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[Review] The Entrepreneur Mind


The road to entrepreneurial success is not just paved with blood, sweat and tears – an entrepreneur has to also be driven by the right beliefs and motivations behind his or her efforts.

Here’s how serial entrepreneur Kevin D. Johnson, president of Johnson Media Inc, puts it:

To be an entrepreneur is to think differently. While most people seek refuge, entrepreneurs take risks. They don’t want a job; they want to create jobs. Their goal isn’t to think outside the box as much as it is to own the box. Entrepreneurs don’t follow the market; they define the market.

Johnson may know – he has several years of experience leading his multimillion-dollar marketing and communications company Johnson Media Inc that now serves many of the most notable Fortune 100 businesses. And all that at the tender age of 33. He’s coalesced much of his own personal beliefs into his new book “The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs“, which puts together some of his thoughts surrounding entrepreneurship and achieving business success.

As the subtitle implies, the book is really divided into 100 different ideas covering various topics which ranges from business strategy to finance, from working with or managing people to dealing with marketing and sales, as well as various leadership principles and thoughts about education. Lessons include how to think big, identifying the best business partners, how to captivate investors, when to drop a bad idea, and even where to avoid opening business bank accounts.

Some of the points in the book bear additional consideration – Point 13, for example, shares that a business should fire its worst customers (although Joseph Callaway, co-author of “Clients First“, would vehemently disagree). But much of the advice is really simple common sense; some may even be outdated. Point 15, for example, advocates outsourcing, but even outsourcing as a trend itself is undergoing change. Many of the topics covered here also look and sound familiar – much of it has been looked at, in depth, by many other entrepreneurs before Johnson. Perhaps it’s because the advice sound piecemeal – like it was put together from a number of blog entries (it probably was) – which makes reading somewhat jarring.

But that’s not to say that “The Entrepreneur Mind” is not a good book; it is. I like that it’s not a simple checklist, you know, the dreaded “Do A, B, C, D and E in that order to succeed” type of book. It’s really an easy read for the aspiring young entrepreneur who’s looking for some form of assurance that he or she’s on the right path, and trying to understand if they have the chops to succeed.

“I strongly believe that entrepreneurs are made, not born. If you study and adopt the ways of thinking of the best entrepreneurs and then turn your thoughts into actions, you have a formula for winning in business,” Johnson says. In that “The Entrepreneur Mind” excels, and should help reveal some of the ways how elite, successful entrepreneurs think.


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