The Monk and the Riddle Book Review
Question One: What was surprising or different about this book relative to what you know about entrepreneurship?
Before reading this book, the aspect of entrepreneurship that I had in mind was that of looking for opportunities in which to achieve financial satisfaction in life. Growing up, I understood that being an entrepreneur entailed setting up businesses and ventures, which will bring about major financial returns. However, reading The Monk and the Riddle gave me a different perspective on the subject of being or becoming a successful entrepreneur. The author gives detailed expectations from the entrepreneurship field that is very different from what I had in mind. According to the book, being an entrepreneur should not be all about the result which most people bank on financial achievement but should focus mainly on the journey towards attaining the set goals (Komisar and Kent 21).
Entrepreneurship should lay emphasis on leadership, management, passion, and drive which help define an individual. In the end, an entrepreneur will be rewarded from the journey undertaken in the business rather than the outcome. Being a successful entrepreneur means that a person, through the business, gained satisfaction not only financially but also in experience. Any would be entrepreneur needs to set up goals which allows for achievement of satisfaction in work itself. Another notable difference on the subject is the ability of any entrepreneur to let go off control. The mentality of all entrepreneurs is that they need have control and influence in their ventures. However, the author categorically explores the advantages of giving out control to other able people in order to allow for the growth of the business. While discussing about leadership, the author advises entrepreneurs to get people to do what needs to be done for the business and this could end up being done better. Leadership is an art and entrepreneurs must encourage people to exceed their own expectations, inspire people to be great and get them all to work together in harmony.
Question Two: What are your impressions of Lenny? Why was Randy willing to give Lenny his time?
The impression I got of Lenny is that of any contemporary entrepreneur striving to have his venture to pick up in the market. Lenny has great ideas of what he wants his venture to be but has his eyes closed to the reality of entrepreneurship. From the discussion presented by his interaction with Randy, it is evident that Lenny seems sure of his approach to business and the proposed business plan but lacks sight on the sound fundamentals of the initial business idea. Lenny has the mentality of working towards attaining financial objectives from his venture. From the idea presented to Randy, the would-be entrepreneur has misguided anticipations on the business front hoping to attain everything without support from other people. Lenny believes as an entrepreneur, he should be in control of everything in his business from development to implementation. However, this is a wrong impression of the journey towards attaining satisfaction in work. Lenny portrays a typical Eastern pushy-salesman-suit, involved in the business for the money rewards only. (Lambing and Charles)
Despite the ambition presented to Randy by Lenny, the latter is ready and willing to help him because as an established entrepreneur it is essential to pass on guidelines to other would - be entrepreneurs. Randy carefully listens to Lenny because he wants the young entrepreneur to drop the potential monetary rewards perspective and focus on satisfaction. More so, Randy provides direction, contacts, and leadership for entrepreneurs in need of experience like Lenny. The main role Randy plays is helping would-be entrepreneurs through the initial phase of business development and then retires to the less central role of advisor. Randy’s advice to Lenny is that a leader with many ideas but lacks vision and passion will lead his business to the drain.
Question Three: What do you think about the “Deferred Life Plan”?
In the book, the author notes the tendency of people in the contemporary world sacrificing their present life to hard work and earning a living to protect their future existence. In simpler terms, this is living a deferred life plan whereby one denies himself or herself a decent lifestyle in the name of protecting the future. The author argues that people do not have to sacrifice their lives in order to accomplish things they are passionate about, be it at work or in business. In my understanding, the theory and practicability of deferred life plan is real amongst young people especially those joining the labor market. Most people engage in activities, work, or business, which they have little passion but hang on to them for the sake of financial satisfaction. Interestingly, this financial satisfaction does not come about and the very people end up losing on other satisfactions they could gain at work.
Putting off what you really love to do and engaging in other activities or business, which is less; satisfactory is the beginning of leading a deferred life plan. By not working on work and business, one is passionate about means deferring sense of excitement and passion for what you really care about in life. Komisar further explains that’s working hard is not inconsistent with the deferred life plan but working hard for things that bring less excitement and interest is part of deferred life plan (Komisar and Kent 35).
Comparing the theory with the actual life setting, with the deferred life plan, one ends up succeeding on things, which do not matter in his or her life. More understandably, deferred life plan leads to achieving at something, which has no definition of the real, you. As human beings, we need to ensure that we get satisfaction in whatever we do and this should be at a reasonable age. It is not satisfaction when we have to wait up to sixty years and above to start enjoying life.
Question Four: What do you think about the evolution of Lenny’s opportunity? What value does Lenny get from Randy and the VCs?
The evolution evidenced in Lenny’s opportunity is great as it offers him and other workers to engage in activities, which bring about satisfaction. The opportunity created does not only promise financial rewards but also work satisfaction. The opportunity further presents Lenny with a chance to engage in a business venture for the right reasons rather than seeking financial satisfaction only. In seeking help from people advanced in the matters of entrepreneurship, Lenny gains more information on other aspects of business.
Randy gives Lenny in-depth advice on what venture capital firms require, focusing on the characteristics of CEOs during various phases of the establishments. In so doing, Lenny understands the difference between a good manager and a good leader, which as a future CEO of a business is necessary information. Management and leadership skills are a prerequisite for anyone hoping to establish any kind of venture. With time, the owner of the business will have to let go off the control of the business and this, Randy explains requires major management skills. Lenny learns that the essence of entrepreneurship is for the entrepreneur to acquire all round satisfaction at all stages of life. The activities engaged in by the entrepreneur should not limit the workers from attaining satisfaction at all levels. Being an entrepreneur means embarking on a journey for irrational and passionate people who believe in the face of doubt. More so, the significance of sharing ideas on entrepreneurship with other experienced people will help boost the initial goals. VCs are driven by risky ideas hence need potential leaders to guide them and not just followers.