Evan Carmichael: Your One Word Book Summary

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At the age of 10 he built and sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a Venture Capitalist helping raise $500,000 to $15 million. He now runs EvanCharmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs. He runs the highly successful YouTube channel Evan Carmichael. His aim to help one billion entrepreneurs. He speaks globally but lives in Toronto, Canada and loves Salsa dancing.


  • All the great things are simple and many can be expressed in a single word. (Winston Churchill)
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)
  • In this book Evan shares that One Word secret to help transform you into a powerful force for good and help get you through your worst days.


  • If you dream it, you can do it. (Walt Disney)
  • The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • It’s divided into three parts: Core, Campaign, and Company


Part 1: CORE

  • I think it’s very important not to do what your peers think you should do, not do what your parents think you should do, or your teachers or even your culture. Do what’s inside of you. (George Lucas)



  • If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito. (Anita Roddick)


  • Ninety percent of America gets up in the morning and drives to a job they hate. (Dana White)
  • The saddest news of all is that you’ve set the bar so low for yourself that you’ve created a world where it’s okay to be mediocre.
  • I want you to do something important with your life and stop being mediocre.
  • If you care about your life, then being mediocre should be insulting.
  • When something is truly, deeply important to you, you find ways to make it happen, even when the #LittleMan tells you it’s not possible.
  • Being mediocre is easy. Anybody can do it. And most people and companies do.
  • Following your passion, being crazy enough to try to change the world, and standing for something important are hard.
  • The Fortune 500 list was first created in 1955. Only 13 percent of the companies on that original list are still on the list today. Thirteen percent! The others faded away because they were boring and lost relevancy. Most businesses are boring.


  • Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive, god-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists in all of us. (Will Smith)
  • Your limiting mindset is holding you where you are.


  • Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. (Francis of Assisi)


  • Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word. (Buddha)
  • Here’s the secret: There is One Word that defines who you are. There is One Word that connects all the things in your life that make you come alive.
  • If you want to break free from the chains of mediocrity and really make an impact, then it starts with finding your One Word. You have to stand for something powerful and important.


  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King Jr.)


  • A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. (Mary Kay Ash)
  • There are three kinds of selling in business: feature, benefit, and core.


  • If you just work for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing, success will be yours. (Ray Kroc)
  • If money is your only goal, then you’ll never be rich. Look at the list of the most successful entrepreneurs and you’ll see that none of them are driven by the money. They want to change the way something is done. They want to have an impact. They want to leave a legacy. To be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to build a business around your passion and use your One Word as operating philosophy.
  • The core comes first and the money follows.


  • If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. (Tony Robbins)
  • Steve Jobs didn’t make billions and then want to have an impact. It’s because he wants to have an impact that he made his billions.
  • Never go into a business purely to make money. If that’s the motive, you’re better off doing nothing.



  • Most people waste their lives living someone else’s dream.
  • People with passion can change the world for the better. (Steve Jobs)
  • People who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do! (Steve Jobs)


  • The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.
  • Once you have clarity, everything else falls into place.
  • When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. (Roy Disney)
  • When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation. (Arsene Wenger)
  • Feeling like you’re doing something important. That’s what people really want out of life.
  • Make your message One Word, powerful, and important and people will be delighted to spread your message at every possible opportunity.
  • You have to align yourself with what you believe is right. What I love about us is we really act from our heart and if it doesn’t feel right, we’re not going to go there.


Chapter 3: Finding your one word

  • People need to understand that they have all the tools within themselves. (Deepak Chopra)
  • We’re going to go over the Five Core Questions:
  • What makes you happy?
  • * If you want to achieve success, start with what makes you happy.
  • What connects your happiness?
  • * Everything you do is connected to who you are as a person and, in turn, creates the person you are becoming. (Paul Millier)
  • If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. (Marvin Gaye)
  • What trait do you hate?
  • * If you don’t know who you are, then start by thinking of who you aren’t.
  • What’s your constant?
  • Is this really who you are?
  • * People have to learn who they are – you can’t have somebody else telling who you are. (Hale Irwin)
  • It’s about who you really are, and leveraging that to build a purposeful and happy life for yourself.
  • It’s about living your version of your life and following your dream, not theirs.
  • When you get real with yourself and make your dreams a priority, you can create something #Awesome too, as long as you believe you can.


  • Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right. (Henry Ford)
  • You are where you are because of what you believe.
  • You are a product of your environment, the people around you, and the media and information that you consume. There are Four Limiting Beliefs that hold you where you are. They are:
  • it’s too bold.
  • Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
  • What do you think?
  • When you follow your heart, you’re never supposed to do things because of what you think people might say. You do it for the opposite reasons. (Will.i.am)
  • Stop being ruled by the opinions and judgments of other people.
  • This is your Life. Live it. You don’t need anyone’s permission.
  • Don’t talk with others more. Talk with yourself more.
  • Someone else is doing it.
  • If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. (Isaac Newton)
  • It’s too simple.
  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. (Confucius)
  • If you want to change your circumstances, you start by changing your beliefs.
  • All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word.
  • People need to understand that they have all the tools within themselves.
  • Finding your One Word is one of the most important exercises you will ever do in your life.
  • If you want to succeed, then you need to start with what makes you happy.
  • There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. (Bertolt Brecht)


Chapter 4: Build a movement

  • No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. (Robin Williams)


  • A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example. (Joe DiMaggio)
  • We rarely regret the things we try and fail at, and the upside is we get to live out dreams. It’s usually the things we don’t really try that linger and haunts us for the rest of our lives. Don’t be that person.
  • Take your shot so you can start living large.
  • FAITH: Full Assurance In The Heart. (Nick Vujicic)
  • If you’re not motivated, you won’t create great work.
  • Avoiding pain is often the biggest motivator to get people to take action.



