Header-CE Academy

The Contrarian Entrepreneur Academy (CEA)

A limited number of solopreneur professionals will now have a new home.

CEA is an membership-based education and creativity program for ambitious, self-employed professional services entrepreneurs.

CEA is not a "networking" or "referral" group.  It's a small tribe of smart, dedicated, creative and freethinking entrepreneurial professionals who are focused on community, relationships and learning. If that resonates with you, then you're invited to apply for membership in this group of like-minded doers.

CEA offers an array of educational, leadership development, and personal growth options, along with opportunities to develop deep and profitable professional relationships with peers who share your enthusiasm for learning, for business, and for life.

The Purposes of CEA:

  • To create and maintain a shared learning environment for startup, early-stage, and growth-oriented professional services solopreneurs.
  • To foster the development of peer relationships that are deeper than those possible with traditional networking or educational groups.
  • To focus on education, the creation of new ideas, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and mutual help within the peer environment.
  • To provide personal development and leadership development opportunities within the framework of the group.
  • To focus on improvement, not on "success".

What It Is, and Who It's For:

  • CEA is a participatory learning environment where we all help each other learn, share, create, test, brainstorm and troubleshoot ideas.
  • CEA functions in the realms of critical/rational thinking and experimentation.  In that sense, it could be referred to as a "thought incubator" or "idea laboratory".  It also has many characteristics of a mastermind group.
  • Entrepreneurship is not a spectator sport and neither is being a member of CEA. Improvement and achievement require participation. CEA is for the active, the smart, the serious, the dedicated, the learners, doers, creators, early adopters, experimenters, the brave and the bold.
  • CEA is very exclusive and not for everyone.  There will be a small number of groups, with each group limited to only 10 members.  Members must meet certain requirements and must maintain specified levels of active participation in group programs and activities.

What It Isn't, and Who It's Not For:

  • CEA is not a traditional "self-study" program; it is a collaborative learning environment.
  • As distinct from many programs, CEA does not offer outrageous promises, guaranteed outcomes or magical transformations.  It is based in reality, and reality dictates that individuals are solely responsible for their own outcomes.
  • CEA is not a "referral" or "lead exchange" group.  If referrals happen, they will happen organically within the context of the normal functions of the group.
  • CEA is not a place for the non-serious, the dabblers, lurkers, laggards, loafers, late adopters, daydreamers, spectators, people who think everything should be free, or who are just looking for canned answers to questions or one-size-fits-all solutions to problems, or who believe that it really is possible to get rich quick.


The 12 Cultural Principles of CEA:

Every organization or enterprise of any kind -- business, corporate, social, political, or religious -- has a specific culture built on specific principles. These are ours:

CheckboxGreen2Ideas and Creativity

Never-ending learning and the constant formation of new ideas comprise the foundation of personal and business improvement.  Stop looking for canned answers and one-size-fits-all solutions and start looking for ideas that you can use to create your own answers and solutions, because those are the answers and solutions that will ultimately work best for you.

CheckboxGreen2Critical Thinking

The application of information to the decision process.  Don't just blindly accept what someone else says.  Question everything.  Decide for yourself.  Figure out what works for you.

CheckboxGreen2Action and Improvement

Action is the execution of plans and intentions.  Without this, nothing else matters.
Information + Ideas + Tools + Actions = Change.
The focus is not on "success" -- it's on incremental improvement.


Internal (self) awareness: being aware of what you're thinking and doing at all times.
External awareness: being aware of what's happening in the world around you, on both a micro and macro scale.


The ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. You must find your own way rather than adopting someone else's way.

CheckboxGreen2Personal Responsibility

You are responsible for everything you think, say, and do. 
Your thoughts engender feelings and actions - manage your thoughts wisely.  
Words have meanings - choose your words carefully. 
Actions create conditions and circumstances, for yourself and for others - think before you act.


Your greatest asset (other than yourself) is other people that you are connected to in the context of a community that fosters trust.


Business is all about relationships.  Life is all about relationships.  And it's better to have a smaller number of deep relationships than a greater number of shallow and casual relationships.  Narrow and deep is better than wide and shallow.


You must be active in, and contribute to, the community.

CheckboxGreen2Sharing and Support

Be of assistance to other members.  Share knowledge, expertise, and experiences. Ask for assistance from others when you need it.

CheckboxGreen2Authenticity and Transparency

Be yourself.  Don't try to be a fabricated persona that you think other people will like.  Be vulnerable.  Be open.  Be honest.

CheckboxGreen2Analysis and Accountability

Analysis -- the practice of regular measurement of personal and business improvement.
Accountability -- to a plan, to a structure, to your mission, to your goals, to others, to yourself.


Sample Study Topics:

This is a list of topics that may be presented and discussed in the live online sessions and discussion groups.

These sessions and groups are for Academy members only and are not available to the general public.

The list has not been finalized, and probably never will be, because it will always be based on the changing needs of members.

