If you’ve read “E-myth” or “”Built to Sell,” you’ll want to read “The Mindful Entrepreneur.” This book is like an additional compendium book to those best-sellers; it fills the gap so they finally make sense.
Both those books discuss the purposeful organization of the business. “The Mindful Entrepreneur” talks about this, but also discusses personal mindfulness and how it relates to owning a business.
“First of all, your business isn’t a separate part of your life; it’s part of an integrated whole.”
I absolutely agree with this sentence from the book. My mentor hammered this lesson into me time after time. “It’s just a business” is an ugly myth. The string of broken marriages, nervous breakdowns and suicides caused by entrepreneurial pressure is long and widely publicized. It’s not just business. It’s your life and Joel Greschman makes an amazing job of explaining how you can integrate your business in your life and your personality into your business.
A Single Fly in the Ointment
The only tiny weakness in this super book is that there is too much “sugar” in it. At least, that was my impression.
The turnaround that Howard, the main character, experienced was so rapid and complete that it seemed he really didn’t struggle. His home life seemed almost idyllic. Everyone supported him and every improvement he tried to bring home was instantly accepted and made everyone at home happy.
But maybe Howard’s life is just sweet? I don’t know.
All the Goodness
I can’t properly highlight all the great features of this book. It’s just too awesome! I can only hope that a few things I describe will attract you to the book and you read it and enjoy all its facets.
1. Fiction Story that Works.
This book is a masterpiece. I’ve read hundreds of business and personal development books and not a single one came even close to this level of mingling the story with actionable steps.
For example, I read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and I hated its guts! The story was captivating and fascinating, the main theme was significant, but Kiyosaki ruined everything for me when I discovered that it was a fake story. A real-life story of such degree of impact would have been incredible. The fiction story was just that, fiction.
I felt the same when I read any other business/ personal development books which tried to use a fiction story to illustrate the main point. Sometimes authors used real cases in their books. 90% of the time it felt clumsy, sometimes downright embarrassing.
In “The Mindful Entrepreneur” Joel uses a real story and it really reads like a fiction book. You’ll want to flip the pages and find out how the story unfolds.
At the same time, the book is packed with resources, methods, big picture concepts and practical techniques that break the story into very manageable pieces and illustrate how to use them in real life.
This is the perfect mishmash of a story and charts, diagrams, detailed lists and action steps.
Life and business go hand in hand, but this simple fact eludes most of entrepreneurs. A business plan, systems and processes are not enough to move your business forward, if you are anxious and afraid of the future.
Fixing your business is half the work. You also need to fix yourself and Joel tell you exactly how, in the same way, he explains how you should improve your business: methodically and continually.
It’s so refreshing to see the same methodical approach applied to both life and business side of things. When the author of “The Mindful Entrepreneur” advises how to notice and correct your faulty thinking, he doesn’t stop at a pep talk. You get step by step action plans, detailed and applicable in the same way the book provides business advice. Those mindfulness techniques are also included in the storyline, so you can relate to them better. You see another human being struggling with the same demons you struggle with and how he face them and win them.
One additional point about the mindfulness techniques Joel teaches in the book that I love: they all come down to a regular practice. You cannot change, if your habits won’t change. It’s not enough to check yourself once when stupid and dark thoughts attack you. You need disciplines and rituals to overcome them.
I’m a habit coach, so I appreciate the approach illustrated in “The Mindful Entrepreneur” very much. Whatever you try to incorporate into your life to improve yourself, you need to do it regularly. This applies to your physical health as well as to your mental and emotional health.
I’m very impressed by the way the author presents all this awesome advice. It’s all actionable, put in a sensible order, clear and concise. “The Mindful Entrepreneur” is filled with diagrams and tables that illustrate the relevant points. You don’t need to guess or look for explanations from external sources. Everything is one place and makes sense.
I started by mentioning “E-myth” and “Built to Sell;” I read those books and I think “The Mindful Entrepreneur” is better than them when it comes to implementation. You simply can’t go wrong following the book’s guidelines. You won’t be confused or lost on what to do next. This is awesome!
5. Solid Business Advice.
Joel starts with the mission and vision for the business. It’s a different way of thinking for entrepreneurs when it comes to their day to day business activities. Businessmen care about the bottom line, not about visions!
Yet, it’s the best advice a small business owner can get. Companies that have a mission, vision and values incorporated into their daily functioning outrank their competition by over 10 times.
When you know your why, you will figure out your how and what without a problem. It applies to personal life as well as to professional life.
And it’s just a single example out of dozens. “The Mindful Entrepreneur” does it all the time. It teaches the right things in the right order, so you can stop putting out fires in your business and actually start enjoying being an entrepreneur.
Another thing I loved about this book is how it deals with the overnight success myth. It took Howard well over a year to fix his business. There are no magic potions that will change everything in your business next week.
What’s more, Howard’s business functioned in the market for 10 years before he met Joel. He capitalized on his whole rich experience, he didn’t create something from nothing. Because he had a business that worked for years, he could improve it.
This book is a gem. I can give you one more reference – “Work the System” by Sam Carpenter. Both books tell a story and teach how to convert a business from a chaotic endeavor into a profitable and reliable one.
Only Joel Greschman does it in 5 times fewer words. Don’t get me wrong, Sam’s story is still a powerful testimonial of the ordering power of systems. It can inspire you. But “The Mindful Entrepreneur” provides the tools you need to morph this inspiration into actionable steps.
If you apply what this book tells you, you won’t be an overnight success, but you will be a success.
It’s flatly impossible to list all the good points about this book. My final piece of advice is: if you already have a business, read this book to find out how to make it better; if you don’t have one, read it for the inspiring story.
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