Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business

By Anthony K. Tjan; Richard J. Harrington; Tsun-Yan Hsieh

Harvard Business School Press, Hardcover, 9781422161944, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 7, 2012


What’s your entrepreneurial profile?

Do you have what it takes to build a great business?

In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneursnow venture capitalists and CEO advisersshare the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck.

After interviewing and researching hundreds of business-builders across the globe, the authors found that every one of themfrom young founder to seasoned CEOholds a combination of these four attributes. Indeed each of us tends to be biased toward one of these traits in our decision-making, and figuring out which trait drives you will lead to greater self-awareness and likelihood of success in starting and growing a business.

So are you:
Heart-dominant, like renowned chef Alice Waters or Starbucks’s Howard Schultz?
Smarts-dominant, like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or legendary investor Warren Buffett?
Guts-dominant, like Nelson Mandela or Virgin’s Richard Branson?
Or are you most defined by the luck trait, like Tony Hsieh of Zappos (and a surprisingly high proportion of other successful entrepreneurs)?

Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck includes the first Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test (E.A.T), a simple tool to help determine your specific profile.

Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to dial up” or dial down” to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you’ll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.

About the Author

Praise For Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly Bestseller

"Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck,’ by Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh, gives you what you really need to succeed in business: Entrepreneurship tests, real world stories, workable strategies, and lots more. Maybe the subtitle of this excellent book says it best: What it takes to be an entrepreneur and build a great business.’ Check it out.” USA Today

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck will identify the right path for any entrepreneurfrom those in the early stages of a startup, to veterans scaling an established business.” Open Forum from American Express

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck is a book that you can read from start to finish. In fact, that’s exactly what I’d recommend.” You’ll have fun as the authors take you on a journey of self-discovery that includes examples of successful entrepreneurs in each entrepreneurial profile.” Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)

Take the test and pick up the book for your team. They’ll both help you further hone your skills, and understand the skills of others in order to create a better team.” 800 CEO READ


Deepak Chopra, author, Spiritual Solutions; Cofounder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Reminds us all of the power of self-awareness for success in business and life.”

Sunil Mittal, Founder, Chairman, and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises
Heart, smarts, guts, and luck are crucial not just for those who start a business; they must also be in the DNA of everyone who wants to succeed in a transnational, high-growth company.”

Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author, Delivering Happiness; CEO, Zappos.com
A practical and fun read for entrepreneurs.”

Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times bestselling author, Never Eat Alone; Founder and Chairman, Ferrazzi Greenlight
Great, really great . . . not just for businesspeople, but for anyone trying to make better decisions and to better manage relationships.”

David Lawee, Vice President of Corporate Development, Google
Refreshingly human. Gets at the core of what it takes to build a successful entrepreneurial venture.”

Henry McCance, Chairman Emeritus, Greylock Partners
The authors have a rare combination of entrepreneurial and operating backgrounds, together with the experience of partnering with founders in a venture capital context. They have collected a perspective on what makes a successful entrepreneurwhich everyone should enjoy and benefit from.”

Lord Rothermere, Chairman, DMGT
This book redefines the business book genre. It gets to the heart of the entrepreneur with clarity and common sense, which makes it both inspirational and a cracking good read.”