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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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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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 gives valuable, actionable advice for seasoned and budding entrepreneurs alike, including soloproneurs, small business owners, as well as employeeproneurs. Check out the 6 steps for building discipline, 10 things to quit, garbage and gold questions, and lists of awesomeness (or helpfulness) to name a few. I also appreciated that the advice is in short chapters, with bite sized nuggets, and bolded headings which makes it so much easier to read a book without having to wade through reams of detail. "Brevity is [indeed] the gold standard in business" as Brogan says.
I loved the concept of Monchu, an Okinawan word meaning one family, "the family you choose." Brogan explains how this is better than just networking; this is a list of people you care about. Monchu is the extended network you nurture. The mind-set of Monchu is that you care more about some people than as merely customers or a part of your network. It's the idea that you're not just looking to make money and "sell and run" but that you might want to build a community beyond just selling. If this book inspires you to work from a Monchu mind-set, you will be richer for reading it. Not to mention all of the other useful advice.
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.