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'Illusions' and 'Anxiety'

This month's books can help you avoid myths and channel your stress.

In The Illusions of Entrepreneurship (Yale University Press, $26), business scholar Scott Shane debunks popular theories with research-based answers to questions such as why people start businesses, which industries are most popular for startups and what are the most common characteristics of the typical entrepreneur. Among the revelations: There are far more entrepreneurs than most people realize, and it doesn't take much money to start a business--the typical American business gets underway with less than $25,000. Perhaps most surprising is Shane's assertion that commercial banks are several times more likely than friends and family to lend startups money.

In Just Enough Anxiety (Portfolio, $24.95), psychologist and CEO of Healthy Companies International Robert H. Rosen shows how a little anxiety helps us concentrate, learn, relate to others, be creative and deliver better results. Entrepreneurs facing uncertainty already know that some anxiety is unavoidable. But how much is enough? Rosen says the right amount drives you forward without causing you to resist, give up or try to control events. One key to hitting the right balance is embracing change rather than avoiding or fearing it.

This story appears in the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »