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Interactive Pocket Guide for

Entrepreneurs Version 3.1

 

Michael McCafferty

Double M Systems © 2012 Michael McCafferty

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51% of the profits from the sale of this book are donated to Rutgers University’s Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience Spinal Cord Injury Project.

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-1453760055 Printed in the USA.

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Preface This book is your passport to a new form of communication, combining the best features of a traditional book with the power of the web, using your smartphone as the link. Imagine: you are reading along this book, and want to know more… just point your smartphone at the page and your screen instantly pops with all you could want: video, photos, text, links… And, unlike any ordinary book, you can instantly link into the community of readers of this book, to ask the author questions, get answers, leave comments, and learn from others. Gutenberg would have approved.

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“Over the decades (yes!) that I’ve known and worked with Michael, I’ve found him to be consistently brilliant, always eager to found his opinions on flawless logic, and absolutely honorable. This is a guy with extraordinary vision, who is also grounded in reality. He’s a big thinker, and I’d bet on him every time. I write books on marketing and communication. Michael practices them daily.” George Walther

“There is one word to describe MM: Visionary. He has the ability to see the future, and to inspire people to achieve it.” Jeremy Heyman

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“Wow, now that I am consciously thinking about what we want to do as a company vs. what we currently do, I see how I got into this mess…Now I understand the value and importance of focus in a whole new way. Thank you for that.” Kirk Ranta

“Over a 4 year period of working with Michael McCafferty I found him to be an exceptionally talented business owner. He consistently demonstrated an uncanny insight in what customers find valuable. He was a great motivator of his team members and sales agents and quite frankly one of the best salespeople I have ever met.” KC Truby

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Acknowledgments

It is with sincere appreciation that I acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this book and the associated website. Erika Lal for her tireless and excellent help with the many revisions of this book and website. Grant Freeman and Leanne Chau at Electronic Printing Solutions for their many early revisions to the beta versions of this book. My many protégés over the years from whom I have learned so much. The 100 beta testers who provided their valuable feedback for this book and the website.

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Table of Contents

Preface Testimonials Acknowledgments Introduction Defining Entrepreneurship Let There Be Cash Think Straight Travel Light The Customer Is King Write It Down Begin It Now Hire Experience Motivate Conserve Energy Be Not Greedy Test The Superior Man Measure it to manage it Easy Does It Price and Terms Positioning Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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I delegate, therefore I am The Habit of Excellence Add A Zero Leverage Goals Think, Plan, Do, Repeat Passion Serenity Now Your business must serve you first Communicate Your Mentor Your Board of Advisors Everything is Prototype How to Motivate Systems for Success Act As If Always Be Recruiting The Tyranny of the Idea du jour The Management Metronome You Are Right

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Your Company Library The E Myth The Four Steps to the Epiphany The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development Business Model Generation The Lean Startup The Art of the Start The Law of Success First Things First Wealth Resources for Startups Help, FAQ, Troubleshooting, etc. About the Author Begin it now, before your competition…

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Introduction When we first start out as entrepreneurs, it's easy to make mistakes, waste time and money, and cause ourselves a lot of stress. However, motivated entrepreneurs will read extensively, learn from others and experiment continuously. This little book, and the associated web pages, contain a few of the principles learned from half a century as a serial entrepreneur and mentor, helping selected entrepreneurs apply these principles to build their own successful companies. The highest levels of success came to my business adventures when I focused on The Ten Basic Principles for Managing a Young, Growing Business. These truths spoke to me as being essential to success. I resolved to use them fully and without reservation, and I still keep them at my desk today. I have shared them with you starting on page 4 of the Interactive Pocket Guide for Entrepreneurs book. Additional principles begin on page 16. Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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Each principle has a unique QR (Quick Response) code that your smartphone can scan to link to this web page where the principle is discussed in depth, and where you can ask questions, leave comments, and learn from other readers. Repetition is key. Keep the book handy, review the principles often, and continue to engage with other readers to learn more. This last point is most important: to engage with a community of like-minded and experienced people, to learn and share ideas. See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Defining Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't. Anonymous See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Let There Be Cash Project, monitor and conserve cash and credit capability. Cash flow is the life's blood of a growing business. A company's ability to continue is determined daily, not at year end, by the contents of the checking account rather than the financial statement. Keeping cash on hand or readily available for both planned and unplanned events is not only prudent but necessary in unsettled times. Cultivation of financial sources is an enduring duty. Video: Show Me the Money See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Think Straight Maintain a detached point of view. Managing a growing business requires unyielding dedication that can consume the body, impair the senses and warp the mind. Such effects are harmful to the individual and the enterprise. Clinical objectivity is the only preventative. Growth implies and entails risk. Risk begets failure as well as success. Wide perspective gained through nonbusiness experience or study helps one endure the pressures and accept the results, good and bad, of business decisions. This video is a true classic on clear thinking: Video: Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles Part 12 See also: Your Business Must Serve You First Resources for Startups Help

