I first started writing my books. I found one hour a day to write and kept moving forward with my goal. At first, I had to do both so I could keep food on my family’s table. 


Make money with your job and make sure you’re dedicating time to building your side hustle every single day. You’ll know when it’s time to make the leap. Even an hour a day will have a huge impact and make that jump-off point arrive even faster than you could have ever imagined.

Ways to Manage Your Side Hussle


  • Stay true to who you are
  • Work on your craft
  • Build it
  • Make a commitment to work on your side hustle


Note From Scott: It might not be your ultimate passion but you need to be passionate about the process from the beginning 

How Jon Defined His Core Message

I have experienced many ups and downs in my life.


I found that every time I talked about positivity and encouragement, I felt energized, and I knew that is what I wanted my life’s work to focus on. At the time, I had no idea that I would write about leadership, but I just jumped, and it led me to all these other things I could never have imagined. 


Often times, people think you have to have it all figured out when you start. Just go with your gut, and when you’re on the right path, it will lead to other things. Eventually, it will all come together in time. 


Everything prepared me for future ventures, and it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come.


I found my calling and purpose around 30 years old and didn’t’ become “successful” in my chosen career until I was closer to 40, so it took a long time to get there. One thing will teach and lead you to the next. Just be patient. 


Ask yourself ten years from now what do I want to create, what am I doing and what does it look like? Is it part of my core purpose. Don’t want to waste time ad energy on things that aren’t. 


Note From Scott: I went from being Scott the e-commerce guy and selling on Amazon and realized I wanted to be the guy who supports people in starting their own business and living out their dreams. In the past 18 months, I’m worked to shift my trajectory. 

The Carpenter

If you care more you’ll do more and those who care build greatness. Those who focus on excellence and are craftsmen will always do well no matter the economy. You need to focus your efforts to love to serve and care. I wrote my book around those principles. 

Wrap Up With Scott 


As we’ve done the rebrand for the podcast, Jon has built what we call a rockstar brand. Someone who is willing to share and help others. It’s about staying true to who you are and always focus on winning the day. Now it’s time for you to go check out his books the “Energy Bus” and “The Carpenter.” Both are must-reads and have changed my life for the better. Thanks again for joining us today. 


As always I am here for you, I believe in you and am rooting for you.


It’s time for you to get out there and take action

Take-Aways From The Episode

  1. How Jon Became The King of Positivity (4:38)  
  2. Jon’s Take Action Moment (18:00)
  3. How Jon Got Through 30 Rejections From Publishers (21:21) 
  4. How Jon’s Side Hustle Became My Full-Time Hussle (25:26)
  5. How Jon Defined His Core Message (30:00)


Quote from the episode 


Being positive doesn’t guarantee that you will succeed but if you focus on the negative it means that you will fail. 

Direct download: RYB837.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST