Book Reviewed by Taylor Berrett
Entrepreneurship has long been an essential keystone to the American dream, with motivated individuals throughout history deciding to pursue their business dreams and eventually achieving what none thought possible.
But it seems that the pursuit of entrepreneurial success in America has hit a fever pitch over the last couple of decades, with more and more people looking to unlock the secrets of successful businesses through an endless and ever-growing list of self-help books, motivational speeches, and ‘hidden secrets’ of entrepreneurial mastery.
In many ways, The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur is the antithesis and the antidote to this endless march. Author Christine Kane, a once-songwriter who later founded the multimillion-dollar coaching company Uplevel You, endeavors to ‘show a new class of entrepreneurs another way.’ Her book is written as a counterargument to the idea that to succeed in business, one must act, think, behave, and structure their day a certain way.
The result is a refreshingly original book that doesn’t feel like any of the business self-help tomes that have come before.
Success While Staying Yourself
When The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur really shines is when it’s turning historically accepted notions about what business owners are supposed to be on their head. Kane is an excellent critic of current motivational literature trends, from the hype-driven pleadings to ‘Crush It!’ or the profanity-laden self-help books that have recently become all the rage.
Kane offers an alternative view to the idea that successful entrepreneurs must tap into this universal set of qualities that makes a great businessperson. Instead, she compellingly argues that there’s no one right way to be a successful businessperson. The key isn’t to be ‘strategy-obsessed, data-driven, and relentlessly aggressive.’ The key, according to Kane, is to connect with our inner motivations and strengths, then turn them into a path to success without losing sight of who we are.
As for whether Kane effectively communicates how readers are supposed to do that— she’s largely successful across The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur’s 280 pages of insights, anecdotes, and inspiring almost-sermons on the importance of trusting in your instincts versus trying to fit yourself into the ‘entrepreneur’ mold.
Reframing ‘Flaws’ as Assets
While The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur is much more than just a ‘rah-rah’ pep talk about getting out there and ‘making things happen,’ it would be a waste to ignore just how effective it is as a piece of powerful motivation— especially for those who don’t fit the traditional entrepreneurial mold.
In fact, Kane argues quite compellingly that the attributes often seen as weaknesses in business— sensitivity, vulnerability, and empathy— are actually powerful strengths when used in the right context.
Importantly, Kane doesn’t just make these claims— she backs them up with evidence, from research to powerful anecdotes from her own experience which she delivers with storytellers flair.
Overall, The Soul-Sourced Entrepreneur is well worth reading, even if only to experience a break from the hacking, shortcutting, and manipulation espoused by far too many modern business books currently dominating shelves worldwide.
Taylor Berrett is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and host of the podcast Alone in a Room. His other book reviews can be found here.