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Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat Hardcover – January 2, 2008
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Whether youâre thinking about starting a new business or growing an existing one, Ready, Fire, Aim has what you need to succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavors. In it, self-made multimillionaire and bestselling author Masterson shares the knowledge he has gained from creating and expanding numerous businesses and outlines a focused strategy for guiding a small business through the four stages of entrepreneurial growth. Along the way, Masterson teaches you the different skills needed in order to excel in this dynamic environment.
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I can now answer the question "why not" in detail and at length.
First, the good news. Michael Masterson does a reasonably good job of distilling the advice offered in dozens of other books on advertising and marketing, from Napoleon Hill to Rosse Reeve's "Reality In Advertising". However, the solid advice gleaned from those classics is diluted with Masterson's endless preening and outright bragging.
The overall experience is not necessarily enjoyable or instructive, unless you are inspired by someone telling you, over and over and over again, of how successful and great he is.
A careful reading led me to become very suspicious of Michael Masterson and to do some quick research. Masterson claims to have had titles on the New York Times, Wall St. Journal and Amazon best seller lists. Indeed, on two occasions - and that means two distinct dates - Masterson was on the Wall St. Journal best seller list. This is not like being on that list week after week: it was twice for one time each. As for the New York Times, a Nexis search shows Michael Masterson appearing in the Times just once, with a comment in an article. No appearances on their best seller list. Amazon's best seller lists are very different and appearing on them is on meaningless. It is said that having 30 friends order a book at the same time will put you on their best sellers list for a little while at least.
More disturbing are Masterson's associations, one of which is Agora International, which publishes a number of investment newsletters which seem to be of the "we have a tip for you" variety. Agora was sued for fraud by the SEC at one point. This does not reflect directly on Masterson since he claims a nebulous role of "consultant" with them. It does, however, reflect on the company he keeps.
The company he keeps also includes AWAI, American Artists & Writers, Inc. Masterson doesn't say that he authored a product for them, a course on copywriting. Both AWAI and Masterson are the subject of literally hundreds of online complaints.
As I said, much of this book is borrowed and adapted. I don't have a problem with that since solid knowledge is intended to be passed on, as long as it is not plagarized in violation of copyright laws. But even here, Masterson leaves himself open to question. He attributes the concept of the "unique selling proposition" to a 1980 book called "Positioning". In fact, Rosser Reeves first put forth the expression and the concept in his 1961 "Reality In Advertising".
Would I recommend that someone read this book? Sort of. It is an adequate distillation of marketing advice from many reputable sources. To his credit, Masterson doesn't claim to be the original thinking here. On the other hand, Masterson's personal credibility is questionable and you really have to take what he says of his own success with a very large grain of salt. Personally I think there are better books in this area to be found.
I didn't think I really needed this book. I bought it about 4 years ago but then never actually read it because one of the first things it says is that selling is important.
Do I really have to SELL sell? I don't like selling.
Besides, I've read lots of other books on selling and their methods make me uncomfortable.
Selling has always scared me. Despite being able to make sales in the past, I've always felt like I sucked at it. I'd rather stay in my little cave and do nothing if my only other option is to sell. That's a problem. You see, I'm starting a microenterprise that requires a lot of cold calling to get it off the ground. Last week I decided it would be easier and I would be more successful if I hired someone to do the sales for me. While waiting for someone to respond to the help wanted ad I placed on Craigslist (I am not kidding) I discovered this book in a box in my spare room.
Now I'm not a wallflower who's afraid of people. Most of the time, I enjoy meeting new people and am outgoing and chatty and love talking with whoever is nearby. I can converse about anything to any one. I'm a fairly confident person, and have recently been pushing myself to go wayyyy outside my comfort zone when it comes to public speaking or being the center of attention in a critical group. So far, I have surprised myself with what I've been able to do. My new boundaries thrill me and I really enjoy putting myself out there in these situations.
Granted, in the past 3 days I have only gotten part way into Stage Two, but simply working on developing my OSS has completely changed my gameplan. After reading your chapters about Stage One twice, and making lots of notes and brainstorming and making more notes, then reading Stage One again, I finally felt like I was actually ready to start working today. Learning about my OSS and everything that happens in Stage One made me feel much more confident about selling. At 3pm, I went out and made 9 face-to-face cold calls. (I tried making cold calls two months ago and after 5 visits I had a knot in my stomach and hated the process so much I almost gave up on my business. I didn't have a clue what an OSS is, and now I realize I was doing it all wrong.) After each visit today, I made notes to tweak and fine tune my OSS for the next person on my list. Tomorrow will be more of the same and I can't wait to keep going with it.
I'm going to have to pick up a credit card reader for my phone before I head out, though. Don't want to have to turn down a sale because I can't process their payment. Oh, and I'm going to put my "Salesperson Wanted" Craigslist ad on hold for just a little while.
Most recent customer reviews
The biggest reason is how Masterson lays out the path from direct response master and jack of all trades to the point...Read more
Armchair "theorists" and business school teachers that have never built a business probably won't like it.Read more