The Entrepreneurial Instinct Book



Book Summary

The dropout that makes billions seems to have caught lightning in a bottle — a triumph relying more on luck than skill and never to be repeated.  In real life, successful entrepreneurs take classes, write business plans, and map out responses to every contingency. But if the story is such a fluke, why do we keep hearing ones like it over and over again?

The Entrepreneurial Instinct looks past the rags to riches stories of self-made entrepreneurs to explore how our mind, behavior, and brain chemistry impact our ability to be enterprising in the absence of formal training.   Interviews with dozens of entrepreneurs reveal the traits and habits that allow them to take rewarding risks, overcome fear and failure, and thrive in the face of ambiguity. Conversations with experts in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral psychology expose the scientific explanation behind their seemingly innate knack and shed light on how the rest of us who may not be naturally gifted entrepreneurs can use brain chemistry to find success.

The Entrepreneurial Instinct weaves together stories from entrepreneurs, pop culture figures and thought leaders (including the founders of CLIF Bar, Carol’s Daughter, Marquis Jet, Skip Hop, Dogfish Head Beer, KIPP Charter School, J Brand Jeans, writers of Grey’s Anatomy, rock journalist Neil Strauss, Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill) to reveal cutting edge insight on using brain chemistry to work in ways to create a cycle of productivity, take risks that pay and tap into our creative mind to realize professional success.

In a time where millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed or aspire for better opportunities, The Entrepreneurial Instinct offers much needed techniques for using our innate capabilities to make more with less.

VIDEO: Entrepreneurs Minds Wired to Take Risks
Catch Monica’s conversation with Bloomberg’s Adam Johnson and Harvard Business School Vice Dean Rob Kaplan

Praise for The Entrepreneurial Instinct

“This book nails it.  It pinpoints the mind, spirit and thought process of an entrepreneur and explains how a guy like me can have ADHD, struggle in school and STILL retire at 49. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to create their own luck in life.” – Jim Halpin, former CEO Comp USA, former President of Homebase & BJ’s Wholesale.

“The Entrepreneurial Instinct profoundly reveals that exceptional success has more to do with thoughtful risk taking and agility than school pedigree, I.Q. and even decades of experience. Fear keeps us small, but following your instinct with stamina and passion can lead to greatness. Mehta’s book is a must read for anyone aspiring to excel by challenging conventional wisdom and rolling with the punches to do what comes naturally.”  –Ajay Banga, President & CEO, MasterCard Worldwide

“Illuminating and rich case based insights into the physiology that drives entrepreneurial risk-taking and decision-making.”  – Ian MacMillan, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Director of Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, The Wharton School

“Once I started reading, I couldn’t put this book down. Every successful start-up has one or more near death experiences, and successful entrepreneurs need to be able to function in combat mode. The author does an outstanding job drilling down to unearth exactly what allows some to risk life and limb to create something of value, a feat that should ignite interest in many. Highly recommended reading.” – Robert DiRomualdo, Former Chairman & CEO Borders Group, Former President & CEO Hickory Farms, Chairman Naples Ventures, Director Ulta Beauty

“This book gets rid of the last excuse of the would-be entrepreneur: fear. By showing how you can work with your brain chemistry rather than against it, Entrepreneurial Instinct helps you take smarter risks with less angst. It obliterates a lot of the conventional wisdom around entrepreneurship, and shows what it really takes to succeed.” – Kimberly Weisul, Editor-at-Large, Inc, and co-founder, One Thing New

“The Entrepreneurial Instinct explains how genetic wiring influences our ability to take risks, and offers guidelines we can actually use to become better risk takers. If you have not started a business already, ask yourself why — then read this book.” – Javed Ahmed, Federal Reserve Economist

“I found this book absolutely fascinating. The science behind success is rarely discussed and certainly not in such an entertaining, relatable way.  Great book – read it!”   – Larry Winget, author of five New York Times and WSJ bestsellers including Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get A Life.

“Monica has an incredible knack for demystifying complex topics for viewers and is a go to resource for small business.” – JJ Ramberg, Host of MSNBC’s Your Business

“Monica Mehta has created a simple yet very powerful framework for understanding our entrepreneurial instincts. This is an absolute must read for entrepreneurial hopefuls, and the rest of us!” -Clark Callahan, Executive Director, Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth

“The Entrepreneurial Instinct
is a must read that opens a window into the mind of an entrepreneur – the good, the bad and the ugly – but importantly gives you the tools to create your own tale of entrepreneurship.”  – Sheila Dharmarajan, BloombergTV

Order The Entrepreneurial Instinct on


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