Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sonnenfeldt, Think Bigger

Michael W. Sonnenfeldt is the founder and chairman of Tiger 21, a peer-to-peer learning network for highly successful entrepreneurs. The 40 groups in 35 cities in the U.S. and Canada and a new group in London get together once a month to talk about their businesses, share investment advice, and offer one another support. Drawing on the knowledge he gained over the 19 years of Tiger 21’s existence, Sonnenfeldt, with extensive help from reporter and writer Ed Tivnan, has produced Think Bigger and 39 Other Winning Strategies from Successful Entrepreneurs (Bloomberg/Wiley, 2017).

Most of the so-called strategies are not original. We are urged, for instance, to “know thyself.” We read that “grit beats IQ—most of the time,” that you should “surround yourself with people who are smarter than you,” and that you should “live below your means.”

Where this book shines is in its accounts of entrepreneurial struggles and successes. It often gets beneath business truisms and feel-good stories to go into the trenches, where entrepreneurs file lawsuits, struggle to remove a demented father from executive control, and are burned by sketchy partners. The book also includes more examples of women entrepreneurs than most business books.

Think Bigger is a quick, easy read. It’s a good complement to the “everyone can get rich” books (as Sonnenfeldt clearly demonstrates, they can’t) and to one-size-fits-all manuals on how to start and grow a business.

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