Essentially, in It’s a Jungle in There, Schussler has presented some valuable entrepreneurial expertise to future small business owners. While it is at times unconventional, the underlying premise is that with a good amount of business acumen, a positive attitude and a little persistence, individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs will presumably go far.
Predominantly, I have agreed with much of what Schussler has discussed from chapters 1 through 22. Although his methods are certainly eccentric his business outcomes have been exceptional which makes him an excellent mentor in the business world. Nevertheless, I must address my disdain with his idea of what perception management should entail. In case you missed it, “perception management involves acting in certain ways to create in others a specific impression of you.” Principally, Schussler encourages his audience to enact these methods to head off future dilemmas as well as dissuade any chances of interpersonal conflict. For me this concept screams fake and that’s not what I want to exude to my clients. Emanating authenticity is an excellent way to persuade clients to try your services and products without ever having to drop a dime on advertising. And, if you are successful and maintain your authenticity, your brand awareness will increase exponentially; as will your profits and your overall chances of maintaining a successful venture.
Let’s think celebrities…when a celebrity is introduced to the world, he or she (depending on their previous reputation) radiates innocence because no one is aware of their brand or what they’ll utilize their platform for. While they are trending and paparazzi are currently putting their business in the tabloids and blogs, society is able to gain access to moments that would have otherwise been private. It is oftentimes in these personal moments that individuals are able to get a more intimate look into who these celebrities really are. However, when the celebrity takes an interview and divulges information about themselves, making them both human and relatable, that individual becomes more connected to their audience and creates a bond with those who may share similar thoughts and feelings. Since this can totally be seen as a type of “perception management” I can better understand what Schussler was alluding to.
The infamous Kardashian-Jenner clan is legendary for this formula. By exploiting their lives through their televised reality series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians, “this family has pulled at the heartstrings of America’s youth and captivated teenagers and adults alike who relish in the opulent lifestyle the clan embodies. While all of the children are grown, America was able to watch these individuals mature and feel as if they are in more ways than one connected to these celebrities who lead extraordinary lives. Every time someone in the family initiates an entrepreneurial venture, they are wildly successful, and their products sell out within minutes of being launched (Sources connected to the launch disclose that Kardashian’s SKIMS pushed $2 million in product within the first few minutes of Kim’s campaign going live, and nearly every piece of inventory sold out in lightning speed.)
While I don’t have a platform like the Kardashians, or a publicist who will practice perception management for me, hopefully anyone I work with will genuinely get to know me and be pleasantly surprised by not only my business acumen, but my level of compassion, humility and meticulous work ethic.

References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

Essentially, in It’s a Jungle in There, Schussler has presented some valuable entrepreneurial expertise to future small business owners. While it is at times unconventional, the underlying premise is that with a good amount of business acumen, a positive attitude and a little persistence, individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs will presumably go far.
Predominantly, I have agreed with much of what Schussler has discussed from chapters 1 through 22. Although his methods are certainly eccentric his business outcomes have been exceptional which makes him an excellent mentor in the business world. Nevertheless, I must address my disdain with his idea of what perception management should entail. In case you missed it, “perception management involves acting in certain ways to create in others a specific impression of you.” Principally, Schussler encourages his audience to enact these methods to head off future dilemmas as well as dissuade any chances of interpersonal conflict. For me this concept screams fake and that’s not what I want to exude to my clients. Emanating authenticity is an excellent way to persuade clients to try your services and products without ever having to drop a dime on advertising. And, if you are successful and maintain your authenticity, your brand awareness will increase exponentially; as will your profits and your overall chances of maintaining a successful venture.
Let’s think celebrities…when a celebrity is introduced to the world, he or she (depending on their previous reputation) radiates innocence because no one is aware of their brand or what they’ll utilize their platform for. While they are trending and paparazzi are currently putting their business in the tabloids and blogs, society is able to gain access to moments that would have otherwise been private. It is oftentimes in these personal moments that individuals are able to get a more intimate look into who these celebrities really are. However, when the celebrity takes an interview and divulges information about themselves, making them both human and relatable, that individual becomes more connected to their audience and creates a bond with those who may share similar thoughts and feelings. Since this can totally be seen as a type of “perception management” I can better understand what Schussler was alluding to.
The infamous Kardashian-Jenner clan is legendary for this formula. By exploiting their lives through their televised reality series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians, “this family has pulled at the heartstrings of America’s youth and captivated teenagers and adults alike who relish in the opulent lifestyle the clan embodies. While all of the children are grown, America was able to watch these individuals mature and feel as if they are in more ways than one connected to these celebrities who lead extraordinary lives. Every time someone in the family initiates an entrepreneurial venture, they are wildly successful, and their products sell out within minutes of being launched (Sources connected to the launch disclose that Kardashian’s SKIMS pushed $2 million in product within the first few minutes of Kim’s campaign going live, and nearly every piece of inventory sold out in lightning speed.)
While I don’t have a platform like the Kardashians, or a publicist who will practice perception management for me, hopefully anyone I work with will genuinely get to know me and be pleasantly surprised by not only my business acumen, but my level of compassion, humility and meticulous work ethic.

