As I mentioned in Flacklife, I decided to try out Thomas Nelson Inc.’s blogger outreach program. Essentially, you browse a list of books they’re offering free to bloggers, choose one and review it. Then you get to keep the book, or do what you want with it.

The book I chose to review was Knockout Entrepreneur by two-time heavyweight boxing champion and electric grill-salesman George Foreman.

THE GOOD

Well, I tried pretty hard to like this book. And there are things to like about it. It’s engagingly written, either by Foreman or, more likely, his co-writer Ken Abraham. It’s not actually boring. You do learn a bit about how Foreman moved from being a really mean, menacing type of boxer in the 1970s to a much more smiley, cuddly type of character. This may be due to his religious conversion, which led to him seeking ordination as a minister. And you get some stories — often at his own expense — about how he missed opportunities, or came within a whisker of doing so.

Another cool feature that the publisher offers through the Nelsonfree imprint is the inclusion of e-reader and audio versions of the book. I tried both, and while I didn’t think the book read well aloud, I think the feature is commendable.

THE BAD

Knockout Entrepreneur starts out trying to create the Knockout Entrepreneur brand. That’s by no means unique — Chris Brogan and Julien Smith do something similar in their book Trust Agents. However, Foreman’s book doesn’t carry through on this idea nearly systematically enough, and you’re not left with a well-defined idea of what a Knockout Entrepreneur is supposed to be or what his or her primary characteristics would be.

Furthermore, the book goes far too often out of the realm of actual ideas and stays content with folksy sayings and cliches along the lines of not overlooking opportunities, of never giving up, of looking at things in new ways. Foreman really appears to be saying “be positive, be true to yourself, work hard, and don’t give up and you’ll succeed” (And he talks about his Christian beliefs as a factor in his success too.)

THE UGLY

Knockout Entrepreneur isn’t a horrible book. But it’s misclassified. It’s not really a business book. It’s a celebrity autobiography, with the personality of the celebrity taking centre stage. In Foreman’s case, that personality is pretty appealing. But it’s not a business book, and while it appears lots of Amazon customer reviewers disagree with me, it’s not a good use of your time if you’re looking for REAL business lessons.

The INFO

  • Knockout Entrepreneur, by George Foreman with Ken Abraham.
  • Nelsonfree, 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0785222088

There is a preview widget avaialble through the Booksneeze blogger outreach program, so here it is:

Help keep me doing book reviews: if you buy using this link, I get a wee chunk of the price, which helps support this part of my blog: Knockout Entrepreneur (Nelsonfree). Thanks.

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