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The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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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 outand findingthe 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 startand succeedas 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 raritya 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 leadalmost inevitablyto 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 processa 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 favorbuy 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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Top Customer Reviews
Overall there is not much eye opening things in the book. Quotes such as
"Test as cheaply and harmlessly as you can"
"devote 80 percent of ... initial resources to making the first sale. Forget about buying business cards and copy machines"
"Don't even think about quitting your day job until your business idea is proven and profitable"
"The difference between successful entrepreneurs and those who fail is usually a question of which ones figure out the way the business works before the money runs out"
"Pick an industry you know"
"You should have superstars in every facet of your business"
can be seen in several startup books.
New to me was chapter about making friends in high places. Interesting ideas about partnership "If one partner wants to stop working, no problem. Just cut his salary (for working) and use it to hire his replacement", but sure not for the first years of startup when founders work almost without salary. Also interesting "Short-term marketing results don't necessarily determine long-term profits".
Also the author has very pessimistic view of workers: "The moment you let up on the pressure to produce, sell, save, and improve, your bottom line will begin to shrink", "If the pressure to preserve profits doesn't come from you, it may not come at all", "It's a fact of life that customer service will slowly but surely go to pot if it is not monitored", "There are two things that you should never delegate: the ultimate responsibility for sales and the ultimate responsibility for product quality".
Interesting view on the law of attraction and such: "The courage and confidence I have today was not achieved by mantras or mediation or self-imaging. It was all achieved by the persistent application of hard work and imitation. If you work hard and smart at anything long enough, you will know success."
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
Make specific claims and prove those claims
Make an irresistible offer
Anything else is completely unnecessary.