Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

[Review] The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business

Oftentimes when you read most books about entrepreneurship, you come away with the feeling totally inspired and empowered to either bring your amazing new idea into fruition or bring an existing business to the next level. Those nice, encouraging and feel-good stories of self-made, successful entrepreneurs make you feel like you can do anything!

The book “The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business” by investment banker, deal maker and business strategist Carol Roth, on the other hand, is nothing like that. At various points in the book you’ll feel as though Roth is purposefully trying to be a “wet blanket”, pouring copious amounts of harsh, cold reality on your entrepreneurial dreams. And yet, you shouldn’t want it any other way.

Roth – who’s helped clients from solo entrepreneurs to multinational companies raise millions in capital – steadily and methodically debunks the myths of entrepreneurship in “The Entrepreneur Equation“. She rightfully points out that far too many are seduced by the American Dream, which she says most people have misconceptions of in the first place. And those feel-good stories of extremely successful entrepreneurs? Well, it wasn’t as difficult for them as the media made it sound. Instead, Roth forcibly drags you through the realities of entrepreneurship and, indeed, questions if you SHOULD be an entrepreneur even if you COULD.

The book will force you to assess if you fit the spirit and the prerequisites of entrepreneurship – from motivation to timing to personality, as well as if the business is a fit for you – opportunity, risks, issues and rewards. “The Entrepreneur Equation” is a hard book to read, but only because it poses the aspiring entrepreneur the most difficult questions that need answering. But once you pull these factors all together, you’ll find out for yourself if you fit the equation of being an entrepreneur.

And if I was an aspiring entrepreneur, I’ll take Roth’s hard-hitting truths over feel-good stories any day.

(Do also check out Roth’s guest article “6 Steps To Take Before Starting A Business“.)


Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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