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The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits Hardcover – June 26, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Successful entrepreneurs quit their jobs, throw caution to the wind, and invest every last cent on following some crazy dream . . . right? Wrong. Many of the world's most profitable self-starters, from Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos, took their time setting up their revolutionary companies, weighing the risks, hedging their bets, and proceeding with trepidation. If you're sold on the idea of building your own business but are daunted by the potential pitfalls, The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits is for you, covering everything you need to know to successfully balance the thrill of going it alone with the fear of getting in too deep.

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide for would-be entrepreneurs keen to strike out on their own but wary of the dangers, the book presents a road map for maximizing success while minimizing risk. Focusing on overcoming the anxieties that prevent many budding business owners from ever fulfilling their potential, author and entrepreneur extraordinaire Michael Masterson explains exactly how to launch and develop a startup during the two most difficult phases of growth: from nothing to $1 million and from $1 million to $10 million.

With coverage of everything from coming up with a good idea to figuring out—and finding—the people you want to work with, the book offers an all-encompassing look at how to build a business from the ground up, whether you've got a great concept in mind or are just looking for a new way to bring in a little extra cash. Filled with reliable strategies drawn from Masterson's own incredibly profitable career, The Reluctant Entrepreneur breaks down each part of the entrepreneurial process into a series of easy-to-follow steps, giving you the tools and advice you need to meet every challenge.

The essential guide for cautious individuals interested in entrepreneurship but wary of the risks, the book addresses the fears and misconceptions that are standing in your way, walking you through the necessary decisions you need to make before you even think about developing a business plan or talking with a bank. Written by a man who's made his fortune following the lessons laid out in these pages, this may well be the only book you need to start—and succeed—as a reluctant entrepreneur.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Reluctant Entrepreneur

"There are too many business books published today, but The Reluctant Entrepreneur is a rarity—a business book worth many times its cover price, written by a successful businessman who has started many companies without taking undue risk."

—Robert W. Bly, copywriter and bestselling author

"Too many would-be entrepreneurs mistakenly believe they need a breakthrough technology, a patented product, or a visionary innovation to make it big in business. Just the opposite is true. As steel magnate Andrew Carnegie famously said, 'pioneering don't pay.' And in this wonderful new book, Michael Masterson shows aspiring entrepreneurs how organization, smart risk management, and the application of sound principles lead—almost inevitably—to real business success and enduring wealth. There's a lifetime of wisdom and experience in these pages, expressed simply and engagingly by the most successful entrepreneur I know. Why learn the hard way?"

—Alexander Green, author of Beyond Wealth: The Road Map to a Rich Life

"As the 'guru to the gurus,' I've coached tens of thousands of reluctant entrepreneurs, so I've seen firsthand how success is not a role of the dice, as Michael says. On the contrary, success is a systematic, strategic, engineered process—a process that anyone can do, if you have the right drive and the tools that Michael gives on the following pages. It's a must-read for any would-be entrepreneur. I recommend you take notes."

—Rich Schefren, author of the Internet Business Manifesto and CEO of Strategic Profits

"Michael Masterson's The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits is an honest and comprehensive blueprint on how to succeed when starting a new business. Like in real life and in his book, Michael leads by example, teaching newbie (and experienced) entrepreneurs step by step how to turn their ideas and passions into a profitable business."

—MaryEllen Tribby, CEO and founder of WorkingMomsOnly.com

"Finally, a book on creating your own business and financial independence with specific advice from someone who has been there and done that. The information in this book is not theory, but is backed by $50 million in real-world results. I recommend this book to anyone who is even thinking of starting a business. The section on creating your optimal selling strategy must not be missed."

—Craig Ballantyne, editor of EarlytoRise.com

"Another Michael Masterson tour de force. I wish I had this book many years ago. It would have saved me a ton of time, money, and headaches. Do yourself a favor—buy this book, grab a highlighter, and put these principles to work in your business. You'll never go wrong following Michael's sage advice."

—Noah St. John, inventor of Afformations and bestselling author of The Secret Code of Success

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118178440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118178447
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Reluctant Entrepreneur-

I try to take away one big idea...this seems elementary, but most of us miss it when it comes to our own business.

