ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

The Entrepreneur Mind

100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs

Foreword Review

This punchy, pertinent handbook guides those in pursuit of entrepreneurial success.

For anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations, Kevin Johnson’s well-organized, well-written The Entrepreneur Mind not only informs and inspires, it will likely prevent the common and sometimes fatal mistakes one makes when starting and running a business.

Johnson covers virtually every aspect of being an entrepreneur in seven chapters: strategy, education, people, finance, marketing and sales, leadership, and motivation. He subdivides each chapter into easy-to-read bursts of information that make salient points worthy of reflection. As the book’s subtitle promises, there are indeed 100 entries, the titles of which often convey a key, critical message—sometimes in a provocative way. These are just a few of his intriguing observations and recommendations:

  1. Require Criticism and Disagreement in Your Company
  2. An Idea’s Execution, Not Its Uniqueness, Yields Success
  3. No Competition Means Your Idea Probably Has Little Merit
  4. Don’t Manage People, Manage Expectations
  5. There’s a Downside to Having Investors
  6. There’s No Such Thing as a Cold Call
  7. Be Prepared to Lose It All
  8. It’s Not About Being Your Own Boss

Probably the most refreshing aspect of Johnson’s book is that it was crafted by an authentic entrepreneur with battle-tested experience who has learned a great deal about himself and about starting businesses. Johnson’s voice is loud and clear. He writes with a sense of authority that demonstrates the self-confidence of a self-made, successful businessperson.

The author is unafraid to share a very definite point of view and express it in a “tough love” way that gets to the core of an entrepreneur’s belief system. In describing the entrepreneur’s self-image, he writes: “When you start your business, lose the ego immediately. It’s the main reason that entrepreneurs don’t seek help. An overinflated ego even prevents those who ask for help from receiving it. Rarely do people want to help those who act as though they don’t need it. And there’s a difference between being confident and having an ego that’s too big for your own good. Confidence attracts people, ego repels them.”

The Entrepreneur Mind is the type of book that can be read in any way a reader sees fit: from start to finish, with a focus on a particular area of interest, or picking sections in random order. This is, in part, what makes the book as enticing as it is useful: Every tiny portion is a nugget of wisdom with a unique message while relating to entrepreneurialism as a whole. In fact, it seems as if the author organized the book to replicate the complexities of an entrepreneur’s multifaceted mind. Johnson’s impressive work is likely to be appreciated by both wannabe entrepreneurs and those already in the midst of running their own business.

Barry Silverstein