Pros: Easy read, exposes pitfalls, many helpful ideas and many paradigm shifts, excellent!
Cons: Challenging concept for my business of one. No Index.
This is an easy read that took me two days to get through. It's simple, repetitive and just the way I like it. But by no means simplistic. To me, it is well written, when the author gets their ideas across quickly and makes them seem easy. The book gets personal about the author as it tries to relate itself to the reader, yet shows a sense of writing maturity in it's simple delivery of so broad a topic. It also gets personal about you as you discover that your business is a reflection of you.
A mixture of experience and facts, blue prints and rules told in a conversational story with a semi-fictional character. This style of using a third party character to clarify and reinforce the ideas worked well with me. It helped balance and pace the lessons with a fine sense of timing and added perspective. The book is informational, motivational and even funny at times.
Gerber sets the stage by prefacing the four ideas that are the basis of the book's lessons. He identifies and compares three personalities being The Entrepreneur, The Manager and The Technician in us and shows us how and why most businesses fail. He identifies phases of the entrepreneurial business as infancy, adolescence and maturity and the pitfalls of each. He covers six rules on how to shift from working 'in' your business to working 'on' it. And goes over the three activities to help it evolve being, Innovation, Quantification and Orchestration, systems to blueprint your business. He covers the Business Development Process and to think of how to turn it into a franchise that is a saleable Turn-Key business. He then explains the seven steps to developing your business, which he covers in detail but some didn't inspire my confidence, as they are large subjects in themselves. Like, 'Your Marketing Strategy' or Your People Strategy'. But they do develop a framework from where to start and the questions to ask yourself. He constantly helps focus us by asking excellent thought and direction provoking questions.
The book packed with many useful ideas and principles if you decide to buy into them, however is also a way for him to sell his services. By occasionally positioning his company or website as a source of answers to some of the questions the book poses is a great form of self-promotion, however they may be disguised in a story. Some thoughts that came to mind while reading were, why not just find and utilize a mentor? Success leaves clues. I struggled with the though that all businesses are started with one thing in mind and that is to sell it for a profit. The book has many paradigm shifts like this one that challenge us to look at our companies in a different light. Only when I realized that I didn't have to sell my business (If I happened to build an IBM) did I understand the idea. I'm still struggling with finding a compelling vision of how to turn my particular service business of one into a salable entity. Maybe I need to visit his website and enlist in the services he offers. Maybe I just need to find a few successful role models within my business. I will read it again in a few weeks.
I would have liked to see an index in the back to help find needed references quickly. Maybe a future publishing might get one?
A healthy experienced perspective and a plan to help build a successful business life.