Little Black Book of Entrepreneurship
The last book I read has not left me indifferent. It was long since I last read one book about entrepreneurship.
The previous was Emails to a young entrepreneur by Pedro Nueno (an IESE Business School teacher, though I met him through his weekly sunday column in La Vanguardia, a Catalan newspaper).
In this last book, Little Black Book of Entrepreneurship by Fernando Trías de Bes, which the English cover is much more amazing than the catalan/spanish version (see in the picture above), the Key Failure Factors are mentioned… instead of the key success factors that are taught in every MBA program.
I’m not going to summarize the book, that wouldn’t be fair. But I do want to dig deeper into an idea that was mentioned in various chapters, or wrestling assaults, as the author calls them. Honestly, it’s not the first time I’ve heard or read about this advice. Concretely, in a conference that took place 4 years ago in my university, a member of an internet Start-Up, Atrápalo, said the same at the end of his talk. The subject in matter: partners. Stakeholders. Or members. Or more concretely, the absence of them in a Start-up.
In brief, the book (and the conference) conclude that is much better to not have any partner. Partners give problems. Or headaches. Having them since the beginning, will surely lead to personal disputes in the future. Think about it: most businesses fail just because of this. It is more likely to become paranoid, defensive or change objectives when having an inadequate partner. Hence, people change throughout the time. Their lifestyles, dreams, priorities… we are continuously evolving even though having the same value scheme. Our ambitions change although we chose carefully and mindfully our partner.
It may sound familiar to you until this line. But here’s were the dilemma begins: if your work ends up becoming your whole life, or in your lifestyle… and it’s way better not to partner anybody to avoid failure… Why marrying someone? Why even start a family and spend the rest of our lives with the same person? Following the same rule from the business partners, if every person has different objectives, priorities and lifestyles throughout their lives, wouldn’t it be a failure to spend the rest of our lives with the same person? That would mean that at the beginning of the relationship, we start on the same page, but as years go on, we may be totally different people.
One starts to understand that here, complex substantives come to play like adaptation, versatility, patience, temperance, etc.
During the 14 wrestling assaults from the book, the one about the business partnership is the one that worried me the most. The book is really focused on professional life, for those who want to take a personal test and see how entrepreneur lookalike they are, through somebody else’s errors and experiences in their lives. That’s first hand advice. In short, it’s a compilation of failures divided in 14 assaults, hitting you from every angle.
The author confesses that maybe the reader is disrupted after this 14 assaults and has lost any interest or spark of passion to become -if that’s an appropriate word- an entrepreneur.
However, I finished the book with a sensation of wanting to know more. Wanting to be an entrepreneur. My interest and passion have grown. But I got scared in the personal aspect of it. I brought to the personal territory the assault about partnerships. And the assault about a balanced life. I already wrote a post about finding balance in an imbalanced life, it’s in Spanish.
Until I wrote that post, I’ve meditated about this paradox of finding a balance. It all may be in our minds… at the end of the day, we consider ‘balance’ what we feel safe and comfortable every day. Our comfort zone.
But for me… insecurity it’s what brings me security. Insecurity provides me with a sensation of liberty. And that liberty it’s my balance.