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12 Lessons from 12 Months of Owning a Bookstore

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12 Lessons from 12 Months of Owning a Bookstore


5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The most important part of any plan is the learning journey along the way.

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


An admirer of the Stoic philosophers – who advocated having patience and succeeding by living an ethical life – Ryan Holiday believes you can find out what you’re capable of doing only when you challenge yourself. In this fast-moving video, Holiday lays out the most enduring lessons – his headlined 12 lessons boil down to four pivotal concepts – he and his wife Samantha Hoover learned while starting and running The Painted Porch bookstore in Bastrop, Texas. Holiday brings his love of books, knowledge of classical philosophy and savvy business sense to bear on start-up challenges. One note: a philosopher and best-selling author like Holiday may find it easier than most people to say his business goals don’t prioritize money.


The need for patience is the most important lesson Ryan Holiday learned when starting his business.

Be aware when you start a business that it’s not going to be as easy and straightforward as you think – or hope – it will be. You must be patient and willing to delay gratification. Author Ryan Holiday and his wife, Samantha Hoover, dreamed of opening their Bastrop, Texas bookstore, The Painted Porch, in the fall of 2019. They expected to have it fully running by spring 2020. The pandemic caused a wholly unexpected year-long delay.

The couple is happy now about how their business evolved, but it took time. At first, they had to learn to be comfortable with small starts and slow progress. Your plans aren’t all going to work out perfectly. Holiday advises getting comfortable with improving things incrementally.

Decide on your measures of success; money may not be your priority. 

A bookstore is never going to rake in lots of money. Of course, The Painted...

About the Speaker

Media strategist Ryan Holiday‘s books include Stillness Is the Key, Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and Courage Is CallingFortune Favors the Brave. Owner of The Painted Porch bookstore in Bastrop, Texas, he hosts the podcast The Daily Stoic.

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