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The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Book: Discovering Your Inner Samurai

I just finished reading Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, which was written by Susan Reid. Reid, a former professor at James Madison University in its music department, started her own business in 2004. At first, she worked doing things that were similar to her old job (e.g., as a freelance conductor) and then moved into being a business coach. Her business, Alkamae, helps "creative women transform their start-up woes into start-up goes." (back cover text)

A colleague recommended the book to me, so on a business trip last week, I made it my mission to read it. The "inner samurai" is the name Reid gives that voice within each of us that helps us on our journey. As she says, it might be called others things depending on your point of view (e.g., self, soul, spirit). It might be a part of ourselves that we're not firmly in touch with and, therefore, need to rediscover. It is not the voice in your head, but the "voice" deep within you that "knows." [Note that she uses the word "samurai" in a way that may feel quite odd. Samurai were professional warriors. They were also principled people. In chapter 4, she explains her view of the samurai and then her word usage becomes clearer.]

Using stories from her life, and from the lives of her clients, Reid discusses the inner samurai and many topics that will be of interest to new and established business owners. And although titled "Discovering Your Inner Samurai", it was the other stuff that stood out to me and that seemed to be the focus of the book. Is that that the book is mis-titled or that what struck me was the stuff on setting priorities, etc.? I don't know. And that bothers me.

Now, let me stop and say that yes, it's a good book -- see my other blog post. It shines as a book of advice for a woman business entrepreneur. However, as a generalist, Reid covers many topics and I felt that some could have been covered more in-depth. For example, she advises that we should work on 60% of our goal now and 40% in the future, but doesn't give practical advice on how to do that.

Okay...so you've read this far and are wondering if you should buy the book. If you need inspiration and advice mixed together, yes. If you want to hear a woman talk about the change she made in her career -- and the changes others have made -- yes. If you want to read a book that compares with The Secret (which is a comparison you will see on the book's cover), then no. Actually, if you're curious about the book and would like to flip through it before buying it, ask your local public library to obtain a copy for you. And if you're in Syracuse, you can look at a copy housed among the business resources at the WISE Center.

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Anonymous Susan L. Reid of "Discovering Your Inner Samurai" said...

Jill, thank you for reviewing my book. The title, "Discovering Your Inner Samurai" may seem a bit strange for a woman's business book. After all, when we think of samurai, we think of Japanese male warriors and the outward expression of themselves as warriors.

However, if you look a little deeper, the choice for my book title becomes clear. You see, samurai were not mere assassins. Long before a samurai picked up a sword or carried out any action, he spent 10-15 years in deep inner study and training. He was, as you said, disciplined. He was also centered, still, and had a confidence and conviction about what he was doing that was born from an inner knowing.

This is the inner knowing that I speak about in my book. It is the call I am making in my book to women entrepreneurs -- Discover your Inner Samurai! Be strong, from the inside out. Build your business on your inner strength. Build your business from the inside out, from a place you know and can do something about. From your Inner Samurai.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Jill, thank you for this review of Susan Reid's book, Discovering Your Inner Samurai. And thank you for recommending folks ask their librarian to stock it. As the publisher, it would be our pleasure to have the book in libraries everywhere.

10:44 AM  

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