Header-CE Academy

The Contrarian Entrepreneur Academy (CEA)

CEA is an membership-based mentoring program, business incubator and idea laboratory for smart, creative and dedicated professional services solopreneurs.

It is a small tribe of freethinking entrepreneurial professionals who are focused on community, relationships and learning.

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 business, for life, and for learning.

CEA is focused more on the "human" and personal aspects of entrepreneurship than on the "mechanical" aspects. It's critical that entrepreneurs identify their "why" before they try to deal with the "how". Inappropriate mindset is the most common cause of business troubles and failures.

Membership in CEA is by invitation only.

The Purposes of CEA:

  • To maintain a collaborative learning environment for startup, early-stage, and growth-oriented professional services solopreneurs.
  • To focus on knowledge acquisition, the creation of new ideas, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and mutual help within the peer environment.
CEA utilizes several distinct learning models:
  • Instructional
  • Self-study
  • Forums
  • Mastermind Groups (called Roundtables)
  • Personal Coaching/Mentoring
  • Self-Analysis

What CEA 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.  Its primary purpose is the generation of new ideas.
  • 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 and experimenters.
  • CEA has a flexible curriculum that is based on members' needs.
  • CEA is very exclusive and not for everyone.  There will be a small number of groups, with each group limited to 10 members.  Members must meet certain requirements and must maintain specified levels of active participation in group programs and activities.

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

  • 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 traditional "self-study" program; it is a collaborative learning environment.
  • As distinct from many programs, CEA does not make outrageous promises or offer 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 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 to your questions and one-size-fits-all solutions to your problems.  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 > Knowledge > Thoughts > Ideas > Intentions > Action > 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.

CheckboxGreen2Community and Collaboration

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


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 and its collaborative work.

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 Roundtable sessions.

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

= = = = =

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
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 Personal Branding
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
Characteristics of an Effective Website
Communication Skills - Speaking
Communication Skills - Writing
Communication Wisdom
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 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 Building Your Platform
Designing and Conducting Events
Designing and Creating Online Courses
Developing a Contrarian Product
Developing a Support System
Ego - What It Is and How to Outsmart It
Energy Signature
Entrepreneur Mindset
Failure Is Always An Option
Fearless Presenter Intensive
Finding, Creating and Modifying Ideas
Forget About Success
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
Language Mastery (grammar, spelling, punctuation, word use)
Learning Modalities
Living Above the Life Line
Managing Fear
Managing Research Groups
Managing Your Self
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
Next Big Things
Perpetual Education
Personal Responsibility
Philosophy of Business
Philosophy of Life
Playing "What if..."
Positioning Statement - 1-3-5-10-30 and more...
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
Success vs Incremental Improvement
Systems Thinking
Testimonials and Endorsements
Time Management for Crazy-Busy People
Time Tracking
Understanding Complex Systems
Understanding Perception Factors
Using Micro-Content
UVP (Unique Value Proposition)
Values: Money - Meaning - Freedom
Victim vs Owner - the 98|2 Factors
Video Marketing
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.
  • Members must be providers of professional services to individuals or businesses.
  • Members must have a unique business model, or desire to develop one (CEA can help you with that).
  • 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.  As already noted, 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 program. 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 the program.
  • 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.

I am seeking 10 people for the pilot group which will launch in early 2020.

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

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