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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

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What's your entrepreneurial profile? Do you have what it takes to build a great business? In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck. After interviewing and researching What's your entrepreneurial profile? Do you have what it takes to build a great business? In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck. After interviewing and researching hundreds of business-builders across the globe, the authors found that every one of them--from young founder to seasoned CEO--holds a combination of these four attributes. Indeed each of us tends to be biased toward one of these traits in our decision-making, and figuring out which trait drives you will lead to greater self-awareness and likelihood of success in starting and growing a business. So are you: - Heart-dominant, like renowned chef Alice Waters or Starbucks's Howard Schultz? - Smarts-dominant, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or legendary investor Warren Buffett? - Guts-dominant, like Nelson Mandela or Virgin's Richard Branson? - Or are you most defined by the luck trait, like Tony Hsieh of Zappos (and a surprisingly high proportion of other successful entrepreneurs)? Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck includes the first Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test (E.A.T), a simple tool to help determine your specific profile. Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to "dial up" or "dial down" to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you'll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.


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What's your entrepreneurial profile? Do you have what it takes to build a great business? In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck. After interviewing and researching What's your entrepreneurial profile? Do you have what it takes to build a great business? In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck. After interviewing and researching hundreds of business-builders across the globe, the authors found that every one of them--from young founder to seasoned CEO--holds a combination of these four attributes. Indeed each of us tends to be biased toward one of these traits in our decision-making, and figuring out which trait drives you will lead to greater self-awareness and likelihood of success in starting and growing a business. So are you: - Heart-dominant, like renowned chef Alice Waters or Starbucks's Howard Schultz? - Smarts-dominant, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or legendary investor Warren Buffett? - Guts-dominant, like Nelson Mandela or Virgin's Richard Branson? - Or are you most defined by the luck trait, like Tony Hsieh of Zappos (and a surprisingly high proportion of other successful entrepreneurs)? Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck includes the first Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test (E.A.T), a simple tool to help determine your specific profile. Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to "dial up" or "dial down" to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you'll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.

30 review for Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    It took me awhile to finish this one, mostly because I didn't learn a whole lot from it so I drudged my way through just to finish. That's not to say the book was bad. I'm not the intended audience, which the authors say are folks just getting started in entrepreneurship or thinking about it. This book definitely would've been handy a decade ago when I left the veiled security of a traditional FT job to go on my own. I found myself breathing, "Yep..." under my breath as I read because the author It took me awhile to finish this one, mostly because I didn't learn a whole lot from it so I drudged my way through just to finish. That's not to say the book was bad. I'm not the intended audience, which the authors say are folks just getting started in entrepreneurship or thinking about it. This book definitely would've been handy a decade ago when I left the veiled security of a traditional FT job to go on my own. I found myself breathing, "Yep..." under my breath as I read because the authors definitely described many lessons I know now that would've been helpful then.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pranav Saxena

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Whilst generally averse of typical business books, I took this up as a change to the genre I was reading, and in context of having recently become an entrepreneur. The books offers a simplistic read, and none of it will come as a surprise to a reader. Goes without saying that to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be smart, and need to have all aspects of smartness (bookish, street etc.). Similarly, you need to have the guts to start the business, to see it grow, and the guts to see it evo Whilst generally averse of typical business books, I took this up as a change to the genre I was reading, and in context of having recently become an entrepreneur. The books offers a simplistic read, and none of it will come as a surprise to a reader. Goes without saying that to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be smart, and need to have all aspects of smartness (bookish, street etc.). Similarly, you need to have the guts to start the business, to see it grow, and the guts to see it evolve and change. The authors to attempt to put a scientific framework around some of these concepts, example around what aspects of guts, and what combinations of smarts and hearts work best at what stage of the business. What personality traits constitute luck etc. Again, great concepts to digest, however I do believe these are more naturalistic attributes that play themselves out better, than manual interventions made on the basis of these theories. All in all, I would recommend this book in 2 ways: 1. As a nice reminder to some of the obvious things you would know before becoming an entrepreneur (Example, the authors talk about a naive optimism as being essential to run a business, which is something that struck a nerve) 2. In lieu of the above, use it as a personality test to ascertain any gaping holes (which should be obvious otherwise as well, but we all can do with reminders)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    It was just OK, mostly the usual stuff. I have read a few different books in the "entrepreneurship inspiration" genre, the best one so far is "Unleash Your Inner Company" by John Chisholm. I liked it because it gives very specific advice for each stage of a company, from coming up with idea, to growing the business. I also liked "Founder's Dilemma" by Noam Wasserman, which goes into great detail on common pitfalls within tech startups. By contrast this one felt very generic. The basic idea is that It was just OK, mostly the usual stuff. I have read a few different books in the "entrepreneurship inspiration" genre, the best one so far is "Unleash Your Inner Company" by John Chisholm. I liked it because it gives very specific advice for each stage of a company, from coming up with idea, to growing the business. I also liked "Founder's Dilemma" by Noam Wasserman, which goes into great detail on common pitfalls within tech startups. By contrast this one felt very generic. The basic idea is that there are four traits of entrepreneurs: Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck and as an entrepreneur you have to know which traits you are stronger in and maybe get business partners who are stronger on the traits that you don't have a lot of. In general they emphasize the importance of being self aware as far as your own goals and priorities and strengths and weaknesses. They then give a few chapters of fairly general advice such as how to learn from failure and that sort of thing, but nothing that felt really ground breaking. Note: This is not necessarily a bad book. If you haven't read any of the other "entrepreneur" books out there, all this stuff may be new to you, but it just didn't have a lot of meat for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    HH1

