Carol Roth on ‘Be Bold – Ask Yourself Tough Questions’

Carol Roth is a leader you should know. Think of her as Suze Orman, one generation removed; she’s a financial braintrust who leapfrogged from working class to privileged status through sheer determination and wicked smarts.

Carol Roth is a leader you should know. Think of her as Suze Orman, one generation removed; she’s a financial braintrust who leapfrogged from working class to privileged status through sheer determination and wicked smarts.

Carol has a “spinach in your teeth” approach to business and life. She tells it like it is. Period. Growing up, friends labeled her ‘Lucy Van Pelt’ (as in Peanuts fame) because people have always been magnetically drawn to Carol for advice – and she doles it out.

Carol has a new book on the shelves called The Entrepreneur Equation. On launch week, it was the top selling book on Amazon. No surprise here. Carol’s determination would settle for nothing less.

If you’re not an entrepreneur, don’t be deterred by the book title. In our interview, Carol doles out advice that you should take to heart if you want to be successful as a leader in any field. I hope you’ll listen to my podcast with Carol or read the transcript, which are at the end of this post.

Meantime, here’s a sample of my no-holds barred conversation with Carol:

You take a ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ approach.

Yes. Just because you are able to do something, doesn’t mean that it’s the choice for you. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to be successful at it, and it doesn’t mean that it is the path that will best serve you.

So I really wanted to create this framework, Connie, where you can ask yourself tough questions and really be able to evaluate things, whether it is a business – or really using the framework for anything else in your life – to see if you were making good decisions, if you should, if the rewards greatly outweigh the risks, and it’s the way that you’re going to be most successful. If not, if there’s anything you can go and do to stack the odds in your favor to make yourself more successful or give yourself a better chance at success.

I want to pull out a quote from your book, which says, ‘Our society is built upon blowing smoke up each others (butts). Our collective unwillingness to engage in a reality check has gotten us into deep doo doo.

Yes. And I did not use the word butt! If you think about the economic crisis that we are in still, and have been in for several years, how did that happen? It started happening because people were buying things that they couldn’t afford. Particularly homes, but also running up credit card debts for everything else.

If we were based in reality, we’d say, “Hey, folks, don’t do this. You can’t afford it!” We would not be in the situation we’re in today.

And so I think it’s really, really critical to be able, in life, to address issues. To call them out. Just find that elephant in the room and say, “Hey! There’s an elephant in the room: let’s just address it!” And, if we’re able to do that, that’s when we can grow. We can grow by addressing the problem.

But, if we just ignore it, then, eventually, that elephant wreaks havoc! And it did in our economy. And so I think that, whether it’s entrepreneurship or leadership or influence, you’ve got to be willing, in a non-confrontational and very smart, straightforward way, to say, “Hey, we have a problem. And the only reason we’re pointing it out is not to throw blame, but because we want to fix it. We want to grow and be successful. We want to move on.”

But there are many people who sugarcoat because we want people to like us and we don’t want to hurt peoples’ feelings.

I’m over that!

We sensed that, Carol. Did you ever do that?

Oh yeah. I’m a people pleaser by nature, so it’s always been a little bit of a struggle, when I realize somebody doesn’t like something I’ve suggested. But then I finally reached a point where I realized that, if I wasn’t pis_ing a few people off, then I wasn’t pushing the envelope enough, I wasn’t doing anything worthwhile.

The people who are considered nice or caring, are the vanilla people in the middle. They’re not doing anything remarkable or interesting or extreme. I didn’t want to be that, and I’m not that person. So I got to the point where I wasn’t getting any haters on my blog and I was kind of upset. “Everyone’s agreeing with me – I must not be writing the right things.” And then, finally, I start getting some haters, and I’m thinking, “Yes! Now we’re rolling here.”

Where to Learn More about Carol

Carol’s book is a great resource whether you’re considering being an entrepreneur or already well down the path. It’s loaded with practical, spinach in your teeth advice to save you a lot of heartaches and headaches.

Get Carol’s book on Amazon:

Visit Carol’s site:

You Read. We Reward. Win a Copy.

Would you like to win a free copy of Carol’s book? It’s simple. Just submit a comment below, telling me the most valuable lesson you learned from Carol’s interview. I’ll pick a winner and send the book to you. Good luck!

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Globally recognized as the leading voice in leadership influence, Connie Dieken helps C-suite and senior executives use scientific insights to elevate their influence and presence.


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