The co-founder of BodeTree, a financial dashboard tool, shares his insights on starting and sustaining a business in this debut how-to guide.
In 2010, Myers, 24 with a pregnant wife, left a well-paying finance job to launch BodeTree, an online platform that helps businesses organize and assess their finances. He acknowledges that initially he “had no idea” what he was doing other than he “wanted to build something that helped people and created value—and that I wanted to do so without selling my soul.” Myers shares the business philosophy and strategies that he then developed from his “iterative process of making mistakes and moving forward,” which “taught me more than any MBA class ever could.” Of primary importance, he asserts, is pinpointing a business’s “God particle,” or the “single belief that forms the foundation of everything it does.” This core principle, to be reinforced in ongoing communications, will serve as the touchstone in selling the product, choosing partners, etc., with “authenticity…the most important virtue any business (or individual, for that matter) can demonstrate.” Myers organizes the book into three parts— starting a business (featuring the dictum to “beware the 5 percent problem” of building too many product features that clients don’t actually use); scaling the business (including the warning that “Sometimes, Raising Too Much Money Can Cost You”); and “staying sane” (various musings on entrepreneurial challenges, including the need to foster emotional intelligence and a positive work culture). The author ably puts into practice his own advice to become an effective communicator, offering a host of helpful, from-the-trenches tips in easy-to-read fashion and format. He makes a convincing case for his “enlightened” approach, pointing out that his company’s unusual spiritual name helped to differentiate and sell his product in the marketplace. He is also refreshingly honest about missteps, including his pivot from an initially intended target base. While his text is at times repetitive (negotiation advice crops up in several sections), Myers ultimately delivers a wealth of valuable, road-tested viewpoints, which are skillfully as well as succinctly conveyed.
Inspiring field advice for entrepreneurs that underscores the importance of authenticity and communication.