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Travel Light Limit the number of primary participants to people who can consciously agree upon and contribute directly to the goals of the business. There are many reasons people become involved in young, growing companies as owners, investors, or key team members. The broad range of satisfaction sought runs from an opportunity to personal expression on one end of the spectrum to capital gains on the other. Unless there is compatibility between what each primary participant wants out of the business, debilitating conflict is likely to ensue. The process of trying to consciously agree on the purpose of the enterprise is often difficult and revealing. Consider the following video carefully: Video: Startup Development Team See also: Motivate Resources for Startups Help

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The Customer Is King Define the business in terms of what is to be bought, precisely by whom, and why. Businesses are organs of society that perform tasks associated with providing most goods and services the public decides it wants. Under the capitalistic system, a business can prosper to the extent it performs its particular tasks effectively and efficiently. The nature of the tasks to be performed usually changes over time as those served change The successful company predicts and responds to the needs of its chosen customers. Customers, therefore define the business. At all times, some customers are growing in their ability to buy, others are declining. The astute manager ascertains which is which. Video: The Customer Is King See also: Other Resources for Startups Help Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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Write It Down Prepare and work from a written plan that shows who does what, by when. Until committed to paper, intentions are seeds without soil, sails without wind, mere wishes that render communication inefficient, understanding uncertain, feedback inaccurate, and execution sporadic. Without execution, there is no payoff. The process of committing plans to paper is easy to postpone under the press of day-to-day events. In the absence of a document, fully coordinated usage of the resources of the business is unlikely. Each participant travels along a different route toward a destination of his or her own choosing. Decisions are made independently, without a map. Time is lost, energy squandered. What is the most important written document in your business? Employee handbook? Business Plan? Goals? Mission Statement? Why?

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See also: Communicate Think, plan, do, repeat I delegate, therefore I am Resources for Startups Help

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Begin It Now Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it. Begin it now! Goethe See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Hire Experience Employ key people with proven records of success at doing what needs to be done. People do what they like; they like what they know. Experience adds depth to knowledge. The best indicator of how people will perform in the future is how they have done in the past in the same or related activity. Criteria for selecting key people are dictated by the plans, the blueprints for the business. The plans reflect the operational objectives and the intentions of the primary participants. The interest and capabilities of a new person must harmonize with both. If experience is not required, hire Attitude. Video: The Best Way to Hire Employees See also: Always Be Recruiting Resources for Startups Help

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Motivate Reward individual performance that exceeds agreed upon standards. Performance above the minimum level is a discretionary matter for each team member. Most people have alternative off-the-job ways of using excess energy or talent. Channeling such excess into activity beneficial to the business requires a tailored approach for each individual. A manager must first ensure that there is understanding of the minimum results to be achieved. Then, for performance above the minimum, forms of compensation important to the performer - or in some cases, teams of performers must be used. This video offers some surprising research on what motivates us and how it changes according to certain circumstances: Video: The Surprising Truth About Motivation

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See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Conserve Energy Concentrate all available resources on accomplishing two or three specific operational objectives within a given time period. A young, growing company has finite resources and will therefore achieve competitive advantage when playing for limited, explicit gains in a marketplace of its own choosing. Specialization breeds an organization sensitive to opportunities and quick to act. But any advantage withers if follow through is weak. It will be weak if resources are dissipated. Resource dilution is a sure formula for mediocrity, a state of being that aspiring growth businesses cannot afford. Steve Jobs started in a garage and built the most valuable company in the country by saying "No!". The bottom line is that you can't do everything, so choose wisely. Video: Steve Job “Focus is about saying no�

