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BW Businessworld

Get Out, Stand Up

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The book’s sub-title sums up its attitude. Yes, attitude; it has loads of it. Chris Guillebeau, the author, is a writer, entrepreneur, a compulsive traveller — having already been to most nations of the world – and a “fighter of status quo”. No wonder he suggests that working in a job could be far more risky than being on your own.

The book has two themes: freedom and value. Freedom, the author believes, is something we all are looking for and value is the way to achieve it. He profiles 50 fascinating case studies of folks who attained freedom and contentment by monetising their passion. Some of these were modest startups beginning from a mere $100 or less. And yes, there is an Indian here — Purna Duggirala. This entrepreneur from Andhra Pradesh operates a training business ‘to help people become awesome at Microsoft Excel’ that is targeted at prospects outside of India and fetches him a net income of $160,000.

Read an interview with the author Chris Guillebeau

Guillebeau exhorts you to pursue your dream of freedom wherever it leads while also thinking about how it can intersect with creating more opportunities for others. He is exceptionally charged in his expressions and is inspiring. That said, the moment he tries to wear the cloak of a management guru, he only excites superficially. But you don’t have to hold that against him; he never claimed to be one. If you view this book as one how-they-did-it kind of a book on successful micro-business entrepreneurs, you would find it interesting. You get a flavour of the critical lessons from folks who walked away from conventional jobs to pursue their passions.

The treatment reminds you of a Tom Peters classic — Pursuit Of Wow! And he just does not give you an overview; he gets to the brass tacks in terms of how many dollars these entrepreneurs put up to get to their road of freedom. If you are the one sitting on the fence wanting to give up that secured salary and the paraphernalia that a job brings along to chase your dream, this is just the impetus you need to get cracking.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 20-08-2012)

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