The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson is a book full of ideas. The book has 7 chapters which cover 100 mindsets of an entrepreneur from Kevin’s point of view. These chapters are better seen as sections rather than mere chapters. According to Kevin in introducing the book, he writes that:
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. This bold and seemingly backward way of thinking I refer to as the Entrepreneur’s Mind.
Kevin’s aim with this book is to teach us how to develop the entrepreneur mindset. He wants to teach us from his own entrepreneurial experience how to avoid some of the mistakes he made while at the same time learning how to become a successful entrepreneurs.
Following is a top-level review of the 7 chapters.
CHAPTER 1 – STRATEGY
This chapter focuses on strategy and opens with a key statement:
All entrepreneurs must ask themselves three vital questions that concern their business strategy: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there?
This chapter contains more than one-third of the 100 principles discussed in the book, 35 of them. So as you read it you will learn about, thinking big, creating new markets, the importance of working on your business and not in it, time management, investing in good business systems and more.
From a side hustle perspective some key lessons that stood out for me here were:
- The importance of spending your time taking the right actions. Identify what you need to do to build your side hustle and do it. Create a sense of urgency.
- Create good systems for your side hustle that will allow you to decrease the amount of effort you put into building it. Find things that can help you to improve the efficiency of building your side hustle.
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask for help when you need to.
CHAPTER 2 – EDUCATION
This chapter focuses on just two out of the 100 principles which are:
- school is not necessarily education, and
- you’re in no rush to get an MBA
The core lesson here is that, formal education will not necessarily make you an entrepreneur but you must keep learning in the real world. That goes without saying if you are building a side hustle. You don’t need a business degree or MBA. Read, read and read some more.
CHAPTER 3 – PEOPLE
The lessons in this chapter are all about people. Here are some of them:
- Spend majority of your time with people smarter than you: don’t be scared of hanging out with smart people.
- Office space is not a priority but a good team is: this goes without saying. Don’t spend money on good office space, spend it assembling a brilliant team instead.
- What you wear isn’t what you’re worth: dressing smart does not mean you’re smart. Yes, dress appropriately but don’t think power dressing will help you to successfully run a business.
- You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room: the most successful entrepreneurs may not be the smartest people but they know how to put together a winning team. A lot of them are humble too.
- Talent trumps seniority: age or position is not an indication of talent. A young person can outperform a more senior person who has been in a role for a long time.
- You are odd, and it’s okay: You may not seem like the stereotypical type of successful entrepreneur. For instance you may have a disability or a personality type that is very different. That does not disqualify you. It may even be a selling point.
CHAPTER 4 – FINANCE
This chapter which focuses on finance has 13 principles. Reading the chapter will emphasize the importance of managing your finances well from day one of your business. Don’t ignore it. Key lessons in this chapter include understanding that you don’t need money to make money. According to Keving:
Having no money doesn’t mean you have no resources. You’ve got something, so get started on your new business – and without spending any money if you can.
There are also lessons about how and when to pay tax, avoiding negative cashflow, borrwoing money and the importance of hiring a professional accountant.
CHAPTER 5 – MARKETING AND SALES
No business book would be complete without a section on marketing which is the subject of this chapter. This chapter also has 13 principles and some of the key lessons include:
- A reminder that when you start a business, you’re in sales whether you want to be or not.
- The fact that your customer is your boss.
- You can’t have a business if you don’t have have sales.
- You can use networking to become a better business person.
- Be wary of people who can’t make decisions, they are time wasters.
- Tell everyone about your business.
CHAPTER 6 – LEADERSHIP
Successful entrepreneurs are also mostly good leaders and this chapter with 7 principles teaches some key business leadership principles such as:
- Act in spite of how you feel. Manage your emotions, don’t let them manage you as you run your business.
Winning entrepreneurs act in spite of how they feel. It’s not always easy to do so.
- Linked to the previous principle is the importance of pushing beyond your fear. There will be things which scare you, moments of uncertainty but you must push while being afraid in order to take advantage of opportunities and succeed.
- Be a maverick. Do things that others wouldn’t do. Do things that set you apart.
- Make difficult choices and sacrifices to achieve your entrepreneurial dream
CHAPTER 7 – MOTIVATION
This is the last chapter with the 15 principles. The lessons here are about having the right mindset to approach your business. A mindset that makes you love monday and loath Friday because you love working on your business. A mindset that makes you see a 9 to 5 job as something you don’t want to spend the whole of your working life in. A mindset that helps you see problem solving as the goal of an entrepreneur rather than success. A mindset that gives you the strength to deal with all the challenges, resentment and disrespect that comes with being an entrepreneur and a mindset that makes you see that no matter where you are in life it is never too late to be an entrepreneur.
Okay, this is a book with lots of information and principles but all very useful. The great thing about this book is that Kevin uses his own personal experiences and those of others to illustrate the practical application of the principles. Definitely a book worth reading and you don’t have to read it page by page. You can pick out a principle you are interested in and learn from it.