Does This Start-up Make Me Look Fat by Halley Suitt Tucker has two things going for it, the book has a weird title and it’s a tiny book. And I really mean it is a tiny book. You can read it in a sitting of just 30-minutes. It has an encouraging message for women. Halley opens the book with the concerns that probably prompted her to write the book as follows:
I’m really upset there are not more women starting businesses. I have to think there must be some reason women don’t start businesses.
Of course, since she wrote the book back in 2011 more women are starting businesses but I have no doubt that if she wrote the book today, despite the increase in women businesses she might express the same sentiment. In response to her sentiment she sites some probable reasons why women may not start businesses such as:
- women think they can’t do it.
- think men are smarter
She discounts those two reasons and adds a third which is where the title of the book comes from – Maybe they think starting a business will make them fat. This is a joke but what Halley is trying to communicate is that women should start businesses.
I want to you to start a business now, today, not tomorrow!
Halley challenges women to start businesses by jumping straight in. In her own view a business is not something you can start by reading a book, you’ve got to do it. Think of how you can meet someones need right now with the resources and skills you have and turn it into a business. She challenges us to think of a problem we can solve that can become a business. At the end of chapter one is an exercise where we are told to list 10 ideas for problems we can solve.
Next piece of advice from Halley is for us to, start the business on a shoestring. Don’t wait to get finances from others. Start it with what you have. When you have too many partners involved in funding your business you may need to take advice from them too. She also stresses one important thing:
DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB – START IT ON THE SIDE.
In chapter 3 titled, ‘Nothing Succeeds like success…or is it excess or is it a smile?’, she challenges women to be enthusiastic about what they are doing. She writes that:
Do me a favor, show a little bit of enthusiastic appreciation for this life, this world, this day. That’s about 85% of selling your idea and yourself.
She also writes that:
If you’re going to the trouble to make a product, solve a problem and sell it to others — take time to get excited about it and show some excitement.
Chapter 4 is titled, ‘You think men have figured it out’. Here she writes about how she has learnt about persistence from her son and challenges women to be persistent too and not be quick to give up if things don’t work out the first time. She writes that:
Please, women, don’t give up sooner. Get in there and start a business that fails and start another one. Just keep trying.
She challenges women to learn to figure out things as they go along and not give up.
Chapter 5 is called ‘Have skin in the game’. In other words, start a business for a reason. Start a business to create jobs or start a business to manage your own time better.
In chapter 6 titled, ‘Ten things I can do’, women are challenged to start thinking about what they can do by listing ten things they can do.
Think of businesses you could do that people don’t want to do. Think of businesses around cleaning up messes, helping people through family illnesses, emptying cluttered attics, all sorts of things you probably do as a woman on a regular basis that others would be happy to pay for.
Chapter 7 titled ‘The secret’ is the last chapter. It’s a call for women to get out there and do it. Start something today and if doesn’t work, start something else.
DOING things is the best way to learn how to DO THINGS BETTER. The fastest way to learn how to do the right thing is to do the WRONG thing. Doing always beats thinking. Doing the wrong thing is almost as good as doing the right thing.
As I wrote at the start, this is a tiny book but it offers strong encouragement to women to step out and launch that idea. And if you are a man with an idea, don’t be discouraged, go for it too.