Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies

By Michael E. Gerber
Publisher: Collins
Number Of Pages: 304
Publication Date: 2008-03-01
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0061568147
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780061568145
Binding: Hardcover

A business without a dream is like a life without a purpose.
—Michael Gerber

Dream Vision Purpose Mission

These words have been defining the life of Michael Gerber, bestselling author and international small business guru. He created E-Myth Worldwide in 1977 to transform the way that small business owners grow their companies. Now he's created In The Dreaming Room as a place where entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs come to discover how to make their dreams a reality.

Michael's Dream: to inspire people to dream by awakening the entrepreneur within them.

Michael's Vision: to be the authority for helping dreamers everywhere create the small businesses they once could only imagine.

Michael's Purpose: to transform the lives of ordinary people by providing them with the thrill of creation while creating the means to generate their own and others' economic freedom.

Michael's Mission: to create a turnkey system for awakening the entrepreneur within every person who wishes to go into business for themselves, while providing them with the support for doing it.

And he has done it. In Awakening the Entrepreneur Within you are invited into the Dreaming Room, where your own entrepreneurial dreams will come alive and become reality. Michael will help you shape your dream into a viable, economically successful company! As he writes: It is time to dream. It is time to care about something bigger than you. It is time to imagine something sorely needed in the world—the world you live in—that somebody would pay to have. It is time to look around you and ask yourself, 'What's missing in this picture?'

If you see something missing in your world, it's time to start dreaming. Let Michael Gerber welcome you to the Dreaming Room.

Summary: Man in Search of Personal Meaning...Even as He Gives Meaning to Business
Rating: 4

It isn't easy writing a review of someone who long ago wrote one of the seminal business books, one that schooled millions on taking a systematic approach to building a small to medium size business. I respect Gerber immensely for his contribution to business thought leadership. As a result, I wanted to like this book especially after being somewhat bored by some of his more recent books that seemed to just be twisting the E-Myth routine.

This book really engaged me. Gerber's focus on the role of vision and passionate purpose in business success matched my own observations over 25 years of consulting to companies of all size. The best systems in the world will not make a "me-to" business a raging success. On the other hand, vision without implementation and process building also makes for a flawed business.

I especially liked Gerber's treatment of the four dimensions of the Entrepreneurial Personality. I really related to his construct that success requires one to be skilled in, or acquire talent in, dreaming, thinking, storytelling, and leading. Every day, I become more aware of the power of storytelling, both as to the stories we tell ourselves (see Debbie Ford, Joe Caruso et al) and the stories we tell employees and customers. I was delighted to see Gerber's elevation of this skill to top ranking.

Covering a model of business success in a single book is no easy task. I would give this book a five star for readers looking for a sound introduction to small business success in a single book. For avid readers of Gerber's earlier books, I believe you will find some fresh thinking that warrants a four star rating. Any avid readers looking for Gerber to abandon his past thesis and offer up something 100% new will undoubtedly be disappointed.

I expect that many serious students of the art of writing will be somewhat put-off by the first and last chapters which, for me, felt out of synch with the rest of the book. If you believe that good books must, at minimum, start strong and end strong, these two chapters took away from my appreciation of the book as a serious business guide. Hence, my four star rating.

Astute readers and philosophers will detect, in the aforementioned first and last chapters, a man who has made important contributions to the business world nevertheless seemingly still in search for real meaning in his own life. If that is actually the case, kudos to Gerber for having the guts to share that with us. But, how sad that at this stage of his life (70) he is still searching for meaning. Here is hoping that the author soon finds his life purpose and the peace that goes with such discovery, and that his next book is a departure from the E-Myth line and instead shares his insights on "man's search for meaning."

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