The Start Up Kit by Emma Jones subtitled, Everything you need to start a small business, is a book that aims to give you the information you need to start your own business. Emma Jones, the author, is no stranger to the world of business and start ups. She is the founder of the small business network, Enterprise Nation (www.enterprisenation.com) and has written other books that have to do with entrepreneurship.
This is not a big book, it has just 141 pages and it consists of three main sections. Each section contains a number of chapters and these have been outlined below.
PART 1: PREPARE
1 – Coming up with an idea: Questions you can ask and answer to come up with a business idea include:
Is there a gap in the market that I can fill?
What is my passion/hobby/skill?
Is there something someone else is doing that I can do better myself?
Here are some possible business ideas:
Social media adviser
Online store owner
Hair and make-up artist
2 – Research the market: Once you have your idea, turning it into a business requires some research followed by turning that research into a plan. Here are some questions your research should answer: Continue reading →
The Profitable Content System is another one of those books that promises to teach you how to get the best value from your content. In this case, how you can create content that can help you generate sales but it’s not a book with shortcuts. I have reviewed other books by Meera Kothand (you can read them here and here) and she is not one to promise you overnight success. The book is sub-titled, The Entrepreneur’s guide to creating wildly profitable content without burnout, no doubt an attractive title but let’s see what the book focuses on by reading through the table of contents.
The book is divided into three main sections and I’ve outlined each section below with the chapters they contain.
SECTION I – GRAVVY – THAT WHICH FEEDS THE PROFITABLE CONTENT SYSTEM
Chapter 1 – The Stage x10 Framework
Meera describes the stage x10 framework in this part of the book which is a framework to help you identify or understand the different stages of potential buyers and what you can do to engage them. The framework is divided into three parts as follows: Continue reading →
There are books that you read which end up leaving an indelible impression on you, for me this is one of those books. Poke the box, is a very small book which you can go through in one sitting.To me it almost doesn’t feel like a book, because it has no chapters or sections. It’s a bunch of the author’s thoughts collected together, but they are inspiring and challenging. This is not an intellectually challenging book, you are not going to learn anything new from reading it, but you will be called to act.
The author, Seth Godin, uses this as a manifesto to encourage people to become initiators, he believes we should all start things. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
The Practice which is Seth Godin’s newest book is one I will definitely recommend to those trying to start something and those who may be struggling with what they are doing. The book has over 237 mini sessions and it is filled with wise sayings about the importance of “shipping your art”. In other words bring your ideas to live. Seth is trying to encourage and tell us that what is important is getting into the process of doing the work and being productive and not worrying about the eventual outcome or what people will think about what we do. Also, we must not wait for inspiration to strike before we act because it is our action that leads to inspiration and not the other way round.
The lessons I personally learnt from this book are:
Focus on the process and not the outcome because while you are in control of the process you can’t determine the outcome.
You can’t produce for everyone so find a group that match up with what you do. Trying to produce for everyone is producing for no one.
If you seek external validation for your work you will probably end up doing nothing. No matter what you do, you can’t please everyone so you might as well do it.
When you start out, what you produce may not look that good but as you persist in the process you will improve and get better.
Listen to critics who give good feedback that is specific about what didn’t work for on them about your product and learn from them.
Observe and learn from changes in the market but don’t let it control you. If you need to make changes to what you do then do so.
Don’t let what you don’t have prevent you from moving forward. Work within the constraints of what you have to produce your best work.
Don’t copy others, learn from them.
Don’t wait for inspiration, create inspiration.
Learn, learn and learn more. Who are the experts in your area of focus? Read about them not for the purpose of copying what they do but to keep learning about the best practices in your industry.