Brown begins his book very matter-of-factly: “Great entrepreneurs don’t write great books. In fact, they don’t write many books at all.”

I disagree.

I am a writer. I am a small press owner. I am a podcaster. A writer may be the ultimate entrepreneur. Anyone with a creative spark who wants to share it with the world, well, I am pretty sure that’s what an entrepreneur is.

Though Paul tries a simplistic and direct approach for the aspiring entrepreneur to follow, it fell flat for me. Reading a book for me is an investment. It takes time. The whole adage “time is money,” any entrepreneur could appreciate that. I could be doing a lot of other things like working on making my projects profitable. I was hoping this book would have helped me towards that goal, but sadly did not.

If I am reading someone’s book and get very little from it, it’s most likely my fault. My brain goes all over the place. After all. I am a thinker. But if I am starting to follow a writer, begin to get their message, then have to reread it because of constant unnecessary, incessant pronoun switches, incorrect agreements, or clunky sentences, and then top it off spot two typos? Well, then is it my fault entirely?

The typos and overly clunky language could have been corrected by the editor. The choice of white pages instead of cream, well that’s just a style choice and is solely the publishing company’s decision. The tone of the book, and the message that Brown is trying to deliver, well that’s all Brown. Brown, a seasoned business writer for The New York Times and regular contributor to Inc. magazine, knows his stuff, but his writing style left me with little insight in what I can actually do with my particular ideas.

Maybe I am not the “Rest of Us”. But this book’s attractive bright blue cover does not deliver on its promise, stated: How to Create Innovation and Opportunity Everywhere. I walked away not uplifted but wondering if my ideas are maybe too out of the ordinary. More questions and doubt were raised than answers. If only my ideas were as easy as starting a pizza parlor downtown.

I don’t know if I am necessarily alone on this one. I took this book out from the library, and the first two chapters were heavily marked, like whoever was reading this before was really into Paul’s take on just how to be an entrepreneur. You could tell whoever it was, they were probably inspired, maybe even motivated to make some change in their life. Gradually, though, the highlighter ceased to be. I didn’t get it at the time, but now I do.

Jason’s take away: Attractive book design. Misleading title. Two typos.

2 stars.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.