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Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money Paperback – February 1, 2016
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Being an entrepreneur is scary. Especially in the beginning when you feel lonely, lost, and wondering: What if my idea fails? In Will it Fly?, Pat Flynn shows you step-by-step how to figure out if your new idea will be successful before you go all in. This book is an absolute must-read for any entrepreneur looking to start a new business, enter a new market, or launch a new product. I 100% recommend reading, and re-reading this book. --Ryan Levesque, #1 National Best-Selling Author, Ask
This is the book I wish I'd read when I began my entrepreneurial journey. Its simple, practical, real-world advice would have saved me tons of time, money, and grief on the road to success. It's now my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to launch a new product or business. --Michael Hyatt, New York Times Bestselling Author
About the Author
Pat has been featured in The New York Times and Forbes Magazine for his accomplishments, and has recently been enjoying talking about his story and business strategies in front of large crowds at various conferences and events all around the world. His top-ranked business podcast, The Smart Passive Income Podcast, has earned over 25 million downloads and continues to inspire people as they work through their online business journey today.
Pat is also an advisor to Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building schools in the developing world, as well as companies such as LeadPages and ConvertKit.
- Publisher : Flynndustries, LLC (February 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 340 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0997082305
- ISBN-13 : 978-0997082302
- Item Weight : 12.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.77 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #78,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The author, Pat Flynn is not another founder of a “Unicorn”, a company worth over a billion dollars, who is sharing his insights on how to start another Tesla, Facebook, or PayPal. Rather he is a young, married, father of two, who lost his job in the down-turn, and became an entrepreneur. His book is down-to-earth, his examples are folksy and his insights sound. He provides a step-by-step guide to ascertaining if the business you are thinking of starting “will fly.” There are exercises for every step, and they will provide important insight into your new business idea.
You will need to invest some time and effort in this preliminary process, but it certainly beats losing money, losing face, and losing credibility; those inevitably follows from not checking if your idea has potential.
The first section is the first step you should take as you think about your new business. This section is titled: Mission Design, and poses the starting question everyone should ask – will starting this business allow me to be the person I wish to be? This smacks of the question a counsellor might ask, that many would answer – I need money right now, and I will have plenty of time to worry about the quality of life when I cruise the Mediterranean on my yacht.
“If you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, your energy will eventually fizzle out. It always does,” Flynn notes.
Entrepreneurs’ earnings will be closely related to how much they care about the people they are serving, and the services they offer. Will it accord you the lifestyle you want, the relationships you value, and self-fulfilment that is lasting? Remember, you haven’t invested one cent in this business so far, and if it just isn’t you, then you are well advised to keep looking for something that is. After all, “a successful entrepreneur is one who is both successful in business and in life,” Flynn asserts.
The next step is “Flight Planning.” Besides knowing where you want to go to, pilots have to determine the best way to get there safely, comfortably, and on time. “NASA has never launched a mission just because it sounded like a good idea, and neither should you,” Flynn writes. This section is your market research and the exercises Flynn recommends, can easily be adapted to any market you wish to serve.
This will take you some time, but the tools and the guidance are all in the book. There really is no hurry to get started right away, as futurist Joel Barker says: “Speed is only useful if you’re running in the right direction.”
As part of your Flight Planning, you will want to uncover important information about your ideas, that you have not even thought about. In this phase you need to assess the current conditions of the market you are aiming at, see who is already there, and what and who you are up against. You will also be able to identify the part of the market you are best able to service, and the best way to target the market. (Hint: how are the successful in this market targeting it? How are the less successful targeting it?)
If there are already others in the arena you wish to enter, you have an advantage over everyone else who is already there. You have a live laboratory of what is missing, which is critical because it suggests opportunities that exist.
Flynn provides guidance through a few targeted exercises to identify the dissatisfaction and struggles your target customers experience. This will enable you to enter the market and serve it better than the incumbents. Focusing on a small market is a much under-estimated advantage – there are riches in the niches.
You need to keep this image in mind (and make the translation to your product or service.) If you are a musician with a thousand true fans, they will purchase anything and everything you can produce. “…they’ll drive hundreds of miles to watch your next gig. They read every post, watch every video, and listen to every word of your podcast because it’s a part of their daily ritual. They are the ones who have truly fallen in love with what you have to offer the world, and will always be there to support you.”
After you have completed the Flight Plan, it is time to enter the Flight Simulator. Here you can amalgamate what you have discovered in your research, and begin the process of validating and trying your ideas on a small, safe, segment of the market you are targeting. This activity of validating alone will distinguish you from most entrepreneurs, who never take the trouble to go through this stage with real customers. With Flynn to guide you, you will attempt to make your initial sales to this small, safe, segment of the market. Real validation! Going big and loud with the wrong offer has caused harm, that many entrepreneurs never recover from.