References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

“Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something left to drink.”-Anonymous

In the next set of chapters (17-20) Schussler mentors the future entrepreneur on how to master processing no’s from the investors who can singlehandedly turn their dreams into reality. As with any other venture in life, Schussler encourages individuals to be diligent and tenacious in their effort to progress because, “the vast majority of entrepreneurs have to endure an ocean of no’s before getting to the island of yes.” As such, Schussler inspires his audience to “learn from failure; graduate to success.” I particularly liked this motto because I recognize the importance of taking each business opportunity as a chance to improve and continually progress throughout the longevity of your business venture. After all, we aren’t our mistakes and shouldn’t be crippled by the consequences that can result.
Furthermore, Schussler also emboldens readers to keep their egos in check as if they should be reminded. This advice is comprehensive and both useful and practical not just for business but for life… PERIOD. While our experiences help to shape and mold who we are and how we respond to life’s problems, it’s vital to comprehend that compassion and humility go a long way in initiating, building, and maintaining relationships. As Schussler states, “people respond positively when they believe you care about them; they want to be around you, to be your friend, to do business with you.” Keeping our egos in check not only makes us more down to Earth, but overall more relatable to the consumers we hope to reach. This consequently creates a tremendous support system for the entrepreneur (FRIENDS…How many of us have them!?!), which will be beneficial to the organization as buyers are able to bring awareness to others who can exponentially increase the chance to successfully generate a profit.
In addition to enjoying the narrative, I appreciated the anonymous quote, “who cares if my glass is half empty or half-full; I still have something left to drink.” Although I’ve never heard this saying phrased quite this way, in all honesty it is entirely true, and its meaning resonates fully with my soul. You see, for as long as I can recall my father would accentuate to me, “if something happens in life, you fix it…if you can’t, you move on…that’s just it…no need to stress about it, cuz stress kills!” Hands down ladies and gentlemen that’s some of the best life advice I’ve ever received. Not only is it an effective way to manage problems overall, it is excellent entrepreneurial guidance and would certainly prove handy throughout the “start-up roller coaster ride.” Likewise, this is exactly what Schussler means when he encourages readers to stay upbeat or be beat down. The mere nature of being an entrepreneur involves taking risks and managing the inevitable obstacles that can frustrate the dreamer and complicate their vision. For those not conditioned to remember that entrepreneurism is a marathon and not a sprint, their imaginings may be decimated all together! It is in these times of uncertainty that Schussler urges us to learn how to deal with adversity, maintain an upbeat attitude in the face of disappointment and loss, and above all else remain vigilant and prepared for the next opportunity…it’s coming…so, as Churchill says, “Never, never, never, never give up.”

