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The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits

Book Description

Intelligent strategies for starting and growing a small business with minimal personal financial risk

A comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs from one of the most successful business creators in recent years, The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits addresses the fears and misconceptions that many people have about starting their own businesses, walking prospective owners through the necessary decisions they need to make before even putting a business plan in place.

Presenting solid, reliable strategies based on author Michael Masterson's own successful practices, and debunking some common illusions entrepreneurs have about their businesses, the book is a vital resource for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls that threaten fledgling companies.

  • Packed with insights from an entrepreneur who has launched and sold dozens of business, presented in a lively and conversational style

  • Some 600,000 new businesses are launched each year and with an uncertain economy, more and more people are looking for a stream of income separate from their 9 to 5 job

  • Filled with highly applicable advice that budding and professional entrepreneurs can start using immediately

Essential reading for small business owners and both first time and established entrepreneurs, The Reluctant Entrepreneur presents the smart strategies on starting and growing a small business that can make launching your own company a cinch.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title page
  3. Copyright page
  4. Dedication
  5. FOREWORD: IS THIS AN “INSPIRATIONAL” BOOK?
  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  7. INTRODUCTION
    1. THE REALITY OF CALCULATED RISK
    2. THE RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR
    3. LAUNCHING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS TAKES MORE THAN MOTIVATION
    4. IT’S OKAY TO BE CAUTIOUS
    5. SUCCESS IS NOT A ROLL OF THE DICE
    6. AND ONE MORE THING . . .
  8. CHAPTER 1 WHAT, EXACTLY, IS A RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR?
    1. PHILIP KNIGHT’S STORY
    2. WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS . . .
    3. HATCHING A BUSINESS WHILE YOU KEEP YOUR DAY JOB
    4. THE MYTH OF THE “ENTREPRENEURIAL TYPE”
  9. CHAPTER 2 THE FIRST QUESTION YOU MUST BE ABLE TO ANSWER
    1. RULE NUMBER ONE OF RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    2. YOUR INITIAL CHALLENGE: GENERATING POSITIVE CASH FLOW
    3. EDUCATING YOURSELF ABOUT BUSINESS
  10. CHAPTER 3 WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR
    1. THE RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR IS A SMART ENTREPRENEUR
    2. THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR BUSINESS: SIX STRATEGIC CHOICES YOU HAVE TO MAKE AT THE VERY BEGINNING
    3. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
  11. CHAPTER 4 HATCHING THE NEW BUSINESS: OVERCOMING FEAR AND TAKING ACTION
    1. YOUR FIRST THREE ACTION STEPS
    2. HOW DO YOU FIND A MENTOR?
    3. PUTTING FEAR ON YOUR SIDE
  12. CHAPTER 5 THE MAGIC HAPPENS WHEN YOU HIRE SUPERSTARS
    1. RECOGNIZING SUPERSTAR POTENTIAL
    2. KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
    3. HOW DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE?
    4. THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A SUPERSTAR
    5. HOW TO STRUCTURE A SUPERSTAR ORGANIZATION
    6. THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU WILL EVER MAKE
  13. CHAPTER 6 MASTERING THE ART OF BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS
    1. THE RELUCTANT ENTREPRENEUR’S GUIDE TO MAKING FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
    2. 12 WAYS TO GET PEOPLE TO WANT TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU
    3. A SIMPLE TRICK THAT WILL MAKE IMPORTANT PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU
    4. HOW TO GET OTHERS TO TELL YOU THEIR MOST VALUABLE SUCCESS SECRETS— A TECHNIQUE I LEARNED FROM A SELF-MADE MULTIMILLIONAIRE
    5. NEVER PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A CONNECTION THAT CAN DO YOU SOME GOOD
    6. SEEK OUT MUTUALLY-BENEFICIAL PARTNERSHIPS
    7. IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH TO MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL YOUR IMPORTANT CONTACTS—EVEN HUNDREDS OF THEM
  14. CHAPTER 7 HOW TO BECOME A MARKETING GENIUS
    1. EVERY BUSINESS IS ABOUT THE SELLING
    2. THE BEAUTY OF DIRECT MARKETING
    3. MASTERING THE ART OF PERSUASION
    4. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS
    5. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEATURES AND BENEFITS
    6. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BENEFITS AND DEEPER BENEFITS
    7. THE USP: MAKING YOUR PRODUCT STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION
    8. HOW TO USE YOUR USP TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
    9. RESIST THE URGE TO TRY SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
    10. SHORT-TERM RESULTS VERSUS LONG-TERM PROFITS
  15. CHAPTER 8 MAINTAINING CONTROL OF YOUR GROWING BUSINESS
    1. PUSHING HARD FOR PROFITS
    2. YOU CAN NEVER, EVER STOP PUSHING ON EVERY SINGLE FRONT
    3. HOW MUCH OF YOUR PROFITS SHOULD GO INTO YOUR POCKET—AND HOW MUCH SHOULD GO BACK INTO YOUR BUSINESS?
    4. WHY YOU SHOULD IGNORE THE “EXPERTS” AND DETERMINE YOUR OWN COMPENSATION
    5. CREATE A CULTURE THAT RESPECTS MONEY
    6. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE NUMBERS
    7. NEVER LOSE YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE
    8. HOW TIFFANY & CO. LOST THEIR EDGE— AND FOUND IT AGAIN
    9. SET HIGH STANDARDS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE—AND MAKE SURE THEY STAY HIGH
    10. A SUCCESS TRAP YOU DON’T HAVE TO FALL INTO
  16. CHAPTER 9 LEADERSHIP: KEEPING YOUR VISION ALIVE
    1. EFFECTIVE LEADERS MOTIVATE OTHERS TO DO GREAT WORK
    2. EFFECTIVE LEADERS FOCUS ON WORK, NOT POLITICS
    3. EFFECTIVE LEADERS UNDERSTAND THAT COMPETITION HAS ITS PLACE IN BUSINESS, BUT IT IS NOT NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS COOPERATION AND SHARING
    4. EFFECTIVE LEADERS CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS
    5. EFFECTIVE LEADERS MAKE FAST DECISIONS
    6. EFFECTIVE LEADERS KNOW HOW TO GET SUPPORT FOR THEIR IDEAS
    7. EFFECTIVE LEADERS KNOW HOW TO DELEGATE
    8. EFFECTIVE LEADERS DO NOT MICROMANAGE
    9. EFFECTIVE LEADERS CREATE A CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
    10. EFFECTIVE LEADERS UNDERSTAND THAT TEAMWORK DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK
    11. EFFECTIVE LEADERS ARE GOOD COMMUNICATORS
    12. EFFECTIVE LEADERS MAKE EVERY MEETING WORK FOR THEM
    13. EFFECTIVE LEADERS KNOW HOW TO NEGOTIATE
    14. EFFECTIVE LEADERS ARE CONSIDERATE
    15. EFFECTIVE LEADERS DON’T BECOME BUDDIES WITH THEIR EMPLOYEES
    16. EFFECTIVE LEADERS SOMETIMES ZIG WHEN OTHERS ZAG
  17. CHAPTER 10 BUILD YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A GO-CART
    1. BUILDING THE GO-CART, STEP BY STEP
    2. CONCLUSION
  18. APPENDIX
    1. DO YOU NEED THE MINDSET OF A CHAMPION TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS?
    2. HOW TO USE HUMOR IN BUSINESS
    3. MUST YOU BE CUTTHROAT TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS?
    4. THE UNEXPECTED SIDE EFFECTS OF MAKING MONEY (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM)
    5. THE TIME-MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR ME
  19. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  20. INDEX