October 31, 2014

“Conquer the Chaos” Gives Entrepreneurs Inspiration and Insight

I first read Clate Mask and Scott Martineau’s story on the InfusionSoft web site.  When I heard they had this book out, I quickly purchased a copy.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of their story:  A couple of guys start a software business.  The business has its ups and downs and in August 2002, it was mostly downs. Then they get a call from another freaked out entrepreneur that starts with the words “I have pain!  Can you help me?!”  This is where EVERYTHING changes and where the lessons for “Conquer the Chaos” are learned.

What makes “Conquer the Chaos” such a heartwarming and inspirational read is the authenticity with which Scott and Clate tell the InfusionSoft story.  They are not afraid of sharing personal moments of fear, frustration and doubt.

In the beginning of the book, they share how chaos was in control in the early days of their business business with this touching moment when Clate’s  8-year-old son asked

“Dad, why are you so mad?”

“Because a freaking creditor called me on a Sunday!” Clate snapped.

The next question was “What did he want?”

“He wanted to know why I hadn’t paid my bills.”

“Well, Dad, did you tell him it’s because you haven’t made enough sales?”

There’s another story right after this one where Scott was at the hospital with his wife and new baby but he was preoccupied closing a deal on the phone.  When his wife looked at him angrily, he simply replied “You want to be able to afford the hospital bills, right?”

Sharing these kinds of real-life stories is Clate’s and Scott’s way of showing the reader that they’ve been there.  Their story isn’t too different from ours with one possible exception:  they’ve recognized the chaos and learned to overcome it and re-direct its energy toward helping other entrepreneurs.

Who is “Conquer the Chaos” Written For?

This book is written for entrepreneurs and small business owners who have a dream of being free and being in control of their time, their life and their success.  Or it could be for the person who has an idea or a product or process that was better than anything else out there.  Or maybe you’ve been out of work for so long, that doing your own thing seems like the best way to bring money back into your household.  And if you’ve been in business for a while, and haven’t quite been hitting your goals, you, too will find this book a useful read.

The Entrepreneur’s Journey from Chaos to Freedom

The point of the book is that chaos is and will be a part of your daily life.  And more importantly, unless you conquer it – it will conquer your dream.   It is written in four sections:

  • Section I: The Quest for Freedom – This is really the “Why you should listen to us” section.  It’s where Clate and Scott lay out the bulk of their hearts and personal stories to show you that they are NOT being academic, but practical in their advice.  They give so many examples that resonate that you will find yourself unconsciously nodding your head in agreement and mumbling things like “Don’t I know it.”
  • Section II: Mindset Strategies – In this section they tell you that your head needs to be in the right place.  In fact, you need to have just as much “emotional” capital in the bank as actual cash (maybe more).  What exactly is an emotional bank account?  It’s all the emotions in the mix that allow you to CONTROL how you experience the day.  It’s having the strength to CREATE the experiences you have, rather than having the daily experiences of life drain your energy and creativity.  It’s the old “All the money in the world can’t make you happy” scenario.  You have to have enough emotional capital to see things clearly and stay optimistic.  So that when challenges come your way, your brain is in the right place to find a solution.
  • Section III: Systems Strategies: Controlling Speed – Now that your mindset is in order, it’s time to start creating systems that help you manage and create order.  Much of the chaos (and success) within our lives and our businesses comes from two sources; humans and communication.  And since customers are humans that we have to communicate with, it just makes sense to start creating a centralized system to do just that.  And this is actually what InfusionSoft software does.  I’ve heard some readers say that the back end of the book is a pitch for InfusionSoft, but I didn’t really see it that way.
  • Section IV: Find Your Freedom – This last section harkens back to the mindset theme. Now that you’ve built a system, you’re on the precipice of having more time, more money and the freedom that started you on this journey.  This last set of chapters will inspire you to focus on the higher calling behind your business.

Scott and Clate may have started out thinking they were in the software business.  And their story is a real life example of how to move BEYOND what you do toward what you and your business are here for.  That fateful call in August of 2002 launched more than a project.  It launched more than a software.  It launched Scott Martineau and Clate Mask on an entrepreneurial calling to help entrepreneurs be successful.  And (oh by the way) if you happen to use their software to help you – then it’s a win-win for everyone.

Conquer the Chaos” is a wonderful book that’s and easy and fun read.  Pick it up for yourself, friend or family member who is a budding entrepreneur or who isn’t living up to their own dream of freedom.

6 Comments ▼

Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is Book Editor for Small Business Trends and publisher of DIYMarketers , where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is the President of Third Force, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in getting your ideal customer to choose you. Ivana is the book editor for Small Business Trends and co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions

  1. Ivana: Touching review! I have to add it to my buying and reading book list.

  2. Ivana, I read this book thinking as an entrepreneur I would know most or much of it. I was so wrong. I learned a ton and am glad that I have a copy of it. The whole book is good, but I really enjoyed the latter half. Section 3 is what I needed most to read. Systems. Automation. Thinking through what you can take out of your day by systematizing it.

  3. Thanks for the great review, Ivana! You captured the essence of the book very well.

  4. I just started reading this book and I feel like I wrote this book. Everything they are talking about so far is exactly what I’ve been going through for the last several years. A few paragraphs have almost brought me to tears. However, I have read some reviews that say this book ends up being just a big ad for their own company. Geez…I hope not. I’m really hoping this book can help me out.

    • Hi Stuart,

      This book truly describes what my company is going through, too. I don’t know who’s saying that about an ad, but IMHO they are missing a lot of what the book has to offer. I’ve read the book cover to cover twice, and thumbed through sections multiple times. If you really try to internalize what Clate is saying, I think you’ll find a lot there. But again, that’s my opinion.

      And yes, we are users of Infusionsoft — and in the past (not currently) they have been a sponsor of this site. But there are “chaotic” aspects of my business that we are sorting through with the help of the book, that have nothing to do with marketing software. (Backroom operations types of issues — keeping the books, reporting on the business performance, and so on.) So to say it’s an ad misses the bigger picture.

      All I can say is, you get what you look for in a book.

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