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The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business Paperback – March 6, 2012

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The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business + The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It + The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936661861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936661862
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“One thing readers can be certain of is that Carol Roth will tell it like it is. Her no-nonsense, direct, humorous, and engaging style is part of what makes The Entrepreneur Equation one of the more enjoyable business books to read. But the author also has a serious purpose: to ensure that anyone thinking about starting a business is prepared for it.

The author’s aim is to lay out the realities of starting, buying, or owning a business and help the reader make a comprehensive assessment of the risks and rewards associated with that effort. She does a thorough job of exploring every aspect of the process and ultimately guides the reader through building a personal 'Entrepreneur Equation.'

The Entrepreneur Equation is a definitive guide that will help any would-be entrepreneur objectively assess whether or not to venture into business ownership. Carol Roth’s advice and wisdom will likely make that decision a lot easier.”
Barry Silverstein, ForeWord Reviews

"Carol delivers the reality check that today's entrepreneur needs to succeed."
JJ Ramberg, Host of MSNBC’s Your Business and CEO of

“In a sea of feel-good ‘yes-you-can’ books that lure people into mindlessly wasting their limited time and resources on business ideas that don't stand up, The Entrepreneur Equation stands alone as a masterly, compelling reality check that every would-be entrepreneur disregards at their peril.”
Les McKeown, author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book Predictable Success and CEO of Predictable Success

“Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners alike can generate the best return on their success simply by investing their time reading The Entrepreneur Equation. Written in Carol’s frank and fun style, this book gives you the key tools that you need to stack the odds of success in your favor.”
Loral Langemeier, CEO/Founder of Live Out Loud, international speaker, and bestselling author of the Millionaire Maker 3 book series and Put More Cash In Your Pocket

The Entrepreneur Equation is a best friend’s advice, risk management handbook, and an entrepreneurs’ pre-qualification checklist all rolled into one. It’s communicated in a heartfelt anecdotal style by someone who has been ‘in the trenches’ and who truly cares about the people who aspire to be entrepreneurs.”
Paul Nizzere, Former CEO of Pelouze (Sold to Newell Rubbermaid) and CEO of Windsor Park, LLC

“I wish I’d had The Entrepreneur Equation when I started my business. It would have saved a lot of time, stress, and heartache through the growth while I made a go of it alone. If you’re thinking about starting a business, already running a business that is not profitable, or you haven’t been able to take your business to the next level, this book is for you.”
Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc. and author of Spin Sucks

“As an entrepreneur who’s built a successful company with a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance, I know how important it is for business owners to have access to advice from someone like Carol. The Entrepreneur Equation will lead you down the right path, as you ask of yourself if you should be an entrepreneur and do a true self evaluation of your potential for success.”
Percy Newsum, President of Integrity Toys

“Carol Roth leverages her experience as both an entrepreneur and a strategist for businesses to provide valuable and unique insights on entrepreneurship in today’s business landscape. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or even an existing business owner, The Entrepreneur Equation provides a roadmap to help you determine how and if owning your own business will help you achieve the American Dream.”
Adam Kaplan, Chief Portfolio Officer of Banyan Mezzanine

“Finally! Someone asks the million-dollar question—and then answers it. It isn’t about CAN you be an entrepreneur? It is really about SHOULD you be an entrepreneur? You can spend thousands of dollars and years of your valuable life figuring it out. Or, you can read this book.”
Shama Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing and President of the Marketing Zen Group

“By reading The Entrepreneur Equation, you’ll not only think differently about what entrepreneurship means for you, but also create an opportunity to get the best, most successful return on your investment.”
Harry Schulman, Past CEO of Applica, Non Executive Chairman of New Vitality and Director of Amoena, Hancock Fabrics, and Backyard Leisure

“The book perfectly mirrors [Roth’s] no-holds-barred style and conveys her genuine empathy and desire to see every entrepreneur succeed.”
Laura Provenzale, Head of Consumer & Retail Investment Banking Group, Raymond James

“In an era where ideas are heralded as the be-all-end all of business, the importance lies in execution. Carol gives readers a roadmap to transform their dreams into viable businesses, allowing both aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners the BEST chance to build successful, profitable businesses.”
Cameron Herold, Former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and CEO of

“Carol delivers innovative, rock-solid thinking that has the power to fix what is broken in business. The Entrepreneur Equation is a fresh new approach to what entrepreneurship really means today.”
Liz Strauss, Business Strategist and online “real-ebrity” of and

“In The Entrepreneur Equation, Carol will help you confront what it really takes to be an entrepreneur and run a business for success (because there are no guarantees).”
Martin Chimes, serial entrepreneur, Former CEO of Corporate Express Australia, and Chairman of Unistraw International LTD

About the Author

Carol Roth helps businesses grow and make more money. An investment banker, deal maker and business strategist, she has helped her clients, ranging from solopreneurs to multinational corporations, raise more than $1 billion in capital, complete hundreds of millions of dollars in M&A transactions, secure high-profile licensing and partnership deals, create brand enthusiast programs and more.

Roth is a frequent radio, television and print media contributor on the topics of business and entrepreneurship, having appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, WGN TV Chicago and more. Her Unsolicited Business Advice blog at was recently named as one of the Top 10 small business blogs online.