References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

Whew…these past two weeks have been nothing less than hellish. With the burial of a young relative and the emotions that come with such circumstances, it has been challenging to say the least to resume my normal schedule. While watching a movie with my oldest child, Paul Blart Mall Cop, I was excited to recognize Schussler’s work as the film was set in the Mall of America. In fact, when a chase ensues in the shopping center, much of it takes place in the restaurant Rainforest Café, which Schussler discusses at great length throughout his narrative. In any event I was encouraged (as if being given a sign from God) as I continued to read Steve Schussler’s It’s a Jungle in There and prepare for my next assignment on entrepreneurship and my next steps in life as well.
Schussler continues in chapters 13-16 to further educate future entrepreneurs on the many pitfalls that can unexpectedly befall the novice businessman or woman. First and foremost, he stresses the need to be upfront and honest with investors regarding all financial responsibilities and promises that this show of integrity will pave the way for improved communications throughout the longevity of the project. As with any relationship, Schussler highlights that honesty is key; and, being able to maintain trust within all partnerships is a strategic way to ensure quality products and services. Schussler affirms, “strategic relationship building can help to facilitate the creation of a product or service, enhance its quality, and improve your profit margin at the same time.” Because of this, future entrepreneurs must consistently practice excellence and always be mindful of all exchanges whether public or private. As Schussler states, first impressions are often lasting impressions and will oftentimes influence any interactions that follow. While this is terrific if the first impression goes off without a hitch, it can be unfortunate and detrimental to business if the initial interaction is distasteful.
After all we are marketing ourselves in order to market our products and services, right?
Newt Gingrich once stated, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” In addition to being mindful of marketing ourselves, Schussler also emphasizes the importance of learning the art of persistence; demonstrating a level of diligence and tenacity unparalleled by even the most ambitious individuals and having the ability to acclimatize yourself to the ever-changing dynamics of the business world. He asserts, “at the end of the day, those who succeed are those who are flexible and can adapt to unanticipated circumstances, and even turn unexpected situations to their advantage.” Undoubtedly, if this process is implemented into your routine practice, you will be on the road to success! Furthermore, sky’s the limit on the businesses and subsequently profits that will be generated from your exceptional work ethic alone. Personally, I’m preparing for these moments every day I wake; and, appreciating more and more that God has given me another day to work hard and bring my dreams to fruition.
Learning and retaining knowledge from Schussler makes me ecstatic about the future entrepreneurial ventures I’ll be a part of as he alludes to the sweet taste of success from dogged determination. “The apple highest on the tree always leaves the sweetest taste.” While I’ll certainly be shooting for the top, I will be pleased and humbled nonetheless by all of the small victories (or apples) that are obtained along the way… Presently, I have to remind myself of the verse Romans 8:28 and know that as we speak (or better yet, as you read) all things are working for the good.
As Aubrey Graham (better known as Drake) raps in his hit Successful, “I know that it’s coming, I just hope that I’m alive for it….”

RIP “Chief”
References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

Although I’ve complained in prior posts about Schussler’s seemingly reckless business/entrepreneurship approach in It’s a Jungle in There, I just can’t put this book down! While it is a required read (another reason I can’t put it down), Schussler is proving to be extremely entertaining whilst educating entrepreneurs about business acumen. At this point, his antics are highly anticipated and I’m always wondering what he’ll do or impart in the successive chapters of his narrative.
I particularly enjoyed chapters 9-12 because for me they started out with an idea that I literally think about every morning I open my eyes. Schussler says, “Always be on the lookout for products or services that people need, and then be prepared to provide those needs in exchange for adequate compensation.” This resonated with me fully because several times a day, I find myself imagining or thinking out loud about how some product/service could be created or revolutionized to provide the amenities that are necessary for society to operate optimally. It felt good to know that Schussler (however eccentric he may be) felt that it was vital for a budding entrepreneur to be visionary enough to seek out opportunities that may remedy issues within their own community. Schussler acknowledges that once these individuals have done so, they will be on the path to training themselves to pursue and create opportunities whenever and wherever they are needed. He asserts that this is a “surefire formula” for initiating a start-up and subsequently turning a profit.
Continuing on, Schussler makes another great point that after coming up with a product one must continually research and develop the creation to ensure that the individual is knowledgeable about all aspects of what is being put on the market. I couldn’t agree with him more! He went on to inform readers that there are entrepreneurs who create products and are simply done after the product is finalized. However, for those who go above and beyond and take the time to learn about their products, edit and revise the product several times over; these individuals presumably set themselves up for a long and prosperous relationship with their target audience. Additionally, as seen in everyday life, “unanticipated problems can arise after a product is put into circulation; what matters is how you take care of them.” Obviously being well-informed about the product is one of the best ways to mitigate these snags and stay current on probable solutions or enhancements that will improve the life and/or efficiency of the invention. Simply dropping a product instead of attempting to improve it in my opinion speaks volumes about the individual(s) who created it and how they view their work. Why would I invest my money in a product that the creator(s) doesn’t want to invest their time to improve? Makes complete sense to me…
Despite the fact that I disagreed with Schussler’s previous advice to multitask (chapters 5-8), I am more than pleased with how he approaches, appreciates and commits to his creations in these latter chapters. His commitment shows entrepreneurs that their services should not be fleeting get-rich-quick schemes. They should be well-though out services/products that have been meticulously created and edited several times over before they are presented for consumption.
Schussler notes that if the budding entrepreneur regards his business commandments and adopts a love of learning, he/she will position themselves to be triumphant in almost any business venture they initiate.

