Purpose First Entrepreneur – EFBC Book Review and Takeaways

The EFBC is always on the lookout for works that may support our members and community in different ways. Whether it’s a whitepaper from our Strategic Partners, programming led by EFBC community members, or thought-provoking reads members may enjoy, we want to share the wealth of knowledge that comes from the people around us! Today we are reviewing Purpose First Entrepreneur, a book from upcoming Fireside Chat speaker Pete Wilkins, and sharing some key takeaways for anyone interested in EFBC!

Purpose First Entrepreneur opens with Wilkins explaining his road to discovering his purpose in entrepreneurship, a road that left me stunned at the resilience displayed. Through a series of events that each seem more catastrophic than the last, Wilkins weaves his story of setbacks leading to an important self-discovery. In Wilkins’ case, this was the discovery of his vision for what he wanted to work toward in his life and career – something that EFBC members are likely closely familiar with, as many of them likely found themselves in similar situations, starting businesses based on their discovered passions and purposes.

Wilkins spends time helping the reader define their vision early in the book through guiding questions. If you’ve read other books in this genre, you are likely familiar with people asking, “What do you enjoy doing?” and “What are you good at?” to determine your purpose. Wilkins adds an additional layer to these questions, asking, “How will you make the world better?” This rounds out a purpose further and helps to connect the reader with the world around them instead of focusing solely on themself. This connection with a community around the entrepreneur is central to the themes of EFBC – from forums to dinner events to simply calling another member up to chat, helping make those around you better is at the core of our beliefs.

“Purpose First Entrepreneur” is a fitting title for the book as Wilkins guides the reader through the discovery of their purpose but doesn’t ever forget the entrepreneur promise made by the title. There are in-depth examples of how someone might go from the initial purpose discovery to the launching of their business to some of the tools or strategies that these people may employ, and even further into how someone might seek funding for their business. While many of our members are past this stage of their business development, receiving this level of detail on funding and investing will still be useful to much of our community!

The depth given regarding the business side of being a purpose-first entrepreneur is impressive – especially regarding growing the business. This should be no surprise due to the author’s perspective as a venture capitalist who has seen many companies go through this growth first-hand. That said, Wilkins also knows when to refer to another expert in the field and is not shy about sharing resources that help the reader’s understanding when a topic might be too off-path for this particular book.

Wilkins explains that while there are many things about an entrepreneur’s journey that they can control, there are uncontrollable factors that each person may have to overcome; this demonstrates a level of consideration for people who may typically be disenfranchised by works aimed at potential entrepreneurs. EFBC is all about uplifting each other to overcome obstacles, so this sits well with us! To consider those who may need additional support from their surrounding community is to show a degree of care that EFBC strives to instill in its members.

Throughout this book, Pete centers on the entrepreneur’s well-being, not just in a business sense but in a holistic sense. There’s an emphasis on maintaining one’s emotions and relationships with others while building their vision. That’s refreshing and is a core reason EFBC reached out to Wilkins about speaking at an event with us, given our insight into emotional intelligence and how it relates to entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses.

Purpose First Entrepreneur was a compelling read. It helps that alongside the book, the reader gets a worksheet that directly guides them through the process laid out by Wilkins. The story is encouraging, the advice is accessible, and the writing is engaging. If you’re interested in what you’ve read here – which was a surface-level look into the information offered by Wilkins – it’s worth a read. That is even more true if you plan on being at EFBC’s Fireside Chat on October 26th with a chat by Pete Wilkins himself.