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See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Be Not Greedy Expand methodically from a profitable base toward a balanced business. Optimism is both the poison and the antidote of the growth company manager. It may be possible to accomplish all things, but not simultaneously. With limited resources, sequential growth over time is the judicious prescription for prosperity. Seek logical, incremental extensions of existing activities, but avoid a growth-for-growth’s-sake mentality. Bigger is not automatically better; more is not necessarily merrier. Make managing a competitive advantage. Increase customer dependency on the enterprise. And, remember the fate of Gordon Gecko's mantra "Greed is Good": Video: Greed is good See also: Resources for Startups Help Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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Test Anticipate incessant external change by continuously testing adopted business plans for their consistency with the realities of the world marketplace. The past will not come again. Neither isolation nor insulation from tomorrow is possible. The problems of the times are the opportunities of the times, as always. See also: Measure it to manage it Resources for Startups Help

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The Superior Man The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his actions. Confucius See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Measure it to manage it You’re either in control, or out of control. It is of the utmost importance to know the difference, and the only way to know that is to measure what you need to control. Take profits, for example; certainly you measure the amount of profit, and as a percentage of sales, but is that percentage consistent with prior periods? Do you measure profit by product, by team member, and by customer? Many business owners are satisfied to simply know they have made a profit, and don't bother to make further measurements. What do you measure? That question reminds me of some advice my dentist gave me: "Only floss the teeth you want to keep." Measure only the stuff you want to manage. Be sure your team knows what they should be measuring and managing, and how they personally will be measured and managed. What are the most important metrics you manage in your business? Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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See also: Write It Down Motivate Resources for Startups Help

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Easy Does It As simplicity brings pleasure to the eye, it also brings cash to the business. If there is any single four-letter word that describes the essence of success in sales, it is easy. You must make it easy for the customer to buy. It is surprising how difficult it is to make something easy! You start by getting rid of everything that you think is not completely essential, and then try to improve it by removing even more‌ To make it easy for a customer to buy, offer a moneyback guarantee, and all sort of incentives designed to make the buying decision utterly simple, risk-free and effortless. It is a continuing battle to maintain ease of use while dealing with a blizzard of features and improvements as the product matures.

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See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Price and Terms How to price your product or service is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make in your business. You will probably never achieve the optimum price. There are so many variables; the business, product, customers, and competitors are always changing. The way to determine the right price is with continuous testing. For example, you can probably get a higher price than your competitors if you offer a money-back guarantee and they don't. But how much higher? At what point do customers decide that the higher price is not worth the guarantee? Is a free trial period a smart move? What about lower prices for longer signups? ($10/month, $95/year). How about if you offer a rebate? And what about paying for referrals who buy? What about having "sale" pricing periods? Tie-in sales? Frequent buyer cash back? The list of options seems endless. And how these options are deployed is dependent on your overall strategy. For example, are you optimizing for profit/cash now, or lifetime value, or total number of users? How is the price presented? Just a word or short Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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phrase can make all the difference in response rates, for example: "pennies per day" or "only". These things are easily tested, but few people take the time to focus on these important details. When you consider the multitude of variables involved in the pricing decision, you will appreciate that you could probably increase profits significantly by paying close attention to pricing strategies. What is the most important thing you have learned about pricing? See also: The Customer Is King Test Let There Be Cash Resources for Startups Help

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Positioning The positioning of your business is a fundamental strategic decision. You may have to adjust your positioning frequently in the early days of your business as you learn more about your customers and competition, and even your own capabilities. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? How do you differentiate your company and products from all others? The ideal is to position yourself in the marketplace in such a way that you have no competition, by definition. This can be challenging, but it is certainly possible. What is your positioning statement? Has it changed? Why?

