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SBW Issue 11 Jeneth Blackert

Books That Make Us Unstoppable The Entrepreneur Mind Johnson then briefly delves into personality traits of successful individuals (Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be quite a common trait) before advising the reader to get a sidekick and prevent people from exploiting your flexibility. Though the advice is excellent, one does feel that the less than complimentary reference to his wife’s expectations of him may have been replaced by something better, considering the fact that at the end of the book he gives the standard eulogy of how she was instrumental to helping him finish the book. Idea number 49 again delves into his personal relationships, this time with his ex-girlfriend, and again, in less than complimentary terms. Two other suggestions – getting a mentor and firing unproductive people, however, contain more interesting experiences to drive home some important but not very original truths. Finance is the fourth section, and matters get a tad technical (and also a bit more mundane) here. We are told to avoid negative cash flow, get an accountant and pay our taxes regularly. More original advice comes in #55, where Johnson suggests that one borrow money before it is needed, since it may not be available at that moment. Equally good and innovative advice is #56, which asks you to follow aggressive payment terms so as to ensure that one always get paid regardless of the type of client one is dealing with. Johnson’s remaining advice is not so original though. We are told to manage debt well, use different banks, focus on building revenue and know the firm’s PAYDEX score. Interestingly though, Johnson shows his experience when he tells one that if one doesn’t have money, one can still make it, but if one has money, to invest it generously into the project. Section 5 deals with sales and marketing, and it begins with the rather obvious but often overlooked fact that being in sales is inevitable. We are told next that customer is boss, even if he is rude. Weren’t we told to fire bad customers? It is obvious that there is a distinction between the two, but Johnson does not emphasize this enough. 47 | SavvyBizWomen Less confusing advice is given in the following sub sections, which ask one to focus on other people when networking, to choose a good handler of deals as the frontman, and of course, seeking out the people who are in real power. Johnson is careful when giving these arguments, which is apt considering the fact that some of the conversational lines he offers are surprisingly rude though effective. On the networking thread Johnson further suggests that one tell people about their business, and also ask for the maximum by not compromising on prices. The latter, understandably, sounds difficult at first, but personally I found it to be one of the most sound pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs who often end up compromising on their earnings. Unfortunately, just before signing off on the section, Johnson adds – Don’t Hold Grudges, which again seems to contradict his advice on getting an enemy. The section on Leadership is perhaps the most cliché ridden, with readers being asked to make sacrifices, having unbelievable endurance, achieving our dreams, being ready to lose everything and being a maverick. Though good advice by themselves, they feed too much into the Superman image to hold much originality. The last section of the book deals with motivation, and we are told first off that “Being Successful is Not the Goal”. This is perhaps the best advice in the section, since it addresses an almost universally held fallacy that getting money and accolades is what one should always strive for. Instead, Johnson suggests that the entrepreneur must always have a problem in mind and strive to fix it, regardless of how famous she becomes in the process. Thereafter, we are told to view the week with inverse emotions – Monday with joy and Friday with tiredness. We are also told that a regular job is worse than death, and that our parents will always want us to find a job. This is good advice in itself, but one does wonder if it is not a bit skewed against those who do continue on regular jobs while pursuing their entrepreneurial goals.


SBW Issue 11 Jeneth Blackert
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