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The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business Hardcover – Mar 22 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (March 22 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193561844X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935618447
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 15.6 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #545,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 89 reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A Bucket of Cold Water May 15 2011
By Fraulein Gretel - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you are thinking about starting a business and want to be talked out of it, this is the book for you. Carol lays out all the downsides, risks, and pitfalls of entrepreneurship. This book is a cold splash of water for starry-eyed dreamers. But it doesn't offer solutions. Successful businesses are started every day in America, and somehow companies make profits. I'd rather hear about how obstacles are overcome and problems solved. Why the negativity?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
an abundance of exaggeration and excessive warnings. May 8 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an entrepreneur I consider the author's point of view too radical and somehow out of balance. Only warning alone can not make the future entrepreneurs successful. There is very little practical insight or solution offered in this book to avoid the pitfalls. Creating too much fear around the goal of building your own successful business can result in failure anyway. To my opinion she has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience but colored by her childhood's scarcities and her dread for financial loss. Give yourself permission to question all the materials in this book because reading it blindly can cause you to co-create your own failure.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Ready to Start? Don't read it just yet.... March 25 2011
By Noah Fleming - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure: I had an early copy of the book to read. Carol is a wonderful person, a sound business mind, and clearly a great writer. Ready for the review?

Sometimes it's easy to say "Go" or "just start" or "just do it"... I've repeatedly found myself saying this to others.

Want to start that new shop on Etsy? "Just go." Want to open that Hot Dog Restaurant? "Do it..."

But... Carol's made me realize an important caveat still that's easy to forget.

The one about "oh yeah, it's hard work to start a business and actually succeed." I found the book to greatly reminded me of Michael Gerber's E-Myth. You know the book? The one that makes you consider all these things you don't really want to consider because they easily unmask some telling truths about your plan.

Carol helps us answer the tough questions early before it's too late. Carol takes you on a bit of a journey. It's a bit of an adventure book, almost like a board game. "Move forward if and only if you've done this."
Let me explain, the book works like this..

First few chapters.

1) Here are the myths about starting, running, owning a business. Are you starting for these reasons or for that reason?
2) Are you this type of person? Do you possess these qualities?

OK Good. Once you've answered these questions NOW it's time to move on to the next chapter.

3) Now let's look at your idea. Let's do some risk assessment. Let's consider the idea and fit for you and your personality. Does your idea have legs? Let's look at your business plan. How about financing? etc etc...

OK good, have you done that? Now let's move on.

Carol's funny and witty and the book delivers a lot of spunk.

So why 4 stars?

4 stars because we're living in a day and age where we need the starters more than ever. We need the folks that ARE willing to ask these questions later. I know, I know... The book can save you a lot of wasted time, heartache and lost money. Carol has given us a guidebook to help avoid a potential disaster, but I believe such books also have the ability to shy us away from starting anything in the first place. I know as I read the book myself and considered some recent business ideas I've started, I got that scared, anxious, and that resistant feeling I've been trying to avoid. "Ah Geez Carol.. Thanks for making me thinking about that"

Sometimes we need to read the Carol books after the fact. It's the ah-ha moments that allow us to look back and do it better the next time. I believe that's when you want to read Carol's book. Not before you start your first business, or even your second, but after you've got a few failed attempts under your belt.

It's a weird suggestion, but that's the moment I believe Carol's book can help you the most. So YES, Buy it! Stick it on the bookshelf. Lock it in the vault. Don't send it to your kindle just yet. You'll know when you really need it.

Make sense? I still say Go Now.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
disappointed April 18 2011
By bluebee88 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book focuses mostly on the reasons why you shouldn't have your own business - I felt it was a little biased rather than impartial. I bought it looking for guidance, but it ended up putting down most of the good reasons for having your own business. I know having a business is a lot of work, but not having to put up with Dilbert-like situations daily makes it worth taking a chance.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
If The Entrepreneurial Shoe Fits, That Doesn't Mean You Should Wear It March 18 2011
By Terry Starbucker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Carol Roth is a truth teller. I figured that out the first time I met her in Chicago, before a recent SOBCon. She has never shied away from hard facts and uncomfortable realities, especially when it comes to the business world.

She has faced many of these realities herself, during her career as an investment banker, deal maker, and business strategist. By her own admission, she's always had this "Lucy Van Pelt" (the character in the Peanuts comic strip) thing going on, putting up her own version of the "Doctor is In" sign, telling it like it is to all who frequently ask her for advice.

I have been one of those people myself, because I'm about to make the big jump into my own business (with a partner, Liz Strauss), and Carol knows a thing or two about that.

There is SO much to think about when starting a business, and I needed a few doses of reality as I slogged forward. Carol has been extremely helpful, and now I feel a lot better about what I'm doing, and, on top of that, I have a great new friend, because she also happens to be a good and caring person to boot.

So it was with great interest that I recently read her latest book, "The Entrepreneur Equation". The book is a wonderful distillation of all that advice she has given over the years, well sequenced and organized. It really is essential reading for any would-be entrepreneur, because it really "lays it all out there" - all the hurdles and "screens" that one has to jump and pass through to conceive, plan, fund, staff, model, manage and execute (just to name a few) a new business.

The crux: Just because you think you CAN be an entrepreneur, that doesn't mean you SHOULD be one, until you answer all the right questions.

I'll pass along just a few of the examples of those "right questions" in the book that "got" me (and made me reach for the yellow highlighter):

* Are you going to create a "salable" business, rather than a "jobbie" (a hobby disguised as a business) or a "Job-Business" (a one person business that isn't scalable)? There's a great chart in the book that breaks this down perfectly.
* How are you with your personal finances? Because if you can't manage your own finances, then "you shouldn't be an entrepreneur trying to manage a business (and implicitly, the business's finances)". That one really made me think (as I stared at my unbalanced checkbook).
* Are you willing to put in a LOT of hard work and practice? The "Secret" of success is not just a great idea, a positive attitude, and venture funding. A lot of us are so impatient when it comes to this - we want instant success. But it's rarely so.
* Are you a "Santa or an Elf"? That is, are you better at giving direction, or taking direction? If you are the latter, it will be very, very hard to run a business on your own.
* Are you "too smart for your own good"? That is, you can't give up control over anything because "nobody can do it better than you"? Carol has quite an interesting take on this one. And boy, it made me look in the mirror (thanks Carol).

I highly recommend this book to anyone even remotely thinking about starting their own business - it's a great reality check that covers all the bases.