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2|98 Rule of Human Performance
3 Ingredients of Entrepreneurship - Mindset | Skillset | Network
39 Lifetimes Rule of Marketing
4 Key Questions
7 Necessary Elements for a Sale
AI - the Coming Revolution
Are You a Match for Your Business?
Art of Zooming
Authority Positioning
Authority vs Expert
Avoiding Mental Atrophy
Basics of Accounting for Entrepreneurs
Basics of Appreciation Marketing
Basics of Book Publishing
Basics of Brainstorming
Basics of Business Networking
Basics of Content Marketing
Basics of CRM
Basics of Email Marketing
Basics of Facebook Ads
Basics of Facebook Marketing
Basics of LinkedIn Marketing
Basics of Personal Branding
Basics of PowerPoint
Basics of Twitter Marketing
Basics of Videoconferencing
BBB-DDD Is Not Enough
Becoming Remarkable
Being Stubborn When Necessary
Blogging - the Many and Varied Types and Formats
Branding Media Assessment
Brilliant Branding for Smart Professionals
Business Engine Model
Business Wisdom - Snippets and Nuggets
Characteristics of an Effective Website
Communication Skills - Speaking
Communication Skills - Writing
Communication Wisdom - Snippets and Nuggets
Contacts - Calculating the Business Value of
Contacts - Connections and Relationships
Contacts - Sphere of Influence
Contacts - The Tribe Model
Creating a Business Plan That's Not BS
Creating a Referral System
Creating and Presenting Webinars
Creating Your Personal Introduction
Critical Thinking
Dealing with Details
Defining Purposeful Work
Defining Your Business Purpose
Defining Your Business Uniqueness
Defining Your General Operating Principles
Defining Your Personal Uniqueness
Designing and Analyzing Surveys
Designing and Building a Wonderful Website
Designing and Building Your Platform
Designing and Conducting Events
Designing and Creating a Membership Site
Designing and Creating Online Courses
Developing a Contrarian Product
Developing a Support System
Ego - What It Is and How to Outsmart It
Elements of Content Publishing
Energy Signature
Entrepreneur Mindset
Failure Is Always An Option
Fearless Presenter Intensive
Finding, Creating and Modifying Ideas
Forget About Success
Fundamentals of Business Coaching
Fundamentals of Business Structure
Future Technology - Get Ready Now
Getting (and keeping) Clients
Gradualism - Evolution vs Creation
Human Condition Scale
Human Enterprise Scale
IKTPIPIAC Model - The Process of Change
It Really Is Lonely at the Top
Language Mastery (grammar, spelling, punctuation, word use)
Learning Modalities
Living Above the Line
Managing Fear
Managing Research Groups
Managing Your Self
Marketing Wisdom - Snippets and Nuggets
Mental Stimulation
Mindset - What Makes You You
Mindset Analysis - Identifying Your Ideal Client
Mindset Monitoring
Mindset Self-Analysis
Minute-Bucket Theory of Time
Money - Interpreting Your Financial Statements
Money - Knowing Your Numbers
Money Management for Entrepreneurs
Myth of Motivation
Myth of Passion
Myth of Success
Never Stop Being a Startup
Next Big Things
Perpetual Education
Personal Responsibility
Philosophy of Business
Philosophy of Life
Playing "What if..."
Positioning Statement - 1-3-5-10-30
Pricing Strategies
Principles of Self-Learning
Principles of Visual Content
Psychology of Entrepreneurship
Publish or Perish
Publishing Options Worksheet
Repurposing Content - You CAN Be Everywhere All at Once
Resistance - What It Is and How to Outsmart It
Selling vs Trading
Selling with Integrity
Starting and Managing a Mastermind Group
Starting and Running a Podcast Show
Stop Looking for Answers
Success vs Incremental Improvement
Systems Thinking
Testimonials and Endorsements
Time Management for Crazy-Busy People
Time Tracking
Understanding Complex Systems
Understanding Perception Factors
Understanding Tribe Psychology
Using Micro-Content
UVP (Unique Value Proposition)
Value of Being an Author
Values: Money - Meaning - Freedom
Victim vs Owner - the 98|2 Factors
Video Marketing
Website Philosophies
Website Wisdom - Snippets and Nuggets
What is the Tone of your Website?
Why - What - Who - How - When - Where
Your Network - Wide and Shallow vs Narrow and Deep

Basic Qualifications for Membership:

  • Members must be solopreneurs (1-person businesses) in a service profession.  The business may utilize a small number of Form 1099 subcontractors, but not full-time employees.
  • The business may serve either B2B or B2C markets, or both.
  • Members may be in any development phase of their business - pre-launch, early-stage startup, or established and wanting to improve and grow.
  • Members must be professionals who are serious about improving their businesses or practices and are willing to invest the time, energy, effort and resources to accomplish that.
  • Non-entrepreneurial businesses, such as franchises, network marketing, or any enterprise selling somebody else's product using somebody else's business plan, marketing plan, and operational guidelines, will not be considered for membership.  Your business model must be of your own design and be reasonably unique OR you desire to create a unique business model.
  • People whose only business goal is to see how much money they can make will not be a good fit for this group. The rewards of entrepreneurship go way beyond just money.
  • People who understand that the "why" is more important than the "how" will probably be a good fit for this group.
  • Prospective members must complete a comprehensive online membership application and provide personal and professional references.
  • CEA is an exclusive program and not all applicants will be accepted for membership.  I'm looking for quality, not quantity.
  • There is no contractual agreement for membership in CEA, nor a specified duration.  A member may remain a member for as long as they wish, and they may resign their membership at any time for any reason.
  • CEA has a flexible curriculum that is based on members' needs.

I am looking for 10 people for the pilot group, which will begin in Q2 2019 (date to be announced).

Questions?  Contact Tom Harris at 877-901-9977 or tom@tomharris.us.

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