Most of us harbor thoughts of starting a business. It is a delicious fantasy while staring at gray cubicle walls, or toiling outside for an hourly wage under the command of someone who is profiting from the fruits of your labor.
“I can do this,” you say, “How hard could it be?” Some, emboldened by the desire to take charge of their own destiny, actually take the leap. Things can go well for a while, until the moment when they realize that there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong. And that if they had known then what they knew now, they may not have been so quick to give notice at their job, or to invest precious money,time, and energy in an idea that was not quite ready for prime time.
The greatest heartbreak, popular success publications tout, is failing to do something about your burning passion for a world-changing idea. A greater heartbreak, in reality, is placing this idea onto a shaky foundation, and watching it fall apart. What is really driving your desire to start a business? If you are like most people:
- You want to make an impact in the world.
- You want to create wealth for yourself and your family.
- You want to translate your idea into a tangible product or service.
- You want to have flexibility to spend time with your family.
- You want to feel fully alive.
- You want to use your strengths in a way that leads to deep value.
These desires are not fantasies. There are thousands of entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses on a solid foundation and accomplish these goals every day.
The difference between them and others who end up in the “failed” pile of startup statistics is that they cared enough about their ideas to give them the very best chance to succeed.
Caring means researching. Caring means testing ideas before committing too many resources. Caring means not brushing off people who challenge your idea. Caring means getting the very best advice from people who have successfully guided companies through
the startup phase and beyond.
In 6 Secrets to Startup Success, John Bradberry, a calm, steady hand and seasoned mentor, brings an invaluable voice of reason that will guide you every step of the way without preaching or dampening your enthusiasm. He celebrates entrepreneurial passion while giving it the structure it needs to result in business success: The solution lies not in ratcheting down passion, but in elevating awareness. By pausing early in your startup process to take an objective look at yourself and what you bring to the table—your purpose, goals, skills, resources, and needs—you can develop a highly valuable kind of optimism, one that rests on the rock of clear, honest assessment and willful preparation. I call it earned optimism.
It is such a relief to know that sustained energy to grow your business is not based on manufactured enthusiasm or pep talks from motivational speakers. It is based on executing a well-defined yet flexible plan in tiny steps, leaning into the market and adjusting your business model as you go. If you want to mitigate and reduce risk to your career, your finances, your relationships, and your health before starting your business,
read this book. You will breathe easier. Most important, you will increase the likelihood that your business will be a raging success.
—Pamela Slim, author, Escape from Cubicle Nation: From
Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur