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The Soul of an Entrepreneur : Work and Life Beyond the Startup Myth - David Sax

The Soul of an Entrepreneur

Work and Life Beyond the Startup Myth

By: David Sax

Hardcover | 14 July 2020 | Edition Number 1

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An award-winning business writer dismantles the myths of entrepreneurship, replacing them with an essential story about the experience of real business owners in the modern economy

We all know the story of the latest version of the American Dream: a young innovator drops out of college and creates the next big thing, remaking both business and culture in one fell swoop. We are told these stories constantly, always with the idea that we'll be next.

But this story masks a lot about what really goes on in our economy. Most new businesses aren't tech startups; they are what we think of as ordinary: restaurants or dry cleaners or freelance writing or accounting or consulting services. And those who are starting new businesses aren't all millennials. In fact, if you're a new college grad, it's more likely that your parents will start a new business than that you will. In truth, entrepreneurship - new business starts - has been declining for a number of years.

What's more, while we hear about the few startups that get billions from tech giants, most businesses are run by the people who found them, often on small or medium budgets. What does it actually take to run your own business, week by week and year by year? If you do make it past the first years, what happens when you start managing a big organization? When is it time to consider selling, or grooming your replacement? When you're an entrepreneur, these are not just financial questions but deeply personal ones.

The Soul of an Entrepreneur is a rich, searching story about the reality of the business spirit. In a field full of gimmicky ideas and empty promises, it fills a much needed gap in the literature: exploring the truth of who we are, what we make, and why we devote our lives to it.

About the Author

David Sax is a writer and reporter who specializes in business and culture. His work appears regularly in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New Yorker's Currency blog, and other publications. He is the author of Save the Deli, which won a James Beard Award for Writing and Literature, and The Tastemakers. He lives in Toronto.
Industry Reviews
"Though the book understandably omits the recent appearance of the new coronavirus, Covid-19 has given it a timely relevance... We...come away with an appreciation of the daunting challenges faced by small businesses and, most poignantly, by those who supply our food."--Wall Street Journal

"David Sax looks at entrepreneurship in a whole new way, drawing out valuable lessons for anyone who wants to lead more a passionate and productive life."--Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer at The New Yorker and bestselling author of Black Edge
"The Soul of an Entrepreneur reclaims entrepreneurship for the 99.99% of businesspeople who aren't at the helm of billion-dollar corporations. David Sax writes poetically (and often humorously) about what makes these everyday entrepreneurs tick, and why tens of millions of us choose entrepreneurship over the corporate rat race."--Adam Alter, New York Times-bestselling author of Irresistible and Drunk Tank Pink
"A fascinating and humane book that changes the very meaning of entrepreneurship. Don't even think about starting a business without reading The Soul of an Entrepreneur."--Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, New York Times-bestselling author of Everybody Lies
"A necessary corrective to Silicon Valley's stranglehold on the meaning of entrepreneurship. David Sax's latest will get you fired up about the many different ways to build a meaningful life by striking out on your own."
--Cal Newport, New York Times-bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work
"David Sax brilliantly zeroes in on the crucial questions we must ask ourselves--and insights we must consider--as we begin the entrepreneur's task of making something from nothing. If you wish to start a company, this book will help you act with intention and make an impact."--Scott Belsky, founder of Behance and bestselling author of The Messy Middle
"You may think business books are not for you--that's why you need to read this one. David Sax takes us on a tour of real, non-digital businesses--from beauty salons to Syrian bakeries--that is both enlightening and inspiring. If this book doesn't make you want to start a company, you probably already own one."--AJ Jacobs, New York Times-bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and It's All Relative