How to Fight a Hydra

I'm happy to announce the publication of my third book: How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be.

How to Fight a Hydra is available today in print, ebook, and audio via Amazon and Audible worldwide.

About The Book

This book is quite different from my previous work. It's an allegorical story: it's fiction, with serious non-fiction themes.

How to Fight a Hydra explores the nature of ambition, uncertainty, risk, and fear of the unknown. The themes are big, important, and universal:

  • How do you go about pursuing ambitious projects that are beyond your current capabilities?
  • How do you learn to handle the uncertainty, ambiguity, and risk inherent in ambitious projects?
  • How do you deal with the fact that you can't know how the project will turn out in advance?
  • What if the rewards you're seeking don't materialize, or don't exist at all?
  • What do you do if other people don't support your pursuits?
  • What if the whole thing ends up being a mistake, and pursuing this project makes you worse off than you were before?
  • How do you know which opportunities to focus on pursuing, and which ones to avoid or decline?

These are questions that every entrepreneur, artist, and creative professional grapples with on a daily basis. These concerns are entirely valid, cannot be avoided, and are often the biggest obstacles to committing to difficult work and accomplishing great things.

The solution: you have to think like an Adventurer – someone who chooses to face their fears, accept the risks, and venture into the unknown… all without knowing in advance how their quest is going to turn out.

I'm not going to spoil the story for you, but I will share one of my favorite lines from the book:

"There are no certainties, and no guarantees. The hero fights anyway."

I've put together a website with more information about the book, which you can find at

Here's a teaser trailer for the book, courtesy of Dan Portnoy:

Behind The Scenes

Aside from being my first published fiction, How to Fight a Hydra is the first book I'm publishing myself.

My first two books (The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours) were published by Penguin Random House. For How to Fight a Hydra, I chose to spin up my own publishing operation and give independent publishing a try.

There are pros and cons to both approaches, but there are three reasons independent publishing is great for you as a reader:

  • I have more control over the process, which means I can do special things that make the book better. For How to Fight a Hydra, that meant hiring Tim Roven of Tabletop Audio to do custom music and sound effects for the audio edition, comissioning art, and designing the interior layout of the print and ebook edition myself.
  • The publishing process is much faster. Traditional publishing timelines require a year or more of lag time between when the manuscript is finished to when the book is available for sale. Professional independent publishing takes a few weeks. Shorter timelines and greater flexibility in format mean more books to read, faster than you'd otherwise be able to read them.
  • I can sell the book at a much lower price while maintaining healthy and sustainable margins.

This method of publishing is new to me, but I'm enjoying it so far. As I've said for years: I think it's important to keep experimenting with the systems and processes involved in your work, and this is one of the ways I'm doing that in my own business.

To celebrate the launch, How to Fight a Hydra is available in:

(Note: international prices will vary based on factors like exchange rates.)

I'm going to be raising these prices next week, so I'd highly recommend picking up your copy today.

Exploring The Unknown

Over the coming weeks, I'm going to be writing about the themes in How to Fight a Hydra: ambition, uncertainty, risk, ambiguity, and fear of the unknown. It's a huge topic, and there's a lot to explore.

If you'd like to be notified when I publish essays in this series, sign up for my newsletter below:

I hope you enjoy How to Fight a Hydra as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. Thanks for reading!

Read more essays by Josh Kaufman →

Published: October 23, 2018Last updated: October 23, 2018

Books by Josh Kaufman