Day job at Next Coast Ventures. Board Meeting. Wife, Kids. Podcast. Book launch.
Book Launch? Shit, why in the hell did I write that damn book anyways?
Not for the money (I am giving any proceeds away). Not for the fame (Stephen King, here I come). Not for my ego (ever try reading negative reviews?).
So why did I write a somewhat embarrassing, anti-memoir about an imaginary friend / enemy that I call Mr. Monkey? Why?
It is a question that I asked myself over and over during the two years it took me to finish the damn thing.
The answer always came back to me in a quiet whisper…
The world needs entrepreneurs. Now more than ever. The really hard problems that are facing the world – and there are a lot of them – will not be solved by governments, nonprofits or large bureaucratic organizations. The solutions to our problems will come from the same source they always have come from – crazy, driven entrepreneurs who see a problem and say “What if”.
Then she sets out, works tirelessly, overcomes multiple challenges and turns that silly idea into a sustainable, growing business that provides a real solution to a problem, big or small.
Now, more than ever, we need builders who have the courage to turn a dream into a reality.
We need more diversity in entrepreneurship. Building a business shouldn’t be a small club that only a few can join. We also need entrepreneurs who are mentally strong. Not just to overcome all the challenges that will come along but also to avoid being a jackass when the dream actually starts to become a reality.
So how does that happen and what the hell does an imaginary monkey have to do with it?
Mr. Monkey represents the inner voice that is telling you that you can’t achieve your dream. Mr. Monkey almost crushed my entrepreneurial dream and he still screws with me to this very day (“Hey mike, why are you writing a blog post that no one will read about a book that no one will enjoy?”).
I developed a simple five step formula called SHAPE that illustrates what entrepreneurs can do to overcome this voice and stay on track. The elements of SHAPE came from my own learnings and mistakes – and from watching amazing entrepreneurs that I have had the privilege to work with over the past 25 years.
I hope the book can help you do the same. If you are just thinking about being an entrepreneur or if you are knee (neck) deep on your journey – I hope Mr. Monkey and the SHAPE formula will help you achieve your dreams.
There will always be a voice in your head telling you that you won’t achieve your dreams and that being an entrepreneur isn’t the right job for you. That never goes away.
But what if you listened to that voice and you missed your opportunity to build something amazing? To create jobs in your community? To break the cycle of poverty? To solve a critical problem?
Life is too short for “what ifs”. Mr. Monkey is all about filling your head with “what ifs”.
But what if you decided to chase your dream and it worked out better than you could have possibly imagined?
In short, what I really hope is that it helps you wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey. Now, more than ever, the world needs you and your idea. That is why I wrote this book. I hope it helps.
Here is how