Book Structure


Of everything to which we could apply entrepreneurial thinking, why have we not applied it to entrepreneurship itself? Instead of deliberately pausing to take a fresh look, we regularly make these errors:

•We seek a formulaic answer, a recipe, for how to make an entrepreneurial undertaking succeed. There isn’t one.

•We believe that the story of the individual entrepreneur tells us the story of entrepreneurship. It doesn’t even come close.

•And narrower still than looking to one story, we look to only one source, one time, or one form of entrepreneurship in our search for its secrets. Why?

Ironically, approaching entrepreneurship this way is the opposite of what entrepreneurs do when seeking to understand something and find its value.

True entrepreneurs pause—deliberately, habitually.

As they do, they look for and see patterns others miss—patterns they can act on, draw others to, and extract value from as never before. Even more compelling (and revealing), the best do so not for a personal reward but for the advancement of humanity.

A Deliberate Pause takes an entrepreneurial look at entrepreneurship, learning from those who know best what really makes it work. Larry Robertson combines his vast experience with the sage insights of more than 200 individuals living in the entrepreneurial universe. In doing so, he shows us the power of a deliberate pause and the truth about entrepreneurship as we’ve never known it before. More, he places the power directly in our hands and invites each of us to change our lives and our world. 

When you look at something in a different way, you can’t help but learn and advance your thinking. Both are empowering. This book represents an entirely new view of entrepreneurship and a capacity to apply it anywhere in your world. The many lessons in this book are delivered within a framework of four parts.

Part I, Entrepreneur, offers a view of this contradictory character called an entrepreneur. It serves to unwind your preconceptions and give you a clear view of what an entrepreneur is, why the dominant myths about them are simply false, and where entrepreneurs fit into the more important dynamic of entrepreneurship.

Part II, Entrepreneurship, builds on your newfound sense of who entrepreneurs are, then reveals their relative importance to the larger ecosystem that makes entrepreneurship work. You will learn that creating community is a powerful, necessary force in entrepreneurship that brings forth lasting change.

Having a clear sense of who is behind entrepreneurship begs the question of how entrepreneurs do what they do. Part III, Perspective and Discipline, takes you there. You’ll see that the tales about entrepreneurs focus on the beginning and the end of their stories, but in reality, it’s the middle part that makes all the difference. Part III explores the fundamentals—for both the individual entrepreneur and the ecosystems they spawn. It also explores oft-overlooked distinctions between evolution and growth, and rights the assumed roles of failure and sacrifice in successful entrepreneurship.

Why entrepreneurs (and those they attract and inspire) do what they do follows from the lessons of who they are and how they operate. This becomes the focus of Part IV, Reward and Reason. By the time you reach it, you won’t be surprised to learn that value and success in entrepreneurship differ vastly from common assumptions—at least for those ventures that make real the changes they seek and have lasting impact. You’ll also discover there’s something more to the who, how, and why of this powerful force called entrepreneurship. And you’ll see why the importance of always asking why never fades.

The Book

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“Entrepreneurs cannot come to rest until their vision is part of the very fabric of their world.”

Bill Drayton

Founder, Ashoka

America’s 25 Best Leaders

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