Unprepared to Entrepreneur Book Summary - Unprepared to Entrepreneur Book explained in key points
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Unprepared to Entrepreneur summary

Sonya Barlow

A Method to the Madness of Starting Your Own Business

4.2 (191 ratings)
18 mins
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    Unprepared to Entrepreneur
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    The process of launching a business is often messy.

    In Spring 2018, Sonya had planned absolutely everything for her brunch – from what she would wear to what she would order and even to exactly which chair she’d sit in at the restaurant. It was the day of the soft launch of her business, and she’d spent three weeks considering and reconsidering every detail.

    When she arrived, she ordered a breakfast, a coffee, and an orange juice. Then she waited. And she waited . . . until 45 minutes had passed, and the waitress asked for the table back. 

    The 12 RSVPs she’d been expecting had turned into 12 no-shows. In short, her very first experience launching a business had ended in tears and failure. 

    Like Minded Females, the organization that was supposed to have been launched at that brunch, was Sonya’s plan to solve a personal problem. At that time, she was a young, lonely, stressed professional trying to climb the corporate ladder in the tech industry. She felt like she didn't have any allies despite living in busy, metropolitan London, and she really wanted that missing community.

    Sonya didn’t give up, despite this embarrassing failure. She may have been so ashamed that she fibbed a little and announced to the Like Minded Females LinkedIn group that seven people had showed up to the brunch. But after that she hosted another two brunches. It wasn’t until the third attempt that someone actually showed up –⁠ and that was all it took to break the ice. 

    Over the next weeks and months, the LMF community continued to grow; it became more active both on- and offline. Companies began contacting Sonya to help them create career-building communities. She received opportunities to speak in public about her story. Eventually, her LinkedIn group transformed into a limited company.

    In many ways, Sonya fell into entrepreneurship by accident. She didn’t exactly have a starting plan. Instead, she followed a few basic, fundamental steps that she used to create, test, and launch her business. We’ll discuss those steps in just a moment – but, before we do, take a few seconds to stop and think about what brought you to this Blink in the first place? How is everything going today? Are there any vital elements or resources you’re missing? What do you want for your life in the next 12 months? Don’t get too bogged down with the details. Whatever vision you have is enough to get started – welcome to entrepreneurship!

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    What is Unprepared to Entrepreneur about?

    Unprepared to Entrepreneur (2021) is a frank, lively guide to starting a business for those who fear they don’t have the requisite knowledge, worry they’ll fail, or aren’t sure how to begin. Packed with practical tips and personal anecdotes, it shows you that to be successful in the business world, you don’t need a perfect plan or an expensive degree. You just need a vision, the motivation –⁠ or madness –⁠ to make it happen, and the resilience to always get back up on your feet.

    Who should read Unprepared to Entrepreneur?

    • Aspiring entrepreneurs who identify as women or minorities
    • Young people wondering what it takes to run a business
    • Anyone struggling with imposter syndrome

    About the Author

    Sonya Barlow is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and diversity business coach. In 2018, she founded the LMF Network, a nonprofit community-building and mentorship organization for women and minorities, and is the host of the BBC Asian Network’s The Everyday Hustle and Capital One’s Champions of Change podcast. She received the 2017 We Are the City Rising Star award and, in both 2020 and 2021, she was named one of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology by Computer Weekly.

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