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See also: Test The Customer Is King Resources for Startups Help

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I delegate, therefore I am There comes a time when you need to do more than you can on your own. You need help. Your vision is greater than you can achieve alone. You know this for a long time before you do anything about it. You try to do as much as possible by yourself, for as long as you can. But you know that you're only wasting time, putting off the decision to get help. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) are ruling your life. You imagine the many nagging little decisions that have to be made before you can actually hire your Badge #2. Running a help wanted ad, a job description, how much to pay, what about taxes, non-disclosure agreements, can you even afford it, is there enough work to keep them busy, where will they sit, is it possible to find someone as good as you need, will they put up with your ways, what if... And the monkey brain thoughts go round and round in your head. You're stuck. And you'll stay that way until you...

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Just do it. Take that first step. It doesn't matter what form it takes. It can be a help wanted ad, or emails to friends announcing your decision to start down the road, and to ask for their help in finding your Badge #2. Take the first step. And then take the next one. Each step a move closer to the goal, each step insignificant in itself. Trivial stones become a cathedral. As each step evaporates into the distance, it builds strength for the next steps, and builds confidence for the long journey ahead. Soon you will be moving along with surprising speed and endurance. That first hire may be a partner, or a programmer, or an administrative assistant. But they will always be Badge #2, and you will always remember them as the embodiment of your great enlightenment, your commitment, and your Action. There's no looking back after Badge #2. Once you have crossed this threshold, it becomes your mission to always be recruiting, to see how many high-quality people you can attract to your plan. You Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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are on a mission. You are on a path to a future of your own design. You are an Entrepreneur. See also: Always Be Recruiting Other Resources for Startups Help

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The Habit of Excellence We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Add A Zero It's a mind-set. A zero doesn't seem like much, but when added to the end of a number, it's a lot. It's one Order of Magnitude. What would have to be done to your business to increase your sales and profits by a factor of ten? “Think big, start small” is some of the best advice you can follow in your startup. How big can you imagine? See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Leverage Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth. Archimedes The lever is one of the Six Simple Machines that provide mechanical advantage to the user. Entrepreneurs must take every advantage possible, to the maximum extent possible. Therefore, consider deeply the concept of leverage in all aspects of your growing business. Leverage is the friend of the weak. Young businesses are usually weak. Therefore, leverage is your friend. Combine multiple resources and activities to multiply Leverage. What has been your best experience with using Leverage in your business? What questions do you have about combining multiple activities for enhanced leverage?

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See also: Conserve Energy Resources for Startups Help

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Goals People who set goals, put them in writing and follow through with accountability, do in fact achieve more than people who don't. You would expect that, right? So, why is it that the vast majority of people have no written goals? If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll A business is simply a tool the founders use to achieve their personal goals. If the founders have no goals, or unclear goals, then the business will suffer accordingly. Do you have written goals for yourself and your business? Do the goals have target dates? A goal without a date is merely a dream. Martin K. Erickson How frequently do you review your progress?

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See also: Write It Down Think, Plan, Do, Repeat Resources for Startups Help

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Think, Plan, Do, Repeat The simplest possible System for Success is the repetition of only 3 basic steps. To learn more, visit ThinkPlanDoRepeat.com

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. Dwight D. Eisenhower It can also be said of the planning process in business. The value of a business plan is not so much in the plan that results from the process, but in the planning process itself. See also: Goals Write it down Resources for Startups Help

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Passion Passion is the word used by the Venture Capital community to describe a founder's essential emotional ingredient for a successful startup. Other words can be used, such as obsession, commitment, enthusiasm, etc. They all energize success. Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles. Og Mandino See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Serenity Now The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to make today's consciousness serene and harmonious. All other good things will follow upon that. Emmet Fox See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Your business must serve you first You are flying at 35,000 feet. There is a sudden loss of air pressure in the cabin. The oxygen masks drop from overhead. You are traveling with your child. It could be a natural reaction to put the child's oxygen mask on first, but it would be wrong. It is impossible to save someone else if you lose consciousness in the process. Your primary duty is to self-preservation. Only then can you help others. And so it is that your business must serve you first. It must support your necessities, pay the rent, food, etc. And it must provide for your good health, for without good health certainly your business will suffer. Some would say that their business can ill afford to provide them a vacation, or even time for exercise and sleep. That is a slippery slope of faulty reasoning, by someone living in fear of imminent disaster. You must change your thinking on this. You will always be Number One, so act like it. Create the business to serve you first. Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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Video: 23 ½ hours See also: Think Straight I delegate, therefore I am Resources for Startups Help

