Book Review: Equanimity

"Equanimity: Conquering Mt. Enrepreneur" , written by Dave Blanchard and the Og Mandino Leadership Institute, puts you in the shoes of an aspiring entrepreneur who’s about to climb a difficult mountain and, along the way, learn what it takes to succeed in life and business.

Thousand Peaks by Scott Glovsky

Scott Glovsky, licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

The titular noun, equanimity, means peace of mind. This kind of peace comes not from having a life of ease or particular material possessions. Rather, “equanimity is the byproduct of growing and becoming. … The very process of creating worthy dreams awakens their soul, creates joy, and produces equanimity—peace of mind” (p. 122-3).

At 159 pages, it’s a quick read, and the narrative device used to frame it makes the topic easy to internalize. The book tells a story in first person plural, starting with, “In the early hours of morning, we pull our car into the parking lot.” We, the reader, are the protagonist of the story.

In between narrative sections about arriving at the base of the mountain and preparing to begin the ascent, “we” read a book outlining principles of entrepreneurship and draw connections between the things we read and what we will face on our impending climb. Along the way up the mountain, we meet other climbers and mentors who teach us and reinforce the concepts.

Without spoiling the unconventional but satisfying ending, I can tell you that the book left me inspired and ready to act.

The biggest points the book makes are that entrepreneurs need to make three critical decisions, and they need to embrace three principles of value.

The First Three Critical Decisions

These are the decisions you must make before beginning your ascent of Mt. Entrepreneur:

  1. Become the boss: Take responsibility for your life and what you want to create with it.
  2. Hire my Self: As your own “employee”, you follow through on the vision you’ve set for yourself.
  3. Improve my Self: Overcoming the difficult obstacles that stand in the way of your dreams will require developing your skills and habits of thought.

The Three Mile Markers

These are the principles or levels of value that will help you identify and realize worthy dreams:

  1. Valuing people intrinsically: All people (including ourselves) have unconditional worth. Practice intrinsic validation to demonstrate that value.
  2. Valuing dreams intrinsically: Dreams worth pursuing will do three things: inspire passion and creativity, encourage you to improve become your best self and overcome the obstacles to creation, and foster abundance for you and others.
  3. Valuing structure intrinsically: Entrepreneurs resist structure and authority, but having a dream you value intrinsically will cause you to embrace the structure necessary to create that dream.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a leader in an organization, there’s something in this book for you. Learning how to intentionally create will help you be more successful in all your endeavors.