Roth holds a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband Kurt, who is also an investment banker (and her former business partner). They have no children, pets or plants and are avid sports fans (particularly of NFL football). Roth is also a recovering toy collector, recently trading in a portion of her collection for a more sophisticated toy (a "Simpsons" pinball machine).

More About the Author


Carol Roth is a recovering investment banker, media pundit and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She has helped her clients, raise more than $1 billion in capital, complete more than $750 million worth of M&A transactions, secure high-profile licensing and partnership deals and create million dollar brand loyalty programs.

Carol is seen weekly on television, including Fox Business, Fox News, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and WGN TV Chicago. She was named a 2011 & 2012 Top 100 Small Business Influencer. Carol is a contributing blogger to outlets like The Huffington Post and The New York Times and is the only business strategist with a fashion doll made in her likeness.

Ms. Roth holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Twitter: @CarolJSRoth

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book for anyone thinking about opening a small business or has already opened a small business.
Her personal wisdom on the subject and candid style make this book not only an excellent resource but also a very enjoyable read.
In The Entrepreneur Equation, Carol Roth gives honest advice on what is really required to become a successful business owner.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Fraulein Gretel on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you are thinking about starting a business and want to be talked out of it, this is the book for you. Carol lays out all the downsides, risks, and pitfalls of entrepreneurship. This book is a cold splash of water for starry-eyed dreamers. But it doesn't offer solutions. Successful businesses are started every day in America, and somehow companies make profits. I'd rather hear about how obstacles are overcome and problems solved. Why the negativity?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an entrepreneur I consider the author's point of view too radical and somehow out of balance. Only warning alone can not make the future entrepreneurs successful. There is very little practical insight or solution offered in this book to avoid the pitfalls. Creating too much fear around the goal of building your own successful business can result in failure anyway. To my opinion she has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience but colored by her childhood's scarcities and her dread for financial loss. Give yourself permission to question all the materials in this book because reading it blindly can cause you to co-create your own failure.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Noah Fleming on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure: I had an early copy of the book to read. Carol is a wonderful person, a sound business mind, and clearly a great writer. Ready for the review?

Sometimes it's easy to say "Go" or "just start" or "just do it"... I've repeatedly found myself saying this to others.

Want to start that new shop on Etsy? "Just go." Want to open that Hot Dog Restaurant? "Do it..."

But... Carol's made me realize an important caveat still that's easy to forget.

The one about "oh yeah, it's hard work to start a business and actually succeed." I found the book to greatly reminded me of Michael Gerber's E-Myth. You know the book? The one that makes you consider all these things you don't really want to consider because they easily unmask some telling truths about your plan.

Carol helps us answer the tough questions early before it's too late. Carol takes you on a bit of a journey. It's a bit of an adventure book, almost like a board game. "Move forward if and only if you've done this."
Let me explain, the book works like this..

First few chapters.

1) Here are the myths about starting, running, owning a business. Are you starting for these reasons or for that reason?
2) Are you this type of person? Do you possess these qualities?

OK Good. Once you've answered these questions NOW it's time to move on to the next chapter.

3) Now let's look at your idea. Let's do some risk assessment. Let's consider the idea and fit for you and your personality. Does your idea have legs? Let's look at your business plan. How about financing? etc etc...

OK good, have you done that? Now let's move on.

Carol's funny and witty and the book delivers a lot of spunk.

So why 4 stars?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bluebee88 on April 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book focuses mostly on the reasons why you shouldn't have your own business - I felt it was a little biased rather than impartial. I bought it looking for guidance, but it ended up putting down most of the good reasons for having your own business. I know having a business is a lot of work, but not having to put up with Dilbert-like situations daily makes it worth taking a chance.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Terry Starbucker on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Carol Roth is a truth teller. I figured that out the first time I met her in Chicago, before a recent SOBCon. She has never shied away from hard facts and uncomfortable realities, especially when it comes to the business world.

She has faced many of these realities herself, during her career as an investment banker, deal maker, and business strategist. By her own admission, she's always had this "Lucy Van Pelt" (the character in the Peanuts comic strip) thing going on, putting up her own version of the "Doctor is In" sign, telling it like it is to all who frequently ask her for advice.

I have been one of those people myself, because I'm about to make the big jump into my own business (with a partner, Liz Strauss), and Carol knows a thing or two about that.

There is SO much to think about when starting a business, and I needed a few doses of reality as I slogged forward. Carol has been extremely helpful, and now I feel a lot better about what I'm doing, and, on top of that, I have a great new friend, because she also happens to be a good and caring person to boot.

So it was with great interest that I recently read her latest book, "The Entrepreneur Equation". The book is a wonderful distillation of all that advice she has given over the years, well sequenced and organized. It really is essential reading for any would-be entrepreneur, because it really "lays it all out there" - all the hurdles and "screens" that one has to jump and pass through to conceive, plan, fund, staff, model, manage and execute (just to name a few) a new business.

The crux: Just because you think you CAN be an entrepreneur, that doesn't mean you SHOULD be one, until you answer all the right questions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MN Gal on June 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the first few chapters but it is very negative for people starting a business. I have already started mine and was hoping it would provide tips. It instead was all the reasons you should not start a business and had more downer stories than positive and uplifting stories. So I would not recommend for someone who already has a business, if your just starting out and want a shock of reality I would recommend this book to you.
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