As a life-long sailor, David relates his personal experiences-in business and in life to the challenges of growing a business. While you can beat your way against the wind, successful entrepreneurs learn to harness their efforts to seamlessly blow them in the direction they want to go. Spend one hour reading Wind In Your Sails and you will always have three ideas that will accelerate your business in the next 90 days.
What are you waiting for?
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Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Growth by David J. Greer When I picked up a copy of David J. Greer’s book, Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Growth, I was immediately impressed. Everyone says to be successful you have to read more. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Reading will not produce results. David Greer gets that. He says, “Learning and thinking are fabulous, but action is what produces results.” This book is an action book. Judging by the Table of Contents, this book covers every aspect of an entrepreneur’s life from home to the board room. Each chapter is like a storyboard of experiences, guidance through practical solutions, then a summary for readers to reflect on lessons learned, concluding with steps to Take Action Now. In his introduction, David gives his readers a clear view of what to expect from this book: leadership, strategy, marketing, sales, and concrete actions to create sustainable change so your business prospers. After 35 years as a successful entrepreneur, you would expect to learn from a master, and this book will not disappoint. Please remember that this is a book review, not the entire book, and as such I share highlights of the parts that spoke loudest to me, but if you are to learn from the master, you’ll want your own full copy of the book, Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Growth. David Greer presents his entire book as 10 strategies that comprise the life and absorb the attention of every entrepreneur. The book is a comprehensive presentation told through the analogies of a seasoned sailor and stories of real people and real businesses. Its authenticity is unmistakable as you will come to understand through your reading experience. Entrepreneur Strategy – Did you know leaders set the tone for the organization? In this chapter learn which leadership skills will make you a leader others want to follow. Corporate Strategy – Culture is not a buzz word. Culture is to your business what character is to leadership. You need a clear vision of why you do what you do and you need to articulate that to your organization. Innovation Strategy – Learn to innovate, and while you’re learning, be proactive about your brand and intellectual property. This chapter will take you through the process. Marketing Strategy – What is your product? What is its value to your customers? Marketing success is more than a goal. It’s a plan that encompasses identifying different types of customers and determining pain points so you can market to resolve their pain points. You’ll want to read the full chapter and use the Take Action Now steps to get the full benefit of how to design a marketing strategy that gets results. Sales Strategy – Do you have a sales model? Modern economics proves that it’s the customer that controls the purchases process. You need a sales channel for each of your markets that aligns with how customers want to purchase. It’s a new game for businesses. Product Strategy – This is my favorite quote from this chapter. “A working prototype is not a product.” In my own experience I have been on the user end of the spectrum after a product was purchased based on the ‘working model’. If you develop products or if you improve products, you will derive indispensable benefit from following the advice in this chapter. People Strategy – People first. Of course, we all know that’s the politically correct thing to display on your marquee and in your lobby, but is that really your strategy? Your people strategy will encourage people to bloom, you will invest in talent, and your organization will be collaborative and focused. There are some specific takeaways from this chapter that have broad implications for ways you can assure your organization is attracting top talent and putting people first. Operational Strategy – Here’s the skinny on this strategy. In this chapter David introduces the term KPI – Key Performance Indicators. This is a technique widely used by businesses to measure what is working and what is not. Whether you use KPIs or some other system, you need a business plan, a way to measure against the plan, then make sure you are delivering what your prospects, customers, and employees expect – on time and with quality. Financial Strategy – Do we really have to talk about this? If you’re in business, you need to know how you will fund it and how you will make a profit. Learn to analyze the numbers and what they mean. You need cash flow and working capital. You also need a plan so you can constantly monitor financial performance against the plan. Take Action Now contains the pointers you need to know where you are financially all the time. Exit Strategy – Believe it or not, businesses are often created with intent to sell. In fact, you might be thinking of selling while you are forming your company. Here’s just one of the key pieces of advice you’re find in this chapter, “Create a data vault of critical documents buyers need in order to do their due diligence.” Find even more advice about planning for exit when you read the whole book. Grow Now – Changes in your own thinking lead to doing things in new ways and opening limitless potential for amazing results. David says, “You, the entrepreneur, are the single biggest impediment and advantage to the future of your business and your life.” Take the first step. The future is now. What are you waiting for?