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The quintessential stereotype of an entrepreneur is of a person who takes big risks with big money. Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell provides evidence to dispel the popular myth that all successful entrepreneurs are gamblers. He presents numerous case studies of business people who carefully analyzed all the available data before seizing an opportunity others had overlooked. getAbstract recommends this analysis to would-be entrepreneurs who consider themselves too risk-averse to succeed. Once you see how much happier entrepreneurs are than other workers, you may feel compelled to join them.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What behaviors make a successful entrepreneur,
  • Why entrepreneurs aren’t motivated to take big risks and
  • What entrepreneurs notice that others miss.
 

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, speaker, podcast host and New Yorker writer. He wrote the bestsellers The Tipping Point, David and Goliath, and Outliers.

 

Summary

In 1969, future business mogul Ted Turner owned a thriving billboard company. He bought the failing Atlanta television station WJRJ against the advice of his lawyer and accountant. Business-savvy Turner paid with a stock swap and claimed WJRJ’s losses against the billboard company’s taxes. He advertised the station on his own vacant billboards and ran surplus network programming. WJRJ broke even by 1971 and, just two years later, had annual profits of $1 million. As researchers Michel Villette and Catherine Vuillermot describe in their study, “From Predators to Icons,” strong self-confidence allows entrepreneurs to ignore naysayers. According to economist Scott Shane in his book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship, only bad entrepreneurs take risks. The brightest ones take sensible steps like writing a business plan or changing an existing company by taking over and selling to different customers. He found that the self-employed love their work and have no desire to unnecessarily risk it all for more.


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