Or so says Michael Masterson. In his new book, Ready, Fire, Aim: From Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat" he says:
"Nothing matters more than selling. Many first-time entrepreneurs have the impression that they are doing things in a logical order when they look for the perfect office space, have logos designed, and order a lot of inventory. The reality is they are wasting valuable resources on secondary and tertiary endeavors. If no one is going to buy what you want to sell, you’ve just wasted a bunch of money on a business that will never be."
Masterson’s book identifies four stages of a business (infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood) and points out the unique characteristics of each – with its own unique problems, challenges and opportunities. He asserts that with the information in Ready, Fire, Aim, any investor, business owner, or employee can recognize these stages and see how to move their business to the next level.
The book includes the three-step process that entrepreneurs should (but often don’t) follow in order to build a successful business.
Step one: Get the product ready enough to sell, but don’t worry about perfecting it. (Ready)
Step two: Sell it. (Fire)
Step three: If it sells, make it better. (Aim)
Masterson also takes on some of the biggest myths about starting and growing businesses, providing in-depth insights and expert advice based on his real-life experience growing dozens of multi-million dollar businesses over the past two decades.
The author introduction makes a bold promise:
"If you don’t have your own business but are thinking of starting one, this book is for you. If you have a new business but can’t get it to grow, you’ll know how after you read this. If your business is already pretty large but has hit a plateau, don’t worry. There are answers here for you. If your business is great but you are working too much, you can breathe easy. You are reading the right book. The answers are here."
While it may not be quite that cut and dried…I found the book to be very thought-provoking and practical. As you know, I don’t enjoy business books that don’t help me actually apply what I am reading and learning. I found myself asking some tough questions about my own business as I was reading. I spotted some definite areas that could use some tweaking and will start to do a few things differently as a result.
My own valuation of a book is….did I learn something I can apply that will improve my business in a tangible and significant way? If so, the book was well worth the 2 hours I invested.
This book was well worth the two hours. I think you’ll agree.
Seems like this book follows the “Microsoft model” of business… make a product and get it out there – then once all of your purchasers have found the bugs – fix them and offer upgrades that keep the people buying the next version of your product. Could be very effective as long as you don’t alientate your customers during the “Ready” and “Fire” stages.
Hmm, a book worth putting on my wish list I think. On the other hand…
my own business adviser (http://bizrichard.com/blog/) and mentor has taught me to “start being in business from the first minute on” before we even ‘went-it-alone’ 😉
But always willing to learn more and I agree with your definition of a proper business advice book: it has to ‘put you to work on your business, strategies or marketing” to be worthwhile.
Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)
Seems like the most doable approach. I myself am trying to figure out just how to get my own business off the ground, and have unknowingly taken the ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ approach. I figure I’ll never learn more than just starting my far-from-perfect business now and letting my customers show me where improvements should happen.
His Infancy-Childhood-Adolescence-Adulthood method sounds almost identical to Michael Gerber’s E-Myth.
Hmm a good point. Your audience needs to be a little forgiving of your fire and aim tactic.
How might you get some insurance that they would be?
Thanks for sharing the resource. What would you say is the best lesson you’ve learned from your mentor?
I think a difference between this book and the philosophy of e-myth is that e-myth is much more about creating the systems even if that means going to market a little slower, while this book is all about seizing opportunity and then going back and putting in the system if it worked.
Best lesson? Hard to choose 😉 but I would say:
believing in yourself, no matter what.
(He did before I did ;-))
Isn’t it amazing how powerful it is to have someone have confidence in you?
A good reminder to us as business owners, employers, partners and parents too.