Resolution: Start that business you're dreaming of
All In / Arlene Dickinson
Toronto: HarperCollins, 2013.
This is the second book I've read by Dickinson; she is a very successful entrepreneur & was an investor on Dragons Den for years. Plus, she's a decent person, both online and as shown in her first book Persuasion. I'm more likely to take advice from someone like her who is first of all a good human being, then a businessperson. And an experienced, successful one at that.
All In is partly business advice, partly life advice and just a little bit also a promotion of her new (in 2013) online community, You, Inc. While I'm not all that interested in the online community, I was very interested in this book.
Within the first few pages I was able to see things differently thanks to her comments. And the book supports the idea of being "all in" -- when you're an entrepreneur you don't think about "work life balance", as often working is life and vice versa. This is a book about the entrepreneurial lifestyle as a whole, not a simple look at how to start a business.
She does state that sometimes you do have to sacrifice things you might have wanted to do because of business needs (she gives the example of having to cancel a vacation with her girlfriends because of a business crisis that arose suddenly) and that sometimes people might have a hard time accepting that, especially if you are a woman. I like that she doesn't sugarcoat the hard work that it takes to be in business for yourself, and also that she doesn't play down the fact that much of this is harder for women because of systemic issues. She also believes that some people have an entrepreneurial personality that will make it easier for them to manage this kind of lifestyle, and I agree; a tendency toward both risk and optimism seems like it would be helpful, as a natural inclination.
Anyhow, if you are at all interested in the self-employed life, or even if you're not but you know others who are, this would be a great read. It will help you understand the personality and philosophy behind someone who is "all in", who is focused on their business first. And it will help you judge whether that kind of commitment would be something you would be up for - and if so, it will encourage you to jump in. All in.
For more thoughts from Arlene, you can find her most often on twitter, at @ArleneDickinson or on Facebook