Here it is!

USP - Best promotional copy focuses on one Big Idea and One Big Promise

Entire Process Looks Like This:

Make a list of every feature of your product you can think of

You make a separate list of every possible benefit those features can provide

Identify a rising trend in your market- a trend that is just beginning

Ask yourself "Which of my product benefits could tie into that trend?" Turn those benefits into potential USP's

Pick the strongest ones-the USPs that are most likely to resonate with prospects

For each of those USPs you come up with a Big Idea

For each of those Big Ideas, create one or several headlines that express a Big Promise

Make a list of all the possible specific claims you can make that are related to the Big Promise

For every claim, you make sure you have proof to back it up.

Write at least 2 versions of your promotion-each version expressing a different Big Idea and you test them

Take the version that works best and roll it out

Once you have a profitable promotion going, you immediately get started on your next test. There is always something to tweak to get better response.

Direct Response Selling:

You make promises
Demonstrate benefits
Make specific claims and prove those claims
Make an irresistible offer
Guarantee satisfaction

Anything else is completely unnecessary.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a professionally-trained copywriter, I've studied under this guy and his credibility is above and beyond reproach. UNFORTUNATELY, I found this particular book of his to be pretty dry and boring - it was NOT a "page-turner" for me even though there's a lot of great info within the pages of this particular book.

It's worth the investment though because this guy IS at the top of his game and there is much to be learned from him!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Masterson has hit on all cyclinders when he wrote this book. If you ever wondered whether you had to be all in and sacrifice everything to be an entrepreneur and succeed this book will give you a different perspective.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Starts with what you do and know now, and builds up on what it takes to build a profitable business from your current skill-set. Keeps aligned with Tom Peter's 'In Search of Excellence'. Don't stray too far from what you do/know. Build up a business from there. It is not as simple as you would think...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to start off by saying that I've read every book that Michael has published and am a big fan of his writing style - not just informative, but extremely enjoyable as well.

Full disclaimer, I know Michael and was contracted by his former company Early to Rise.

As a former "Reluctant Entreprenuer", I learned a lot about business, marketing, and starting a part time business on the side from many of Michael's past books. While his past books do cover the "getting started" part of growing a business; they spend a lot more time speaking to growing existing businesses - which makes The Reluctant Entrepreneur a great read for anyone who hasn't yet started a business or needs some more help managing running a business on the side while still being gainfully employed.

I highly recommend this book to any budding entrepreneur.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is not properly named – as acknowledge in the book's foreword. It should be called something like "How to Avoid Risk as an Entrepreneur" or "The Cautious Entrepreneur."

I was hoping for an inspiring book with some how-to tips for starting my business, but this book is full of the author praising his own work and accomplishments, and of stories that are far beyond what I can contemplate as a new entrepreneur – stories of billion-dollar undertakings.

Masterson is not so much the type of entrepreneur who dreams of creating a business and growing it into a healthy, sustainable enterprise that makes peoples' live better – he seems to be a serial entrepreneur who likes to create businesses and then sell them off for a lot of profit.

I have to admit that I stopped reading after the second or third time Masterson praised himself, and just skimmed the rest. One of the things that bothered me the most is that he counsels early on and very strongly that you should always keep your day job. Then, in the section called "Finding the Money to Do It: Financing Your Business," he basically says not to use your own money, that you have to prove your viability before you use other people's money, and that you might be able to charge people in advance, but that doesn't always work and you might have to share the profits. Not exactly inspiring. I wonder if he even remembers how he financed his own first business? (I mean his first REAL business - not the one he started when he was 11 years old.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book and informative. There are so many pitfalls in starting a new enterprise and many can be deadly, but Masterson guides you through it. I got this book on Kindle and did many highlights, but after that I bought his older book "Ready. Fire, Aim" as a standard book so I could highlight it and use it as quick reference at my desk. It was very telling that he mentioned the name Porter Stansberry in the introduction, because I have many of his newsletters and I can see Masterson's hand in how they are marketed and sold. They are very good by the way. Now I am going to buy this book as a hard copy so I can use it as reference too.
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