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There is an epidemic of unhappiness in the American workplace. A full 70 percent of workers in the United States report that they are disengaged from their jobs. When asked, "Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?" only 20 percent of nearly 2 million employees said yes. It is no wonder that 56 percent of all Americans dream of starting their own business. So why don't they do so? Because starting one's own business is seen as difficult, expensive, and ...
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There is an epidemic of unhappiness in the American workplace. A full 70 percent of workers in the United States report that they are disengaged from their jobs. When asked, "Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?" only 20 percent of nearly 2 million employees said yes. It is no wonder that 56 percent of all Americans dream of starting their own business. So why don't they do so? Because starting one's own business is seen as difficult, expensive, and risky.
In this extraordinary book, successful Go It Alone! entrepreneur Bruce Judson explains that the conventional wisdom about starting your own business is stunningly wrong. Using the leverage of technology — e-mail, the World Wide Web, and the remarkable array of off-the-shelf business services now available — it is dramatically easier to start your own business. Magnified by these new services, it is also possible to create, for the first time, a highly focused business.
Bruce Judson shows you the practical steps that will allow nearly any individual to create a business, often using job skills that seem to require an entire corporation for support. It is no longer necessary to spend time on the tasks that don't add value. It is now possible to stay small but reap big profits. Go-it-alone businesses allow the individual the freedom to concentrate on their greatest skills. After reading this book, your motto will be "Do What You Do Best, Let Others Do the Rest."
A fundamentally new class of entrepreneur is emerging: the go-it-alone entrepreneur. Businesses run by these entrepreneurs are characterized by three defining criteria:
To the founder or founders, a go-it-alone enterprise is small only in the numbers of workers it employs. It's designed to generate substantial financial returns and to play a sizable role in the business world.
The implications of these defining criteria are significant. When a business starts with a minimal investment, the enterprise must focus on generating cash from the outset. This, in turn, suggests that the business is able to swiftly develop a paying customer base. Unlike many start-ups, go-it-alone businesses don't have a gestation period where dedicated, full-time employees spend months developing plans and products.
Additionally, go-it-alone business is not simply a fancy term for a free agent or a freelancer. These businesses provide their founders with far more stability than freelance work and more personal rewards than franchising. These entrepreneurs are building a substantial asset. They have control of their own destiny. In difficult economic times, free agents and freelancers are typically in the extraordinarily frustrating position of waiting for the phone to ring. In contrast, go-it-alone entrepreneurs always a have focus for their energies and an asset that will provide them with an income stream.
Moreover, freelancers, free agents, and many small-business owners typically work on an hourly or daily rate, or they charge by the job. In all of these cases, they depend entirely on what they can produce as individuals, and their earnings are tied to the clock. They have not established a business system that allows them to magnify or leverage their skills. As a consequence, their earnings are inherently limited. Go-it-alone businesses don't suffer from this income constraint.
It's equally important to recognize that go-it-alone businesses can be started by almost anyone working in almost any sector of the economy:
Successful go-it-alone businesses are not haphazard undertakings. If a go-it-alone business were a house, we would say that it was built on a well-constructed foundation, using a blueprint that involves several core engineering ideas. The ideas that form this foundation are discussed next.
The Idea of Personal Leverage
Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world.
Achieving leverage and the amplification of your skills is the keystone to becoming a successful go-it-alone entrepreneur. A Roman arch cannot exist without its keystone. Similarly, an entrepreneur can turn his or her unique skills into a keystone that holds together a variety of outsourced services. Thus, a substantial go-it-alone business depends on the effective application of leverage and extreme outsourcing. The impact of one or a few people's talents can now be magnified through the combination of these two factors to an extent that was inconceivable even a few short years ago.
One simple example of the kind of leverage that exists today is generally evident in any Internet-based retailing effort:
That is not to suggest that Internet retailing is always a good business or even that it is an easy business. In fact, it can be an intensely competitive and often difficult business. The point is that in the past, it was not possible for a single person without access to capital to even consider participating in the business arena. Until recently, you either had to risk a great deal of money and time -- if you could afford both -- to start your own retail business or had to remain an employee somewhere. Today, the cost and time involved in becoming your own boss has decreased dramatically ...
Excerpted from Go It Alone! by Bruce Judson Copyright © 2005 by Bruce Judson.
Excerpted by permission.
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Posted December 18, 2009
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Posted February 6, 2012
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