The One-Minute Entrepreneur: review by Jon Gillespie-Brown, Author "So you want to be an entrepreneur"

This is a typical “parable” style book from the Blanchard stable. In this case heavily influenced by the other Authors and it covers some simple concepts as part of an equally simple storyline.

The book sets out to make clear there are 3 core areas to success as an entrepreneur:

  1. Finances (i.e. cash)
  2. People
  3. Customers

While I would agree with these simple tenets I don’t think the use of “entrepreneur” is quite right in the context in which it is being used here, I feel like “small business person” would be more applicable in many ways. When I think of an entrepreneur I think “startup” and I tend to think of a world beating or ground breaking idea…not just leaving your employer’s flower store to start your own.

That being said these 3 principles are sound for starting and running any business.

The book doesn’t start that well for me as I really don’t think a kid getting busted for drugs really gets me into the narrative effectively, unlike the one minute manager that I read years ago when i empathized with the character right away.

The first “lesson” does work for me though and that’s “you become who you spend time with, be careful who you spend time with and surround yourself with those that will stretch you in the direction you want your life to move in..”. I make this point in my book at the end but it’s an important lesson that we could recall from childhood!

The rest of the “one minute insights” are helpful but rather condescending unless you really are 16! Keeping a journal and living a life of integrity…but come on guys surely this is not about entrepreneurship?

The next chapter carries on in the same vein, as if i am a teenager, and again useful lessons at that stage of life but not really anything about entrepreneurship yet. Of course you should improve yourself through reading etc; yes you should help others and they will help you and of course you need to strike out towards your destiny at the right time…

The story continues with the young salesman and the only nugget in this chapter for me was the concept of getting a “mentor” and also being a committed mentee – i think these are critical components to accelerating your success as an entrepreneur. The rest I skipped.

By chapter 4 we start to get something useful, that is dream big dreams, be ambitious and do what you love (you are passionate about)…well now this is a big focus of my book and frankly where I start my book, I am not sure how many people will have made it this far and frankly the topic is covered in a very “lightweight” way that i am not sure it will drive home these points.

Then we get marriage counseling; accounting; people and timing – again rather lightweight for me and not very convincing. I like the chapter after this only because they emphasize the critical issue of cash management (and profit) and this should be on any business persons mind every day, not sure it talks to entrepreneurship very much however! I am getting a little bored now and skip through the chapters on “the customer is king” and “your people are everything”; There is a chapter about work/life balance next and nurturing your relationships – I think this is very important for success as an entrepreneur and go along with some of the ideas here but not the delivery!

The final insights I like very much as they are aligned with mine:

  • To live a happy and fulfilled life, be generous with your wealth, time, and talent.
  • Giving can be much more rewarding than receiving.
  • We all leave legacies. Be intentional about making a positive difference with yours.
  • You can’t predict the good that can come from helping or forgiving someone.

So in summary, I feel this book largely misses the point as far as I am concerned, I also think that unless you are a kid you will find it talks “down” to you far too much and doesn’t really deliver what i was expecting from the cover. I like some of the ideas and principles but i think these are much better dealt with in other books. I can’t recommend anyone getting this book unlike the many other excellent books in the “one minute” series and feel that the brand has been rather tarnished with this one, it feels like a desperate need to release yet another book under the series rather than a carefully thought out book about being an entrepreneur.

Jon Gillespie-Brown, Author “So you want to be an entrepreneur”

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