The Entrepreneur's Paradox: And How to Overcome the 16 Pitfalls Along the Startup Journey

The Entrepreneur's Paradox: And How to Overcome the 16 Pitfalls Along the Startup Journey

by Curtis Morley


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Conquer the 16 Pitfalls That Can Block Startup Company Success

"…shows prospective business men and women how to reach their goals while creating a launchpad for a business" ―Ryne Williams, Daily Herald

Discover the 16 keys to success for entrepreneurs starting a small business.

What is the “Entrepreneur’s Paradox”? Author Curtis Morley coined a term that identifies the 16 pitfalls that many entrepreneurs fall into. He calls it the “Entrepreneur’s Paradox”. Morley is an educator, thought leader, patent holder, and innovator. He is also a 5x Entrepreneur (achieving $5 in revenue for every dollar spent on marketing, advertising, sales, and any other growth expenses) who has actually produced 10x startup results. Morley explains that the exact qualities that aid an individual in founding a startup company (brilliance and expertise) are what prevent them from realizing expected success. What starts out as freedom and financial independence turns into grueling hours, stress and bills, and ultimately failure. This is the paradox that is entrepreneurship.

Understanding the “Entrepreneur’s Paradox” may be your key to success. Morley is here to show startup businesspersons how to achieve the golden rule of successful entrepreneurs—5x results. By teaching and coaching clients on the 16 pitfalls faced by all startups, he has promoted entrepreneurship development in multiple industries, sharpened entrepreneurial skills, and revealed the keys to superior, “next-level growth”. Morley’s guidebook contains all you need to conquer the Entrepreneur’s Paradox and put yourself on a defined pathway to business success.

Read The Entrepreneur’s Paradox and understand the 16 pitfalls that can block entrepreneurial success, including:

  • Climbing without a map
  • Building not selling
  • Losing sight of culture

Learned from books like The E-Myth Revisited, Traction, The One Thing, The 4-Hour Workweek, or Execution? Then The Entrepreneur’s Paradox is a must read!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642504125
Publisher: Mango Media
Publication date: 03/16/2021
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 1,000,333
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Curtis Morley is a 5x entrepreneur, educator, thought leader, patent holder, and innovator. He is the Founder and CEO of The Entrepreneur’s Paradox and is the author of the book with the same name. Curtis is a sought-after speaker and has presented at events around the globe including Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and China. He has coached entrepreneurs in multiple industries and verticals. He has a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve next-level growth and results. Curtis is also an owner in eLearning Brothers and helped the company achieve 10x growth in the past five years, acquiring 96 of the Fortune 100 as clients and becoming the 3rd largest brand in eLearning. He has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year, 40 under 40, Hot 100, and Inc. 500/5000 six times including Inc. Hall of Fame award. Curtis helped eLearning Brothers to become the #1 fastest growing company in the Silicon Slopes in 2014 and has been honored to be on the fastest-growing list ever since. Prior to eLearning Brothers, Curtis also served as head of Corporate and Global Marketing for FranklinCovey.

