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What If? and Why Not?: How to Transform Your Fears Into Action and Start the Business of Your Dreams Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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About the Author
Jen’s innovative handbag company is the award-winning Butler Bag Company, which launched just under 3 years ago and is now being tracked as one of the fastest growing handbag brands in history. She has become a regularly featured business and lifestyle expert for such programs as Fox News’ Strategy Room”, ABC’s Money Matters”, CBS’ Early Show”, CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch”, and Meredith Corporation’s Better TV” and a business contributor to the Huffington Post. Jen and her products have been featured in hundreds of media outlets such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, Us Weekly, People, Success and Entrepreneur.
Jen is a highly sought-after speaker and author contributing editorial pieces to several prominent business magazines and booking speaking engagements that include political conferences, charity fundraisers, Learning Annex seminars, and women’s leadership conferences. She is also the National Spokesperson for Girls Take Charge, a leadership organization for girls 9-18 years of age.
Jen has recently created and hosts Launchers Café - a cutting-edge entrepreneurial, multimedia, and interactive brand with tens of thousands of members that is changing the way entrepreneurs/launchers learn, share information, do business and accelerate business growth.
She has received numerous accolades and honors from women’s organizations such as the Momentum Award from Ceslie Network/Ceslie.com recognizing her as one of the best and brightest women in business. Most recently Jen is the 2009 Honoree for the Women’s Venture Fund for her prominent work in being a role model and advocate for female entrepreneurs.
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As an entrepreneurship educator and as an economic developer, there is a real need for an "entry-level" book for those wrestling with the decision of how to take control of their lives. It's not enough to want to - they have to believe that they can. It's not too corny to refer to "life-changing"; to unleash your inner entrepreneur requires seeing the world very differently. Yet Jen shows how it's not *that* different. As such, this is a great guide for those who are completely new to this whole notion of entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, as a recovering tech entrepreneur (and a research PhD in entrepreneurship) you'd think that this would seem a bit over-simplified for me, eh? Nope. Not at all. Learning to think more like an expert entrepreneur - to build the cognitive scripts & maps necessary - requires changing some very deep beliefs that we not only take for granted, we aren't even mindful of them. The barriers we see to entrepreneurship are mostly in the eye of the beholder & Jen walks the reader through several of the most obvious (and several of the sneakiest.) Jen's questions seem artful - and powerful - from that perspective. (Stop me before I design a research project around these questions... but I'd love to see what happens at each "Aha!" moment through all this. Anyone lend me an fMRI?)
Beginner books rarely keep my attention; this one I read in one sitting and I've already loaned it out.. twice.
[p.s. Would I suggest this book to an MBA? No, but only because they wouldn't read it, LOL. But for the average Jane or Joe on the street... it's worth the sticker price.]
The point of this book is that you do have what it takes. Almost anyone does, provided they find an idea that gets them jacked up, and don't buy into some of the pervasive myths, like the one about needing to kneel before venture capital funds before you can launch. One of the most valuable aspects of this book is the myth-busting that Jen does. Another is the collection of practical tips and ideas from someone who's been there, done that. Raising money from family? Starting an investor co-op? Yikes! I would have been terrified to try those things, but Jen's breezy, "you can do it" style makes it sound possible.
Before you pick up a book about writing a business plan, building your personal brand or social networking, read this book. It's a friendly, positive boot camp in how to develop the mind of an entrepreneur. I can't recommend it highly enough.