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6 Secrets to Startup Success: How to Turn Your Entrepreneurial Passion into a Thriving Business Hardcover – Mar 20 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (March 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814416063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814416068
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #593,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"... engaging and informative... .an excellent roadmap to not just pursuing your dreams, but also to figuring out if the dream is worth pursuing in the first place." - New York Journal of Books

"A must-read for anyone thinking about starting a business, this book is also a valueable tool for those who have businesses they are trying to keep afloat.' - New Age Retailer


From the Inside Flap

So you've got yourself a terrific business idea--and you've finally decided to go for it. If you're going to take your startup from the initial burst of inspiration all the way through to the outstanding, "knock-it-outta-the-park" success you know it can be, you're going to have to keep that excitement, that spark of passion, alive through all the setbacks, hurdles, and lean periods every business is sure to experience. But what if that's not enough? Here's the harsh reality: Most new businesses fail within a few years of launch. And nearly all of those startups have been led by people with that same kind of passion and drive that you feel about your own venture. Drawing on fascinating research and filled with compelling real-life stories of both success and failure, this groundbreaking book explores the benefits and dangers of startup passion, and it reveals key principles you need to follow to ensure your big idea is on the right track. In "6 Secrets to Startup Success," you'll learn how to: - Elevate Founder Readiness. The most fundamental driver of your startup's early success or failure is you. This book shows you how to take an honest look at yourself as a founder, align your skills and your role with your venture goals, and aim your enthusiasm in productive directions. - Cultivate a Market Orientation. All healthy businesses are rooted outside the founder, in the marketplace. Connect your business concept to a vibrant, real-world market, identify and get to know your core customers, and execute on your market opportunity. - Develop a Clear, Compelling Math Story. Guard against the dangers of rose-colored planning by articulating a business model and strategy, thinking clearly about profitability and growth, and ensuring ample funding so your venture has room to thrive. - Execute with Focused Flexibility. No amount of startup planning can accurately predict the unexpected twists and turns imposed by reality. Learn how to rapidly and continually improve the fit between your big idea and the marketplace by experimenting early and adapting with agility. Filled with immediately usable real-world techniques and compelling examples, "6 Secrets to Startup Success" puts you ahead of the pack, giving you the practical advice you need to ensure that your business is as successful as you know it can be. JOHN BRADBERRY has improved the performance of a hundred teams and more than a thousand leaders over two decades as an entrepreneur, consultant, and investor. In 2007, he launched an extended study of the universal factors that drive new venture success. Please visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb7ce190c) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f4730f0) out of 5 stars Offers realistic expectations with key strategies June 13 2011
By B. Burke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Coincidental to my review of 6 Secrets to Startup Success, I learned that a friend had a start-up idea for a retail enterprise, so I read John Bradberry's advice while applying it to the details I learned about this real scenario. I was interested to see how my friend, a seasoned businessperson, would fare through some of the processes outlined in this book, knowing that she had been successful with previous startup ventures.

In Part I, Bradberry does not mince words in painting a less-than-rosy picture of any business startup. It would have never occurred to me that having a passion for an idea or product could backfire on an entrepreneur--I thought that was an essential requirement to starting any business! It turns out that would-be business owners can fall into what the author calls the passion "trap"--which he then illustrates with six negative impact categories that take shape in a pattern of four interdependent steps. While reading this part of the book, I thought it all sounded quite disheartening--until I got to the end of Part I, where I discovered that, thankfully, Part II would explain how to overcome these issues. When I could mentally compare the caveats as applied to my friend's startup idea, it was apparent to me that she had gotten through the first three phases: attachment to an idea; investments and actions; and feedback or results. It also seemed she was not getting stuck at step 4, biased interpretation, because she was still seeking feedback and hadn't invested any money--yet.

Part II, which goes into great detail on the application of the success principles, made me realize that the business my friend was hatching was nowhere near getting off the ground! She had passed the Founder Readiness section with flying colors, having launched two successful businesses previously, but because she was venturing into a type of business with which she was unfamiliar, she had only gotten as far as the second of the six principles, dealing with attaching to the customer, not to the idea. I knew she was working on this attribute because she had told me she needed to pick my brain as a potential client---something Bradberry suggests as a way to learn the market when it is an unknown. I also knew she was looking for the game-changing partner, which the author mentions as a way to provide an early edge in the marketplace.

Beyond this chapter, the book delves into such topics as money issues, how to be flexible, and dealing with the human elements: partners, investors, and personnel. I thought one of the most valuable sections Bradberry provides for the aspiring entrepreneur is the Start-up Readiness Tool. It is a comprehensive list of questions based on the chapter headings that should provide the basis for a successful business if addressed honestly and completely. At this point, I don't know where my friend's startup idea will lead, but I am going to be sure she has a copy of this book, because I think Bradberry has done a thorough job of laying out the strategy for starting on the right foot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2882c48) out of 5 stars A Well Researched "How to Manual" for Entrepreneurs April 18 2011
By achalker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is outstanding. The nuts-and-bolts information entrepreneurship is absolutely invaluable.

