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BOOK OF THE MONTH…Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Small Business Owner and Make the Most Out of Any Business Opportunity?
1 Oct 13 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Opportunity Focus
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Think you’ve got what it takes to start and own your own successful work-from-home or other small business? Intrigued by the literally hundreds if not thousands of business opportunities and other established business models for sale, any of which might just be the one that inspires you to make the leap to becoming an entrepreneur? Or maybe you’ve got a great product or service of your own and want to start your business from the ground up.

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Whatever the case may be, chances are you’re wondering if you have what it takes to make it, to really go the distance. After all, you’re only human.

You may be asking yourself if you’re fully aware of what your core strengths are and how you can use them to your maximum advantage. And what about where you fall short? We all do you know. Seriously, have you thought about how you might compensate for your inevitable weaknesses, enough to ensure they don’t become your ultimate downfall anyway?

It’s that need for you—or anyone else who wants to be an entrepreneur—to engage in that level of incredibly insightful and helpful self-awareness that drove the authors of the fairly recent New York Times bestseller, Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business. “We wrote the book with people planning to start, build or run a business—or those already playing a key role in starting, building or running something—in mind,” the authors state. “But it’s also meant to be useful for those in school or in some other job who are wondering whether entrepreneurship or business-building is right for them.” Coming from three pros who have all made entrepreneurship a fulfilling way of life, each in their own right, their stated goal is to “convince more people to try it.”

And this book is a great attempt on their part to do just that.

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck (HSGL for short) is a book that any want-to-be business owner must read as it really is a self-guided tour through your very own entrepreneurial DNA. It encourages you, in a very inviting and non-threatening way, to explore your strengths and limitations as a prospective, or even established, entrepreneur, all in an effort to make you a stronger businessperson and leader.

Plus, HSGL’s approach to helping you identify your best entrepreneurial self is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in that it incorporates the results of the first-ever Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test (aka E.A.T.). The HSGL E.A.T. is a simple online test you can take to help you understand which of the four traits highlighted in the book’s title dominates your personality and therefore your overall decision-making as a business owner. Your own unique HSGL mix of traits as identified by the E.A.T. then constitutes your HSGL profile, which is essentially a reflection of your leadership personality and gives you a very real sense of whether or not you are ideally suited to starting, building and developing a business—highlighting your strengths, limitations...all of it.

While we could walk you through all the details of what constitutes a heart-dominant entrepreneur versus one who is smarts-dominant, guts-dominant or luck-dominant—and yes, luck is something that can be largely influenced (but you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out how)—it wouldn’t be near as much fun or enlightening as your engaging in that exercise all on your own.

What’s perhaps more interesting are some of the other intriguing and notable facts and statistics that emerged from these authors' years of research, some of which may seem contradictory to everything you’ve ever been told about what it takes to start and grow a successful business of your own, starting with this one:

• 70% of founders with a successful exit started their business without a plan (This alone is worth the read, simply because it raises some interesting counterarguments to the old adage that failing to plan is planning to fail.)

• 65% of founders had a childhood entrepreneurial venture, exhibiting their true colors early on

• 61% of founders are heart-driven, while 25% are luck-dominant

• While having a baseline of smarts is an essential foundation for any career, having a “baseline” level of smarts suffices for most entrepreneurs and business-builders. “Trust us,” the authors write, “you do not need to be a genius to be a great business-builder.” It’s nice and reassuring to know that we don’t all have to be Bill Gates, right?

• Having guts, in large measure, is an essential trait for business-building success—to initiate, to endure and to evolve. But while some individuals are born with it, it is indeed an acquirable trait, and that’s encouraging.

• Some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and business-builders can and do speak about luck often and their ability to create or influence it, something you too can actively engage in if you just know how. “Frankly,” the authors concede, “it is the one quality of which we can never get enough.” Agreed.

Your journey to greater self-awareness—and maybe even better luck—via the insights provided in HSGL and by your taking the EAT, the authors are quick to point out, is not intended to serve as the sole predictor of who you are. Furthermore, they say, there is a reason the EAT survey is not called the “HSGL Survey.” Rather, the survey is simply a lens through which you are better able to approach the material provided in the book, all in the great hope that what you find out about yourself will make you a stronger entrepreneur with greater business-building potential in the long run.

We think that’s a journey worth taking.

If you agree, you can purchase your own copy of Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business by visiting your local bookstore or get it from either one of these online retailers: Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Additionally, you can both buy the book and take the E.A.T. Survey by clicking here on http://www.hsgl.com/, the official HSGL website.

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