Mike Smerklo on School for Startups Radio



I wrote the book, Mr. Monkey, largely because I thought it was a topic that was not being addressed around entrepreneurship, and that’s the mental aspect and just how doggone hard the job is. So Mr. Monkey is the caricature that has been my inner dialogue, a voice inside my head that has told me that I’m not good enough or I wouldn’t be successful. The book really dives in and Mr. Monkey becomes the main character, helping entrepreneurs think about this voice and learn to deal with Mr. Monkey, because I think everyone has a version of this monkey in his or her head.

That inner voice is very mean, and mine’s not only mean but sneaky too. I say in the book that I don’t want to gender stereotypes, so whatever it is, it could be his/her or it. I used to think maybe I could suppress it, and that’s what the whole book is about. I thought if I achieved enough, I took a company public, if I made enough money, that someday the voice would go away. But the real learning is the voice doesn’t, and not only does he not go away, but he actually gets smarter, bigger, faster, stronger, and sneakier. So I think that’s the whole version, the whole point is that he’s not going to go away. So how can you begin to bring him into the tent, make him somewhat of your frienemy, and perhaps benefit from the voice?

To listen to the interview, click here.