Unleash The Entrepreneur Within You


A good motivational book sharing real-life entrepreneurial stories for entrepreneurs, freelancers and very small business owners.

The Entrepreneur Within You

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Ah, entrepreneurship!

The siren calls of working for oneself and building a business have not waned over the past few years. In fact Small Business Trends reported a study in which half of the working adults owned or wished that they owned a business.

But sometimes the psychological push of selling yourself is the huge seemingly immovable barrier in the way of making entrepreneurial wishes come true. Sometimes you need a hero to save you from yourself, or in comic book-Avenger-Justice League style, a superhero team-up.

If you are seeking business heroes and heroines, consider The Entrepreneur Within (TEW) (@TEWYou).  This is a group of entrepreneurs dedicated to sharing real stories meant to stir those professionals who long to overcome that pesky psychological barrier. Their stories are told in the book “” target=”_blank”>The Entrepreneur Within You, Volume 2.”

The book is curated by Julia Holloway, owner of Chicago boutique graphic arts firm JMH Cre8tive, and edited by Dr. Angelique Jackson, Artie Advant, and Nicole Knox. The book will certainly delight professionals seeking light advice in what they can do to become entrepreneurs.

Perspectives That Put The P in Passion

There are 17 chapters, one for each contributor to explain his or her choice of a career in entrepreneurship. The overall tone in each chapter reflects each contributor’s own take on passion or a struggle after the inevitable. The tone of each chapter then segues into different aspects of business operations. This approach helps those readers making a solo business effort feel less lonely while they are gaining a few ideas that are actionable.

For example, check out how Brandy Adamson, founder of ALIVE Magazine and Virtual Connections, selects business partners:

“As a woman in business, I have had my share of men and women approach me that want to become business partners. As I listen to these partnership proposals, I quickly realized the imbalance – I provide the leads, we do the prospecting, I do all the work and WE split the revenues – no thanks, I will pass. The proposers were often fast talkers that wanted to sweep me up in the potential. I knew my revenues, where I wanted my business to go and with whom I wanted to align my business and brand.”

Now read this suggestion from Louis Green, web developer and owner of Flare Systems, as he explains establishing a payment plan to manage cash flow effectively.

“To avoid long gaps in between payments, I eventually ditched the 50/50 model and devised a system where projects are broken into 3 to 6 major milestones with a payment due after each is completed. Now, instead of collecting a sizeable upfront deposit, then waiting 2 – 3 months to receive final payment, I now receive intermediate payments as we work throughout the project. That acute direction is accurately reflected in the expressed sentiments, which make this book worthy of repeated reading and reflection.”

Other highlights include direct sales entrepreneur Monique Solomon Spense, who shares the need to “see beyond your current circumstance.” Then there’s Raiko Dai, a Los Angeles spa owner who positively examines faith and fear using his experiences from the 2009 economy.  A summarizing chapter by Laura Knight includes workplan questions that readers can ask themselves.

The book includes comments from marketing consulting and Small Business Trends contributor Patrice Cokley about her transition from Detroit to Chicago. The challenges were considerable.  The loss of a corporate position and a personal breakup lead to 70-pound weight gain and blood pressure that spiked to high levels. But after the storm, Cokley shared how she came to appreciate what could have happened with an alternative decision:

“… Here I am, now a published author, with a successful business as a marketing consultant. Although I still catch a bout of homesickness here and there, I can’t help but to wonder where I would be if I decided to wait. I could have waited around for the economy to pick up in Michigan, or for my relationship to reconcile. I could have most certainly waited, but what if nothing changed – then where would I have been?”

From this experience, Cokley wrote an astute, reflective perception about how people seize (or fail to seize) their opportunities:

“For some odd reason to me, our society lives life as if we’re immortal and have all the time in the world to set foot in the direction our intuition tells us to go. That doesn’t mean that you go out here and live recklessly, but it does mean that you shouldn’t waste your time working a job that you dislike, or helping someone else with their dreams while your dreams sit dormant.”

What I Liked About This Book

Given the book’s brief size, I liked that the book established actionable insights from everyone’s authentic experiences.

This book is different from the rehashing of the same ol’ “Follow Your Passion” mantra which now plagues many business coaching books. The book reminded me of a combination of the light writing structure of “Remote” and the biographies of “Jewels.” But because its words speak acutely to the solo entrepreneur, “The Entrepreneur Within You” succeeds by addressing sharply the majority of small business owners who do feel the psychological impacts sharply. You can read that address in Holloway’s comments below on how she followed her dreams.

“I am living proof that jobs are temporary and that dreams are permanent. I have been dreaming of working in some capacity as an “artist” since I was 8 years old, I just wasn’t sure how to get there….as an employee, I have been down-sized, outsourced, fired, and pushed out over the years, received severance packages and unemployment…Making your dream a reality is no small task, but you can do it, no matter what age or circumstance you are in…. You have that glimpse of greatness, but only you can make it happen. Eliminate the things that are roadblocks or that slow you down or are not profitable.”

Read to Put Passion and Perspective to Work

New startup entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners with small staff sizes are a key audience for this book. But others can benefit from the TEW crew. Readers who have operated a year or longer in business will appreciate the TEW crew’s words and gain a useful sanity check for their own past experiences.

Read “The Entrepreneur Within You” to learn how you can best unleash the entrepreneur you could be.

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Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.