References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

Although Schussler has confused me a bit during these last few chapters (5-8) of It’s a Jungle in There, I am still in his fan club. The book is still as appealing as when I initially started and I am very much so enjoying his wit, humor and the comical nuances he is often associated with. However, I felt that while Schussler was providing yet again, great insight into the world of business; his delivery is brief and concise, yet simultaneously confusing.
Shall I proceed, yes indeed?
Schussler starts out chapter five by asserting that the future entrepreneur would do good to learn how to multitask if this is a skill that they aren’t quite familiar with. He ascertains that this quintessential skill is important because it allows for several concepts/ideas to go on concurrently.
Skip ahead to chapter seven and Schussler is adamant that, “there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Well see… this is where I’m presented with a conundrum. After reading these chapters, I started to pay more attention to my own life and how often I indeed “multitask.” I realized that I do it more often than not (oftentimes when I have prepared myself to do something mundane that doesn’t require mental agility); and I quickly noticed that the quality of my work decreases significantly when I indulge myself. For instance, whilst cooking, checking homework and simultaneously cleaning (if my efforts were equally divided) would result in approximately 33% of my energy being exerted across these various assignments. However, (see where I’m going) if I’m able to get to a point where I can stop and focus on one task (let’s say cooking) for a period of time then that product almost always comes out more improved than the other tasks that I put on hold and was not able to give much attention to. Here, this means that I don’t overcook the pasta and everyone is subsequently pleased with the meal. In the real world, this translates to better services/products for consumers because of more attention to detail and less focus on multitasking. Essentially, consumers are satisfied, and cash is flowing.
While I was initially bewildered by the sequence of statements in Schussler’s It’s a Jungle in There, he manages to tie all of the loose ends together nicely by chapter eight and better explains to entrepreneurs his bewildering logic. Schussler closes with, “the truly successful entrepreneur has to have what’s called “the helicopter view” or the ability to gain enough mental altitude to see the big picture while retaining the ability to descend, hover, and see details too. Think big, but also focus small.”
Despite the fact that Schussler was somewhat perplexing in his delivery, his messages remain consistent and continually provide encouragement for future entrepreneurs looking to learn how to navigate the intricacies associated with the world of entrepreneurship. I look forward to hearing the man out.

References
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011

While Schussler’s narrative certainly doesn’t put him in the literary Hall of Fame with greats like Herman Melville, he does do a tremendous job helping future entrepreneurs to assess themselves and their hustle and decide if the inevitable roller coaster ride is truly for them. While reading through the preface and the first chapter, I steadily took notes, writing down anything quotable or worth memorizing. I found that Schussler appeared to drop several jewels (urban style of saying that Schussler freely dropped serious knowledge regarding entrepreneurship and how to attain success) like when he quantified that, “in order to be successful, you just need to do a little bit more and a little bit better than everyone else in order to be extremely successful.”

Although the superman-in-the-barrel story was a bit extreme. Schussler comically showed entrepreneurs-to-be what it means to go the extra mile. He echoed this same sentiment when he included an empowering quote from T.S. Eliot. The message follows, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Later in the narrative, Schussler went on to expound on how passion is a critical emotional component that is required for the novice entrepreneur to be persistent in their pursuit of having a successful venture. This resonated well with me because I can think of countless nights where I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about how I would make my visions come to fruition. I agreed with his quote from Ferdinand Foch that, “the most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire;” and, that “desire” is one of my driving forces. To feel it “burn” so brightly is genuinely an invigorating feeling! In addition, Schussler quotes Arthur Buddhold saying, “Follow your passion, and success will follow you.” If that isn’t enough literal motivation to keep the future entrepreneur going, I don’t know what is….

Since I am a bit biased to the fact that Schussler includes such amazing quotes in his narrative, I must also assert that not all my notes consisted of memorable takeaways from other individuals. One thing in particular I appreciated was Schussler’s idea that, “it’s those hours before nine o’ clock in the morning that have made the difference in my success.” This is something that I’m working on in my own life and I relished the fact that Schussler discusses this to a certain extent in his book. Let me tell you something, he’s absolutely right! Anytime I’ve gotten up in the wee hours of the day (let’s say from 4 a.m. onward) I am almost always more prepared, more pragmatic in my approaches, and more productive overall. Once implemented permanently, I can only imagine the opportunities that will unfold! Subtly I can even hear my grandma with one of her quotes, “Tiff-ney (as she would pronounce my name) the early bird gets the worm.”

And, as I mature each day and envision my own plans coming to fruition, I understand the value of her words more and more…

References

Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. Its a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011