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Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  25 reviews
What's your entrepreneurial profile?

Do you have what it takes to build a great business?

In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs--now venture capitalists and CEO advisers--share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck.

After interviewing and researching
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published July 17th 2012)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
It took me awhile to finish this one, mostly because I didn't learn a whole lot from it so I drudged my way through just to finish. That's not to say the book was bad. I'm not the intended audience, which the authors say are folks just getting started in entrepreneurship or thinking about it. This book definitely would've been handy a decade ago when I left the veiled security of a traditional FT job to go on my own. I found myself breathing, "Yep..." under my breath as I read because the author ...more
Pranav Saxena
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: selfhelp
It was just OK, mostly the usual stuff.

I have read a few different books in the "entrepreneurship inspiration" genre, the best one so far is "Unleash Your Inner Company" by John Chisholm. I liked it because it gives very specific advice for each stage of a company, from coming up with idea, to growing the business. I also liked "Founder's Dilemma" by Noam Wasserman, which goes into great detail on common pitfalls within tech startups.

By contrast this one felt very generic.

The basic idea is that
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
Almost a farce. Apparently, it took 3 bigwigs to write this. *eyeroll*

Everything leads up to this big TEST you're supposed to take at the end and you see what kind of personality you are supposed to be (SUPER BASIC).

Well, I've seen a lot of kooky charts and graphs before but this....*lol*...this takes the cake!

Really, I TRIED. I got so frustrated with this, it made me want to pursue it further. The graphics on this "test" are so bizarre, so mind-numbingly weird and Escher-like - I actually took
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it
It may sound like another trip to Oz, but Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is a true story of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and business- builder. It is a straightforward, enjoyable read, as well as an inspirational tool for anyone who wants to take their passion and ideas to the next level. Not interested in the business genre? I challenge you to pick this one up, get creative, and apply it to your life. I think it will change your mind!
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that deserves more than one reading. The authors have struck gold with their insight of the four ingredients that makes a great entrepreneur: heart, smarts, guts and luck. A book to think over, highlight and come back often to.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I read about entrepreneurship, and it made the process seem far less daunting than I initially believed. The language they used was for the most part accessible, (but who really uses the term macromyopic?) and it was a good self-reflection tool to consider just what drives a person to be and build successful entrepreneurial opportunities. Their framework was easy to follow and understand, and I was surprised to learn I’m primarily Luck dominant.
Ajay Kishan
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Too much of repetitive. Could be easier English. A young girl from a B TOWN in China or India must also be able to read and understand, Which is not.

However the content is quite interesting good and I feel it's definitely true
J  Brown
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business-popular
Interesting analysis of the different personality strengths that people endow themselves with or are born with.
Tom Mahn
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This was the first entrepreneur/business building book I read.
I liked it. Good approach with the hsgl profiles. I very much enjoyed the many references to real-life examples.
Erin Bailey
Aug 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
A fluffy pep talk
Ryan Manganiello
I read all the way up to the testing section, and although the book really didn't help me out, I thought it was alright, albeit a little too smartly written for my tastes. ...more
Ted Lee
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Over all, Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck is your standard business "are you an entrepreneur?" fare. You have your share of inspirational stories about people who persevered and showed pluck and tenacity and finally made a bajillion dollars in the end. You have your standard "trust us, this is how we gained our wealth" stories from the authors themselves. You even have your standard personality test you can take, both at the end of the book or online, that lets you chart your own percentages in th ...more
William Keyser
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business These four components in various mixes are vital to startup success. The three authors all know what they are talking about, having ‘been there, done that’. Chances are high that startups will be undertaken by people not only with a mix of these components, but with one or more of them being more dominant than the others. The secret is to play to strengths, but without neglecting the weaker aspects or b ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on Meyer's Briggs for entrepreneurs. Basically, it pays off to be self-aware. Only then can you play upon your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses. There are some interesting example and anecdotes as well as some key points from other literature advising on entrepreneurship. The authors all have very relevant experience and are able to translate that well into clear, concise advice in print. ...more
Ryan Manganiello
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't learn all that much from this book, but I did still enjoy it very much. It contains a lot of old classic quotes and newer ones pertaining to business and entrepreneurship. I did not personally take the test of which was solely dedicated to chapter ten do to a lack of interest, but maybe someone out there would actually benefit from it. All and all I think it was a very good quick read, and would recommend it to anyone currently looking for something to hold them over for a few days. ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Reads like an MBA textbook for entrepreneurs - it makes a few solid remarks using a sea of bullet points. It makes me wonder though, the extent to which rigid, structured thinking (along the lines of assessment tests and self-development exercises) is applicable to entrepreneurship. A worthwhile read for the authors' track record and their reflections. ...more
Mohammed Belyamani
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
New framework to understand different axes for different type of entrepreneur and to acquire a clear awareness of what drive you as entrepreneur, areas to weaknesses and strengths, and plan for improvement... good reading!
Faiza Osman
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
great book for those who wants to start up not only in business but also in live.
Chris Turnley
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Solid, Smart, Simple and full of wisdom. Keep this one as you will go back to it.
Michael Conness
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not much discovered with this read.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Pedro Cobos
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable book
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Good reminder of what it takes to be an entrepreneur! Motivational and has a fun quiz to take online of whether you are more:
Hearts, smarts, guts, or luck.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must-read book on entrepreneurship for knowledge workers and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Donna Martemucci
rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2014
rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2015
Josh Solar
rated it it was ok
Mar 04, 2015
Freddie McFarland
rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2018
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