    Almost a farce. Apparently, it took 3 bigwigs to write this. *eyeroll* Everything leads up to this big TEST you're supposed to take at the end and you see what kind of personality you are supposed to be (SUPER BASIC). Well, I've seen a lot of kooky charts and graphs before but this....*lol*...this takes the cake! Really, I TRIED. I got so frustrated with this, it made me want to pursue it further. The graphics on this "test" are so bizarre, so mind-numbingly weird and Escher-like - I actually took Almost a farce. Apparently, it took 3 bigwigs to write this. *eyeroll* Everything leads up to this big TEST you're supposed to take at the end and you see what kind of personality you are supposed to be (SUPER BASIC). Well, I've seen a lot of kooky charts and graphs before but this....*lol*...this takes the cake! Really, I TRIED. I got so frustrated with this, it made me want to pursue it further. The graphics on this "test" are so bizarre, so mind-numbingly weird and Escher-like - I actually took out a ruler to try to make sense of it. Was the Art Director for this book on LSD I asked? Just for fun, find this book in the library and skip to the back pages so you can see what I'm talking about. Surely, the Art Department produced this test to say a big "screw you" to the Editorial Dept at this publishing company. That can be my only conclusion. After torturing my eyes for about 10 minutes, I threw the book against the wall. I wanted to like this book. I want to like every book I attempt to read but some books are simply at war with the reader. This is one of them.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

    It may sound like another trip to Oz, but Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is a true story of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and business- builder. It is a straightforward, enjoyable read, as well as an inspirational tool for anyone who wants to take their passion and ideas to the next level. Not interested in the business genre? I challenge you to pick this one up, get creative, and apply it to your life. I think it will change your mind!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cristobal

    Excellent book that deserves more than one reading. The authors have struck gold with their insight of the four ingredients that makes a great entrepreneur: heart, smarts, guts and luck. A book to think over, highlight and come back often to.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jacki

    This was the first book I read about entrepreneurship, and it made the process seem far less daunting than I initially believed. The language they used was for the most part accessible, (but who really uses the term macromyopic?) and it was a good self-reflection tool to consider just what drives a person to be and build successful entrepreneurial opportunities. Their framework was easy to follow and understand, and I was surprised to learn I’m primarily Luck dominant.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ajay Kishan

    Too much of repetitive. Could be easier English. A young girl from a B TOWN in China or India must also be able to read and understand, Which is not. However the content is quite interesting good and I feel it's definitely true

  9. 5 out of 5

    J Brown

    Interesting analysis of the different personality strengths that people endow themselves with or are born with.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mahn

    This was the first entrepreneur/business building book I read. I liked it. Good approach with the hsgl profiles. I very much enjoyed the many references to real-life examples.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin Bailey

    A fluffy pep talk

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Manganiello

    I read all the way up to the testing section, and although the book really didn't help me out, I thought it was alright, albeit a little too smartly written for my tastes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ted Lee

