Interview with Author of “So You Want to be an Entrepreneur”

Latest posts by Melanie Rembrandt (see all)

Recently, I was contacted about a new book on entrepreneurship. This wasn’t that newsworthy, but then I found out that the author is giving all of the profits to charity.

In today’s tough times, it’s nice to hear that peopleJon Gillespie-Brown, Author are still doing positive things so I contacted the author, Jon Gillespie-Brown. He had some great insights to share with the StartupNation audience:


Tell us a little about your background and your book.

I am a lifelong entrepreneur, having started little ideas at school and my first business at 18.  I love working with other entrepreneurs and have mentored over 150 now through my work at the London Business School, Stanford and UC Berkeley HAAS School of Business.  I am also the founder and full-time CEO of Nalpeiron, an early-stage software company in Palo Alto, California.


The book “So You Want to be an Entrepreneur?” is a fast and fun way to find out if you can make it as an entrepreneur.

Why did you decide to write your book?

I was approached to write the book after my experiences as a mentor for the London Business School.  I was prepared to take a chunk of time out of my busy life because I believe it is important to give something back to “the universe” on a regular basis. 

All my mentoring is free and I have mentored over 150 people now.  I’ve been fortunate to have some very important influences in my career helping me along, and it’s my desire to continue that cycle of giving back, helping to encourage growth in other up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

How is your book unique from all of the other entrepreneurial books available?


When researching the book, I took the time to cover a new topic as I wanted the book to have some value, rather than going over old ground.  There are many excellent books on the topic of entrepreneurship (I must own at least 200 of them). And so I decided that it was time we started back at the “beginning” of the entrepreneurial process and help people to decide if they actually want to, and are suited to, become an entrepreneur in the first place.


Give us some examples of the valuable tips you offer in your book.


One of the most valuable lessons I try to get across is that your business should be working for you and not the other way around.  Also, you don’t have to be an incredible genius, young, well-off financially or an inventor to be an amazing entrepreneur – rather, you need to have a strong character more than specific traditional skills. 


In fact, some of the most successful people I know had a poor upbringing and minimal education, but they had the strength of character to win.


What do you hope potential entrepreneurs take away from reading it?


First, I hope readers will find that they learn a great deal about themselves and their amazing abilities, strengths and passions. Then most importantly, I want people to match all those characteristics with their entrepreneurial ambitions, be honest with themselves and decide whether to chase their dreams or continue working for someone else. 


Whatever happens, readers will come away with a much greater understanding of themselves and what they want from their lives!


Why are you giving all of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the Grameen Foundation?


My wife and I already support many charities and we wanted to support something deep and meaningful with an entrepreneurial spin. We looked at many organizations and settled on the Grameen Foundation because of its global reach and its mission to help budding entrepreneurs who would otherwise be lost in the shuffle.


What made you decide to choose this particular organization?


First, the Grameen Foundation deals in microfinancing, which means that donated funds are recycled – as one entrepreneur repays his or her loan, those funds are reinvested in microloans to other entrepreneurs, and that cycle continues indefinitely. 


So every dollar donated to the organization goes a very long way and helps lots of people.  We were also very impressed with their track record and also the vast number of people they help.


Awesome! To find out how Jon is marketing his book, check back on Thursday. In the meantime, you can find Jon’s book on Amazon.

And feel free to write to me with any of your small business public relations or copywriting questions. I’m here to help!

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