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Book Summary – The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why now is the time to #JointheRide

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster - Book summary

Most people have no idea how to start a business nor what to expect. “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster” by Darren Hardy is a guidebook that explains what it takes to start a business and how to prepare yourself for the ups and down of the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride. It provides useful insights for anyone who is contemplating whether to start a business, or is trying to figure out how to maximize his/her chances of success. In this free version of The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster summary, we’ll distill the key ideas and recommended action steps for the 8 key chapters of the book.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: An Overview

Darren Hardy started his first business when he was 18 and earned $20,000 per month by the age of 19. Although he built several successful businesses—from door-to-door sales to real estate, online media and educational software—he also made his share of mistakes. In the book, he shares many stories and anecdotes from his own experience, as well as insights gained from interviewing top leaders and business magnates as the former-publisher of the SUCCESS magazine.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster Summary_overview

Here are some things to expect on the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride!

Surviving the Entrepreneur Roller Coaster

Meet the Minimum Requirements

You need to be of a minimum height to get on a roller coaster. Likewise, to survive the tough entrepreneurial journey, you must minimally meet 3 requirements so you have the drive or motivation to stay the course.

Find your Love/Passion

Passion is something that’s already inside you. Your first role is to find your passion switch.  In our 15-page version of The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster summary, we explain in more detail on how you can zoom in to 4 areas to find your love/passion—for WHAT you do, WHY you do it, HOW you do it, or WHO you do it for.

Find your Fight

We are driven by the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. You can also identify an “enemy” (e.g. injustice or poverty) which fires you up and gives you a reason to fight for something.

Find your Strength

To succeed, you must also identify unique advantages that will help you succeed in business. In our complete summary, you can get more details about the importance of strength training and the 10,000 hour rule, along with a simple action plan that you can use. Here’s a sample:The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster Summary_action plan_drive

One of the most challenging things about entrepreneurship is the amount of rejection and ridicule that you’ll face. Even those closest to you may discourage you, tell you that you’re crazy and try to convince you to follow the conventional path. That’s where the next segment comes in: to prepare yourself mentally for rejection.

Get Ready (Buckle Up)

When others mock your ideas or reject you, it’s important to realize that it’s not about you. It’s actually about them, because you remind them of what they themselves dare not do. In the full version of The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster summary, we dive into 5 strategies you can use to crush these negative voices—Don’t be likeable, get laughed at, define success in your own terms, realize most opinions don’t matter, and shorten your recovery time—and how to get started. The surest way to fail is to quit. Crush the naysayers and persevere to achieve success on your own terms.

Power Up

As an entrepreneur, there will always be too much to do in too little time. To get results, you must focus on the right things. And your main priority in business = Sales.

The best businesses aren’t the ones with the best products, star players, nor outrageous margins. 90% of the time, it’s all about having great sales and marketing. Without sales, you have no business. Besides selling to customers (directly or via your sales team), you must also sell your vision to internal and external stakeholders, recruit the right people and convince them to give their best etc. You must sell to everyone, every day.

Hardy shares 9 key steps to build your sales muscles, how to assess/re-prioritize your strategic focus and get your dream clients.

Fill Your Empty Seats

At some point, your coaster (or business) is going to take a plunge. Would you want the people riding with you (your team) to be fearful and paralyzed, or excited and ready to take on the challenge? Unfortunately, entrepreneurs tend to get so excited by people who love their ideas/vision that they overlook the skills/experience, or they try to hire people to put out fires rather than bring their vision to life.

In our 15-page book summary , we look at why it’s important to hire only A-Players, the 3 things you must do to recruit effectively and how to take stock/recruit for a high-performance culture.

Take the Front Seat

In any organization, the quality of its leadership determines its performance. As the leader, you must bear 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your organization. Always share the credit but own the blame.  In our complete summary, we look at the key ingredients for leading effectively in the 21st century, how to start on your leadership development plan and help your team with theirs.

Pick Up Speed

As your business grows, you must become increasingly productive without being overwhelmed. Just like how doctors use vital signs (e.g. heart rate and blood pressure) to assess your health, you need to focus on 4 vital factors to manage your business for success:

Your Vital Functions

Know your hourly value and the top 3 vital roles that only you can do, which you do best and contributes the most to your organization.

Your Vital Priorities

Define the top tasks you must perform well to accomplish your #1 vital function.

Your Vital Metrics

Identify the metrics that’ll help you to know if you’re on-track or off-track so you can do course-correction, and use the  “Massive Transformation Formula” (MTF) to develop your goals and habits to achieve them.

Your Vital Improvements

Identify the key skills required for your success. Learn-do-rinse and  repeat to keep improving.

Do check out our full The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster summary for more details on each of the components above.

Hands in the Air

Entrepreneurs are not fearless risk-takers. Everyone feels afraid at some point and it’s all about facing your fears. Hardy shares 6 brain hacks to conquer your fears, and to develop your action plan to move ahead in spite of your fears.

Smile for the Camera: Don’t Miss the Point

In the pursuit of your goals, don’t lose sight of what matters most. Riding a roller coaster isn’t about reaching the destination; likewise, building a business isn’t about just achieving your financial/business goals. Here, Hardy takes you through several dos and don’ts to help you enjoy the ride, and to gain clarity on what truly matters so you don’t neglect them on the way.

Getting the Most from “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster”

For more details of the key concepts and specific action plans, check out our complete book summary bundle which includes an infographic, a 15-page text summary, and a 25-minute audio summary.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster summary - book summary bundle

This book is written like a workbook, and the tips are meant to be applied, so you can get the book here for the full details, or download the free worksheets at

Explore more options and insights for starting a business with The Lean Startup summary and Zero to One summary.

About the Author of The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why now is the time to #JointheRide is written by Darren Hardy—an American author, keynote speaker, advisor, and former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, with more than 20 years of experience in the personal growth and success industry. He has led three success television networks producing over 1,000 TV shows with famous thought leaders. In December 2015, Hardy announced his decision to leave Success magazine as publisher to focus on new opportunities including speaking engagements, media appearances and private mentoring.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster Quotes

“Business is like…a frightening, exhilarating, and totally addictive thrill ride.”

“Don’t over-romanticize the idea of being wholly passionate about what you do…Nothing is awesome all the time.”

“Work is gonna suck 95% of the time. But that other 5% is freaking awesome!”

“If no one is ridiculing or laughing at you, you either don’t have a revolutionary, change-making idea yet, or maybe you’ve been afraid to finally share it with the world.”

“We all get knocked down. How quickly we get up is what separates us.”

“Want to sell more? Stop selling. Help instead.”

“Your business will only be as good as the people you recruit to join it.”

“The key to success is massive failure. Go fail!”

Click here to download The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster book summary and infographic

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