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“Can you recommend me a book for…?”
“What are you reading now?”
“What are your favorite books?”
I get asked a lot about these kinds of questions, and as an avid reader and lover of books, I’m always happy to stick with them.
I would also encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you as much as compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; The more you know, the more you can do; The more you can do, the higher your chances of success.
On the flip side, I also think there is little hope for people who aren’t permanent learners. Life is so complicated and chaotic, it slowly stifles and devours the zombies and the ignorant.
So, if you are a book lover and looking for good reads, or if you want to get used to reading, then this book club is for you.
The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book I particularly liked, why I liked it, and several takeaways from it.
I’ll also keep things short and nice so you can determine if the book is likely right up your alley.
If you’ve already read a book that I recommend or have a recommendation of your own to share, don’t be shy! Drop a comment below and let me – and the rest of our “book clubs” – find out!
Well, let’s move on to the featured book: Ready, fire, aim by Michael Masterson.
This is one of the best business books I’ve read and I recommend it regularly when people ask me about the best 3-5 business books that have helped me a lot as an entrepreneur.
Ready, fire, aim Filled with insightful, actionable advice for small businesses of all sizes, ranging from day one to $100 million in annual revenue, written by someone who has not only succeeded in business, but has done so many times (anyone can get lucky once). Single, but repeated successes are an appreciation of skill).
I enjoyed the way this book is organized as well. Rather than talking broadly about important and effective business practices, Masterson begins by sharing your blueprint with your first million dollars in sales—”phase one,” as he calls it. Next, it moves on to go from $1 million to $10 million in annual revenue (Phase Two), followed by $10 to $50 Million (Phase III), and finally, $50 Million to $100 Million and beyond (Phase IV).
This approach to entrepreneurship education makes a lot of sense to me because the problems, challenges and opportunities change significantly as the business grows, and what made you reach $1 million in revenue probably won’t be enough to get to $10 million, and what gets you probably won’t get you $50 million or More.
For example, in the first stage – from zero to a million dollars in revenue – your primary focus should be salesAnd, specifically, knowing how to sell your product or service well enough to reach a critical mass of customers that you can continue to sell to. If you can’t do that, nothing else matters. Your business will eventually fail.
Accordingly, the first section of Ready, fire, aim He dedicates nearly 70 pages to effective selling, and gets my leave. If you follow the advice that Masteron gives you will Guaranteed sales. The only question would be how much.
I also appreciate the small amount of padding this book has. Too many factual books are long essays – some big ideas filled with pages of anecdotes and sometimes meaningless spins – interesting – but – otherwise – meaningless – but not Ready, fire, aim. It’s the polar opposite, in fact, because a lot of the 356 pages of content are a steak, not a sizzle.
Lots of material will also be useful for people who don’t own a business but are driving growth in other people’s companies. If your job, for example, is to acquire customers or create new products or services to sell to existing customers, then this book is for you.
Let’s get to the takeaway.
My Five Fast Food From Ready, fire, aim
“If you’re opening a restaurant, you have to get the product right from the start. So, too, if you’re manufacturing cars. But for most businesses, it suffices that the product and customer service are fine at first. It can be mastered a little later, after you get on comments from your customers.
When you’re looking to start a business or launch a new product or service, your first goal should be to check if you can actually offer something that people will buy, love, and recommend. Only after you prove it can you start thinking about increasing the demand for your product or service through marketing, advertising and the like.
Furthermore, you want to check the value of your creation as quickly and inexpensively as possible so that you can cancel it and try something else if it doesn’t come true.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs and product managers don’t think this way. Instead, they only focus on what that they They would or just want to make it, and then invest a lot of time, money and energy creating a “perfect” prototype only to discover that very few people actually want it or like it. This error alone explains why so many companies fail, and by avoiding it, you can greatly increase your chances of success.
So, the lesson is this: getting your product or service right is important, but not at the beginning (except in the rare cases where you actually are) usually the best opening step is to get ‘good enough’ copy to market as quickly as possible. It can and start to sell to the kinds of early adopters who feel the need and who are more tolerant of mistakes and willing to share feedback from the average consumer.
