The 4 Routes to Entrepreneurial Success

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Author: John B. Miner

Publisher: Barret-Koehler

Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi

Professor John B. Miner, the author of this book entitled “The 4 Entrepreneurial Routes to Success” is a writer, speaker and consultant specialising in entrepreneurship and human-resource management. He has been a professor at the University of Oregon, Maryland, and Georgia State, and the State University of New York at Buffalo where he was director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

In this text, Miner details four personality types that characterise successful entrepreneurs, then shows you how to use this information to map out your own path towards success. Based on over 20 years of research and a systematic seven-year study of 100 entrepreneurs, this book details the distinctive characteristics of each type and explains why they succeed or fail.

This book therefore discusses the four types of entrepreneurs, the route that each must take to be successful, and how to use this information to assess yourself or others. Miner asserts that if you are an entrepreneur, he would help you recognise these entrepreneurial personalities in yourself and then show you how to use this knowledge to succeed. He identifies these four types of entrepreneurs as the personal achiever; the supersalesperson; the real manager; and the expert idea generator.

According to Miner, personal achievers are classic entrepreneurs, bringing tremendous energy to their performance, and they like to plan, including setting goals for future achievements. Miner adds that they have a lot of initiative and a strong commitment to their organisations. Personal achievers, according to this author, believe that they control their lives through their own actions rather than being controlled by circumstances. Miner adds that personal achievers are most likely to succeed if they pursue the achieving route by constantly putting out fires and dealing with crises.

As regards the supersalespeople, this consultant reflects that these possess a great deal of feeling for other people and want to help in any way possible. This author adds that supersalespeople use a soft-sell approach, and receive sales from their customers’ desire to give something back, stressing that relationships are very important to them and they like social situations and groups. Miner submits that these people consider selling to be essential to their companies. This author says to succeed as entrepreneurs, supersalespeople need to use the selling route by spending as much time as possible selling and getting someone else to manage the business.

As far as real managers are concerned, Miner says these people like to take charge, and they do well in corporate leadership positions. He adds that they are competitive, decisive and positively disposed to those with authority, stressing that they enjoy power and acting a part. Miner says as entrepreneurs, they frequently become effective marketers, partly by managing the marketing process but often by being good salespeople. He stresses that their ideal path to success is the managing route, which is by finding or starting a business large enough to need their managerial talents.

The expert idea generators, according to this author, invent new products, find new niches, develop new processes, and generally find a way to out-think the competition. These are innovators in the true entrepreneurial sense, and are strongly drawn to the world of ideas. Miner reflects that yet, these people can get carried away by their enthusiasm and fail to take sufficiently- calculated risks; and to mitigate the risks of unwarranted enthusiasm, a degree of cautiousness helps here. According to this consultant, these people’s ideal route to entrepreneurial success is the idea generating route, which is to think their way through situations, to be visionaries for their firms.

Structurally, this book is segmented into 13 chapters. Chapter one is entitled “The personal achiever entrepreneur”. According to Miner, “Personal achievers are the classic entrepreneurs, the people we usually picture when thinking about an entrepreneur.” On what makes a personal achiever unique, this author says personal achievers possess seven interconnected characteristics, all directly related to entrepreneurial success. He identifies the characteristics of personal achievers as the need to achieve; desire to feedback; desire to plan and set goals; strong personal initiative; strong personal commitment to their organisation; belief that one person can make a difference; and belief that work should be guided by personal goals, not those of others.

Chapter two is based on how personal achievers succeed or fail. Miner says the achieving route requires the personal achievers to energetic, learn, plan, be flexible and be problem- solvers. To be successful, this author reflects that personal achievers must avoid the traps of the achieving route.

In chapters three to eight, Miner examines concepts such as the supersalesperson entrepreneur; how supersalespeople succeed or fail; the real manager entrepreneur; how real managers succeed or fail; the expert idea generator entrepreneur; and how expert idea generators succeed or fail.

Chapter nine of this book is entitled “When more than one pattern is prominent: the complex entrepreneur”. According to this author, “Possessing multiple entrepreneurial patterns, and thus having potential to follow more than one route, gives a major advantage to an entrepreneur. People with two strong patterns have an advantage over those with only one. People with three strong patterns have an even greater advantage.”

In chapters ten to 13, Miner analytically X-rays concepts such as assessing entrepreneurial talent: Your own and others’; whether or not women possess different patterns and follow different routes; educating for entrepreneurship; and the issue of what happens when there is lack of any strong research on entrepreneurship.

Conceptually, this text is innovative. On style, this book is really a success. There is logical presentation of his ideas, embroidered with free-flow of language. To ensure practical participation and application of the tips by the readers, Miner includes the self-assessment form. This author also employs a lot of detailed analyses and illustrations,and uses graphics for visual reinforcement of understanding.

However, the word “Four” should have been used in place of “4”, a unit, in the book title.

If you are an aspiring or an existing entrepreneur, this easy-to-read and practical book can help you achieve the desired success you have dreamt of in life.

GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.

Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425

Email: gokeiles2010@gmail.com

Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng

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