I recently (October 2022) had the opportunity to read an advance-review copy of the book – ‘The Freedom Manifesto – 7 Rules to Live the Life of your Calling’. Many thanks to Karan and his team for this opportunity.
Here’s my candid book-review, presented as 10 Q&As.
- Context – Author and his inclinations
I believe, a little awareness of the author helps better-understand and contextualize their work.
Karan Bajaj is a popular Indian-origin author, and a charismatic technology entrepreneur – best known as the founder and CEO of WhiteHat Jr. He built a technology platform/business from grounds-up in record-time, and sold it to BJYU’s for a record sum of money.
As an author and entrepreneur, his impact on employees, customers and readers, are both inspiring and praiseworthy. You can sample his knowledge-shares over YouTube and LinkedIn.
- What kind of book is this? What genre?
I’d say, this is a combination of a Management and a Self-Help book.
The book brings forth the charm of a Robin Sharma’s Ferrari-less monk, nudging you to ‘do this exercise right-now’ in Anthony Robbins’ style, and listing down ‘kids of rich-dads don’t make mistakes like these’ lessons like Robert Kiyosaki.
- What is the core-philosophy of the book?
The book is all about Net Impact Plunge – urging you to devote your time and intellect to a cause that will create meaningful and deep-impact to a large group of people. The book empowers you with conviction, tools, rules and examples to follow through your net impact plunge.
You could use these nudges to create art, novels, or (the recommended option) a StartUp.
4. Scope of the book – what all does it cover?
The book is structured into 2 sections. The first half is all about claiming freedom, and mindfulness necessary to make a net-impact plunge. The second half is all about execution.
Karan pours out all of his hard-learnt lessons from the battlefield to help you succeed at your own net impact plunge.
- How engaging is the narration/book?
Humane and heart-felt, the book is quite engaging, as Karan Bajaj artfully juggles the plot between his personal life and business realities. The author brings to bear his insights from across various walks of his life – arduous backpacking tours, rigorous yoga trainings, authorship and entrepreneurship journeys.
The mental-exercises listed along the chapters force you to introspect, think and can be potential life-changers. These exercises keep you emotionally invested in the book – till the end.
- What is the good/best part about this book?
Unafraid to own-up and tell us his own missteps and failures in business/life, Karan has kept the conversation very real and grounded to reality.
The first half of the book a good collection of rules/formulas to build a mindset of a creator and free-man. My favourite was the second half which is a masterclass in Starting-Up your business idea.
- Any let-downs, disappointments from the book?
What starts-off as a book for everyone, takes a rather narrow focus towards technology entrepreneurship in the second half. If you’re only interested in the 7 rules, the second half may feel like out-of-syllabus.
For wannabe and struggling entrepreneurs – You may feel that most of the examples, lessons and frameworks are focused towards a SaaS and Platform model of business.
- How long will it take to read/complete this book?
This book takes about 5-10 hours of reading depending on your interest, how seriously you take-up the exercises, and most importantly – how good (or eager) you are to assimilate start-up lessons.
- Three quotes form the book – as samplers of what’s in store
- “Experiences breathe and grow, while possessions deprecate and die” – Karan Bajaj, while emphasizing the need to invest in yourself to grow as a person.
- “Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask” – Karan Bajaj, reminding you to communicate clearly with business associates to get the work done.
- “Creation lies at the edges of the system, never at the centre of it. You’re solving a problem that hasn’t been articulated” – Karan Bajaj, while convincing you to dream bigger, have a bold vision and believe in your convictions.
- What’s your verdict?
As an entrepreneur, and someone with an undying urge to be-more and do-more, I could very deeply relate-to Karan’s philosophy and his teachings.
The first part is a handy-collection of the all the formulas and rules-to-life I wish, I had known when I was 15 years younger. The second half is a master-class in building your SaaS startup. Both the halves, I recommend is a valuable/essential read for ambitious people.
The Freedom Manifesto, by Karan Bajaj is good book to read it yourself and also to gift you new-graduate and wannabe-entrepreneur friends.
– A review by Jayanth Jagadeesh