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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business Hardcover – August 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly Bestseller

Named a “Best Business Book of 2012” by Fast Company

“this book contains some valuable self-help advice…” — The Economist

“In examining what they regard as the four key aspects most often associated with successful entrepreneurs, they have understood the importance of clear messages to help people apply their findings.” — Management Today (Australia)

‘"Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck,’ by Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh, gives you what you really need to succeed in business: Entrepreneurship tests, real world stories, workable strategies, and lots more. Maybe the subtitle of this excellent book says it best: ‘What it takes to be an entrepreneur and build a great business.’ Check it out.” — USA Today

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck will identify the right path for any entrepreneur—from those in the early stages of a startup, to veterans scaling an established business.” — Open Forum from American Express

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck is a book that you can read from start to finish. In fact, that’s exactly what I’d recommend.” “You’ll have fun as the authors take you on a journey of self-discovery that includes examples of successful entrepreneurs in each entrepreneurial profile.” — Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)

“Take the test and pick up the book for your team. They’ll both help you further hone your skills, and understand the skills of others in order to create a better team.” — 800 CEO READ

ADVANCE PRAISE:

Deepak Chopra, author, Spiritual Solutions; Cofounder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing —
“Reminds us all of the power of self-awareness for success in business and life.”

Sunil Mittal, Founder, Chairman, and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises —
“Heart, smarts, guts, and luck are crucial not just for those who start a business; they must also be in the DNA of everyone who wants to succeed in a transnational, high-growth company.”

Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author, Delivering Happiness; CEO, Zappos.com —
“A practical and fun read for entrepreneurs.”

Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times bestselling author, Never Eat Alone; Founder and Chairman, Ferrazzi Greenlight —
“Great, really great . . . not just for businesspeople, but for anyone trying to make better decisions and to better manage relationships.”

David Lawee, Vice President of Corporate Development, Google —
“Refreshingly human. Gets at the core of what it takes to build a successful entrepreneurial venture.”

Henry McCance, Chairman Emeritus, Greylock Partners —
“The authors have a rare combination of entrepreneurial and operating backgrounds, together with the experience of partnering with founders in a venture capital context. They have collected a perspective on what makes a successful entrepreneur—which everyone should enjoy and benefit from.”

Lord Rothermere, Chairman, DMGT —
“This book redefines the business book genre. It gets to the heart of the entrepreneur with clarity and common sense, which makes it both inspirational and a cracking good read.”

About the Author

Anthony K. Tjan is Managing Partner of the venture capital firm Cue Ball and was the founder of the pioneering Internet advisory group, ZEFER, as well as former Senior Partner and Vice Chairman of Parthenon Group. Richard J. Harrington is Chairman of Cue Ball. Dick began his career as a small business owner; as CEO of Thomson Corporation, he transformed the diversified holding company into Thomson Reuters, the largest information services company in the world. Tsun-yan Hsieh is a widely respected business guru who, over his 30-year career as a Senior Director of McKinsey and Chairman of LinHart Group, has become a trusted counselor to founders, CEOs, and boards throughout the Americas and Asia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422161943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422161944
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By George DeMark on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't like most business books. They are filled with jargon and they don't address the nuts and bolts of what it really takes to build a business from the ground up. Well, trust three really really smart entrepreneurs and business veterans to come up with one of the best books I have ever read about how to start (and more importantly SUSTAIN) a business, no matter what it is. Anthony Tjan - I have been reading his blog posts for years for the Harvard Business Review - and his two co-authors (one of whom was the CEO of what is now Thomson-Reuters and the other who is some mucky-muck for McKinsey) write in a funny, insightful, super-practical and most of all READER-FRIENDLY way to give you all the benefit of their experience. This isn't some dry tome that will leave you annoyed and angry and looking up words in the dictionary. Instead it's a book that's perfect for anyone who a) wants to start his/her own business b) wants to figure out what they are doing wrong (or right) midway through their business career c) enjoys practical wisdom and tips and techniques to make the whole thing work better. Highly, highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lejeli on October 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a retired architect I selected this book out of intellectual curiosity rather than for practical use. Its title caught my attention, but I found it to be rather dull reading for the most part. A true entrepreneur would be so bored by the second chapter, he'd toss it aside and say "Let's stop the talking and let's DO something!". I started scanning and skipping before I was half way through. There are certainly some interesting points and stories along the way, but most of the content seemed to me to be obvious, repetitive, monotonous verbiage stretched out long enough to justify a full-length book. It all could have been said--and said much more concisely and interestingly--in a third to a half the length. I took the on-line aptitude test but it, too, pretty much told me what I already knew. I just didn't see much new or inteesting with this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fabian Pfortmueller on August 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I usually don't enjoy reading business books because I find I can summarize them on one page and I never finish them. I get bored quite easily and I find that they don't apply to my situation.