Table of Contents

Introduction 16

Why This Book? 16

The Paradox 20

Who This Book Is For (And Not For) 21

The Entrepreneur's Paradox 23

Entrepreneur's Island 26

Draining the Swamp 28

A New Identity 30

The Entrepreneur's Paradox: Apply the Principle 33

Pitfall 1 Seeing the Swamp and Not the Mountains 36

Begin with the End in Mind by Picking Your Mountain Range 37

The Speed of Business 39

The Three Mountain Ranges 41

Pick Your Destination: What Is Your "End in Mind"? 46

Overcoming Pitfall 1 Move Past the Swamp and Pick Your Mountain 48

Pitfall 2 Climbing Without a Map 50

Not Just a Mountain, But a Path 51

Dream Big Huge 52

From Dreams to Goals 53

Overcoming Pitfall 2 Create the Map/Make the Plan 57

Pitfall 3 Pulling a Goal Out of Thin Air 59

The Reverse Engineering Critical Questions 60

Perform a Reality Check 64

Don't Pull Numbers Out of Thin Air 69

Visualize the Goal 70

Overcoming Pitfall 3 Reverse Engineer the Goal 71

Pitfall 4 Trusting Your Fears 73

The One Letter That Changes Fear into Power 76

The "What Is" Process for Overcoming Fear 81

Fear and the Brain 91

What If Your Fear Becomes a Reality? 92

Overcoming Pitfall 4 Doubt Your Doubts 93

Pitfall 5 Being Frozen by Imposter Syndrome 94

All Entrepreneurs Are Imposters-and That's Okay 96

The Seven Imposter Types 98

Forget the Label and Keep Climbing 99

The Power of Self-Belief 101

Overcoming Pitfall 5 Embrace Your Reality 102

Pitfall 6 Wearing All the Hats 104

The Accountant 105

The Lawyer 106

The Assistant 107

HR Outsourcing 107

Humans Aren't the Only Ones Who Wear Hats 108

Your Brain Has Room for Only One Hat at a Time 108

Overcoming Pitfall 6 Hand Out the Hats 110

Pitfall 7 Traveling Alone 112

Find Fellow Travelers (Other Entrepreneurs) 113

Hire Porters (Team Members) 115

Enlist a Guide (Coach or Mentor) 116

Mentor Versus Coach 120

It's Anything but Lonely at the Top 120

Overcoming Pitfall 7 Travel with Friends 121

Pitfall 8 Not Stepping Up as a Leader 125

The Six Jobs of an Entrepreneurial Leader 129

Job 1 See the Top of the Mountain and Uncover the Epic Adventure 129

Job 2 Inspire Others to Believe in Themselves and Their Ability to Contribute to This Epic Journey 131

