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Readers Hope

Book Review: You Don’t Need This Book By Ben McDougal

Photo credit (mine): Elizabeth Loberg
Photo credit: Elizabeth Loberg — Book written by Ben McDougal

Book Summary:

You Don’t Need This Book by Ben McDougal is the perfect book for any type of business owner or people interested in entrepreneurship. Whether you’re starting a new business, improving an existing business, starting a side hustle, or simply curious enough to level up the way you perceive work, there’s something for everyone in #YDNTB.

Topics covered within this book:

ideation, community, team, side hustles, research, testing, marketing, sales, results, and persistence (and of course, many subcategories within each chapter, but I don’t want to give away too much of this amazing book so you can read it and experience it for yourself!) Along with hitting on so many key topics related to entrepreneurship in our connected era, I loved the friendly sidebars where Ben personalizes the narrative and shares insights earned from his own entrepreneurial journey.

Elizabeth’s thoughts on You Don’t Need this Book

As a caffeinated entrepreneur, I thoroughly enjoyed the energizing verbiage throughout the book. All of the coffee-flavored references were so much fun.

Example: “What you’re about to read is brewed to be fun.”

This somehow lightened the mood, which makes it more approachable, digestible, and more easygoing. It took the pressure off, which created space to brainstorm ideas for my own design agency, Wood Media, improve myself while creating fresh layers of curiosity towards different avenues in my own entrepreneurial journey.

One topic that I’m especially happy that Ben mentioned in this book is that you don’t need an expensive piece of paper to have permission to build your dreams. Sometimes, earning a degree (the expensive piece of paper) is encouraged more than finding what you’re truly passionate about. Growing up, I fell into this hole. I was fighting against becoming a designer because, “I wouldn’t make any money as a creative entrepreneur.” Yes, someone told me that. So, instead of pursuing what I truly wanted to learn about, I spent the first two years of college studying Dietetics and Pre-Med when I was really more interested in how to make the logo and complimenting website for a food blog.

$15,000 later, I transferred and finished school online. In less than a year, I earned my applied associate of Graphic Communications. I loved studying graphic arts and marketing so much I went to school year-round so I could start my business, while also working a full-time job in the COVID unit at the same time (that’s a story for another time).

This book gave me the permission to challenge myself as an entrepreneur and to really determine if I’m happy with how my current business works. It took me a bit longer than normal to finish this book because as I read, and re-read, I would take notes, research, and do lots of souls searching along the way. For example, these threaded thoughts on Twitter gave me a chance to share my thoughts along the way. YDNTB taught me that it’s okay to rework your business and how you approach entrepreneurship. Along with doing what’s best for you, I loved the simple idea of finding things that feel like play to me but look like work to others.

You Don’t Need This Book is one of the best books that I’ve read in a long time. As I read, no matter where I was, it was always as if I was in a cozy coffee shop working on my business, enhancing my understanding of entrepreneurship, and growing personally along the way. Ben is so knowledgeable and I plan to continue learning from him as I keep building!

Photo credit: Elizabeth Loberg — Book written by Ben McDougal

Takeaways, Realizations &“Ah-Ha Moments”:

Note: I could have finished this book in one day, but instead, I purposefully read it slowly. This gave me a chance to truly digest each section. In doing so, I was able to apply more aspects of this extraordinary book to my own entrepreneurial endeavors.

This book gave me the permission to dive deep into my current thoughts and feelings as an entrepreneur. I can’t thank Ben enough for inspiring such an enlightening experience.

My personal takeaways:

  • My current business model is sucking my creative juices.
  • I love being creative and owning a design agency, but I’ve always wanted to have more passive income than anything so I could design on the side for more “leisure/fun” work. I started crafting this plan whilst going through this book.
  • It reaffirmed to me that I am actually doing some things “right” like how I’m building my community, running a small team, and connecting with other small business owners.
  • I’ve always wanted to start a blog (since I was 8 years old to be exact) but I’ve always been too scared to do so. Whelp, that mindset has changed and I’ve started laying the groundwork for this as well.
  • I learned it’s okay to fail, and that it’s more like a pit stop on your way to what’s next. It so happens that while reading this book, I’ve had the most challenging months of business I’ve ever had. This book became my “safe place” that gave me the courage to lean into the complexity of tough decisions. This led to a sense of strength that has already made me a more confident entrepreneur.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in quite a long time and the “permission” it gave me to unlock a whole other level of myself that I never knew was within me. It’s crazy how such a short, 197 page book can make such an impact and you know a book is really good when it becomes a relic with this many tabbed pages full of underlines, notes, brainstorming, and doodles. I’m still amazed sitting here writing this book review today! Thanks again for writing this amazing book, Ben! I plan on revisiting YDNTB often, especially when I need to “re-work” something in my own entrepreneurial journey.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Loberg — Book written by Ben McDougal

I’d love to hear what YOU think of this book! Comment below or contact me to chat after you experience #YDNTB. Here’s the link to pickup your own signed softcover, eBook, or audiobook version of You Don’t Need This Book: Entrepreneurship in the Connected Era —

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Elizabeth Loberg

Elizabeth Loberg

A passionate entrepreneur that’s hooked on caffeine and creating every day of my life. I love — Business, Marketing, Wellbeing, Coffee, and Art.