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Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy Hardcover – June 12, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This title will be of critical value to business majors, self-employed professionals, and student advisors." --Library Journal



"Own Your Future is a career and success book that...is adapted to today’s realities....packed with advice and keen insight for those looking for their next job… which should be everybody." --Soundview Executive Book Summaries Blog



“Must read for anyone working or owning a business in today’s economy…primarily written for employees, there is tremendous value for the small business owner in it.” --Small Business Trends



“...a great read with excellent insight and if you adopt and apply even a few of the techniques here, your career and leadership potential should grow dramatically.” --Coach Casebook

Book Description

It used to be that if you studied and worked hard, you could be assured of an extremely satisfying career. But in a world of constant layoffs and dying industries, it has become increasingly difficult to "plan" your way to success.

So what is the solution? Well, when it comes to dealing with uncertainty, nobody handles it better than successful entrepreneurs. That's why you want to take the same approach they do! Based on extensive research and interviews, Own Your Future shows how to apply the simple model they use--Act. Learn. Build. Repeat--to reinvent the way you maneuver in an unpredictable job market.

Here's how it works. Instead of picturing your perfect career and working backwards, simply begin with the direction you want to go and take a small step. Thinking alone will never change your life--you must ACT. Then evaluate the lessons you learn from that first step, build on them, and take another step in your desired direction. Repeat this process until you have achieved your goal.

When you consider that your job--perhaps even your industry--may disappear, you have no choice but to take control. Filled with stories of professionals of all kinds who have profited from this proactive approach, Own Your Future gives you the tools you need to succeed--no matter what comes your way.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (June 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814434096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814434093
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,609,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many years ago, I realized that people cannot control the future but they can control how they respond to what happens in the future. This insight led to two separate but related conclusions: Most limits are self-imposed, and, What our life becomes is largely the result of the decisions we make. These remarks serve as an introduction to my thoughts about Own Your Future. It was written by Paul B. Brown with Charles F. Kiefer and Leonard A. Schlesinger and focuses on valuable life and work lessons that can be learned from "the best entrepreneurs": those who have launched or re-launched successful companies.

Time-Out: Ted Turner did not launch Turner Advertising Company; he saved it after his father's suicide. I think he is among the greatest entrepreneurs in business history. Those who have "learned about navigating uncertainty in order to increase the odds for success" in their personal and professional lives, as Brown characterizes it, include but are by no means limited to founders of start-ups.

Brown suggests this formula (i.e. ALBR) for success ("if there is one") in the book's Introduction: "Figure out "what you truly want to do. Then, once you know: Act, Learn. Then Build (off of what you find). And then Repeat (the process)." This is what successful entrepreneurs do. "After all, there is nothing more uncertain than starting a business, and these people have done it successfully. What has worked for them will work for" those who are unwilling and/or unable to launch a business of their own. My own opinion is the material in this book will be of greatest interest and value to those who are currently unemployed or underemployed.
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Format: Hardcover
Unless you have been totally isolated these last few years, you are well aware of the alarming lack of job security employees have. This has created a growing need for workers to take responsibility for their future. It is no longer prudent to assume that your job or even your industry will be around five or ten years in the future. The only way to ensure your future employment security is to create it and that means becoming more entrepreneurial.

Paul Brown along with Charles Kiefer and Leonard Schlesinger, authors of Own Your Future, have written an important work that clearly establishes the need for individuals to be more entrepreneurial in their approach to job security and also gives you a step-by-step method to create your own future.

It is easy to think that your job or your industry is safe from the changes sweeping through the economy. There are relatively few careers/industries that are immune to the rapid changes taking place in our modern world. Some basic trades are relatively safe - plumbers, electricians, carpenters come to mind. But the professional/service industries have and will continue to undergo rapid and radical changes. Look at the number of companies/industries that have disappeared or suffered dramatic reductions. Blockbuster disappeared, many retail book stores have vanished, many newspapers and magazines have ceased operations or cut back dramatically. The list goes on and on.

The authors make a valid point. You can no longer depend on any one industry or career path for your financial security. You must acquire skills that are transferrable - that can go from one industry to another or from one career path to another. You need to become entrepreneurial.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When you are facing a future that cannot be predicted with any accuracy, traditional approaches for problem solving (e.g., forecasting, planning, in-depth research) don't help you much. You need to acknowledge that and find alternatives, according to Charles Kiefer, Leonard Schlesinger and Paul Brown in this book.

For the majority of people who are not natural entrepreneurs, the thought of an unpredictable future in which carefully laid plans and investments might be wasted is not a comfortable one. The authors say that essentially everyone will be facing this dilemma, other than skilled tradesmen, people who can live with how their profession is evolving, and people who can coast safely into the sunset.

What is the best way to go about surfing on a sea of uncertainty? According to the authors, we need to copy the typical steps of a successful entrepreneur in what they call the ALBR process:

• Act: Work out what you want to do, and act by quickly taking a small step towards your goal using whatever means you have at hand.
• Learn: After taking the small step, stop to see what you have learned.
• Build: Use what you have learned as a foundation for your next steps.
• Repeat: Keep following these steps until you are happy with the result or you decide you don’t want or can’t afford to continue.

I suspect that a typical non-entrepreneur who reads the book won’t take a lot of comfort in the ALBR formula. The authors are obviously a lot more comfortable with uncertainty than the typical non-entrepreneur. The book still doesn’t tell you where you should go or where safety can be found, because there is very little safety in a rapidly changing business environment. But if your ship is sinking you are much more likely to survive if you are generating options for action rather than living in denial.
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