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Communicate The danger of communication is the illusion it has been achieved. George Bernard Shaw The primary responsibilities of the CEO are few. One of the most important is communication. Clear, consistent, and inspirational are some of the words that describe the communication that is required. However, there are many challenges to effective communication. For example: you tell A, but not B, who is hired some time after you tell A. So B doesn't get the message. Therefore, the CEO must communicate in a way whereby all get the message, regardless of when they are hired, for all time. How do you do this? See "Write It Down". The title of this post is a line from George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, who should know a few things about communication. Consider for a moment how many times you thought you had been very clear in your communication to another person, and later you were astonished to Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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learn that they did something completely different than you intended. This happens all the time, and it's a huge waste of time and energy. You can't afford either.

So how do you make sure your communications are effective? Consider this quick quiz to learn more, and consider making effective communication a major training priority in your business. Communication is a two-way street. It is your responsibility to be sure your message was understood fully, and it is the recipient's job to be sure they understand your message. As CEO, you are communicating continuously, whether you realize it or not. The clothes you wear, Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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the office hours you keep, the way you talk, your posture, your expressions... everything about you communicates a message that your team will emulate. Is your message congruent with the corporate culture you want to build? You must lead by example. See also: Write It Down Resources for Startups Help

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Your Mentor The Startup Genome Report contains this startlingly direct statement: No stage 4 startups raised money without helpful mentors. What's in it for your mentors? There is no more noble occupation in the world than to help someone succeed. Alan Loy McGinnis

See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Your Board of Advisors If you are serious about your business, start now to build a Board of Advisors. It makes all the difference in the world to run your business in a professional manner. Unfortunately, most business founders allow themselves to be so distracted by day-to-day issues that they fail to give adequate attention to building the structural foundations of the business. The Board of Advisors is the best foundation for a serious (non-lifestyle) business. Begin it Now! Every business should have either a Board of Advisors or a Board of Directors. Period. There is no wiggle room in that statement, except for one thing: If you are running a lifestyle business, or if you're not really serious about succeeding in your business, then... save yourself some trouble and forget about it. However, if you really want to succeed, and not waste your time, and want to take the shortest path, with the least stress, then get yourself a Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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Board. What's the difference? A Board of Directors is a legal entity. The Board of Directors is there for the purpose of representing the interests of the shareholders. They hire and fire the CEO, they approve the business plan. If you are the CEO, you want a happy Board of Directors, or else you will not be CEO very long. A Board of Advisors is for a CEO who owns most, or all of the stock. Such a CEO is not going to be fired by his Board of Advisors, because they have no legal standing, and the CEO can do whatever he wants. His Board of Advisors is there for guidance and assistance. The benefit of a Board comes from having regularly scheduled meetings, usually once a month in young companies, but as little as once a quarter in mature, profitable, and stable companies. You want your Board to be actively involved in the challenges and plans of your company. That's why you want to meet formally and regularly. If you are doing a startup, and going to need some angel and/or VC capital, you have some special considerations. Check out this article for more on that. Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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And, finally, here's a very good article in INC magazine about some details on setting up boards of advisors/directors. See also: The Management Metronome Goals Resources for Startups Help

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Everything is Prototype For you, the word mistake does not exist. Everything is a prototype, an experiment on the way to the next version, a learning experience you use to discover the elusive, impossible, perfect. Feedback is essential to product improvement. Product releases are essential to feedback. Therefore: to improve the product you must release the product. And, the more frequent the iteration of product releases, the faster the product improves. The product improvement process is at the heart of success. How do you determine the optimum return on investment (programmer/design time) for a list of product improvements? How do you segment the list? How much time/money do you spend on each segment? This process will take place often, so it must be systematized for optimum results. Can you out-iterate your competitors? See also: Resources for Startups Help  