As a beginning entrepreneur's who's made the "if you build it they will come" mistake and wondered why no one showed up, I am really grateful to have found this book and am now using it as a roadmap. (Darn it! If only I had it 5 years ago. . .)

In my humble opinion, I think it's about 1000 times more helpful than most of the books on entrepreneurship on the market.

Many other "entrepreurship" books on the market are motivational drivel. These books get you inspired and ready to walk headfirst off a cliff because they neglect to tell you about all the things you need to know to actually create a business!!! (Perhaps we can partially thank the Motivational Media for the 90% failure rate of small business.)

This is really different. Chock full of great information. It's a clear roadmap and has tons of great resources as well in the appendices.

A huge thank you to the author. This will save a ton of entrepreneurs (and investors who invest in budding entrepreneurs) a lot of money, time, and heartache!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f50475c) out of 5 stars Starting Up or Already Running, Principles that Deliver March 16 2011
By schroed22 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
6 Secrets of Startup Success is a well- paced book that provides a terrific balance of compelling case study narratives with practical research. Tracking the story arc of several startups, both successful and challenged, the book delivers in creating a thoughtful construct in considering how to best position oneself for a successful launch.

While it's hard to argue with any of the six principles that Bradberry lays out, I found a particular connection to the chapters dealing with "Math Story" and "Integrity of Communication". A quote I marked in the book as particularly noteworthy is "the quality of conversations is not only indicative of culture, it creates culture, and it determines the quality of decision making, planning, everything." True indeed, regardless if you are in a small startup or part of a Fortune 100 conglomerate. To that end, I highly recommend this book to anyone in business who is contemplating the start of a new business or managing new initiatives within an existing enterprise.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f473714) out of 5 stars Starting a new business? Start here March 28 2011
By John Chancellor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I think most people starting a new business are aware of the dismal statistics on the success rate of most new business ventures. If you want to increase your odds of starting a successful business, this is an extremely good guide - a great place to start your business.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the concept John Bradberry, the author calls the entrepreneurial trap. We get so attached to our own ideas that we are unable to see the weaknesses in them. We get blinded by our attachment to our own ideas. Part one is a very sobering account of the typical entrepreneur.

"Drinking the Kool-Aid is a very common early phase business activity. After building overly rosy plans, founders are swayed by psychological pressure to seek out data that validate their vision and to avoid or deny bad news."

At the end of part one is a list of warning signs that you are in danger of falling into the entrepreneurial trap.

Part two of the book presents the Six Principles for Launching a Can't Miss Start-up. The principles are: 1) The founders readiness 2) Become attached to the customer, not your idea 3) Define/refine your math story 4) Execute with flexibility 5) Communicate with integrity and 6) Have enough staying power to get the venture off the ground.

Each principle has a series of questions and/or exercises for the reader/entrepreneur to answer. These are extremely valuable tools to ensure that you have carefully considered the principle. The questions are a great tool for anyone starting or evaluating a potential participation in a start-up, either from and investment/lending or employment view.

The book uses some real life examples of start-up ventures that succeed wildly, some that failed and some that struggled. The author goes into great detail about the reasons behind each ventures experience. There are some extremely valuable insights - if you are open to see the lessons and apply them to your own situation.

The book is written based on the author's years of experience dealing with business start-ups. While the primary start-ups discussed in the book tend to be fairly large - that is larger than most solo-entrepreneurs would be starting, the principles are the same.

There is a wealth of extremely valuable business wisdom in this book. The author often quotes other sources/resources that would be valuable to a serious entrepreneur.

Appendix A is the "Startup Readiness Tool" and appendix B provides additional resources and suggested reading material.

The book is extremely well written, gives an in-depth discussion of the principles and real world examples of how those principles are applied. It is easy to fall into the entrepreneurial passion trap. Follow the advice of this book and you will avoid the passion trap and greatly increase your chances of success.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f36e948) out of 5 stars A valuable roadmap for startup success April 9 2011
By Karen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Drawing on his deep experience as a consultant with a variety of innovative startup companies, John Bradberry presents a valuable roadmap for current and aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the difficult road toward setting up a sustainable new business in "6 Secrets to Startup Success."

The grim reality is that most startup business don't survive. But in this timely book, Bradberry makes a compelling case that six key principles, when executed properly, can enable new enterprises of all types to grow and prosper. These principles include proper preparation before launch, developing a sound "math story," staying flexible, ensuring integrity of communication and establishing a framework of "staying power."

In addition, Bradberry says, entrepreneurs must be careful to avoid the "passion trap" by developing a strong market orientation that puts the customer first rather than their ideas. Through case histories involving both successes and failures, Bradberry explains how passion can cause many entrepreneurs to overlook basic business fundamentals, leading to problems that can undercut their chances of success.

I highly recommend this well-written, insightful book to any entrepreneur who is looking to start a new business or strengthen an existing one. It's full of practical advice and real-world experience designed to keep new businesses, or new initiatives within established businesses, on the right track.