Good day ladies and gentlemen,
It is a privilege for me to share my review of this book, “Dear Entrepreneur”
This is the public presentation of the book’s first edition, and I consider it a timely and relevant resource.
They say, “Never judge a book by its cover, but I would love to say this is actually one of those books you can judge to some degree by its cover and not fall too far off from its essence.
“Dear Entrepreneur” by Adeolu Akinyemi is a well-thought-out, well-written, well-designed and well-packaged resource with a striking, relevant and loud message of hope and recovery beyond adversity and loss.
This book makes the bold promise of upgrading your adversity quotient.
Most of us are familiar with the terms “intelligence quotient” and “emotional quotient”, but some of us may never have heard about “adversity quotient”
An adversity quotient (AQ) is a score that measures the ability of a person to deal with adversities in their life.
“Adversity quotient (AQ) is defined as the ability of an individual to think, manage, direct, and endure challenges and difficulties in life” (Utami, Hardjono, and Karyanta, 2014)
From my observation of history and the compelling presentation of the author, it is clear that any life worth following and any business worth building will be tested with ADVERSITY.
The creative genius Walt Disney said, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you”
It delivers on this promise to upgrade your adversity quotient in 7 chapters and 474 pages, including comments from distributors, the appendix and some pages for notes.
The packaging is unique. You can tell that there was a lot of creative input in conceptualizing, concretizing and designing the content and the container.
The book and accompanying journal are designed like a VHS cassette- as if the author really wanted you to know that you’re about to watch a movie, not just read a book.
So, I suggest you have a bowl of popcorn or nuts as you read- well, that’s if you won’t be too gripped by the story to munch.
From the first page, the author sets the tone for the book. In a conversational style void of frivolities and frills, the author takes us on an adventure that would make contemporary young Nigeria want to say, “You dey carry me wey I no know” or “Shey you dey whine me ni?”
One key benefit this book holds for everyone is the wisdom required to avoid unnecessary pitfalls and avoidable errors in life and business. There are many learning points.
Chapter 1 is about acting and not reacting.
Adeolu establishes the plot of the story, which then runs through the entire landscape of the book- filled with many emotional roller coasters.
Chapter 2 is titled DREAM AGAIN, YOU ALWAYS CAN.
It speaks about the power of the big picture. It encourages the reader to look beyond the minute elements and pay attention to greater possibilities.
Adeolu closes out that chapter with a note of encouragement:
“No matter what is going on with you, if you look on the bright side, it fuels you with incredible positive energy that allows you to be able to break free from whatever else is holding you bound”
In chapter 3, narrating a harrowing experience about importation and deportation, the Author regrettably states, and I quote, “I learnt a painful lesson from the experience- doing another line of business requires deliberately seeking referrals from other established businesses for who they use for exports. The person we had consulted was neither reliable nor trustworthy. I spoke with one of my mentors after the incident, and he told me that he had licensed and reliable agents that he had used for close to 20 years to move his products around the world. I could simply have used one of them and not have to relearn unnecessary painful lessons.”
Adeolu also buttresses the point that taking on an INSURANCE policy may not be all you need to bounce back from adversity. I will capture it this way: Though there is SURE in INSURE, the only way to ENSURE you’re truly SURE is to hold on to God for SURE.
In chapter 4, Adeolu advocates A NEW TYPE OF LEADERSHIP.
He compares the human body to a complete city and a masterpiece, illustrating the value of diversity, unity and collaboration.
Man was made to collaborate; man was made by a company (the trinity), so that man will always achieve their best as a company.
Chapter 5 is about THE POWER IN UNDERSTANDING OTHERS.
Like an expert mariner, Adeolu steers the ship of this book to more hopeful havens. He makes vital suggestions to help us navigate the often troublesome terrains of human emotions and human disposition. He sheds light on the weighty matters of loyalty and disloyalty. As distributors quit for different reasons and supposed allies reneged their commitment, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Chapter 6 infuses us with the courage and power to produce. This is the premise for Rising Irresistibly Despite Adversities.
The secret to winning against all odds is in birthing something new out of something old.
In chapter 7, Adeolu encourages us all to channel our inner students and grow through the cycles of learning, unlearning and relearning.
Whichever way you look at it, you can be sure that these are not the ramblings of a desperate opportunist trying to make a name for himself. Neither are they the mumbled musings of a discouraged
They are the wise words of a true traveller, a courageous leader, an excellent entrepreneur and an astute teacher whose passion to help others enjoy transformation pours through every page.
It is laced with true life stories of aspiration, courage, growth, development, success, struggle, mistakes, misrepresentation, loss, recovery,
In a sense, it is an intellectual spread of delicious food with a sprinkle of bitter herbs,
This book is an invitation to explore the paths that many prefer to conceal for various reasons-
The font choices are excellent. The text is clear. The print is neat. The layout is beautifully designed, and it keeps you turning the pages.
Let me say that Adeolu doesn’t approach this project like a make-up artist.
He doesn’t conceal the ugly truth with the powder of falsities.
He doesn’t hide his mistakes with ego-fueled facades.
He is brutally honest as he shares his mistakes, oversights, failures, learnings and journey to recovery with candour, care and compassion.
Rather, he comes across as an experienced surgeon. Like a skilful surgeon, Adeolu dissects the core concepts of courage, consistency, critical analysis, risk management and the courage to start again even when it seems the odds are against you.
This is a vulnerable project that doesn’t conceal flaws or faults. While it doesn’t trade blames. It is highly profitable for every astute learner and leader.
It is the most candid presentation of personal struggle and business success I have ever read by a Nigerian.
The content is solid. The stories are striking. The editing is impressive. The twists and turns are emotional, and it makes a provoking yet enjoyable read.
As the iconic professor Pat Utomi aptly put it in the foreword, “This is truly a rich teaching tool, especially for the emergent entrepreneur”
Are there improvements I would suggest for future updates and editions?
First, whilst I love the adaptation of the VHS cassettes as the design concept for the book, I would suggest that future editions could be designed with more contemporary devices in mind. Many millennials and Gen-Zers have no idea of what a VHS cassette is. They may be intrigued by it but may not connect mentally or emotionally. Could we consider using things like VR glasses, apps and other modern technology icons in future designs?
I would also suggest that the Author could have explored suspense more. The stories are rich, riveting and replete with learning points, and as a lover of action movies, I would have appreciated a bit more suspense. My observation is that the writing style is direct, and perhaps the author being a man of integrity, didn’t want us to suffer the agony of too many twists in the plot.
With those points shared, let me say clearly that this is both an inspiring and instructive work of art and science.
A work of art because it is aesthetically pleasing and it moves the reader through a labyrinth of life experiences.
A work of science because it is thorough, detailed, incisive, and it provides a roadmap to desired outcomes.
This book is not just a breath of fresh air. It’s also an oxygen tank to the soul of the suffocating entrepreneur or leader who feels like giving up, throwing in the towel and calling it quits.
It will spark fresh hope and new insights.
I love this book, and I strongly recommend this book to every leader and builder who wants to build an organization, a movement or anything of value that will stand the test of time and inspire generations.
Congratulations to Adeolu, his darling wife and the incredible team who helped birth this project.
Cheers to many more exploits, victories and milestones.