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How to Motivate If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupery See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Systems for Success The single most effective way to assure that your people will succeed in their jobs is to have clearly defined systems that spell out how the work should be done. People generally do not want to fail in their work. And you, the entrepreneur, certainly want to give them every opportunity to succeed. When someone is failing in their work, remember that people don't fail, systems fail. First of all, do you even have a system that describes how to do the job? If not, it is highly improbable they will succeed at a high level. See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Act As If‌ Nothing can stop you. Be fearless, even when you are shaking in your boots. You must project total confidence. But how? This secret was revealed to me a long time ago, and I have used it many times. Each time I am amazed at how well it works. The secret way to deal with a drop in self confidence is to act as if you were filled with it. That may sound impossible, but it is firmly rooted in the laws of the universe. For example, you may not feel like smiling, but if you just allow yourself to slip into a smile anyway, all of a sudden you are feeling like smiling. And feeling better overall. This is an example of the fact that "emotions follow actions and actions follow emotions". If you want to feel a certain way, then all you have to do is act the way that creates that feeling. And, if you simply go through the motions of acting in a way that a person would behave if he/she felt a certain way, than you will soon find yourself feeling that way. Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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This secret is so profound, and so powerful, and yet, probably less than 5% of the people who read this will apply this knowledge to their own benefit. I hope you are one of them... See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Always Be Recruiting Many entrepreneurs agonize over when to hire, and tend to delay it for as long as possible. When they finally get around to admitting that they need one more person, it’s usually an emergency! This leads to hiring a sub-optimal fit for the job, the corporate culture, the team, and for the new team member. Now consider the entrepreneur who knows to Always Be Recruiting… there is no emergency hiring situation because they have been nurturing that next key hire for some time and they know they will be the perfect fit for all involved. For more on this topic, check out this excellent article: "In This Market You Grow By Recruiting, Not Hiring". Here's another viewpoint on hiring, which I agree with only 50%: "Hire Fast, Fire Fast". Again, those who know me have heard me say, many times: "Hire Slow, Fire Fast". The point of the story is that in a startup, you need to Hire Fast, but I disagree and © 2012 Michael McCafferty

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point out that if you follow the advice to Always Be Recruiting, you will rarely find yourself in a position where you need to Hire Fast. Check out the story and see if you agree. In any case, we do agree on Fire Fast. This is such an important thing, but entrepreneurs seldom do it. After all, who wants to fire someone? Maybe they will improve, with a little more training, or a verbal warning, or maybe when we get past our next milestone... No, that's not going to make a frog into a prince. A frog is a frog. Get rid of them as soon as humanly possible. Keeping them around is perpetuating a bad decision, and convincing team members that you will accept mediocrity, or worse. One bad apple, etc... It pollutes the entire atmosphere. It's better to fire them now, even if everyone else has to work harder, than it is to keep them around and spoil everyone else's attitude. And, you will feel a whole lot better as soon as you have done it. They will too! They almost certainly know it's coming, they just don't know when. In fact, most exit interviews I have done were no surprise at all to the person exiting. So what are you waiting for? Fire Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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someone today! Fridays are a perfect day to fire someone! See also: Resources for Startups Help

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The Tyranny of the Idea du jour As creative entrepreneurs we will continually be attacked by brilliant ideas, from our own heads, and from the heads of our co-workers, customers, suppliers, etc. The quantity of these ideas will almost certainly exceed our ability to execute them. However, it will be extremely rare to have an idea that will completely change your business model, or will cause you to put it at the top of the list of everything you need to do over the next few days/weeks/months. If we respond immediately to these ideas, they will run us ragged... Also, some of these ideas, brilliant as they are, over some period of time, will turn out to be not-sobrilliant, maybe even dumb, when inspected more carefully in the light of the overall plans and goals of the enterprise. Such is the Tyranny of the Idea du jour.

