This book can be viewed as a roadmap for skills you need to learn to go from employee to entrepreneur. Some of these classic capabilities are outlined in the BI triangle, which we’ll explore in more detail.
Why is this important to me? It really comes down to whether you’re happy where you are. Most people do NOT want to take responsibility for running their own business. I can understand that because it is a real concern. If you’ve seen any of my other video recaps, you know I’m a huge fan of inversion. Basically, this means you need to look at both sides of the coin. For people who have never been self-employed, there’s a rosy picture of being given unlimited freedom, being able to set their own hours and being accountable to no one. I can tell you it’s all crap. Now let’s get down to business. Why don’t most people want to own their own business? In my humble opinion it boils down to the myth of security in their existing job. This is a myth because your job could be canceled tomorrow and you would then have no security. If that’s the only reason you’re staying in your job, then trade hours for money. Worse, when you hate what you do, you build up an anxiety reserve that will only get worse over time and spread to your personal life. Another reason people don’t get into the business is that it’s too risky. I’m not sure what that really means. I think it’s riskier to keep the job you hate for money than to go into business and bring real value to the market. Regardless, this is a real factor, so you should mitigate this risk in your business planning. One way to do this is to educate yourself at each end of the BI triangle.
The BI triangle is an excellent visual introduction to business success. Let’s discuss this now:
1. Mission – This is at the base because it matters the most. This is your passion for business. what are you burning for You must have a real mission that solves a serious problem in a unique way. Mission is critical to true business success. Without a mission, you can still run a profitable business, but then you are on the S side of the cash flow quadrant. That means you’ve basically bought yourself a job.
2. Leadership – For great information on true leadership, you can study one of John C. Maxwell’s books. He is the authority for true leadership. In short, with the right mission and a strong leader, you will be able to attract the right stakeholders. This includes employees, customers, partners, suppliers and financing. Jim Collins spoke about Level 5 Leadership in Good to Great. That’s the holy grail. You can check this summary for more details. Here are two examples of Level 5 leaders: Ken Iverson from Nucor Steel (plain talk – another summary) Darwin Smith from Kimberly Clark.
3. Team – Team members are critical to the success of the company. You have to have the right people in the right seats on your bus. Without this one is doomed to mediocrity.
4. Cash Flow – This is based on the inside because without blood the body dies, so goes business – without flowing money it dies.
5. Communication – This is of paramount importance because if you cannot describe and articulate your worth, you are doomed. You have to know how to sell. They sell to customers, employees, bankers and other stakeholders. You’ll need to refine this as you get into the business.
6. Systems – this has to do with infrastructure. You can sell clients all day, but if you can’t deliver, install, train, bill, and collect the money, the whole process collapses. Good systems are better than hard assets. Here you can gain a lasting competitive advantage over your competitors. Focus on continuous improvement here and your business will grow.
7. Legal – I can write tons of dry pages on legal stuff that even the best insurance salesmen will hate. The bottom line is that your company must be the right entity for protection and tax purposes. You must guard against theft of trade secrets and non-compete agreements from employees. You need to understand HR issues. Therefore, your legal advisors must be good and educated.
8. Product – Note how long the product lasts. But it is important that your company has staying power, because the product will change. IBM is a great company but if they put product first they would be out of business because punch card computers disappeared in the 60’s.
Let’s get to 10 tips before you quit your job. The three most important ones are listed on the slide, but I’ll go through all 10.
1. Check your attitude
2. Gain as much experience as possible in the BI triangle
3. Always remember that sales = income
4. Be optimistic and brutally honest with yourself.
5. How do you spend your money?
6. Start a business to keep practicing
7. Be willing to ask for help
8. Find a mentor
9. Join a business network. 10. Stay true to the process
The power of associations is powerful. It is said that you can average the income of the top 5 people you are associated with and you will fall into that category. To do this, find a mentor and use OPE – the expertise of others.
Remember, you can do all of these things while you’re still working. The key is to educate yourself and adopt the right habits so you understand what you are getting into.
I hope you found this brief summary helpful. The key to any new idea is to incorporate it into your everyday life until it becomes a habit. Habits are formed in just 21 days.
One thing to take away from this book is ATTITUDE. Please open your eyes and spend a few minutes each day programming your attitude. I know this sounds esoteric, but it has to be done. Most people will try to talk you out of doing business. Brief History: My father worked for GM in the 60’s. He found out he was being offered several different jobs/promotions that his boss had never told him about. Needless to say, he left. (I still have the resignation letter I typed!). Anyway, my grandfather went ballistic because GM was security back then, the must-do job of the century. Since then, my father has been a businessman. That was absolutely the boldest move ever because he had two kids and another on the way when he did it.