A Self-Help Book for Entrepreneurs

by | May 14, 2009

If you’re anything like me, you’ve long dreamed of an escape from cubicle nation. Yet, it’s a long, dark passage from here to there. Thankfully, there’s a new book to help show the way—Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim.

Guy Kawasaki spoke to Slim about some of the challenges of starting a new business. American Express’ Open Forum has the interview in its entirety, but here’s an important segment:

Question: How do you decide which business to start?

Answer: Business ideas are a dime a dozen. From my perspective, which is firmly rooted in the idea that the purpose of a business is to allow you to live the kind of life that makes you happy, healthy, wise, and wealthy—or at least well-fed, a good business idea has four components. First, it is rooted in something you are passionate about and which energizes you. Entrepreneurship is too darn hard to manufacture enthusiasm. Second, you have the skill and competence to make it happen—or at least a really great contact list of smart and enthusiastic friends to help you figure it out. Third, you need to do enough business planning to know whom you are trying to serve, and how you are going to make money. Finally, you want a business model that you have the resources to support and that delivers the life you want to live.

In my own experience, the “how you are going to make money” part is absolutely critical. Without that, you end up with a time consuming hobby, not a business.