To continue my quest to get you thinking about your Business Maths, today I’m going to be talking about business books and not maths books either! To view Part #1 or Part #2 of this 3 x article series, just click those links.
There’s a reason “The Lean Startup” has caught up with and nearly overtaken “The E-Myth Revisited” in popularity on the best business book lists.
Don’t believe me? Check out John Lee Dumas’ recent compilation of the Top 10 Business Books, where they have meticulously compiled the books recommended by John’s daily – yes DAILY – entrepreneurial podcast guests, over 500 of them now, and whittled them down to the “most recommended”. In a hurry? Click the link on that page, for the handy Infographic to print out, put on your wall and work your way through.
Spoiler Alert: Here are two of the Top 3 just to prove my point…
1. Check out John’s List here
2. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber (lifechanging and don’t miss E-Myth Manager too)
3. The Lean Startup by Eric Reis (inspirational, life-changing AND full of practical “how to”)
Step By Step, Business Clarity & Key Performance Indicators…
The “E-Myth” is an awesome book, one of the first to talk about working ON your business rather than IN your business, about creating business systems before anyone had ever even HEARD of software.
However, “The Lean Startup” gives you simple actionable ways to set up and more importantly monitor those business systems – particularly if your business is online. Written by Eric Reis, it’s started a whole business movement no less, with students of Eric Reis, such as John Mullins and Randy Komisar, and Ash Maurya contributing their own experiences and thoughts to the movement.
But the real gold in books like “Getting To Plan B” and “The Lean Startup” and “Running Lean” is hidden almost between the lines. In those books you will find the True Secret Of Business Success. I recommend you read/ listen to them all – in that order by the way – to uncover and use the gold in your own business.
Simply put, all of those authors, in different but complementary ways, explore the far reaching and radical concept that there is no such thing as a “dead cert” in business, and they go a very long way to explain the reasons behind the oft quoted statistics that 95% of businesses fail in the first year, and 95% of the rest fail in the next five years.
Everyone, before those books came along in the last 5 years or so, has always assumed that business success or failure is about the skills or experience of the Entrepreneur starting the business, or the financial resources the business has at the start, or the quality of the team working in the business.
Not so, it appears.
The Real Secret Of Business Success
The Universal Truth revealed in these books (which seems so obvious when you discover it, in the way that Universal Truths often do) is that businesses fail because business owners make incorrect assumptions at the beginning and then don’t test those assumptions quickly or rigorously enough before the money runs out!
While talking mainly about software companies and online businesses in the case studies, because that is the background of the authors, the lessons contained in these revolutionary books are universal to all businesses.
- You start with assumptions about your target market (if you have even thought that far or deeply).
- You move on to assumptions about their passion, problem or pain (I call them the 3 x P’s).
- You make assumptions about how they are currently indulging, solving or alleviating those 3 x P’s.
- You are already convinced that your product or service is the obvious solution regardless of whether your market will agree.
- You know how much you are going to charge (this is a whole new can of worms wrapped up in your own financial circumstances and self esteem) and you are making assumptions that they will be happy to pay that.
- You think you know the best way to get in front of enough of your target market to make a business work. Again, that’s if you have identified them at all.
- You have an idea of how you are going to grow your business, recruit a team, scale up when successful.
My Podcast Reveals The Truth
As of May 2014, I’d interviewed over 30 entrepreneurs and business people, with two more being added every week. I didn’t quite have the balls to commit to a daily podcast, but I was inspired by John Lee Dumas to commit to twice-weekly. From fairly new successful entrepreneurs to multi-millionaires (no billionaires yet that I’m aware of) I interview people from all different kinds of businesses for my Business Success Factory podcast and I ask the same questions of each.
- Tell me about you, your background, your family, your early entrepreneurial endeavours and how you came to this business place, where you are now.
- 2. Share your biggest learning or takeaways around your Business Mind, Business Marketing and Business Money.
- 3. Now tell me what you are most looking forward to in your business in the next 12 months.
While most people, especially the “self made” entrepreneurs and successful business people can answer those questions, but occasionally one comes along that can’t.
It’s very interesting that some people seem to fall into being self employed or owning a business, but they have no real idea of how they did it. The fact that it worked, that it is working, is a happy accident.
One that happens to more people than you might imagine, but it’s gambling of the worst kind to assume that it will happen to you.
Trust me on that, I’m a poker player!
Well, I Want Better For You!
I’m determined to share every lesson I learn, here on the blog, because I’ve effectively started anew.
Since moving on from ROARlocal, I’ve taken the raw materials I had already, my reports, books, the podcast, my past achievements with the Music Room, the Money Gym, and the Acacia Hotel, and created a new “rest of life” business which will, for the first time ever really, fulfil my “Primary Aim” as Michael Gerber calls it. This business is ClicksAndLeads.com
What Is Your Primary Aim?
This provides you with your vision, your purpose and energy and is created by answering these questions:
- What do I value most?
- What kind of life do I want?
- What do I want my life to look or feel like?
- Who do I wish to be?
You can see that, if you answer those questions, then build a business around the answers, you will build a business that serves your Primary Aim.
You won’t need motivation, you’ll have inspiration.
Because it will flow, it will be stress-free, it will sustain you not drain you, it will be a joy to work ON and IN.
I ignored this exercise when I read the book for the first time, even though I’m usually a girly swot about such things. It was too hard, too vague, too open ended, too challenging for my traditionally low self-esteem, even riding high as I was at that time on the crest of the wave caused by not one but two successful businesses.
I actually did this exercise for the first time at a workshop for my Money Gym clients, hosted at my boutique hotel The Acacia, by my first ever coach, Rachel Turner. I managed to produce a satisfactory version when the same workshop was hosted by my Money Gym client, by then friend, and future business partner on Own It!! The Podcast, Judith Morgan.
What do I value most? Freedom and independence. My children, family and friends.
What kind of a life do I want? One full of love, learning, travel, sun, fun, dancing, music, great conversations and books, food, wine, films, health, financial abundance, and family hugs.
What do I want my life to look or feel like? Hot, sunny, stimulating, stress free, and with a largely empty diary. Like an azure blue sea or pool on a sunny day.
Who do I wish to be? A mum, sister, friend, lover, blogger, author, coach, and mentor.
Blimey, reviewing that list, I’m thinking I must be getting old, it’s changed a lot over the last few years.
Who Can You Best Serve (While Serving Your Primary Aim)?
But while that’s a great start, even more than that, you must answer these further questions, because in the words of my friend Steve, it’s “not all about you”!
- Who is my ideal customer or client?
- What is their passion, problem, or pain?
- What value can I bring? What solution can I provide?
- How can I get in front of large enough numbers of them to create a business?
- What will I offer first?
- What will I charge?
If you liked this article, and want to see how ClicksAndLeads.com can work for you, then check out packages on offer and get in touch!