    Over all, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is your standard business "are you an entrepreneur?" fare. You have your share of inspirational stories about people who persevered and showed pluck and tenacity and finally made a bajillion dollars in the end. You have your standard "trust us, this is how we gained our wealth" stories from the authors themselves. You even have your standard personality test you can take, both at the end of the book or online, that lets you chart your own percentages in th Over all, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is your standard business "are you an entrepreneur?" fare. You have your share of inspirational stories about people who persevered and showed pluck and tenacity and finally made a bajillion dollars in the end. You have your standard "trust us, this is how we gained our wealth" stories from the authors themselves. You even have your standard personality test you can take, both at the end of the book or online, that lets you chart your own percentages in the four categories of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck, the four traits the authors found to be necessary for successful entrepreneurs. What makes this book stand out over the other business drivel is its specificity and deep desire to be practical. Most entrepreneur books, especially the ones that ask if you have what it takes to be one, tend to thrive on vague platitudes and aphorisms. Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck try to empirically break down what exactly it is that one must take to become an entrepreneur. Within those four traits in the title, the authors delve into what it means to have heart, or smarts, or guts, or even luck. They dissect smarts, for example, beyond just knowing lots of things to different kinds of smarts -- the "street" smarts of people who can read others instantly to the "analytical" smarts of those who can take apart entire systems conceptually and see how they run. Each chapter offers suggested exercises for those who feel they're lacking in that trait but want to develop it. In the end, it's not a book that will give you step by step instructions to get rich, and unlike other more general pop business psychology books like The Color Code, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is specific to entrepreneurship. However, if you are one of those people who wonder if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, this book will probably give you the most specific answer to that wonderment over all others in its field.

  14. 5 out of 5

    William Keyser

    Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business These four components in various mixes are vital to startup success. The three authors all know what they are talking about, having ‘been there, done that’. Chances are high that startups will be undertaken by people not only with a mix of these components, but with one or more of them being more dominant than the others. The secret is to play to strengths, but without neglecting the weaker aspects or b Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business These four components in various mixes are vital to startup success. The three authors all know what they are talking about, having ‘been there, done that’. Chances are high that startups will be undertaken by people not only with a mix of these components, but with one or more of them being more dominant than the others. The secret is to play to strengths, but without neglecting the weaker aspects or being unconscious about the negative aspects of the strong ones. Luck is not something taught on entrepreneurship courses, but maybe it should be. Not luck itself, but the ways in which entrepreneurs can favor their chances of it. The authors stress the way that luck can be favored. Through humility, intellectual curiosity and optimism. It figures, doesn’t it? They also suggest that a lucky network can be developed through vulnerability, authenticity, generosity and openness. This is not a self-help book, though. It presents an orderly way to develop a self-awareness of heart, smarts, guts and luck so that the entrepreneur can better take advantage of each without the downsides of say being over-confident, only using book smarts, being foolhardy or overplaying the odds.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Interesting take on Meyer's Briggs for entrepreneurs. Basically, it pays off to be self-aware. Only then can you play upon your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses. There are some interesting example and anecdotes as well as some key points from other literature advising on entrepreneurship. The authors all have very relevant experience and are able to translate that well into clear, concise advice in print.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Manganiello

    I didn't learn all that much from this book, but I did still enjoy it very much. It contains a lot of old classic quotes and newer ones pertaining to business and entrepreneurship. I did not personally take the test of which was solely dedicated to chapter ten do to a lack of interest, but maybe someone out there would actually benefit from it. All and all I think it was a very good quick read, and would recommend it to anyone currently looking for something to hold them over for a few days.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stanley

    Reads like an MBA textbook for entrepreneurs - it makes a few solid remarks using a sea of bullet points. It makes me wonder though, the extent to which rigid, structured thinking (along the lines of assessment tests and self-development exercises) is applicable to entrepreneurship. A worthwhile read for the authors' track record and their reflections.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Belyamani

    New framework to understand different axes for different type of entrepreneur and to acquire a clear awareness of what drive you as entrepreneur, areas to weaknesses and strengths, and plan for improvement... good reading!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Faiza Osman

    great book for those who wants to start up not only in business but also in live.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris Turnley

    Solid, Smart, Simple and full of wisdom. Keep this one as you will go back to it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Conness

    Not much discovered with this read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    mmmm..yeah..uh-huh...ok

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Cobos

    Enjoyable book

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Good reminder of what it takes to be an entrepreneur! Motivational and has a fun quiz to take online of whether you are more: Hearts, smarts, guts, or luck.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori Grant

    A must-read book on entrepreneurship for knowledge workers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna Martemucci

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  28. 4 out of 5

    James

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josh Solar

  30. 4 out of 5

    Freddie McFarland

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