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Author Dan Nicholson on How Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Certainty

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Dan Nicholson

Business owners have a lot on their plates and do not always have enough time to manage everything. But every entrepreneur knows that they can’t afford to let anything slip through the cracks when it comes to managing finances and minimizing risk. In his book, Rigging the Game: How to Achieve Financial Certainty, Navigate Risk and Make Money on Your Own Terms, award-winning author and CPA, Dan Nicholson, shares a no-nonsense approach to tackling these challenges and winning unconventionally.

“To see consistent success in your own business, you’re going to have to turn the magnifying glass on yourself,” the author says. “Because the fact is, nothing you do—no action you take, no strategic financial decision you make—matters if it doesn’t bring you closer to the things you really want.” While acknowledging no one has ever achieved complete certainty while running a business, Nicholson maintains that changing your mindset and habits can exponentially change your outcomes.

“Every action should be designed to get you closer to what YOU WANT,” the 4X 40 under 40 awardee explains. Nicholson has employed this strategy since the early days of his CPA firm, which is now 1 of the 10 best-run midsized firms in the US. The firm’s success allowed him to diversify his ventures, and he now owns multiple 6 and 7-figure businesses, including CertaintyU and CertaintyApp. Nicholson’s companies are all designed to help people fund their solvable problems with less effort, less risk, and more options.

“We meet people at their individual point of need,” Nicholson explains. “Rather than telling everyone to conform and teach “the only strategy you need,” we show people how to figure out what they actually want and how they can play their own game (i.e., lean into who they are). Then we teach them to think about risk, effort, and optionality. Basically, we help them unlearn all their bad habits just like I had to.”

Over the years, Nicholson learned that every system is perfectly designed for the results it gets. He explains that if he wants a different outcome, he always has to consider whether the fault lies in the system or his behavior. Identifying the impediment allows him to build a plan based on the principles he learned since he started his entrepreneurial pursuits. This is the same strategy he uses with his clients who feel stuck in their journey, helping them achieve clarity about where they are and what they want.

Nicholson explains that once clients achieve clarity, they can then calculate how long it will take them to achieve their goals using the tools his companies provide. After that, they can close the gap and get closer to what they actually want by applying the tools and principles he teaches in his book. These principles include biasing micro-steps, setting rules in advance, breaking goals into actionable steps and checklists, beating the odds by playing their own game, etc.

Nicholson shares these and more tips on his Rigging the Game Podcast, ranked one of the top 200 podcasts in the country. He also gives back by donating to various causes, including infertility, addiction, and mental health. Ultimately, Nicholson’s goal is to build a community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs, contributing to the greater good of society.

John White is the founder of Social Marketing Solutions. He has contributed over 200 articles to sites like Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, and Influencive. When he's not tweeting, John enjoys being a dad to his two amazing daughters, playing tennis, and eating Mexican food.

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