An entrepreneur’s ambitious plan for launching a business in 30 days.
The tantalizing promise of this engaging book—that it’s possible to start a business by spending one hour a day for 30 days—sounds too good to be true. But serial entrepreneur Dontha (365+ Prompts for a Gratitude Journal, 2019, etc.) isn’t joking. Touting “agile entrepreneurship,” a process he borrowed from software developers, Dontha cleverly structures the book with 30 chapters, each highlighting a discrete business-building area or task. Every chapter begins with the story of a different small-scale entrepreneur who employed the agile approach to succeed, providing welcome credibility. This is followed by specific steps required to complete the chapter’s task along with a quick “self-assessment,” essentially quizzing readers on their progress. What’s impressive about this method is that the author does indeed cover virtually every basic element of a business startup; embedded in the 30 days are principles of sales, customer service, human resources, logistics, management, marketing, and accounting and finance. Splitting the tasks into 30 days makes the potentially overwhelming challenge of getting a business up and running seem manageable, and the author has a gift for simplifying complex tasks by dividing them into microtasks, each to be completed within a certain time frame. Yet this is where some readers may take issue with the notion of agile entrepreneurship. Early on, the author describes agile entrepreneurs as believing in “Fast over methodical. Done now over done well.…If you’re agile, you get to revenue as fast as you can.” Sounds great—but sometimes speed works against quality. For example, the “agile approach to business branding” suggests devoting 60 minutes to three subtasks: define brand identity elements (10 minutes), create or outsource a logo (30 minutes), and write a tagline (20 minutes). Another chapter suggests that a business plan can be completed in 60 minutes. These time frames may seem unrealistic—if not frankly unfeasible—for a business that hopes for a quality output. Still, Dontha has found a unique, creative way to get a handle on the business startup process.
Intriguing and pioneering, but business neophytes should proceed with caution.