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The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators Hardcover – April 21, 2014
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As business books go, it is hard to find anything that comes close to this in both style and feel-good factor, and it is well worth picking up. (Talk Business, August 2014) A good, practical introductory business book, with guidance for life in general as well (The Gateway, November 2014)
From the Author
Have you ever felt like you don't fit in? Have you had that feeling like "I really think business would work better if we treated it more like THIS?" Do you wish there was a better way to do what you think needs doing in the world?
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Brogan's key insight is to link the two discussions. Choosing to do business on your own terms is an integral part of being a "freak" and owning it. The two shift together, and choices made on one axis affect the other.
Brogan's second key insight--which I dearly wish more folks would talk about as systematically--is that "business is about belonging."
This insight has revolutionized the way I think about doing business. It used to be a slightly sordid thing that would need to exist as a necessary evil. But in making his statement and working through the implications, he persuaded me that there is much more to business than just the gross.
And that observation makes all the difference in the world. If larger corporations (I'm looking at you, U_____ Airlines and U_____ P_____ Service) actually paid attention and began to focus on their customer as the foundation, I don't think commerce (air travel, overnight delivery) would ever be the same. If smaller businesses began to pay attention to this principle, though, the world would be a manifestly better place.
And what better compliment can be paid to a book than to say that the world would be a better place if more people would read it and act on the thoughts in it?
Throughout the book I'd say the tone was one of a pragmatic cheerleader. He's encouraging in having you look at the possibilities before you in business, but it is tempered with some sensible caveats. As an entrepreneur I found it refreshing that he avoided the sometimes goofy platitudes which permeate some similar books. Instead of the "never quit" mantra, he explains (correctly) that sometimes it is a very good idea to quit.
He does his job in pointing out, as the title suggests, that fitting in isn't much of a strategy anymore. If people only got that from the book, it would be worth the read.
On the negative side, I thought it was a bit long. However, I think that my familiarity with many of the topics were the key drivers of that feeling. For the uninitiated, it would probably feel fine.
The tone is easy, conversational and approachable. Which considering the subject is pretty much dead on. You don't encourage someone into the idea of business with a dry textbook format. It was good work to keep it feeling light as many people have fears regarding trying something new.
For anyone thinking about starting a business or embarking on a more uncharted course in their existing job, I'd highly recommend the book. It's not a point by point guide, but rather outlines the higher level thinking of what makes going into business a viable idea.
As Brogan correctly points out, you don't need to know everything about business to run one. (that's why there are accountants and lawyers) But you can use his enthusiasm to really get thinking about your options. No matter what you decide, you'll get some insights from the book which should be helpful. Easily worth the price.
It is not enough to read "Freaks" and simply put it down afterwards. No, there is a deeper relationship that we are charged with developing here. This "relationship" is a commitment to nurturing our businesses on own terms and Chris spells out how to do just that.
With an authoritative yet vulnerable voice, Brogan guides his audience through a customizable process for doing what needs to be done. Excuses are not tolerated and genuinely effective apologies are humbly encouraged.
No two people will follow the same path, yet no one can achieve success alone. To sum up my experience with "The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth" (so far) is that it is more of a conversation than a monolog. I encourage you to join the conversation and begin reading this important book.