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You Call the Shots: Succeed Your Way-- And Live the Life You Want-- With the 19 Essential Secrets of Entrepreneurship Hardcover – January 9, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"You Call the Shots is for everyone committed to following their dreams. Cameron Johnson thoroughly outlines the strategies it takes to remove obstacles to entrepreneurial success. This book is essential reading for anyone with a passion for life." -- T. Harv Eker, founder and president of Peak Potentials Training, Inc., and author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

About the Author

Cameron Johnson had started, run, and sold twelve successful companies by the time he was twenty-one. His business successes have been featured in Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, USA Today, and many more publications, as well as on the Today show and Good Morning America. When he was fifteen he became an advisory board member of a Tokyo-based company, and his autobiography, 15-Year-Old CEO, published in Japanese, became an instant bestseller. He has consulted to Fortune 500 companies and spoken at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Every one of his businesses has been a success, even in the worst days of the Internet bust. As a college freshman, he started CertificateSwap.com, an online marketplace for gift cards, which was a runaway success and for which he was offered $10 million in venture capital. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141653606X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416536062
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff Lippincott on December 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a very good book. I highly recommend it! Just as the title promises, this book provides 19 chapters, or 19 "secrets," of entrepreneurship. The chapters include:

0. Introduction
1. Put yourself out there
2. Start small
3. Make money work for you
4. Look close to home for great ideas
5. Balance work with life
6. Surround yourself with great people
7. Make yourself your brand
8. Don't be afraid to negotiate
9. Make your own tough decisions
10. Adapt or die
11. Find great mentors
12. Seek out new knowledge every day
13. Use the power of the press
14. Stick to your guns
15. Get experience on the ground
16. Never underestimate the value of your customers
17. Creatively build on your experience
18. Remember what it's really all about
19. Be the entrepreneur you want to be

This book is very well written. And it is organized very well, too. I appreciated the inclusion of the appendix at the end of the book that provides tips for getting started that most wanta-be entrepreneurs will devour. Each chapter makes a point that the author presents to us using examples from his life experiences. He is a son in a long line of entrepreneurs or self-employed. And he seems to take to that lifestyle and mindset very well.

I noticed this book in B&N on Christmas Eve and picked it up. I thought the chapter headings were wonderful. And I suspected I could recommend this book to many of my SCORE clients who are overwhelmed with trying to put together a business plan for a small business they want to start. When I got home I logged onto Amazon to see if many people there had reviewed this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Because every business is, ultimately, a Customer Service business, regardless of the product or service that is sold, I enjoy reading books written by entrepreneurs because there's a chance I'll learn something new about Customer Service. You Call the Shots by 22-year-old Cameron Johnson fits the bill.

Johnson started 12 online businesses - each one lasting a year or so - before age 21. That alone is interesting and any teen who is remotely interested in business or frustrated with traditional schooling should read his story. It's a painless way to learn about venture capital, public speaking, public relations, surrounding yourself with mentors and finding business ideas that don't require start up money. The appendix is loaded with helpful resources as well as a link to his website where there are yet more resources.

For me, the most interesting part of the book was the chapter about his work experience at his father's Ford dealership, Magic City Ford, in Virginia . The dealership has been in his family for four generations. His favorite part of high school was his part-time job as the internet sales person at the dealership, even though he was making a ton of money from his online businesses. When he was 19-years-old the General Manager promoted him to General Sales Manager, leap frogging him over adults who had worked there longer than he was alive. Yes, he was that good. In 2004 their sales were double what they were the year before even though most other dealers in the nation had reduced sales that year.

How did he do it? He was innovative. He stopped advertising in the newspaper and used that $200K per year to create bonuses and incentives for the sales force. Most of all, he was successful because of superior customer service.
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Format: Hardcover
As an entrepreneur who has read more than a hundred books on the subjects of "Business", "Marketing", "Sales" and "Advertising"... I rate this "You Call The Shots" masterpiece in my top 5. This Kid's practical, "common sense" approach to starting, running and growing a business is a refreshing change from the books that pack the shelves of "Business" sections in libraries and bookstores everywhere. The innovative approach to customer service, employee motivation & management, customer follow-up, mentor resources, as well as the "ingenious" advertising & marketing strategies that are detailed in this book make it a "must read" for anyone who is already in business or who is considering starting a business. I cannot recommend it enough.

The appendix of this book alone is worth the purchase... as it is loaded with numerous "priceless" resources that most entrepreneurs would kill for.

So incredibly brilliant, educational & insightful is this book, that it wouldn't surprise me if in the near future it becomes "required reading" at all the top business schools in the country.

It is truly... that essential!

Pete Kaczynski (Springfield, MA)
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Format: Hardcover
I hate Cameron Johnson. Why? Because I graduated high school with about $6 in my pocket and Cameron made his first million before he turned 18.

Cameron's fascinating story is chronicled in his great new book, "You Call the Shots." Starting with his decision to launch a greeting card and stationary company at age 9 and ending with his most recent accomplishments, the book details his history and philosophy.

The best part about reading a book about a whizkid entrepreneur? The lessons are all relatively simple and easily understood. Since many of Cameron's guiding principles were formulated at a young age, he never felt the need to prettify them or gussy them up with bizspeak or overly-complicated grammar. His straightforward business advice is refreshing.

The structure of the book is also easily understood, and for that he can obviously thank John David Mann, his co-writer. Mr. Mann is the author of several other business books, all of which have been clearly written and well-researched.

And while Cameron and John don't tread a lot of new ground here, their writing is crisp and the information shared is relevant to the current business world. I'm sure Cameron's experiences in the tech world (he created most of his 11 successful businesses as online companies) will help lead many older (and more entrenched) business people toward the new e-conomy.
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