If you wanted to become an entrepreneur, chances are that 99 percent of the people would tell you that you need a business plan. They would tell you to study the market, estimate how much money you need, and how much in sales you need to cover your expenses. The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook: Useful Stuff For Your Enterprise Voyage would question that logic. This book argues that you don’t need some external requirement (like a degree or fancy 50 plus page business plan) to become an entrepreneur. You only need to take that first step on your entrepreneur’s voyage and then another one.
What is The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook About?
The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook begins with the premise that everyone can be an entrepreneur. History seems to bear this out if you think about. People from all walks of life have become entrepreneurs. If this is true, then why are prospective entrepreneurs constantly held back by those who insist on a more formalized approach? Why do some supposed “experts” seem to believe only a certain type of person can be an entrepreneur?
The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook argues potential entrepreneurs hold themselves back from entrepreneurship because they (consciously or subconsciously) allow circumstances to opt them out of it. They might have an idea for a business but they don’t want to leave safety for the unknown. They might have been told only people who display certain traits (extroverts, for example) can run a successful business. They might believe they need a world-changing idea before they can become accepted as an entrepreneur. So they bury their entrepreneurial dreams and read about other success stories while quietly wishing they could experience the same success.
The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook calls this approach just plain wrong.
Entrepreneurship isn’t about fancy PowerPoints or even suits. It’s a way of thinking. Entrepreneurs make stuff happen by implementing ideas that fulfill another person’s need, whether that is a haircut, BMW, or someone to watch the kids while a couple goes on date night.
Accepting this broader definition is the point of The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook. The book asserts that readers don’t need any external validation to be an entrepreneur. They only need an idea and a key set of characteristics (discussed in the book) to get started on their “enterprise voyage,” the author’s name for the rough-and-tumble ride of entrepreneurship.
Author Iain Scott, also known as Enterprise Iain, is a former teacher who left a career in education (despite constant reminders of his loss of security) to become an entrepreneur. Although he knew nothing about entrepreneurship, he utilized the techniques he discusses in his book. In his book, Scott describes how he found a calling to help others launch their entrepreneurial dreams (instead of managing his own business.) He is the founder of Can Do Places + Spaces, a website focused on entrepreneurship, and works as an author, podcaster and filmmaker with a long history covering entrepreneurial support programs.
What Was Best About The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook?
The best part of The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook is the redefinition of the concept of “entrepreneurship”. Most books, to this day, run under the assumption that you have to follow a set path to becoming an entrepreneur. Scott’s book shares why this is misleading and ultimately blocks prospective entrepreneurs into a cycle of “wantepreneurism”. Prospective entrepreneurs feel they don’t meet the requirements even though they are blocking their own paths with these beliefs. The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook dispels those ideas and provides readers with a more realistic overview of the entrepreneurial journey
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook can best be thought of as an inspirational guide to an entrepreneur’s first step. The book, however, lacks sufficient detail on the next steps an entrepreneur should take once they decide to move ahead with starting a business. As the book points out, there is no straightforward “check off the box” path to entrepreneurship. That being said, prospective entrepreneurs can learn a lot from following the previous steps of entrepreneurs. Adding more case studies (including more details about the author’s journey in his food specialty business) may help readers navigate their initial first months as an entrepreneur.
Why Read The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook?
The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook should appeal most to prospective “wantrepreneurs” and new entrepreneurs in their first few months of business. While some more detail could be helpful, the book provides an excellent overview of entrepreneurship. It is a motivational and realistic guide to entrepreneurship outside the more formal approach and complicated business jargon (although some business terms are used.) And it shows how anyone can adopt the entrepreneurial spirit. If you are an entrepreneur who is waiting for the right moment, a new entrepreneur who is wondering if you are going in the right direction or just someone who wants to take more ownership of your life, The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook is a creative and inspirational boost that urges you to chase your dream now, rather than someday.
This article, “Rewriting the Manual With The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook” was first published on Small Business Trends