Book review: 'Be Your Best Boss' uplifts outlook to encourage new business beginnings

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Jaded from years in the workforce? This book may help.

Another desk at the office is empty this week.

Another coworker packed up, leaving the place short-handed. Another downsize, and another reason for worry. What will you do if you're next? You can't just start over but you can't retire yet, either. So read the new bookBe Your Best Boss by William Seagraves, and see if you have what it takes for a new beginning.

Seagraves likes to drive.

When he's with friends or colleagues, he's always the first to offer his car, which is a good metaphor for his work life: He likes to be in the driver's seat in business. Yes, he enjoyed some autonomy in his last position, but he says, "I could not stand (the) lack of control."

Seagraves left his corporate job and tried his hand at being an entrepreneur in a few different ways before he discovered something he liked. Today, he runs a successful company that helps entrepreneurs get started; in this book, he offers guidance on deciding if owning a business is for you.

First, what's your pain? Are you being forced out by younger workers? Downsized? Or are you disillusioned with corporate life? What are your passions? Knowing answers to those questions will help winnow your options and overcome the "Yeah, buts."

Look at your skills and experiences and understand that you've already won half the battle. You know how to play nice with others. You've grown a thick skin, "practiced making money" and learned the rules of a lot of games. Many of the traits you'll need to be an entrepreneur are inherent in you now.

Next, take the quiz Seagraves includes and understand that "size matters." Are you more of a "Company of One" kind of person? Would you be better as "Boss of a Few?" Is a "Business of Many" more your style? Know the pros and cons of these entrepreneurial methods and remember that "…a smart business owner always plans for the exit."

As you might expect, Seagraves is most encouraging in his book. There's a lot of surface positivity here.

While younger entrepreneurs might appreciate this book, it really seems to be more for older readers who've been in the workforce awhile. Corporate life may have soured for boomers and early Gen-Xers, butBe Your Best Boss won't leave them empty handed.

Be Your Best Boss

William Seagraves, Perigee

$15, 208 pages