Skip navigation

Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Having started 2012 with a goal to get my own business going (in a serious way) I have been looking for advice. One source of advice that I like are books and there are a couple that I have found particularly useful. I will discuss one of those here.

I recently finished listening to the audiobook of The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth. It was eye-opening, addressing the question of not can you be an entrepreneur but “should” you be. The book is filled with warnings. While many  books on the topic address what a budding entrepreneur should do, it would seem this book is intent on dissuading the reader/listener from going into business. That is probably not exactly true but it does ensure that one would be going into the endeavor with their eyes wide open. The Entrepreneur Equation addresses the myth of the “American Dream” and what it is really like to be running one’s own business. The book certainly dispels some romantic assumptions such as having freedom and time to pursue one’s passion – the reality is that you are going to be running a business and can expect to be consumed by business activities – probably a lot more than by activities directly related to your passion.

In the early part of the book, I questioned whether it was for me or if I even shared the definition of what a business is. I found myself disagreeing with what Roth said the goal of the business should be. She puts down, as a “jobby”, endeavors which are basically a one-person business. A jobby is a job-hobby – a job created to allow the owner to pursue his/her hobby. I got the impression that Roth’s book was addressing big (or at least potentially big) business and saying that the only reason to be an entrepreneur is to create a business  so you can build it’s value and sell it. A business that relies solely on the owner and the owner’s talents would have no value without that owner, hence can not be sold and has no intrinsic value and should not be pursued. Since this jobby-type of business is what I am interested in, I was almost ready stop listening right there. I did persevere and am glad I did. The remainder of the book was still of value as a reminder of what one must be prepared for – in any sort of business undertaking.

Having listened to this book, I feel I will have to listen to it again to get the full message. The title of the book  refers to an equation and that is indeed an important part of this work – developing a personal “equation”, through analysis of you and your situation, to help you decide if you should be an entrepreneur. I found this equation part difficult to pull together in my head while listening and so will think of getting a hard copy of the book (and recommend that you do too.)

To hear/see author Carol Roth talk about her book, check out this YouTube video.

The second book which I recommend for anyone considering starting a business, is “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber.  This book also serves to open one’s eyes to the realities of running a business but I will say more about in a future post.

Have you read “The Entrepreneur Equation”? What do you think about it?