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Entrepreneur Journeys Book Review: A Need For Freedom

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 17th 2008

By Maureen Kelly

As Sramana has written before, I have been working with her to help publicize and promote Entrepreneur Journeys for the past few months. After reading her inspiring book, I didn’t know if I should first go find a problem to create a business to solve it or buy stock in some of the companies whose CEOs she profiles. Probably a little of both would be a good idea.

Using the book as a tool to help inspire entrepreneurship, we set out to spread the word, initially online. I’ve been completely blown away by the high level of talent and integrity in those I have encountered in the blogosphere. The bar continues to be raised by people like Mark Glaser and Mike Rosen-Molina, Bernard Moon, Rajesh Setty, Deepika Bajaj, Dan Schwabel, Ranjan Varma, Mark Harbeke, Nitin Karandikar, Noah Kagan, and Brad Ferris/NurseB911.

And as space for reviews of business books continues to disappear offline, the avid and analytical readers who have decided to review these books online are indeed providing a service to all business book readers, I encourage you to check out the reviews of EJ1 by the following writers to see if their style speaks to you: Ivana Taylor, Alan Brochstein, Chris Brown, Brajeshwar, Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, Frank Lara, Ken Ross, Steve King and Thomas Duff.

In the New Year we are working on several exciting book events designed to foster entrepreneurship, especially events targeting the many capable professionals affected by the recent rounds of layoffs. Stay tuned.

And I will close by pointing you to a thoughtful review on Amazon by Jacqueline Fendt, a professor of entrepreneurship from Paris, France:

“An inspirational book. Makes perfect reading for those season’s days when you calm down a bit, take some distance from everyday stress, and begin to ask yourself curious questions. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Am I fulfilled, am I truly creating value? Sramana Mitra invites us on twelve journeys, twelve marvelously narrated, concrete entrepreneurial experiences.

There are basically two ways one becomes an entrepreneur: ‘by constraint’ (no money, no job, no education, no legitimacy but a need to survive) or ‘by choice’ (good education, good job, but a need for freedom and/or sense-making). This book clearly addresses the latter category. The twelve compelling profiles Sramana shares with us are essentially well-educated individuals, most installed in flawless, successful career paths (secure and well-paying corporate jobs), who ditch it all to become entrepreneurs. And Sramana Mitra knows what she’s talking about, she could all by herself be one or several of these examples she brings to us: she is a highly educated individual, a serial entrepreneur for over 15 years, and a Forbes columnist. Her stories are diverse and universal. Five are US-based, four are from India, two are from Europe and one is from Latin America. Business models vary from social communities, to eBay-type models, to e-advertising, to software services and all types of technologies such as sophisticated search engines, fibre optics and solar energy.

So yes, this is not a book for everybody, it is not a textbook, it is not an academic book, it does not address those (equally admirable) future entrepreneurs who set out to sell sandwiches outside the banking district’s skyscrapers in order to be able to pay their monthly rent. And it does not pretend to.

But for those students and graduates who want to fully understand what ‘bootstrapping’ really means, how one can find opportunity in unmet markets and by disrupting business models…who want to learn how just a handful of smart, astute and committed entrepreneurs can take on giant corporations; and for those of us specialists, experts, academics and executives in the corporate world or elsewhere, who may be searching for more sense in our lives…well for all of us this collection of journeys will make perfect holiday reading – and perhaps change the odd life’s trajectory?”


This segment is a part in the series : Entrepreneur Journeys Book Review


. A Need For Freedom
. "Bootstrapping" In Tune With The Times
. Mentor Capital, Not Venture Capital
. Getting Started
. Finding Niches Within Niches
. Starting Small, Making It Big
. Focus On The Customer
. Find The Value That's Missing
. Value Creators vs. Speculators
. "If at first you don't find funding..."
. Buck The Trend, Back Yourself
. Win Free E-Book Copy of "Entrepreneur Journeys, Volume Three"
. "We twist and turn the ideas and make them our own."
. Bootstrapping In The UK
. "Iron out the wrinkles on your entrepreneurship canvas"
. Positioning & Bootstrapping for Entrepreneurs
. Do You REALLY Have What It Takes?
. Clarify Your Story
. Bound To Lift Drooping Spirits
. Converting Experiences Into Roadmaps
. VentureWoods Reviews "Entrepreneur Journeys"
. Bootstrapping Is The Order Of The Day!
. Dorm Room View of Bootstrapping
. Discussing Entrepreneurship and Positioning
. Forget Venture Capital, Raise Mental Capital
. "Men can do what men have done."
. Entrepreneur Journeys Vol. 3 Kicks SaaS
. Learning Directly From The Masters
. Best Book I Have Read in 2009
. Niches Abound Within Niches
. A Peek At Businesses That Validate The Vertical Movement Of The Web
. Favorites From 2009
. For Entrepreneurs And More
. Trendwatchers Will Not Be Disappointed
. Power Lies Within Oneself
. A Peek At The Way The Minds Of Great Entrepreneurs Work
. If You've The Will, You Will Make The Way
. Bootstrapping Is Good!
. Zest For Creation
. Very Pertinent To The Current Economy
. We Need To Innovate Our Way Out
. Seeking Justice For Entrepreneurs
. Push Of Encouragement To Set You On The Path To Success
. Filled With Terrific And Hard-Won Insight
. Bootstrapping Can Be Successful

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Hi Maureen! Thanks you for including my review in your list! The book was really insightful and I know that our readers at http://www.smallbiztrends.com really appreciated it. They LOVE the book reviews!

Ivana Taylor Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 6:02 AM PT