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The approach I have found to effectively deal with these little gems that assail us in the middle of the night, or the middle of a meal, or whatever, is to simply write it down immediately, and then, later, to add it to the proper list (website improvements, salesrep recruiting procedure, marketing ideas, etc), but be sure to assign a priority at a later time, when it is the proper time to review priorities. This may be once a month, or every 3 or 6 months. It is essential to give our priorities enough time to be completed so that we can learn from our experiences. The review of such ideas and priority setting would ideally be done in collaboration with others who are involved in the overall planning. So, when the next brilliant idea attacks, take a deep breath, write it down, and go on with your already existing plans. Execution is paramount. Follow through is essential. See also: Write It Down Resources for Startups Help

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The Management Metronome The sun and the moon move through the heavens, the heart beat of our world. The sun and the moon create the tides and the seasons. Man is wise to join in with such insuperable powers. And so it is in the business world. When you were an inventor, working alone, there were few rhythms, just a continuum of focus to bring your idea to a time when you revealed it to others, and recruited them to your cause. After you have others working on your mission, you will notice that your rhythmless continuum is now developing a rhythm brought on by the real world of workers and customers: they have what you will come to know as "weekends" and "vacations" and "holidays". These are interruptions to the flow of work, ideas, and cash. These negative effects are deleterious to the enterprise, but there is no alternative. The cure is to follow the sun, and the moon. Give in to the rhythms of the people. Embrace these rhythms and use them in building your business. Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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And now we come to the Management Metronome. The essence of a successful business is in the communication that occurs between the people involved, not just team members but also customers, suppliers, etc. These communications can occur randomly (less effective) or with a planned, consistent beat (every Friday at 4pm, for example). Team members are energized by the scheduled repetition of important events, such as progress reviews of their work, team meetings, pay increases, profit sharing checks, casual Fridays, Monday morning meetings, Board meetings, etc. Structure the foundation of your business with consistent, reliable meetings with standard agendas and opportunities for 2-way feedback. These meetings are for teams as well as individuals. Keep to the schedule as much as humanly possible. Avoid impromptu and emergency meetings above all. Breathe. Create the heart beat of your business. See also: Your Board of Advisors Communicate Resources for Startups Help Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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You Are Right If you think you can or think you can't, you are right. Henry Ford See also: Resources for Startups Help

 

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Your Company Library

The easiest and most effective way to quickly build a corporate culture and the systems you need in your fast-growing company is to establish a Company Library. On the following pages are a few of the basic books I recommend to start. The links for each book will send you to Amazon.com where you can sample the book and purchase it. Kindle versions are available for many of these. See also: Resources for Startups Help Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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The E Myth

The E-Myth: Why Most Small Business Don't Work and What to Do About It By Michael Gerber

"This will always be the first book in my Company Library. Clearly defines the need for systems." Michael McCafferty See also: Resources for Startups Help

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The Four Steps to the Epiphany

The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win By Steven Gary Blank

"...a book that all technology entrepreneurs will actually want to read. Blank peppers his narrative with many concrete, real-world examples." TechComm See also: Resources for Startups Help

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany By Brant Cooper & Patrick Vlaskovits

"This is a must read for all startups and stakeholders." Steve Blank See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers By Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

"...a fantastic manual on how to map, analyze, and strip-down your business model and reassemble it into something that creates real value." Dave Concannon

See also: Resources for Startups Help  

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The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses By Eric Ries

"The roadmap for innovation for the 21st century. The ideas in The Lean Startup will help create the next industrial revolution." Steve Blank

See also: Resources for Startups Help

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The Art of the Start

The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything By Guy Kawasaki

"As useful for the next great not-for-profit as for the next great VC-funded startup. Anyone trying to change the world should read [this book].." Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America

See also: Resources for Startups Help

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The Law of Success

The Law of Success: The Master Wealth-Builder's Complete and Original Lesson Plan forAchieving Your Dreams By Napoleon Hill

"May I congratulate you on your persistence...I am deeply impressed by your interpretation of the 'Master Mind' principles which you have described." Woodrow Wilson See also: Resources for Startups Help    

 

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First Things First

First Things First By Steven Covey

"...He points you toward the real human needs- to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy- and how to balance your time to achieve a meaningful life, not just get things done." Joan Price See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Wealth Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. Epicurus See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Resources for Startups Below are some of our favorite resources for startups. Please leave a comment about any of these resources, and/or tell us what you have found helpful that is missing from our list. What is your Entrepreneurial DNA? (BOSI) San Diego Entrepreneur Center Global Accelerator Network MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego Ansir Innovation Center CommNexus Startup America Partnership LinkedIn San Diego Entrepreneur Groups San Diego Lean Startups (Facebook Group) Udemy Courses on Startups Eric Ries (Startup Lessons Learned) David Cohen