If you haven’t taken any meaningful action towards your new venture because you don’t know where to start, or what process you need to follow, you are not alone. No one wants to let themselves or others down. But as John F. Kennedy once said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
I like the light tone of this book, it is an easy read, neither preachy nor academic, and very practical. The exercises are easily accomplished, with less effort and more pleasure than you expect.
Readability Light +---- Serious
Insights High --+-- Low
Practical High +---- Low
Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy
I love what this book represents & that's the way that Pat does business. Authentic, genuine, passionate, compassionate, giving, & with authority bc he's practicing what he preaches. Pat seriously, thank you for being you & sharing your gifts with the world & our entrepreneurial community. The world is absolutely a better place with you here giving to all of us.
Oh, and be sure to make the paper airplane when the exercise comes up. The little kid in you will thank me later. And if you're anything like me, it's a nice transition from the daily hustle of building a business... ;)
Cheers my friend!
~ Kyle, CEO (Chief Experiment Officer)
Top reviews from other countries
Whilst many of the ideas can be carried across to the physical world, it's particularly suitable for information marketing and app/software development.
There are four main sections.
1 - Mission Design - this is all about you and making sure that the business idea fits with you, your skills, the work habits you've displayed and what you want for yourself and your family.
2 - Development Lab - this is about getting much clearer about your idea and what it means.
3- Flight Planning - understanding the customers in your target market and the competition
4 - Flight Simulator - which validates your business concept in various stages, all the way through to getting money from a few early buyers before the product is ready.
The best section is the first. Designing your business to support the life you want to lead is huge. At this stage, the idea of starting your own business is an extremely inspiring romantic dream but things can change quickly when you receive a few setbacks and the entire process isn't as easy as you expected.
That said, if you've followed the rest of the processes in the book, you should have enough belief in the idea for you to be resilient.
I don't do much with business start-ups these days but I was always keen to get across the idea that it's much better to lose money on paper than in real life. Even when you've done everything in the book, success isn't guaranteed but the probabilities will be higher. Plan carefully and pay particular attention to what could stop you. Also avoid making big commitments because sometimes the smart thing to do is to stop.
About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice in books. I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 5 stars means that I think that overall it has some vital messages in it. I will respond to any comment you make about my review.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck.
I am an artist and designer and use his tips to expand my web coverage and get new ideas for my art business.
This book came out at a perfect time for me as I am developing a new idea related to a workshop I do but doing it online.
I initially looked through the whole book.
I then went through the exercises. At this stage, I am on the chapter that encourages one to go out and tell people the idea.
I have been doing this and wow, an important contact I know told me to do it in a completely new way. At first I felt down in the dumps, but then I have started to run with this new idea and it makes my idea even more exciting. I will now have to tell people about the new concept to see the reaction.
I think some negative reviews here mention the exercises have been made by other people, and in the book credit is given where the ideas have been developed from others.
This is not a problem for me. I have so many things and ideas, I am always looking at new business ideas, youtube ideas about planning etc etc and then there is all the art/design I look at and I need to focus on simple but important steps. This book does this for me and I am really glad I am using this for my latest idea.
Of course, this book does not garuntee you to have a succesful idea. However, it does increase the likeliehood and also the exercise, process and also a nice touch about how you want your life to be in 5 years time and if it correlates to the idea you have, make sure that your idea will be strong and if it is not, then if you go through the exercises properly, you will realise that your idea sucks and you will have to change it or have a better one.
Pat Flynn unreservedly advises and coaches you through his own idea-validation process and has also taken the time to create a series of companion videos which provide a personal touch - I've not read any other books where the author provides videos of themselves.
This is a work book but also a very enjoyable read with relatable and context-set examples. A book with value way beyond its price tag.
I loved this book and now feel that my business idea is a good one, having worked through all of the suggestions in this book.
If you have a business idea and wonder where to start : read it! I have read many marketing books and they rarely give you a step-by-step approach. Pat Flynn does.
in Will it fly, you will learn:
• How to do an online market research
• How to test your idea and gauge interest before launch
• Where to start when launching the idea
Pat Flynn is a serious storyteller and his book is a good addition to his #askpat podcast. One update though, Google has updated its algorithm (once again) since the book was published and the filtering cue given for researching specific keywords in blogs (in the Market research chapter) doesn't work anymore.
If anyone knows how to filter for searching keywords in blogs and/or forums on Google, please advise!! Thanks