A self-made business owner provides basic advice to would-be entrepreneurs.
Roberts (A State of Treason, 2014, etc.) makes a strong case that some people are “unemployable” because, like him, they are better served founding their own companies and working for themselves. In engaging short chapters that include both personal anecdotes and a smattering of advice, Roberts covers such typical business startup topics as understanding what it takes to be an entrepreneur, becoming a good salesperson, writing a business plan, and learning from mentors. He briefly explains network (or multilevel) marketing and franchises; these two chapters, while lacking in detail, provide a good overview, with pros and cons of two potential areas of business. Other chapters include smart tips about whether or not to take on a business partner and sound counsel about the operation of a family business. Perhaps most useful are the book’s chapters concerning finances. The author admits his “lack of financial literacy” led to the “most expensive financial lessons” he learned. He encourages budding entrepreneurs to adhere to fiscal discipline, especially when it comes to accumulating debt and spending more than one earns. “If you can’t live on 80 percent of your income (no matter the source),” writes Roberts, “you are living above your means.” The chapters on bootstrapping a business and angel investors should encourage the uninitiated to consider self-funding and to be cautious about taking investment money from others. Roberts’ “ten most common business mistakes that result in failure,” while not momentous, are likely to be helpful to any newly minted business owner; such mistakes as “hanging on to an employee too long that should have been terminated” and “pricing your products or services too low” are certainly worth noting. Still, it appears that Roberts intended his work to merely touch on startup business issues at a high level rather than take a deep dive. As such, this book will probably prove most useful for those who need a shot of courage to go out on their own rather than in-depth guidance.
Offers a worthwhile, fundamental introduction to key business topics but just scratches the surface of entrepreneurship.