Job 3 Clear the Path for Success 132

Job 4 Lead by Example and Take the First Step 134

Job 5 Foster Innovation 134

Job 6 Own Your Mistakes and Successes 135

Overcoming Pitfall 8 Become the Leader 136

Pitfall 9 Entrepreneurial Neglect 138

Sleep 139

Exercise 144

Diet 147

Mental Health 147

Family and Social 148

Financial 148

Fun 149

The Power Hour 150

Prayer/Meditation 151

Go for a Run, Swim, or Ride 151

Review Your Daily Plan 151

Eat a Healthy Breakfast 154

Visualize Your Mountain in Vivid Detail 154

Recite Affirmations Audibly 154

Start Your Day with Gratitude 155

Write a Thank-You Card for a Team Member 155

Evening Peace Plan 155

Tuck the Kids in Bed or Spend Time Connecting with a Loved One 156

Review Appointments for Tomorrow 156

Journal About Your Day 156

Engage in a Relaxing and Creative Hobby like Guitar or Drawing 157

Pray/Meditate 157

Leave Your Phone Outside Your Bedroom and Sleep Peacefully 157

When Life Happens 157

Overcoming Pitfall 9 Protect the Asset (You) 158

Pitfall 10 No Business Acumen 160

Key Performance Indicators 163

Knowing the Right KPls to Track 164

Cash Flow 166

Why Cash Flow Is Important 167

Sales Cycle 168

Why Sales Cycle Is Important 170

Year-over-Year Trends 170

Why Trends Are Important 173

Growth Rate 173

Why Growth Rate Is Important 175

Revenue, Profitability, Profit Margin, and EBITDA 176

Why EBITDA Is Important 181

Conversion Rate (Close Ratio) 181

Why Conversion Rate Is Important 182

Pricing 183

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) 185

Why Customer Acquisition Costs Are Important 185

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or LTV) 185

Why Customer Lifetime Value Is Important 187

CLTV:CAC Ratio 188

Why the CLTVCAC Ratio Is Important 188

Churn Rate (Customer Retention/Attrition) 189

Why Churn Rate Is Important 190

Customer Satisfaction (CSat) 190

Why CSat Is Important 191

Dashboards 191

Lead and Lag Measure 193

Overcoming Pitfall 10 Develop Business Acumen 196

Pitfall 11 Breaking the Promise 198

The Promise 198

Survivorship Bias 201

Talk with Former Customers 204

Overcoming Pitfall 11 Keep Your Promise 206

Pitfall 12 Building Not Selling 207

Marketing 212

Marketing Quick Wins in Building Your Funnel 218

Top of the Funnel 218

Middle of the Funnel 220

Bottom of the Funnel 220

Sales 221

Strategy 224

Go Big or Go Home 225

Overcoming Pitfall 12 Drive Revenue 228

Pitfall 13 A Thousand Great Ideas 230

One Idea at a Time 235

A Simple Solution 236

Overcoming Pitfall 13 Laser Focus 237

Pitfall 14 Playing the Victim 238

No Excuses 241

Finding Serenity above the Storm 246

Eustress Versus Distress 248

Fight-or-Flight vs. Thrill-and-Skill 251

Change Your Language to Change Your Brain 251

Overcoming Pitfall 14 Get Excited About Challenges 254

Pitfall 15 Lacking Structure 256

Ownership Structure 257

Offering Ownership Is a Taxable Event 258

Build a "Top of the Mountain" Org Chart 259

Use Vesting and Employee Stock Options 259

Create a Capitalization Table 259

Determine a Distribution Structure 261

Leadership Structure 261

Legal Structure 263

Board Structure 268

Overcoming Pitfall 15 Build a Solid Foundation 270

Pitfall 16 Losing Sight of Culture 272

The Meaning of Culture 273

Vision and Purpose 275

Contribution 275

Safety 276

Gratitude/Respect 277

Growth 278

Communication 279

Overcoming Pitfall 16 Nurture Culture 280

Conclusion 281

References 283

Resources 287

About the Author 293

About Entrepreneur's Paradox 295

Suggested Reading List for Entrepreneurs 297

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“His book shows prospective business men and women how to reach their goals while creating a launchpad for a business.”
Daily Herald

“This is one of the more engaging startup books I’ve read. It teaches principles of life as an entrepreneur in an enjoyable way that reaches the brain and heart simultaneously. The principles are core to startup success and are taught in a way that sticks.”

—Carine S. Clark, founding member of Silicon Slopes and CEO

The Entrepreneur’s Paradox is the playbook for startup success. Grab this book and start winning.”

—Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey and coauthor of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller The 4 Disciplines of Execution

“The world needs entrepreneurs. And it needs the businesses these entrepreneurs create to flourish! Curtis Morley has done an outstanding job outlining the critical leadership and management requirements for all business leaders, especially those who have created and are running their own organizations. Filled with both tactical and strategic wisdom, this is a must-read!”

—Shawn D. Moon, Wall Street Journal bestselling author and CEO of Zerorez

The Entrepreneur’s Paradox is an essential book for taking your startup to the next level. Curtis Morley not only knows the path but has walked it many times.”

—Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth of Multitasking

“The principles taught in this book have been invaluable as I’ve been building my company, Acanela Expeditions. They have helped me personally develop the entrepreneurial skills needed to rise to the challenge of transforming myself into not only a successful entrepreneur, but also a successful leader. In this book you will read stories of climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. I was there with Curtis as we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and he has guided me as I have climbed the mountain of startup success. Building a successful company is similar in difficulty and also in reward. This is the guidebook on making it to the top of your own entrepreneurial mountain. You want to be a successful entrepreneur? Do it the smart and fast way and break free of the Paradox!”

—Kylie Chenn, founder and CEO of Acanella Expeditions

“Working with Curtis led to several quick epiphanies, brilliantly illuminating better and faster ways to create explosive growth. I doubled my business in one year’s time using these principles and positioned my company perfectly for acquisition shortly thereafter.”

—Scott Severe, CEO of ClientRunner Software

“They don’t teach these principles in business school. These lessons can only come from the entrepreneurial book of life. Curtis has written the definitive playbook on how to win at the startup game.”

—Kevin Cope, CEO and founder of Business Acumen and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Seeing the Big Picture

“Curtis, I’m proud of you. You’re bold, courageous even. You’ve written a powerful book that can, and will, change the life of anyone who reads it. Thank you for your abundant spirit that yearns to help others succeed. If you’re a fellow traveler along the entrepreneurial path, this book is written for you. The Entrepreneur’s Paradox is a reflection of Curtis’s experiences run through the crucible of the real world. Read this book, apply the principles, and you’ll find success in any business endeavor.”

—Scott J. Miller, bestselling author of Management Mess to Leadership Success and Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey

“Curtis knows entrepreneurship. He openly shares his experiences and mistakes so you don’t have to make them. This book is real! You won’t be able to read it without exploring your soul and growing as an entrepreneur.”

—David Horsager, CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute and bestselling author

“Curtis Morley has the unique gift of translating life experience into actionable steps to success. The Entrepreneur’s Paradox is a bold look into the principles and patterns behind scaling any startup. This book is an arrow aimed straight towards triumph.”

—James Clarke, CEO and founder of Clarke Capital Partners

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