Book Review: Birthing The Elephant

If you have ever considered leaving your job and starting your own business this book is a great introduction. Not only is it filled with real life success stories of entrepreneurial women but it also highlights the emotional stages you're bound to experience while launching a new venture. Throughout, the book illustrates the tactical solutions and creative strategies you can employ to ensure you're ready for the challenge. And while the book might be geared for women its advice is essentially universal.
I still remember when I first discovered this book. I was having lunch with a co-worker at a local cafe not far from my office. We were both having a tomato basil soup that was incredibly good and a perfect antidote to the chilly weather. A couple tables away from us was a woman sitting alone, eating her lunch and glued to this book. I could only make out the title and the elephant on the cover. But as soon as I got back to the office I looked up the name that I saw. I located it at the library and ended up reading it in two days. It was a quick and easy read and exactly what I needed at the time. In hindsight, it almost seems like fate that I found it in the first place.

I was really miserable at my workplace and I thought I'd be stuck there forever. The years just kept on passing by and each year I couldn't help but think, well here we go again, nothing has changed, I'm still at the same place, doing the exact same thing, and not moving forward with any area of my life. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever felt stuck before, but knowing how to get out of this situation and enact some sort of change is always easier said than done.

It takes so much time and energy to figure out what you want to do.  And then you have to decide to do it.  Even once you muster up the courage and commitment needed what usually happens is that you either become discouraged or you simply abandon the idea mid-way.  It's so much easier to fall back on the status quo.

What I liked about Birthing the Elephant is that it really explores the bouts of doubt and anxiety that are an integral part of the start-up process.  And once you embrace the experience as a learning opportunity you're well on your way to success.  After all, nothing can really hinder your progress unless you let it.  While this philosophy might seem obvious to some, it's quite another when you're trying to juggle a whole new set of demands on your time and money. 

This book will teach you some of the pitfalls to avoid while running your business as well as the importance of staying true to your vision.  You will hear about women who have launched a variety of start-ups including ones in baked goods, interior design, make-up, maternity wear as well as in pet foods. Ultimately, what this book does best is it teaches you to be open and adaptable to the unforeseen set-backs that will undoubtedly arise. For some this book might be a refresher course; but for others it just might be the inspiration that you need to get started on your own.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great book to read. I'm heading to Amazon to look more carefully. Thanks for sharing ;o)