This book has been compiled by two friends who, wanting to start a business without any experience, approached established businesses and asked for advice on the subject.
What resulted is this loosely edited collection of stories; a collaboration anthology of “letters” in which those who have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and washed it a couple of times impart their business wisdom.
Most of the entrepreneurs had faced challenges, battling with one thing or another (securing funding, winning a contract, juggling family responsibilities) and I imagine the individuals writing their “letter” felt on some level they could be addressing a past version of themselves.
What clearly shows through is the passion each business person relates through his or her personal experience.
The occasional spelling errors were of no concern since the unpolished approach seems entirely appropriate in what is essentially a manual for the archetypal rebel entrepreneur.
This style is pretty typical of the indie book publishing market and is egged on by the lower barrier to entry as an author on platforms like Amazon. It’s nice to see a good book not having to pass the tests of industry behemoths before the thing is able to go on sale.
We could all use the occasional pep talk and having 70+ successful businesses eagerly share their wisdom in plain English makes a change to some of the quasi-religious new-age nonsense gumming up the works.
If I was forced to criticise I would say the book romanticises the struggle most entrepreneurs face. That is appealing to some because it helps them rationalise poor decisions.
It’s very easy to delude oneself with a stack of motivational material and the “you can do it” message (even though some people cannot and should not).
Truthfully, the market for delusional Entrepreneur porn will probably like this book, but then, people who have a habit of all talk and no action will consume any book as long as it tells them they are brilliant no matter what!
Though I gained one or two new perspectives I occasionally frowned at several cheesy cliches. But then realised there are plenty of toe-the-line tropes I subscribe to myself in my daily life.
Unless they’re deeply earnest about motivational cliches, Entrepreneurs can often come off as sounding less like Richard Branson and more like Ned Flanders
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Overall this book is a fairly quick read with interesting stories and insightful tidbits. What I’d really love to have is an audio version of the book, with all the contributors narrating their own words. That would be something worth having!
Packed with war stories, inspiration, encouragement and calls to action, Dear Entrepreneur is a handy companion to top up your energy on dull days.