“What you’re looking for is an idea that will really get you excited — an idea that you feel might take over the market and create a buying frenzy. If you feel that way, your success isn’t guaranteed, but your chances are much better than if you weren’t excited.”
This mindset has served me well in the areas of product creation and marketing. Invariably, my most successful books, supplements, and marketing initiatives have come from ideas that have excited me for their potential, applicability, and potential for success.
If you feel like something could be a hack, it may or may not be, but if it looks boring, it will almost certainly weaken when you implement it.
Thus, when I think about the next book to write, the product to create, or the marketing project to invest time and money in, I brainstorm so that I have at least a few exciting options. Then, I put it aside for at least a few days, take my temperature again, and remove anything I’m no longer excited about. Then, I discuss what’s left with a few smart businessmen to get their ideas, and finally, decide what to move forward and which ones will be tabled or eliminated altogether.
It is worth noting that the feasibility of this strategy rests on the quality of your creative, marketing and business instincts, which in turn are guided by your knowledge and experience. You can hone your intuition through experience alone, but this is long, hard and often painful work that not many people can stay at. A more effective (and fun) way to sharpen your judgment is to learn – reading books like Ready, fire, aimListen to podcasts, lectures, etc.
1. Ask yourself how much it will cost to turn an idea into reality. Take that number and multiply it.
2. Find out how many units you will sell (or how much extra cash you will bring in), and cut that number in half.
“If the net result of doubling your expected costs and halving your expected returns still looks like you have a profitable venture, go ahead. If it looks marginal or negative, drop it and move on to the next new idea.”
No matter how precise you try to be, an accurate estimate of the time and money required to complete tasks or projects of significant complexity is challenging. There is an old saying known as Hofstadter’s Law that says “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”, and if you accept this as true and act accordingly, you can save a lot of time, money and hairline.
This advice from Masterson helps. When evaluating the viability of a product or service, even if it’s your first, work out a reasonable estimate of how much time and money it will take to bring it to market, double it, and then create a conservative sales forecast based on good empirical data and halve it. Continue the project only if the numbers are good under these assumptions.
This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way many times in building my own business. Early on, I committed to at least a few failed (and expensive) product development and marketing initiatives that wouldn’t have passed that test, and recently, my biggest gains have come from undertakings that were still promising when viewed through jade-colored glasses.
“My argument, in one sentence, is that getting things started quickly is more important than planning them out perfectly.”
In many sports activities, the only physical factor that will most affect your ability to perform is not how strong you are, but how much you are Energy You can generate – how quickly you can produce powerful movements of your body.
Work is similar. Faster is always better. Yes, you need to be able to think strategically and make clear, workable, and feasible plans that span months and even years, but you also need to be able to turn on high alert and quickly implement your plans before their windows. Closing an opportunity due to shifts in circumstances, competition, or otherwise.
As Napoleon said, “You must be slow in deliberation and quick in execution.”
Moreover, boldness and speed encourage, delight and empower us. They build morale, create a sense of vitality, attract attention and admiration. They are also effective tools to use against opponents and enemies to put them in their wake and force them to act reactive rather than act proactively.
“If you want to develop a business that keeps growing, don’t spend all of your time trying to lower your product costs. Spend a good deal of time asking, ‘How can we improve this?'”
One of the best ways to make a successful business more successful is to program incremental improvements to its products and services, even when there is no evidence that customers are unhappy.
How often should you do this? Masterson says you should improve your products as much as you can, and I think that’s good advice.
That’s why Legion’s Scientific Advisory Board is always involved in upgrading our existing products, including best-selling products that receive great reviews like pulseAnd the Phoenix, And the victory. These constant upgrades accomplish several things: they give me something new to advertise (and new people love), they make customers happier and more like the quality of the products (which helps stimulate more word of mouth), and they make people feel closer to the business.
This is also why I’ve released multiple versions of many of my fitness books over the years and have spent a lot of time trying to make each new iteration so much better than the previous one. This strategy not only creates a better first impression on new readers, but also pleases many existing readers who can upgrade their e-books and audiobooks to the latest version for free.
Did you read Ready, fire, aim? What do you think? Do you have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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