The 10% Entrepreneur

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When I glanced across The 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick J. McGinnis in the bookshop I knew it was a book I had to read. The subtitle of the book is Living your dream without quitting your day job. For the whole of my career I have worked on something else outside of my day job. I started off as an arts manager (very closely connected to my day job) and then as my skill-based grew so did my side projects (marketing, coaching) until I became the Founder of PropelHer.

McGinnis makes a distinction between being a freelancer and an entrepreneur. A freelancer does pretty much the same role as an employee. They are paid in return for the work they do (albeit on your own terms and with more freedom). However, you are still working for someone else. Whereas, as an Entrepreneur “You will be the owner of everything you create“.

Entrepreneurship definitely appears to be on the rise and McGinnis put this down to the corporate career dream is dying.

Climbing the corporate ladder is not the barometer of career achievement that it once was. Instead, it’s yesterdays dream”. 

This is an interesting notion and reinforces what I am reading in other sources. Careers aren’t offering the level of security and perks that they used to, and in a world where people want more freedom being an Entrepreneur seems to be the answer. Furthermore, even when you have a “real job” forward-thinking companies are encouraging their employees to think entrepreneurial. McGinnis argues that “thinking like an entrepreneur is now essential”.

I particularly like that McGinnis wasn’t pushing for everyone to jump on the Entrepreneur wagon. In fact, McGinnis is very frank about the reason why not to be an entrepreneur. He stats that you shouldn’t be an Entrepreneur because

  1. Lifestyle is lousy
  2. You can ruin your finances
  3. You’re abandoning status and affirmation
  4. You don’t have the right idea
  5. Failure sucks

He instead encourages people to consider being a 10% Entrepreneur. He states that “Through part-time entrepreneurship…you will embark on a series of adventures that will make your life richer and more interesting”. I totally agree that embarking on activities of work will make your life richer and more interesting.

McGinnis outlines the five types of entrepreneur you can be. They are:

  1. The Angel
  2. The Advisor
  3. The Founder
  4. The Aficionado
  5. The 110% Entrepreneur

He goes into great detail about the differences and the reason you may choose to be one type rather than another. However, you don’t need to just choice one. In fact, you can be multiple types of Entrepreneur in different companies or even within the life-span of one company.

As an 10% Entrepreneur you will have three ways of contributing: time, money and intellect. Before even considering what type of businesses you want to be involved with, you need to decide what you have to contribute.

McGinnis is very thorough in the necessary steps you will need to take to turn your ambition to be a 10% Entrepreneur into a reality. He covers playing to your strengths, positioning yourself, building a team and being able to select the right ventures for you to invest in. Even if you aren’t looking to be an Entrepreneur there was some really useful tasks to do. I particularly recall the writing your biography section and building/maintaining your network.

Overall, I liked the concept of the book. It is a great to have someone writing not from a pro-employee or a pro-entrepreneur perspective but acknowledging a world where you are both is best. There was advice within the book that would be interesting even if you aren’t looking to be an 10% Entrepreneur. Definitely a book I will read again in the future when I am looking to be involved with more companies.

To finish this week’s review I wanted to share a quote from Patrick. Regardless of whether you want to be an Entrepreneur or not, it is wise words.

You only have one life: have fun and make it interesting”

Liked what you read? Why not read The 10% Entrepreneur for yourself.

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