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Mark Suster (Both Sides of the Table) Dave McClure (Master of 500 Hats) Fred Wilson (Musings of a VC in NYC) Bryce Roberts (Bryce Dot VC) Dave Berkus Bill Payne (Angel Investing News) Elliot Loh (Starting Up) John Borthwick (THINK/musings) Paul Graham (essays) Launch Venture Hacks Venture Hype Khan Academy The Funded Startup Digest Vator.tv This Week In Startups Tech News: GigOm TechCrunch Connect San Diego Software Industry Council San Diego Hacker News Founder Institute Š 2012 Michael McCafferty

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FIND STARTUP CAPITAL Tech Coast Angels Ycombinator AngelList Kickstarter CapLinked AngelPad ProFounder Blackbird Ventures O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures TrueVentures First Round Capital Avalon Ventures The Keiretsu Forum San Diego Venture Capital Group List of Incubators & Accelerators (by Launch.is) FIND KEY PEOPLE Mentors Tech Stars Subcontractors (elance.com) Co-founders (foundrs.com) Tech Talent (recruiter)

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STARTUP CONFERENCES DEMO Disrupt (TechCrunch) Launch SAN DIEGO AREA TECH NETWORKING San Diego Tech Scene Meetup GENERAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE Small Business Administration SCORE Visa Business Network

See also: Help

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Help, FAQ, Troubleshooting, etc. If you notice a glitch, or have a suggestion, please read below. If your situation is still unresolved, then please leave a comment below this post, or call or email for personal assistance:

Erika Lal, VP Admin. 858.699.0901 Help@doubleMsystems.com  

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1. The QR codes in the book are designed to work with smartphones (and tablets) with a camera, using a QR code reader app. We recommend the free app from ScanLife. See ScanLife.com 2. Virtually all current smartphones are able to read these codes. However, older smartphones may have cameras that are unable to focus on objects close at hand. 3. Viewing the online material can be done on a larger screen, directly from your computer or tablet, and leaving the book and smartphone out of the equation entirely. Do this by visiting this link: IPGFE.com 4. Differences in operation: Smartphone vs. Computer/Tablet a. Comments are expanded automatically for each post displayed on the smartphone, but not on the computer/tablet (full website) version. b. Search is unavailable on the smartphone version, but is available on the computer/tablet version.

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________________________________ FAQ Q. How do I subscribe to comments on a post? A. When you have signed into your Gmail or Blogger account, you may click the "Subscribe by email" button below the post's comments. This will allow you to receive notifications each time a comment is added to that specific post. ________________________________ See also: Resources for Startups

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About the Author

Michael McCafferty 858.699.0901 MM@doubleMsystems.com A successful serial entrepreneur for over 50 years, Michael McCafferty has founded startups in eight different industries including advertising, banking, aviation, software, and computer services. One of his more notable business achievements was the development of “TeleMagic” as the first CRM software product for the PC. Michael sold his business and traded the stress for the freedom and comfort of financial independence. © 2012 Michael McCafferty

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He continues to mentor entrepreneurs with their startups, serves on the board of advisors for several companies, and is an angel investor/member of Tech Coast Angels. After experiencing the lifestyle of Ferraris, fantasy homes and flying an open-cockpit biplane, he now resides quietly by the sea in Del Mar, California.

Click photo for Confessions of a Car Nut (the author's obsession with neat cars)

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The author "just went flying" for 7 years in this amazing open-cockpit biplane. Click photo for his book: The Spirit of Adventure. More author links: Personal website Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn Book: The Spirit of Adventure Blog: The Art and Science of Success in Business Blog: Diary of a Pool Shooter

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Begin it now, before your competition… Subscribe now to the author's blog: The Art and Science of Success in Business If your startup needs guidance, and/or an angel investment, here's your next step: 858.699.0901 MM@doubleMsystems.com

See also: Resources for Startups Help

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Interactive Pocket Guide for Entrepreneurs