Very different with Tony Tjan's book. This, for me, has become among my top 3 business books ever.

Why?

- It's well written, inspiring and entertaining
- It's based on real research and you can tell that the authors have been building and leading businesses for years
- It has lots of tangible advice - I have learned a ton, from changing my own behaviors to the way I'm leading my company
- It helped me identify areas where I can grow and increased my self-awareness

As an entrepreneur I highly recommend this book to anyone who is building anything, from building a non-profit or tech-startup to leading a Fortune 500.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wisdom -- some of it shockingly counter-intuitive -- from la crème de la crème of successful people from all walks of business and life, told not only in parable but with data and directness. The E.A.T survey tells a timeless truth: that knowing oneself is fundamental to thriving. Every aspiring entrepreneur should take this test.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JoeB on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of books on business and entrepreneurship, and this one ranks near the top. The paradigm the authors use for characterizing different types of entrepreneurs is intriguing. I took the online survey, and it turns out I'm heart dominant. I'd recommend this book to anyone in business school, anyone running a business, or anyone who thinks one day they might start a business. The tone is fun and lighthearted, so it makes for an easy, enjoyable read. Definitely the type of book you can read multiple times and get more out of it every time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Kooij on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In this book, an attempt is made to identify what character traits make a successful entrepreneur, plus it makes an attempt to measure how much of each would be needed. I did not like the book because the descriptions and concepts in the book were not to-the-point enough for me - is all this based on the inexact science of psychology or is it personal opinion? I would not recommend this book to people who are considering becoming an entrepreneur themselves, since one cannot study one's way into entrepreneurship. Act!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maurice O. on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
THE BASICS ABOUT THE BOOK

The book dissects the entrepreneurial journey into four elements: passion, intelligence, courage, and circumstance, or what the authors call "Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck" (or HSGL). To varying degrees, we each rely on all four in our quest to professional (and personal) growth.

After laying out the HSGL framework, the book provides nuggets of tried wisdom to help the reader reach his business potential on each of the four dimensions. For instance, in the Smarts category, it discusses pattern recognition and the importance of focusing on inputs rather than the outputs of a business. It also offers some helpful rules of thumb, such as the three minute rule to better understanding the customer or the five percent rule on cultivating your network.

The book also offers examples of where some successful entrepreneurs fall on the HSGL spectrum. Are they more Heart-Smarts dominant or perhaps Heart-Guts driven like Dr. Oz who relied heavily on Guts in transitioning from the operating room to television?

Perhaps most interestingly, HSGL offers a self-assessment survey that gives you an idea of where your natural bias falls--do you lead primarily with your heart, or with your mind? Or perhaps you're someone who is at the right place at the right time, who has a propensity to meet new people and connect dots?

SO WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS BOOK?

There are plenty of books out there on entrepreneurship. Many advocate a prescribed formula for what makes a successful entrepreneur. This book is different.

Nothing in this book is rocket science, and it's a quick read. But it's unique in providing a comprehensive framework and in assisting the reader in enhancing his self awareness.
Read more ›
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