Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own

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Overview

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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Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own

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Overview

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."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060731144
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/13/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 972,151
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Judson is a senior faculty fellow at the Yale School of Management. An entrepreneur and lawyer, Judson holds advanced degrees from Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College. He is the author of Go It Alone! and Netmarketing, and the coauthor of Hyperwars. In 2008 he both predicted and hedged against the market crash, beating the investment results of virtually every mutual fund and hedge fund.

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Read an Excerpt

Go It Alone!

The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own
By Bruce Judson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Bruce Judson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060731141

Chapter One

Overview: The New Go-It-Alone Business

The Emergence of the Go-It-Alone Entrepreneur

A fundamentally new class of entrepreneur is emerging: the go-it-alone entrepreneur. Businesses run by these entrepreneurs are characterized by three defining criteria:

  • The business is started with a minimal investment, and the founder or founders retain full ownership and control of the enterprise.
  • The business is run entirely by a small number of people, generally from one to six.
  • The founder does not set out to create a small business. He or she is working from the premise that the business has unlimited revenue potential.

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:

  • Go-it-alone businesses are created by all types of people. They are not limited to young people with nothing to lose, masters of the Internet, or sophisticated former corporate executives. They include women, former corporate employees of all kinds, seniors starting newly independent careers, people of all nationalities, stay-at-home parents who are rejoining the workforce, and individuals of all types and all ages who are pursuing their passion, realizing greater financial rewards, and achieving far greater control of their lives.

  • Go-it-alone enterprises create a wide range of products and services for businesses and consumers, as demonstrated by the examples and case studies in this book.

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.
-- Archimedes

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:

  • In the past, some of the functions required of any potential store proprietor included renting physical space, designing and furnishing the store, staffing the store during all hours of operations, and attracting walk-in traffic to the store through local advertising and other means. All of these activities took time, a substantial upfront cash investment, and multiple employees--leading to a substantial start-up cost and substantial operating expenses.

  • In contrast, powerful, easy-to-use tools now make it possible for anyone with an idea for a store in the online world to get up and going at almost no cost -- in a matter of hours. The Yahoo! Store, for example, typically charges under $100 per month and provides a full e-commerce suite. In the virtual world, unlike the physical world, stores are generally leased on a month-to-month basis: No large financial commitment to a multiyear lease is required.

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 ...

Continues...


Excerpted from Go It Alone! by Bruce Judson Copyright © 2005 by Bruce Judson.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Jargon at its finest

    I was recommended this book by a MBA course. I've come to find it is a lot of jargon and redundancy. The writer constantly repeats himself, tries to sell you other books and really provides no help to entrepreneurs, he mentions outsourcing a million times, yet no real solid advice. I would not buy this book save your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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