Lucky or Smart is one book that completely challenged my regular thinking pattern. For a book with only 58 ‘tiny-lettered’ pages, it provides practical knowledge required by any business person or aspiring entrepreneur to hit the goldmine.
Bo Peabody starts us off with a little synopsis of his own success story, where he gives details of how he became a multi-millionaire before the age of 28.
Q- How did you pull that off?! Were you lucky or smart?!
Bo-“I was smart enough to realize I was getting lucky”
Here are a few things I particularly found enlightening:
- “Lucky things happen to entrepreneurs who start fundamentally innovative, morally compelling, and philosophically positive companies”
- “ Create an environment where smart people will gather, and be smart enough to stay out of the way and let luck happen”
- “Entrepreneurs are born, not made. One does not decide to be an entrepreneur. One is an entrepreneur”
- Entrepreneurs are B-Students, Managers are A-students:
“B-Students don’t know everything about anything and are excellent at nothing. B-Students do, however, know something about a lot of things…
A-Students, on the other hand, know a lot about one thing, whether it is technology or marketing or sales or finance. And they do this one thing extremely well…”
The A-Students need the B-Students and vice-versa.
- “Greatness is exactly the wrong thing to for entrepreneurs to strive for… Never let great be the enemy of good. A good decision made quickly is far better than a great decision made slowly”
- Most people would simply accept rejection. Train yourself not to shut down when you hear the word “no”. This is in fact the time to really start fighting. No human being likes to say “no” to another human being. When he does, he is at his weakest moment. Take that opportunity, and start selling.
One exercise was, however, quite compelling. Here is his simple analogy of how you would know if you are an entrepreneur or not:
When you look up at a cloud, which of the following best describes your thoughts?
- Wow, that cloud would make a great painting.
- Hmmn, how would I describe that cloud to someone else?
- What a silly question. I never look up at clouds.
- Let’s see. I wonder if I could manufacture an environmentally friendly chemical that instantaneously creates or dissolves clouds within a perfectly defined geographical area?
- Gee, I wonder exactly how a cloud is formed.
“If you answered A, good luck with your career as a painter, graphic designer, floral arranger, architect, interior decorator, or makeup artist. You are aesthetically minded. Starting a company will just corrupt that very positive quality.
If you answered B, good luck in your profession as a writer or a teacher. We need more people like you. But we don’t need more people like you starting companies”
If you answered C, good luck at basic training. You have no time for cloud-gazing. The military is a good place for you to exercise your extraordinary focus.
If you answered D, go directly to chapter 3. You are most likely an entrepreneur.
If you answered E, read on. There is still hope.”
After reading that, I was stuck between ‘do I read on?’ and ‘do I discard this book along with my chances of making it as an entrepreneur?’
While I humbly disagree with this aptitude test for obvious reasons, I am even more concerned with the effect this might have on the readers. A motivational book should motivate you rather than discourage you right? He basically told Architects, Writers, and as many people who ‘failed’ that little test, not to start companies.
In any case, “Lucky or Smart” is a great unconventional book and is recommended for aspiring businessmen and businesswomen- especially if you passed that test.
You can get it on Amazon.
With the aid of the cover art, I would say the idea behind the book is clear- To have a chicken that lays golden eggs; you have to first get a Chicken.
Position yourself where luck will find you and you would have yourself an empire in no time. Well, we all know there are rules to this. Some of which you would learn from this piece and others you are just going to have to allow experience to teach you.
About the Author
Bo Peabody is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and internet executive who co-founded tripod.com in 1992. Tripod, was the 8th largest site on the internet when it was sold to “Lycos” in 1998 for $58 million. He is accredited to the starting up or growth of a number of other companies such as Village Ventures, Waterfront Media, Mezze, VoodooVox, and FilmFree entertainment.
Currently the founder of “Rezell”- a media and data company covering the high-end restaurant market- and a Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Greycroft Partners. He has been featured in several major media outlets, including Forbes magazine, Fortune magazine, BusinessWeek magazine, People magazine, MTV and Spin magazine.