Friday, September 22, 2023

Jarie Bolander Interview - Ride or Die

Photo Content from Jarie Bolander

Jarie Bolander caught the startup bug right after graduating from San Jose State University in 1995 with a degree in electrical engineering. With 6 startups, 7.75 books, and 10 patents under his belt, his experience runs the gamut from semiconductors to life sciences to nonprofits. He also hosts a podcast called The Entrepreneur Ethos, which is based on his last book by the same name. When he’s not helping clients convert a concept to a viable strategy, he can be found on the Jiu-Jitsu mat (he’s a blue belt), interviewing entrepreneurs on his podcast, or researching the latest in earthship construction techniques. He’s engaged to a wonderful woman named Minerva, her daughter, and their Bernedoodle, Sage. Currently, Jarie lives and works in San Francisco, where he works as head of market strategy for Decision Counsel, a B2B growth consulting firm.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
That the world is random and chaotic. You need to be ready for the zigs and zags of life since you really can’t control what happens – only how you react to it.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It opened my eyes to the resistance that you have to overcome as a creative. It also gave me a good perspective that the creative act is something that needs to be manifested daily.

Favorite book outside my genre would have to be anything by Robert B. Parker. The Spenser for Hire Series.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
For sure. The War of Art changed the way I approach writing and creativity. Knowing that there is a thing called resistance that needs to be overcome and is natural to run into. It also made me appreciate how hard it is to complete a creative project. I have a ton of respect for anyone that follows through on any kind of project since they had to overcome their own resistance.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is how us humans survive and thrive. Without story, we would not be able to make sense of the world. I’m typing this and you’re reading this because our ancestors told the best stories. Full stop. In a sense, the best story wins, and that’s important to appreciate.

Can you tell us when you started RIDE OR DIE, how that came about?
I started writing Ride or Die the day Jane died. I felt that I had to capture the raw emotions of the moment. It also allowed me to do something that I felt I could control since I never felt I had much control during her illness.

From that day forward, I pieced together the experience so that I could heal and hopefully help others who are dealing with the challenges and struggles of a loved one going through a terminal disease.

Your Journey to Publication
I have self-published several business books, so I’m biased towards controlling the process. For Ride or Die, I started out with the intent to get an agent and find a traditional publisher. My radiational was that a book with such a powerful message needed to be published with a mainstream press. It turns out that I was wrong since the mainstream publishing model was not something that would give me both the results and the control I needed.

That’s why I selected the hybrid publishing route with a fantastic publisher, SparkPress.

Before I even got to selecting a publisher, the journey to getting Ride or Die out in the world was emotional. The subject matter, especially for a man, is challenging and not many men talk about their feelings of grief, sorrow, and frustration with being a caregiver and losing a spouse.

The courage and encouragement to make it all happen came from the realization that Jane would want me to share our story so that others might not feel so along. Couple that with the fact that our friends and family were supportive made it a lot easier to do the hard work to make it come to life.

What is the first job you have had?
Paper route. Nothing makes you appreciate the value of hard work when you must wake up at 6am to deliver 125 copies of the Sunday paper, on your BMX bike, up hills, in the rain. I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone that must do similar things.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
I really enjoyed probability and random processes in college since it opened my eyes to the fact that the world is random and chaotic. If you understand that, then you can then focus on how to mitigate anything that might get in your way.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
Chug a 16 oz class of water. Nothing wakes up the body and starts the day off right like hydration.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
The day my wife Jane died. After that moment, I started to realize that every day is a gift. You must use every day you have wisely since there are only a finite amount of them left.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
I’d choose true love for sure. Nothing like it in the world. Heart break, while painful, is also a great teacher and it helps put the world in perspective in that nothing lasts forever.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
I was visiting a friend and their son made an ironic yet witty observation about eating cookies for breakfast. I’m not sure why it was so funny but for some reason, seeing him with a mouthful of sugar cookies, deadpan saying “what better way to wake up in the morning than a sugar high!” I laughed so hard I cried snot.

Modern society has a warped sense of the partner-caregiver role, especially for men. Too often, men are ill equipped to handle switching from provider to caregiver, and the “just suck it up” advice so many offer up falls as flat as the Kansas prairie in the face of the reality of life and death.

Ride or Die takes its audience through the intimate conversations and thoughts of a Gen-X latchkey-generation husband—a man who has always had to fend for himself and believed that it’s up to him to solve his own problems—as and after his wife, Jane, succumbs to a terminal disease.

Jarie Bolander wrote this raw, heartfelt tribute to Jane and her handling of her illness to help men and the people who love them through the experience of loss and grief. A frank chronicle of how an intimate relationship can change and grow—even when the people involved feel there is nothing left to give— Ride or Die offers a detailed exploration of the male experience of grief, in the hopes that others suffering through it will not feel so alone.

You can purchase Ride or Die at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JARIE BOLANDER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Ride or Die by Jarie Bolander.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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