Title: Irrationally Passionate: My Turnaround from Rebel to Entrepreneur
Author: Jason Kothari
Type: eBook (Kindle edition)
Price: INR 101
While a college student at Wharton, Jason Kothari scraped together money from family and friends to save his childhood favourite comic book company, Valiant Entertainment, from bankruptcy and bring it back to life. A few years later, he transformed Valiant into the third-largest superhero entertainment company in the world after Marvel and DC Comics and sold it for $100 million. Jason then became a professional turnaround leader and went on to transform distressed Indian Internet icons Housing.com, FreeCharge and Snapdeal, helping save billions of dollars in value, and advise giants like technology investor Softbank and real estate developer Emaar, who have invested billions of dollars in India.
Irrationally Passionate reveals the inside story of how a rebel, train-wreck kid transformed himself into a successful young entrepreneur and business leader who became one of the top ten paid executives in India while only in his 30s. From getting his first job as an assistant to Jackie Chan in Hong Kong, to learning strategy from champion Muay Thai fighters in Thailand, to tackling huge personal setbacks, to becoming a CEO in 60 seconds, among many other stories - Jason's inspiring journey across countries, industries and companies has something for everyone, right from students to entrepreneurs to corporate CEOs to even parents of students and entrepreneurs. Irrationally Passionate is a highly personal, authentic, open, and complete account of a young entrepreneur's life. Brimming with practical advice and philosophical insights, it will force readers to reflect on how they perceive life, work, family, and spirituality by giving them a fresh perspective.
When the good folks at Blogadda.com chose me to read and review this book, I assumed I was in for a boring second-person account of an entrepreneur's journey. Boy was I wrong. This book is his own account of how he shaped his rebellious self into an entrepreneur, moreover, a credible name as a turnaround king and a sought after entity in the business world.
His first-person account starts on how he recognized and developed his business acumen from a very young age. The account of how he haggled a chess set for himself as a souvenir during a family trip displayed his likeness towards business. Jason kept moving from one city to another on account of his father’s job. During this time, he explains also faced racism and bullying in the many places he stayed during his childhood.
His love for comic books is evident which nurtured into a passion and determination for saving and building Valiant Comics to becoming the third-largest superhero franchise after heavyweights Marvel and DC.
Jason's passion for comics also helped him learn the ropes of business in his teenage days. His favourite Valiant comics comic book characters taught him certain life lessons: “One of my most sacred beliefs is that thoughts become things, the latent becomes manifest. Would-be entrepreneurs shouldn’t just guard their words, but their minds as well. The subconscious is extremely powerful. What you put in, you get out.”
One of the most difficult hurdles for anyone doing business is how they face problems. Either you deal with them or run away from them. Jason learned early on to face problems head-on than to run away from them - a wise lesson for all, not just budding entrepreneurs.
Like many success stories, his too had some setbacks. Jason got into bad habits and bad company but gradually realized and learnt from the mistake. This too he took it into his stride with the lesson: A failure or setback is not the end of everything.
A resounding concern from his mother nagged him and a sound piece of advice from his sister-in-law helped him bounce back to his goal - ‘Jason, you just need to ask yourself: where are you now, what do you want to do, and how are you going to get there from today.’
He also channeled his energies in becoming more fit through martial arts like Muay Thai which also taught Jason a lot of lessons that he took to the boardroom.
“Pain was a non-factor; train your brain to say, ‘Something hurts? So what? Continue. Keep going,”” was an enriching outcome of his experience with the Martial arts masters.
The book entails more such experiences of his career and how he launched himself from business school to becoming the CEOs of Snapdeal, Housing.com and Freecharge.in and an established turnaround expert.
What I Liked:
The inspiring journey faced with ups and downs.
Especially the nuggets of wisdom, such as: - “....running towards, not away, from personal weaknesses—became a habit I cultivated and later pushed to extremes in life and business”.
A major highlight is that how Jason repeatedly says how entrepreneurship need not be inherited or ingrained. It is a combination of passion, determination and focus.
The writing and narration is lucid and the book is easy to read.
What I didn't like:
Nothing much to not like, however I felt that some chapters were a little too long that drawled at but and kept the reader off focus.
A good read for those who crave for a dose of inspiration for building their own entrepreneurial success story.