In an article earlier this week, “A Way With Words”, I mentioned that I am an avid reader. Due to my interest in business and entrepreneurship most of the books I read fall under this category. However, I do enjoy a good inspirational story whether it is business related or not and the occasional “who done it”. When I read a good book, I often read it more than once, highlighting passages that have meaning to me. Sometimes when I reread it, I read only the highlighted parts.
Knowing that I am an avid reader of business books, a virtual friend, Jeffrey Weber, VP of sales for RiverStar Software and volunteer at Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, recently sent me a new book he has written, “I.D.E.A. to Exit: An Entrepreneurial Journey.” The title of Jeff’s book grabbed my attention, because many entrepreneurs, particularly younger entrepreneurs, need a step by step guide for turning their idea or dreams into a real business. After all, wouldn’t a road-map make it much easier? As I read it, I was pleased to find that it is a “story” of his own journey as an entrepreneur from the start until he was acquired by a Fortune 500 company (the exit) and a millionaire.
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur and for those that are not, trying to be an entrepreneur can be the worst experience of your life and almost always ends in failure. So how do you know if you are cut out for this? Are you prepared to make the necessary sacrifices? Do you have the knowledge to get across the finish line?
Jeff’s book is unique in that does not fit neatly into a genre. It tells a story like an autobiography, provides step-by-step instructions for starting, operating, and exiting a business like a technical manual, and provides an in-depth examination of the mental, emotional, and physical challenges entrepreneurs must overcome.
The book’s framework is structured around four key elements; I.D.E. A. The I stands for Innovation; the D stands for Desire; the E stands for Effort; and the A stands for Ability. Jeff believes there are three fundamentals necessary for business success; Scaling (economies of scale), Innovation and Leadership.
As readers follow Jeff’s footsteps on his journey from start-up to a fairy-tale exit when he sold the company and became a millionaire, they discover what an entrepreneur must learn, think, feel, and do if they want to enjoy similar success. Jeff seasons his practical business stew with relevant research, references and a generous portion of philosophy. For example, when he addresses the 800 pound gorilla in the room for every would-be entrepreneur; risk, he defines its origins. Risk comes from the 16th century Arabic word “rizk”, meaning “to seek opportunity”.
Readers who are looking for the nuts and bolts ingredients for a successful business will not be disappointed. The book is full of practical advice and step-by-step instructions on what information entrepreneurs will need to obtain; what actions they need to take, what resources they need to have available, what they will be required to do in order to fund the business, and what systems and procedures they will need to establish for operations.
Out of the many pearls of business wisdom found in Jeff’s book, one my favorites is his suggestion to have white boards posted publicly in every department to serve as innovation parking lots. Employees can then be encouraged to write their ideas on them.
So, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a business owner looking for a detailed road-map for success, I recommend Jeff Weber’s book, “I.D.E.A. to Exit: An Entrepreneurial Journey.” This is not a quick read – it is over 400 pages. However, I suspect you will enjoy it.
Posted by: Mike Clough