Last week was kinda great to me I was able to read 2 books. I finished reading this book on last Wednesday. The book was sitting on my shelf for over a year.
Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain by Ryan Blair was a book which was recommended on some site as an entrepreneurial read. The book is slightly different from the self-motivational types and a tells a slightly different story too.
★★★★ (4 out of 5)
It’s the story of the author himself how from a life full of problems he went on to become a successful entrepreneur.
The book tells the story of Ryan who had a troubled childhood , his father succumbed to drug addiction and his mother raises him in a troubled neighborhood where he gets entangled with criminals and becomes a gang member. But around the age of 21 years his mother marries a small time businessman who inspires Blair to turn his life around and he goes on to start his own business. He later goes on to do many successful businesses and sold many as well. He narrates his experiences from his journey to be an entrepreneur and also tells what worked from him and what were the mistakes that sometime costed him millions.
What I Think
To be very honest I found the book to be good but not a life changing or anything out of the ordinary. The differentiation (and good too) was how at one time in his life the author was at the bottom and from there he was about to turn his life around. The title is well thought out too, when you really have nothing to lose you have a very different take on the situation and things around you. That’s how Blair started his career and many times practiced in negotiations or to build his business. There are many things he mentions about “doing business” which I personally do not agree to, for instance he stresses a lot on having a good business name and not your “porn name” but I personally don’t think a business name however weird that is (and now a days weird is better) is going to be a big differentiate. There were a couple of chapters which I found uninteresting (may be its because I really am not interested in those topics as of now) like the home based business and cashing out.
In other chapters he raises or reminds us of the benefits of networking, getting a good mentor, selling first and asking questions later mantra and many other small nuggets of useful information for the new entrepreneurs to keep in mind. He also makes it plain and simple that if you are not comfortable with uncomfortable, entrepreneurship is not for you. The best I liked was his million dollar mistakes chapter.
All in all a pretty decent read but it fell short of my expectations. The title was very interesting and it has set my expectations a little different. Somehow I got the feeling that it is not a very honest book which I was expecting it to be. At many instances you get a feel that someone is pitching his business before you (and may be that could be the case).
It’s a decent book that new entrepreneurs can read and gain something from. But it’s definitely not the bible of entrepreneurship (for that matter there is no bible for that). There are many things that Blair reminds about entrepreneurship and many experiences that he narrates afresh. You don’t have to agree or disagree with him but just read it for what it is without expectation.
If you are an entrepreneur or thinking of becoming one you can give it a try otherwise you can skip reading it.
You can buy this book at a low price from Amazon