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Action Trumps Everything: Creating What You Want in an Uncertain World Paperback – December 27, 2010
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It's the first book I've read where starting something grand doesn't require enormous commitment of money, research, and time. This template is far different - and much more accessible - than what's taught in MBA school (and I hold an MBA, so I know!).
There is an element of common sense to their approach, but that's because they interviewed successful serial entrepreneurs. It turns out that these people, with a series of successful start-ups, use a sensible plan that limits costs and commitment through a step-by-step process. Adjustments at each step move the project forward and impose a limit on risks.
This is far different than the traditional picture of entrepreneurship. Traditionally, we think of people spending months or years developing an idea and raising capital to get started. That's problematic because few start-up ideas could survive that sort of barrier. The hurdle is too high and most ideas don't make it past the thinking stage.
I started our investment business in 1998 without benefit of this book. Without thinking about it, though, these techniques are amazingly similar to our early steps. We did set aside start-up capital, and we did burn through much of it. But our business plan limited risks, and we made adjustments to the plan as action moved us forward. That's the key to this book; action changes everything, and more thinking (instead of acting) doesn't always add to success.
The stuff from MBA school is still helpful in starting or running a business. But I wouldn't start one today without reading this book. These thoughts add valuable and practical insights to the body of entrepreneurship literature.
In today's world, uncertainty is rampant everywhere and this environment makes it difficult to predict what may happen in the future. Since children, we have been taught to plan and analyze every situation so that we may be able to accurately predict what may come of any given action, but that mentality does not serve people well in the twenty-first century.
Schlesinger and Kiefer explain how the combination of Prediction and CreAction--or the idea of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action--is key to a person's success and fulfilling one's dreams. Employing a down-to-earth, conversational tone throughout the book, while also providing key examples and a little bit of humor, the authors are able to effectively and persuasively convey the method to their madness. It's completely realistic, inspiring, and makes one want to immediate act on his or her ideas.
Even if you are not an "entrepreneur" per say, Action Trumps Everything still provides a step-by-step framework for navigating in a world where not only planning and analyzing, but also acting creatively, are chief factors in realizing success. The authors are candid in ensuring that success is not guaranteed; however, they promise that if readers follow their simple and straightforward principles, great achievements WILL be closer at hand. This book is highly recommended for everyone, especially those people who are thinking about setting some of their ideas into ACTION!
I have literally shoved this book into my hands of my friend after trying to help her figure out their next step in life. It clarified a lot of ideas that she'd been unable to articulate, and gave her (and me) a framework to talk about broad strategies in an unpredictable, rapidly branching tree of possibilities.