Book Review: “All In” by Arlene Dickinson

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All In by Arlene Dickinson

I love to watch Dragons’ Den, where entrepreneurs pitch their business or product ideas to potential investors. One of the “dragons” I admire is Arlene Dickinson, so when I learned she’d written a book about the unique lifestyle challenges faced by entrepreneurs, I bought a copy for my e-reader.

Based on the book’s description, I was expecting All In to focus on work-life balance issues, so I wanted to read it both for my own professional development, and to find out whether this book would be helpful to you in your own business and your work with your entrepreneurial clients. There was an entire chapter dedicated to the subject, but as you can tell from the title “The Myth of Work/Life Balance,” it wasn’t quite what I expected!

According to Ms. Dickinson,

… entrepreneurship is a lifestyle in which personal and professional dreams are interwoven… when we try to keep work and home life separated, we fail miserably.

Rather than teaching us how to achieve balance, she offers support with the guilt we experience when our work has to take precedence over our personal and social lives. She also talks about the importance of passion and commitment if you want your business to become successful and remain that way. She even answers the question, “Can I run my business part time?

In other words, Dickinson addresses many of the same topics that I write about here at Your Organizing Business, but as the owner and CEO of one of the largest independent marketing agencies in Canada, she brings more experience to the table than I do. If you plan to develop a product to be sold in major retail outlets, like Clare Kumar or Leslie Josel, some of the case studies will be especially helpful.

After growing and running my own business for 12 years, I found All In to be enlightening and reassuring. Many books focus on the legal and financial aspects of starting a business, but this one takes an honest look at the ways that entrepreneurship affects you personally. For that reason, I also recommend that your close friends and family members read it to gain a better understanding of what you are going through.

I recommend...

A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Jill Robson on September 4, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I have this book and was lucky enough to see her give a keynote so each at a conference 4 years ago. Very worth the read

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on September 6, 2016 at 6:27 am

      I bet she’s a great speaker! I miss her on Dragon’s Den, though the new dragons are pretty interesting too.

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