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Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right Paperback – September 13, 2011
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Craig Newmark - Founder of Craigslist - I've never considered myself an entrepreneur. I'm a nerd and always have been. But I believe very much in the message of Small Business, Big Vision. I think having a vision is what's made Craigslist so successful, and I'm applying the same principle to my new initiative CraigConnects.
From the Back Cover
Lessons in applying passion and perseverance from prominent entrepreneurs
In the world of entrepreneurship, your vision solidifies your resolve when things get tough, and it reminds you why you went into business in the first place. Small Business, Big Vision draws on the experience of some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and proves that with a flexible mind-set, practical skills, and the passion to keep pushing forward, entrepreneurs can find success, even in the most turbulent business landscape.
"While reading Small Business, Big Vision, I kept thinking one thing: These guys get it! In a world where information is coming at us from all directions, you've got to know how to focus on the good stuff and filter out the rest."
—RYAN HOLMES, founder and CEO, HootSuite
"Matthew and Adam Toren get to the point of what separates the good from the great in business and entrepreneurship: vision. What's remarkable about the book is that it actually gives you the insight on how to take passion and turn it into tangible results."
—RYAN SHEA, President and Corporate Publisher, Entrepreneur Media, Inc., Entrepreneur.com, and Entrepreneur magazine
"In Small Business, Big Vision, Adam and Matthew Toren provide practical, real-world advice for entrepreneurs at all levels. Motivational and tremendously insightful, this book gives you the tools you need to succeed in your business."
—DOUG IMBRUCE, founder, Qwiki.com
"Why anyone starting a business wouldn't want to learn from those who blazed a brilliant path before them is beyond me. Get this book and start dominating now."
—JOHN JANTSCH, author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine
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Advice from the Trenches
Many of you know me as a leadership resource and ensure you imagine that I sit in soft chairs and tell other people lofty ideas about themselves. Here's the part you may not know. That leadership role is very recent. I came up the hard way and learned business in the trenches. And from there I expanded into the natural space of coaching which always seemed so familiar to me. So when I look at a business book I want to know that the entire breadth of business acumen is nested in what I'm reading. I look to see an appreciation of both the `nuts and bolts' of business as well as the personal development that I know is the driver of good outcomes.
More about Camels
I am sure have all heard the saying "follow your bliss, but don't forget to tether the camel". For many years I toiled at the task of tethering camels. I was a merger/acquisition specialist as well as an executive manager of many companies. I learned my leadership style by working like a donkey. I must confess and I'm sure this comes as no surprise that I respect the basic hard work of building a company. So when I read this book my expectation was that it would be heavy on vision and light on the hard-core execution pieces necessary to get the job done.
But as I said every now and then someone pays attention to the whole symphony of entrepreneurial music. I would be shortchanging my commentary on this book if I didn't tell you that it even delivers something more. Adam and Matthew have actually figured out a way to not only cover the two major drivers of business, but to place them in today's environment. Yes they start with the necessity of a big vision. And they cover the development of a business plan, accumulating investors, hiring good employees, and even the need for social media. Certainly a book worth the read for just those pieces.
But my excitement really rose when I came to the chapter about socially responsible entrepreneurs. For here they had put their finger on the new wave of business today. It is always been my opinion that leadership is being pulled into the space of personal development as a result of the demand of our newest generations. These new young leaders have looked at the old corporate paradigm and come to to astounding conclusion. One is that the corporate wingspan is not wide enough and does not benefit a large enough portion of the community from which they come. Further, they are courageous enough to stand and say "I will not work where I am not nourished". And nourishment to this crew means thrusting your ego aside, forgetting who gets credit, and creating the gratitude of seeing a world much bigger than themselves benefited.
Awakening and Tethering
My job now is to bring this kind of awareness to larger corporations that now see that they must provide personal leadership development in order to keep the best leaders. But I will never forget my roots and I am gratified to see that someone is taking care of the small business and entrepreneurial market. For the best way to have a great business is to start with great basics. Small Business, Big Vision gives a blueprint to the new generation of entrepreneurs that will allow them to hold a possibility much bigger than the normal book about business plans. My book 'Awakened Leadership' describes the personal journey and it's relationship to business building. In every generation the story of how to build a business must be told in both the language and the wingspan of that very group. Adam and Matthew have done a great job of giving us the current version of the entrepreneurial story. In my mind it is a wonderful companion to my leadership story.
This book is not only pragmatic and practical in giving you solutions to creating a successful business, but inspirational in that it showcases other entrepreneurs whom have found true success; most of them by bootstrapping their business along the way! After reading many of these stories listed in the book, I was left with a new-found feeling of hope that with vision, patience, persistence and courage, anyone can find success in their business. Well done!
I am currently in university studying economics and commerce however my family are business owners. I am surrounded by the environment of creating an idea or brand and bringing it to the market. I've seen the struggles and the hardships that entrepreneurs endure and the way that these guys have put it in the book words it perfectly. I don't care who you are or how much education you have, experience can never outweigh education, and this is a book that helps and answers questions for anyone starting their own business.
I wish these guys the best of luck, or moreover anyone the best of luck in their personal endeavors. But just remember -
"If you think you will retain a proper work-life balance in the first 36 months of setting up your own business, you are wrong"
I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone who is or wants to be a business owner. Whether you're thinking of starting a business or have been in business for 30 years, there's something for everyone to learn here.
My favorite parts: The chapter on social media marketing, the "Pulling a 180" chapter on turning your business around, and the section on social entrepreneurship. Good stuff!
PS - once again thanks for Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas! too. It keeps my 6 y.o. thinking.
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The best so far.
If you are planning on starting or growing your business, you must read this.
I recommend this book.
I'm a business writer and I read a LOT of business books. Many of them are simply regurgitated fluff.Read more