Read an Excerpt
Why am I writing this book? Because you need it. That may sound arrogant, but it’s true. I’ve spent decades learning—some-times the hard way—what really makes small businesses work. a started my first business when I was 15 years old, and I have always been intrigued by the myriad opportunities there are to use your own resources to make money.
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur. Not that everything I’ve done has been a success, but fortunately I’ve had more successes than fail-ures. And while it is always nice to bask in the glow of my successes,
I’ve definitely learned more from my missteps.
I’ve also spoken with countless entrepreneurs around the world a hearing about and learning from their problems and stories. I’ve delivered keynote speeches and seminars to hundreds of thousands of people with small businesses, and I have listened to their feedback.
I’ve taught college-level entrepreneurship courses, and many of my students have gone on to build successful companies. And as a journalist, I’ve covered countless business conferences and have reported on a plethora of topics related to operating a small business in this country. As a media expert on small-business operations,
I’ve taken on hundreds of topics and answered hundreds of viewer questions. Suffice it to say, I’ve seen, heard, and experienced a lot a whether directly or through others. My goal in this book is to leverage that experience to save you time, effort, resources, and aggravation as you start up your own business.
In the pages that follow, I give you the realities of what it takes to start and grow a successful small business—especially in today’s eco-nomic environment. There are millions of people starting businesses all the time, and millions more who are dreaming about becoming their own boss. All of them have talents, skills, and ideas;
but without understanding certain fundamental business principles a their chances of being among the failed-business-venture statistics are high.
Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, and I acknowledge that sometimes someone simply gets lucky in business; but most entre-preneurs have to work extremely hard. And part of that hard work is seeing past the romantic vision of launching your small business and focusing on the cold, hard reality of what it takes to build a business. The bottom line is: What you don’t know will hurt you.
The recent recession has transformed the long-established business paradigm more dramatically than at any other time since perhaps the Industrial Revolution, which turned traditional employment on its ear. I submit that we are entering a new era in which the majority of Americans will either own a small business or work for one. Large companies will always exist, but not on the grand pre-recession scale. Having learned to do more with less, many big firms will outsource work when it is needed. And who will do that work? It could be you, as an independent worker or operating your own small business.