This combination self-assessment and idea starter should spark the interest of anyone with entrepreneurial drive.
Debut author Sullivan, herself an entrepreneur and small-business trainer, enters a crowded category but sets her work apart with its good intentions. Rather than supply the how-to advice commonly found in most be-your-own-boss books, Sullivan explores the motivational aspects of pursuing the entrepreneurial dream while also providing a wealth of business ideas. In the book’s first section, Sullivan offers such entries as “10 traits for entrepreneurial success,” “six benefits and six drawbacks” of being your own boss, and “14 keys to ignite your enthusiasm and passion.” Part 2 digs into the details of where an entrepreneur’s passion may lie. Here, Sullivan walks the reader through “12 areas of opportunity,” including both general and specific conceptual ideas. For example, the first two chapters in this section make a useful distinction between focusing on selling to consumers versus selling to businesses, while another chapter addresses selling to governments. Other areas key in on current trends that suggest possible areas of business opportunity: e.g., food and family farms, pets and companion animals, assisting seniors and people with disabilities, and “promoting a sustainable future.” A chapter entitled “Serving Needs of the Global Population” puts forth the concept of “social entrepreneurship.” The book’s final section concerns the entrepreneur’s assessment of the viability of a chosen idea. Here, Sullivan lays out a process for idea evaluation, offers helpful advice about how to do market research to determine an idea’s value, and provides an alphabetical listing of “50 Steps to Starting Your Business.” She includes a helpful multipurpose spreadsheet that can be used to rate areas of interest and ends with an extensive resources section. Sullivan applies a refreshing amount of altruism to her choice of categories that should give would-be entrepreneurs a sense of purpose as they consider what direction to take.
Clearly and cogently written, a thought-provoking book that provides useful guidance to entrepreneurial risk takers as well as a treasure trove of potential business ideas.