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December 14, 2004

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects--Lucky or Smart

By: Jack @ 7:18 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Lucky or Smart: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life by Bo Peabody, Random House, 58 Pages, $13.95 Hardcover, December 2004, ISBN 140006290X
Every once-in-awhile a book comes along that I completely flip over; I give copies of the galley to lots of people, actually hoping theyll read it. The last book I can remember doing this with was Seth Godins Purple Cow. What I feel sets Lucky or Smart apart is that, in 58 pages, like a good soup that has simmered for many hours, the flavor is really concentrated.
Now who is this Bo Peabody and why should you care? He started an Internet company when he was a nineteen-year-old student at Williams Collegethe story about how he got into Williams as a B student is a hoot. That company helped change the way we communicate by providing people with easy-to-use software to create their own web pages. He sold the business to Lycos for a meager $60 million. Peabody cashed out and has started several businesses including a thriving restaurant.
Readers of Jack Covert Selects know I like to cherry-pick a passage that will give you a feeling for the book. Picking a selection from this book is next to impossible because the book is full of cherries. Here are a few:
From the chapter, Learn to Love the Word No:
Most people would simply accept rejection. Dont Ever. Train yourself not to shut down when you hear the word no. That is in fact just the time to really start fighting. No human being likes to say no to another human being. When he does, he is at his weakest moment. Take that opportunity, and start selling.
From Entrepreneurs are B-Students, Managers are A-Students:
When I speak to a group of business school students, I run them through a little game. I ask everyone who ever started a business to raise his or her hand. Typically, about half of the people do. I then ask those who are still running that same business to keep their hands up. Very few do. I then propose that those who raised their hands and then put them down are typical entrepreneurs: great at starting things, but not so great at managing them. I conclude by recommending that these entrepreneurs take a look at the people who didnt raise their hands, jot down their names, give them a call next time they are about to start a business, and ask them to run it. Those people are the managers.
OK, one more. From the chapter, Prepare to be Powerless:
Young or old, entrepreneurs have to accept that creating fundamentally innovative products and trying to sell them to executives at established companies is an uphill battle. The executives have power and you dont. Get used to it.
Like I said, I could go on forever. Great stuff and loaded with real value.
BTW, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING THE FREE MONTHLY REVIEWS I DO, JUST EMAIL ME AT JACK AT 800CEOREAD DOT COM AND I'LL PUT YOU ON THE LIST.