Books and Me: The Unreasonable Fellows

Book Title: The Unreasonable Fellows – Journeys of ten entrepreneurs from around the world, whose unreasonable attitude is changing the lives of millions

Author: Myshkin Ingawale and Nikita SinghThe Unreasonable Fellows Book Cover

I have read number of books which chronicles entrepreneurial stories. They are generally a source of great inspiration. I share them in my classes on entrepreneurship so that the next generation of students try their hands at it. This book is one such collection of ten stories, but the theme here is even more focused – socially minded entrepreneurial journeys.

I picked the book up since it referred to something known as the Unreasonable Institute and the people chosen by them, ‘Unreasonable Fellows’. One of the co-authors (Myshkin) is himself an unreasonable fellow. He has written this book to chronicle the stories of his peers who spent the fellowship time together at Boulder, Colarado. The other co-author (Nikita) is probably the one who catalyzed the project and made it come in a book form soon. Credits to both the authors for bringing us a good collection of inspiring journeys in the area of social entrepreneurship!

The book helps us in two ways – one it helps gain inspiration for making life entrepreneurial, and two, it helps us look at social challenges across the world very differently. There is a strong sense of passion that comes out of reading every story. The protagonist in every story has a unique story, they have unique backgrounds, they have unique upbringing, and unique routes they have taken so far. Their stories are not about just social start-ups. They are about themselves, their families, friends, and their formative years. The stories are filled with experiences that have shaped them in becoming unreasonable fellows.

There are stories from across continents, across demographics, across lifestyles, across cities and towns. There are people who have struggled for basic school education and there are those who have been educated in the best of universities. Irrespective of their backgrounds, their locations, early years, and education, all of them have taken courageous steps towards their inner calling; they have all braved social pressures; they have all taken risks; and the driving reason behind all of them has been a real social cause. Some causes were discovered by them through their own experience, some through the experiences of their families and friends; while some were discovered while studying, as part of immersion programs, and at times due to lack of meaning at regular high paying jobs.

How so many of them let go of promising lives in high paying corporate jobs to struggle for the sake of the causes they relate to most, still remains a mystery. When one completes the book, one will be very inspired to reflect on whether such a magical opportunity lies within every one of us? The surprising but simple answer is a big yes. We all have hidden passions that make the innermost core of us – but we don’t listen to that voice and take the bold step to live life for the sake of that reason. We give in to excuses from every quarter and eventually to our own as well. We get caught up more and more in the rigmarole of life and after a while, we almost live like machines. Books like these are meant to remind us that, there are ordinary people amongst us who lead extraordinary lives, albeit quietly.

Hope a lot of our aspiring entrepreneurs, especially the socially inclined ones, read books like these. They surely and convincingly show us that doing business can be done by doing good, and it does not require any great talent or lucky birth or great education. All it requires is only tremendous will and the courage to live our passion. Finding one’s true calling is something that education is not really teaching us these days, but in the coming weeks, I will review a few books that seek to find ways of helping us find our true nature.

In the mean time read books like these and find opportunities around areas close to your heart. Build businesses that not only create value for you, but also for your society at large. After all if there is no society, where is the need for business?

NOTE: 14th to 20th November is celebrated annually in India as the ‘National Book Week’. As part of the celebration I am posting ‘book reviews’ daily. Happy Reading!


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