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Entrepreneur Journeys Book Review: Power Lies Within Oneself

Posted on Saturday, Feb 13th 2010

From a review of Bootstrapping for The Indian Express:

“I was quite apprehensive about reading the book (not being a management person) until I read the quote in the prologue, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ – a Hindu concept that explains how power lies within oneself.  This defines the concept of the book in a nutshell.

The book traces the growth of many entrepreneurs and how they made it.  Every entrepreneur has his own strategy, and not one is alike.  Reading about their lives makes you realize that they weren’t super humans as they appear today and had humble beginnings like many others. They once lived off the free coffee from the neighborhood café, grocery supplies from mom or a rent-free room from future in-laws, all while working on their business plan.

It also emphasizes the need for mentor capitalists rather than venture capitalists to save a whole lot of money and time and steer a young entrepreneur in the right direction. Greg Gianforte, former Silicon Valley software entrepreneur, completely agrees with Mitra on this. In his interview, he says ‘If you don’t have VC funding behind you and need to put food on the table, then you are forced to figure out how to find another customer. I think it’s a good thing. I think that’s business.’”

You can read the entire review here.

Sramana Mitra’s new book, Vision India 2020, and all of her Entrepreneur Journeys books, Entrepreneur Journeys, Bootstrapping, and Positioning, are available from in paperback and for Kindle.  Entrepreneur Journeys and Bootstrapping, published by Hachette India, are for sale in bookstores in India.

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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Sramana, we are both on the same side when it comes to our belief in “entrepreneurship”. I hope your goals and your book are very successful. However, the keywords “mentor capitalist” can be an oxymoron in today’s competitive environment due to “FUD” of competition from the mentee. When “Tat Tvam Asi” (Wikipedia = “The meaning of this saying is that the Self – in its original, pure, primordial state – is wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena.”) denies, or lessens the importance of, the existence of a “Higher Power” within oneself, then the power that lies within oneself does not need to be shared.

In order to “steer a young entrepreneur in the right direction” a mentor capitalist has to adopt a Wikipedia “In Religion” definition of “Ultimate Reality”: “For many religious paths, the individual sentient experiencing Ultimate Reality is one who has fulfilled the meaning of life.” For too many capitalists (not all) in business today, the “meaning of life” does not include the time for sharing or mentoring. It only includes “Do unto others before they do it to you”, “The end justifies the means”, and “All’s fair in love, war, and business”.

It’s too bad that all entrepreneurs and capitalists don’t embody the last few words of the Wikipedia definition of “Shramana”: “emphasize instead the paramount importance of ascetic endeavour and personal conduct.”

As for me, my life’s philosophy is that Open, Honest, Upfront, and Good (O’HUG) Communication combined with empathy for the other party is imperative. Good communication should be clear, conspicuous, comprehensive, and most importantly, completely comprehended.

Bill Kelm Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM PT

I think this slightly out of context. I quoted “Tat Tvam Asi” in the Epilogue of the book where I talked about how to avoid the fear of failure. It has no correlation with mentor capitalists. I believe mentor capitalists do exist. The real question is how many of them are really good mentors. The road to hell is paved with the proverbial good intention. Just because you have the right intent doesn’t make you effective. Our President is a great example of this!

Sramana Mitra Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 7:50 PM PT