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

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Frequently Bought Together

6 Secrets to Startup Success: How to Turn Your Entrepreneurial Passion into a Thriving Business + The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
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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: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...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

Book Description

“An excellent summary of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Every person who wants to start the ‘next big thing’ should read 6 Secrets to Startup Success before taking the leap forward.” — Guy Kawasaki, cofounder, Alltop.com, and author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

Over six million Americans start businesses every year. That’s 11 startups a minute launched by passionate dreamers hoping to transform their lives for the better.

But a huge gap exists between the skyrocketing levels of desire and what entrepreneurs actually achieve. The harsh reality is that most new businesses fail within a few years of launch. Why do so few startups make it? And what distinguishes those that do succeed? Entrepreneur, consultant, and investor John Bradberry set out to discover the answer and came to a surprising conclusion—that the passion that drives and energizes so many founders is also the very thing that leads many of them astray.

Filled with compelling real-life stories of both success and failure, this groundbreaking book reveals the key principles entrepreneurs must follow to ensure their big idea is on the right track. In 6 Secrets to Startup Success, readers will learn how to:

Convert their passion into economic value with a moneymaking business model • Improve their readiness to launch and lead a new venture • Manage funding and cash flows • Chart a path to breakeven and beyond • Avoid the pitfalls that often accompany unfettered passion • Build the stamina needed to persevere over time

Complete with indispensable tools including an assessment to gauge a venture’s strengths and weaknesses, 6 Secrets to Startup Success will help entrepreneurs everywhere turn their dreams into reality.

More About the Author

John Bradberry is CEO of Ready Founder Services, a provider of tools and consulting services for entrepreneurs and investors. Over 20 years he has worked to improve the performance of leaders and teams in a wide range of organizations.

In 2007, John launched an extended study to identify the universal factors that drive startup success, and has written his first book on the subject, 6 Secrets to Startup Success.

After graduating from Davidson College in 1983, John earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Richmond, and helped found the Blue Dogs, a nationally touring band based in Charleston, SC.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
Overall I found this book very interesting, very informative and very inspirational.
I highly recommend this well-written, insightful book to any entrepreneur who is looking to start a new business or strengthen an existing one.
Gary James
The book uses some real life examples of start-up ventures that succeed wildly, some that failed and some that struggled.
John Chancellor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Burke on June 13, 2011
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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By achalker on April 18, 2011
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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By schroed22 on March 16, 2011
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tina on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Thinking of going out on your own? Are you an entrepreneur looking to start a small business? Don't jump in without doing your homework. In Bradberry's book, he offers tips to people who are interested in a startup.

Entrepreneurs easily get caught up in their ideas without necessarily knowing the market. When people become so attached to an idea, their view of reality becomes distorted. Spending time on something doesn't mean there's a need for it. Before starting a new venture, do your research to evaluate whether there's really a market for your product or service. An idea isn't great until your prospects say it's great!

Ask yourself why you're thinking of a startup. What do you hope to achieve? What's your motivation? One of the best points in his book is the importance of having greater motivation toward something rather than away from something. You may think you're escaping from a bad work situation only to find yourself in something worse.

Are you well-read? Very educated? Both of those things are great. More importantly, do you have the actual experience needed for success? Stop and ask yourself, "What can I do better than most people?

Bradberry doesn't discourage entrepreneurs. He just wants people to go beyond emotions and creative ideas to having factual data in hand. A great way to make sure you are really ready is to go through his "Startup Readiness Tool" at the end of the book and answer the questions. Reading this is well worth your time before starting a new venture.
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