Bob Sadino: Mereka Bilang Saya Gila

Story By
D Metta

Bob Sadino: Mereka Bilang Saya Gila (or, in English, Bob Sadino: They Call Me Crazy), is a book on entrepreneurship, Bob-Sadino-style. In this book, he shares with readers what it means to live the life of an entrepreneur and what it takes to become one, all delivered in the brutally honest fashion unique to Bob Sadino.

Anyone who knows Bob Sadino the man will also be familiar with the unconventionality of his mindset and methods. At the beginning of the book, he tells us about his fairly comfortable childhood and how he worked for various companies after graduating from high school—only to throw everything away due to lack of freedom and plunge directly into poverty, to the shock of everyone around him. This, he explains, serves to teach him the power of desperation. He further relates the many hardships he encountered in this new life, from driving an unregistered taxi to selling eggs from house to house, until he built what we know today as Kemchick.

Through this book, Bob, who calls himself an uneducated person, also expresses his astonishment and concern at the great number of university graduates who remain unemployed. He blames the education system in Indonesia, which puts too much emphasis on theory instead of practice. In his opinion, knowing theories mean little in the broad spectrum of society, where practicality matters the most. For this reason, he actively speaks in many universities to, in his own words, terrorise the students and jolt them out of their campus mindset.

Most of all, Bob never tires in emphasising freedom as the heart of entrepreneurship—that is, freedom in every respect, including thinking and acting. Many consider Bob Sadino as an arrogant and cynical man who always selfishly does what he wants. Perhaps the fact that he does not care and keeps being himself truly reveals the heart of an entrepreneur: freedom from fear, from the constraints of other people’s opinions. 

Last but not least, this book is brutally real. It does not sell positive thoughts and encouraging advices like most books of its kind. Instead, it presents entrepreneurship as it is, with all its hardships and challenges, even bloodbaths. In many ways, this book portrays the kind of person Bob Sadino is—frank, fearless, straightforward, and completely honest about the unpalatable truth.