[BOOK REVIEW] Look Before You Leap, Lesson in The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth

by Shashi Bellamkonda on June 10, 2011


The Entrepreneur Equation by @caroljsroth

Who does not love a small business? I think most of us have a secret dream of working for ourselves and “Escape the Cubicle Nation” (a very good book from Pam Slim) and some of us may have successfully achieved the dream. Heidi Kallett owner of The Dandelion Patch almost used a similar philosophy of “working on the business rather than in it” and today she owns 4 thriving stores in a business that has succeeded even as the internet and virtual connections become more a part of our everyday lives. The Dandelion Patch sells stylish paper and gift products.

In our enthusiasm to encourage friends and family to a path of entrepreneurship we often do not have the tools to give them an expectation of ground reality. Presidents get thundering applause when they talk about small business. Hearing it from speaker after speaker makes many the audience say – that seems achievable leading further to – why am I not doing it? Carol Roth’s book “The Entrepreneur Equation” gives you a reality check and by the time you have finished the book you will feel like you have been through a Small Business MBA.

Entrepreneurs are people who take an idea and execute it well. Carol Roth points out the pitfalls of not thinking through the questions before making the leap into entrepreneurship. Carol Roth cautions you against believing anyone achieved their entrepreneur dreams ” the easy way” or that it just happened. A previous book that I read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” also says that hard work is definitely needed for success. Malcolm Gladwell’s puts it as 10000 hours of hardworking. If you have seen the movie Social Network (did you know that Network Solutions has a cameo appearance?) you will see, even in a fictional account that Mark Zuckerberg worked very hard on making Facebook.

I like the quote from The Peter Principle “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”. The context here is the frustration you may have working in a job should not be your main motivation to think of a business. There are several worksheets in the chapters of The Entrepreneur Equation that will help you evaluate your readiness and help you with a decision on entrepreneurship.
Here are some examples and you will find more in the book and I am paraphrasing here:

  • Even if you are a business owner you do have to answer to people
  • Access your motivation for wanting to start a business, there is a reason you like your hobby because it is just a hobby
  • Your customers, employees and capital partners are your bosses
  • Businesses can succeed even without a great big idea – Starbucks, McDonalds, etc
  • Look for business ideas that serve the customers needs and also make money
  • I love the term “jobbie” hobbyists who want to make money from their hobby
  • You cannot make two things your number one priority – your timing and your responsibilities
  • The “who you know” versus the “what you know” factor
  • Managing your finances
  • The shiny object syndrome
  • Overnight success not guaranteed
  • Being a Santa or an elf
  • Sweat equity vs other people’s money
  • Buying a business is not a shortcut to entrepreneurship

The last few chapters of the book are devoted to e next step whhich is how to make this work.

You should also pay a visit to carolroth.com and did you know along with appearing frequently in major TV and news sources Carol Roth has also been a contributor to both the Network Solutions Entrepreneur Blogs http://womengrowbusiness.com and http://growsmartbusiness.com?

I received a review copy of the book along with a Carol Roth promotional doll. This gave me an opportunity and insight into how Carol Roth used her own ideas to be entrepreneurial in promoting her book. She also donated books to SCORE as part of her book launch.

Definitely head over to carolroth.com and you will definitely be tempted to pick up a copy of the book. Or ask at your local library and if they don’t have one you should ask them to stock this book.

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