Business Adventures – How I Live Now by Donald J Wiliamson – A Review

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Business adventures have long been a major staple of American business culture. There is probably no better way to describe the spirit of business than asking a successful business person how they did it. In fact, many of the most powerful and successful CEOs started out with a dream of being involved in business. Unfortunately, many of them didn’t have the experience necessary to pull it off, and even fewer of them had the courage to take the plunge. But that’s not a problem; this book presents the unique challenges and successes experienced by virtually every great business leader-and how they overcame them.

Business Ventures chronicles 12 key moments in American business, but perhaps above everything else it teaches simple lessons about individuals. It would be an oversimplification to call The Business Adventures of Abraham Lincoln an autobiography; it was, after all, his life story, just like thousands of others. However, it was an autobiography that remains fascinating twenty years later. “How I Got To Be An Entrepreneur” is a simple but profound book from an extraordinary man. It’s one of those rare finds: a book written by an individual who overcame the difficulties that almost ruined him.

The book’s format is simple yet illuminating. Each chapter begins with a brief history lesson and then goes on to describe how the character became famous or notable. All the chapters begin with a foreword by Ford Edsel, who invented the automobile. Ford is also shown as a modest man, someone without a lot of money, yet someone who somehow made his mark on the world. The lessons are grouped around common characteristics of successful business adventures, and all of them help to explain why Ford ended up with his success.

As a business adventure, “How I Got To Be An Entrepreneur” follows a typical path. It starts with a description of Ford’s childhood and early years, followed by his trials and tribulations in business, then his triumphs and ultimate victory. Some of the lessons that I thought were the most interesting were the ones that showed Ford learning new skills along the way. One chapter focuses on Ford’s interest in the stock market and his attempt to make Wall Street respect and admire him. Other lessons include Ford’s knowledge of advertising and how that helped him build a successful company.

In Chapter Two, we get to read about Ford’s marriage to a widower and his struggle to manage his emotions while dealing with the demands of his new career. One of the highlights of the story is Ford’s realization that he had underestimated the importance of the stock market to his success. We also learn about the tape delay in his first radio commercial and how that ended up having a very negative impact on the company. These stories add a little light into some of the more serious challenges faced in business adventures.

My final review of “How I Live Now” gives a positive verdict. I liked that the story was not too serious in tone. I also found that the key lessons were applicable to most people who are succeeding in life. This book has inspired me to try to live the life that Mr. Wiliamson describes. I look forward to reading more of his books in the future.