Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Book Notes - The $100 Startup

This blueprint to freedom is fully customizable and highly actionable.

Follow your passion model
Low startup cost
At least $50,000 in income
No special skills
Full financial disclosure
Fewer than five employees

passion and what others care about collide

Skill Transformation
To succeed in a business project, it helps to think carefully about all the skills you have that could be helpful to others and particularly about the combination of those skills.

The Magic Formula
(Passion or skill) + (problem + marketplace) = opportunity

Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one values a $15-an-hour consultant, so do not underprice your service. Since you probably won't have forty hours of billable work every week, charge at least $100 an hour or a comparable fixed rate for the benefit you provide.

When I asked our group of unexpected entrepreneurs about the follow-your-passion model, I frequently heard a nuanced answer. Almost no one said, "Yes! You should always follow your passion wherever it leads." Similarly, almost no one dismissed the idea out of hand. The nuance comes from the idea that passion plus good business sense creates an actual business.

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. - John Le Carre

The decision making matrix
Impact, Effort, Profitability, Vision

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. - Peter F. Drucker

Understand that what we want and what we say we want are not always the same thing.
Most of us like to buy, but we don't usually like to be sold.
Provide a nudge.

A good launch blends strategy with tactics. Strategy refers to why questions such as story, offer and long-term plan. Tactics refer to how questions such as timing, price and specific path.

When you're presented with an opportunity, don't just think about its merits or how busy you are. Instead, think about how it makes you feel. If you feel only so-so about it, turn it down and move on. But if the opportunity would be exciting and meaningful - so much so that you can say "hell yeah" when you think about it- find a way to say yes. [Derek Sivers]

The One Page Promotion Plan
Daily - maintain a regular social media presence, monitor 1 or 2 key metrics.
Weekly - ask for help or joint promotions from colleagues, maintain regular communications with prospects and customers
Monthly - connect with existing customers to make sure they are happy [is there anything else i can do for you?], prepare for an upcoming event, contest or product launch.

There is nothing wrong with having a hobby, but if you're operating a business, the primary goal is to make money.

The average business can improve its odds of success greatly by getting paid in more than one way and at more than one time.

Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart. - Scott Adams

Easy growth option including adding a service to a product-based business (or vice versa), deploying a creative series of upsells and cross-sells, and making a few key tweaks.

I'm not a businessman; I'm a business, man. - Jay-Z

A business that is scalable is both teachable and valuable. If you ever want to sell your business, you'll need to build teams and reduce owner dependency.
Absolutely loved this book. It really contributes to some of the ideas that we've been pondering about missions the past few years, ideas such as:
1 - You need a portfolio of income.
2 - The global recession is making nonprofit support harder and harder to come by. It is not impossible but it has become much more difficult.
3 - Calling, vocation, skills and your network all inform each other when it comes to income.
4 - A tangible skill may get you to the mission field with more legitimacy than a degree in religion.

Lots more good stuff in the book about actually starting a business.

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