INTERVIEW

“I encourage people to think big — that’s the key”

Student Joshua A. Aguilar's ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship’ has become an internet bestseller

Joshua Aguilar’s 30-page book is aimed at teaching people to “unlearn, and to listen to the important things.”
Joshua Aguilar’s 30-page book is aimed at teaching people to “unlearn, and to listen to the important things.”Álvaro García

In January 2013, Joshua A. Aguilar, then aged 23, wrote a 30-page book called The Art of Entrepreneurship consisting of seven chapters that he hoped would teach people to “unlearn, to listen to the important things, and not to listen to the chickenhearted.” He put the book on iTunes, and soon had a bestseller on his hands.

“It was like magic,” he says. The book was soon being downloaded by around 1,000 people a day, and, after its success in English and Spanish, has been translated into French, Italian and Catalan. A print version is about to come out in Spanish, and will be distributed in the United States and Latin America.

Now in his final year of business studies at Madrid’s Complutense University, he says he has always loved business, setting up his first project while still at high school. “I get ideas almost without thinking,” he says.

“The book has been successful because I encourage people to make their dreams come true. It’s not a book about how to set up a business, but about how to get what you want. We all have dreams,” he says. Fine. But what makes his book stand out from all the other self-help manuals? “Because I talk about thinking big. I encourage people to think big. That is the key. On the web it promises that it will take you 20 minutes to read, and 20 years to forget. People read it because it is like a shot of adrenalin, it is very positive.” The book is direct, passionate, practical, and includes a page at the end of each chapter where readers can write down their conclusions and ways they can apply what they have read, Aguilar explains.

On the web it promises that it will take you 20 minutes to read, and 20 years to forget”

He loves to talk, and is a good conversationalist. Where did he get the idea for the book? “Reading. The metro is the best place to read, whether on paper, a tablet, the phone, whatever: I read all the time, everywhere.”

Born in Guatemala, Aguilar grew up in Sitges, close to Barcelona. He is now working on setting up a technology company called Earth. “It’s consumer technology. We make cutting-edge, luxury items, but at affordable prices.” He shows me a prototype for a loudspeaker. “My dream is to create a company with products that everybody will want to use and that everybody will want to work for. I think that the most successful companies are those with the best values,” he says.

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