  • Great quotes can inspire you to keep going and save you in your darkest times.


  • Believe that things will work out…follow your intuition and curiosity…trust your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path…You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, you’ll know when you find it…Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


  • What I know for sure is that if you want to have success, you can’t make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward being significant – and the success will naturally follow…If you do work that you love, and work that fulfils you, the rest will come. And, I truly believe, that the reason I’ve been able to be so financially successful is because my focus has never, ever for one minute been money. Would you do your job and not be paid for it? I would do this job, and take on a second job just to make ends meet if nobody paid me. That’s how you know you are doing the right thing.


  • A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided…The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum. The most important rules that I ever adopted to help me in achieving my goals were those I learned from a very successful man who taught me to first write down the goal, and then never leave the site of setting a goal without first taking some form of positive action toward its attainment…For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent. Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards…If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve…Whatever happens, take responsibility…The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.
  • Chapter 5: The Planning Checklist
  • Write your goals down in detail and read your list of goals every day…This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want step by step. (Jack canfield)


  • There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. (Buddha)

Here is everything you need to get started with your campaign:

  • 1) The right mindset
  • 2) A powerful credo
  • 3) Your founding story
  • 4) Your tribe of followers
  • 5) Rituals and gestures
  • 6) A purposeful name
  • 7) Knowing your enemy
  • 8) Memorable logos, fonts, and symbols
  • 9) An impactful sound
  • Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve. (Mary Kay Ash)
  • Turn your One Word into a credo and start building momentum for your campaign. Your credo is the inspiration behind everything you create, including the next important step: creating your founding story.
  • Your story is important – way more important than you likely give it credit for. People buy from people. People follow people. People love people. They don’t buy, follow, and love companies anywhere close to the same way. If you want to build a great campaign, you need to tell your founding story.
  • This is one of the biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs make. They hide behind their website and marketing materials.
  • Telling your story isn’t about boosting your ego. Your story adds value and context for your customers.


  • The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow…Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself. (Seth Godin)
  • If you want to build a successful campaign, you need to connect a loyal fan base to yourself, your business, your cause, and each other.
  • Here’s how to leverage your tribe: Name them, recognize them and bring them together.
  • They should feel like they are part of an important team with you.
  • Giving your tribe names gives them power, belonging, and meaning. Start!
  • Bringing your tribe together strengthens their bond and loyalty.
  • Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. (Tony Robbins)
  • BMW began as an aircraft manufacturer (that’s why its logo is an airplane propeller with the blue representing the sky) before moving to motorcycles and then cars.
  • The world belongs to the unreasonable men and women who follow their hearts and build amazing things. You will never be truly happy, have a real impact on this world, or make lots of money if you base your decisions on other people’s thinking.


  • Your logo is a visual manifestation of your campaign. It’s the single most visible symbol that people see and remember.
  • When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. (Henry Ford)
  • As your campaign builds, people will recognizer your symbol.
  • As your campaign grows in importance and prominence, your logo will likely evolve as well, ultimately becoming something that people will recognize without any words.


  • I like thinking big. I always have. If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big… Most people think small because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning. And that gives people like me a great advantage. (Donald Trump)
  • Whatever logo you go with, make sure it means something to you and makes you feel alive.


  • Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound. (Simon Sinek)


  • Build a company that matters.


Chapter 6: Culture

  • Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees. (Tony Hsiech)
  • The team you build will make or break your company.
  • Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations. (Earl Nightingale)
  • Your environment holds you where you are. Your physical environment, your friends, the media you consume, the books you read, your schedule and morning routine – they all hold you where you are.
  • Most people have an average environment and stepping outside it becomes uncomfortable, so you go back to the safety of what you already know.
  • If you want to do great things, you have to surround yourself with greatness.
  • Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely coloured by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. (Orison Swett Marden)


  • Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble. (Yehuda Berg)
  • The most powerful cultures create their own language.


Chapter 7: Operations

  • Your entire business should be run through the lens of your One Word.


  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • Once you sell something to someone, you’ve got to manage the relationship.
  • You need to make big decisions with your heart and the little ones with your head.
  • Making money is never the first thing when I launch a new product or service.


  • Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. (Steve Jobs)
  • If you want people to care about your products, you need to show you care about them and believe in them first.
  • The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. (Ray Kroc)


  • Word of mount is the most valuable form of marketing, but you can’t buy it. You can only deliver it. And you have to really deliver. (G-Eazy)
  • There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.


  • It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. (Roy Disney)
  • Making tough decisions sucks.
  • Your One Word should make tough decisions easier.
  • Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to another. That’s why decisions can be hard sometimes. (Stephen Covey)
  • Campaign. Company. Follow the steps in order to make it as easy as possible for you to succeed. It all starts with your Core.


  • Stop being mediocre.
  • You have One Word.
  • Finding your One Word is one of the most important exercises you will ever do in your life. If you want to succeed, then you need to start with what makes you happy.
  • Build a company culture around your One Word.


  • A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. (Tony Robbins)
  • Goal setting: once you set a goal, you need to take immediate action toward doing something to achieve it.


  • Life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful. (Jeff Bezos)


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