Mr. Monkey and Me

Michael Smerklo

What if the secret to being a successful entrepreneur had nothing to do with your business plan, resources, market size, or strategy? If your success or failure weren’t dependent on how much money you have, where you grew up, or the level of education you received?

Here’s the truth: the difference between success and failure is right between your ears.

A big, hairy beast stands between you and success. Your fears, your doubts, and every negative thought you have about yourself manifest as Mr. Monkey—and he’ll exploit them ruthlessly to sabotage you and destroy your dreams.

In Mr. Monkey and Me, business leader, Mike Smerklo, lays bare his broad range of experiences and mistakes, as well as lessons he’s learned from renowned entrepreneurs. Using the SHAPE formula—Self, Help, Authenticity, Persistence, and Expectations—this smart and irreverent anti-memoir gives readers an actionable approach to mental toughness that will help any entrepreneur start, grow, and run a successful business.

Press & Praise

Scott Kupor, Managing Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, and Author of Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It

"Mr. Monkey and Me is the truthful and oftentimes harrowing story of entrepreneurship that too often goes untold. Mike Smerklo goes through the many challenges in building ServiceSource into a successful public company, not the least of which is actually learning how to control the ever-present doubting voice inside himself."

Lynn Jurich, CEO and Co-Founder, Sunrun

"A perfect encapsulation of the negative inner dialogue we have with ourselves and how to manage it."

Irv Grousbeck, Adjunct Professor of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Co-Founder, Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

"By conquering self-doubt and using it to fuel your passion and attain your goals, Mr. Monkey and Me provides a thoughtful and provocative perspective on the entrepreneurial journey. This book is truly unique thanks to Mike's humor, mindset, and expertise."

Mike Smerklo is the co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building disruptive technology companies. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of ServiceSource, a technology services business he took from a small startup to a public company with over 3,000 employees around the world. He was an early employee of a pioneer cloud services company, Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, that also went public. He serves on numerous boards, writes for Forbes, and is a guest lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mike and his wife spend the bulk of their free time chasing after their four young children. For more information, visit

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