Most of us harbor thoughts of starting a business.

It is a delicious fantasy while staring at gray cubicle walls, or toil­ing outside for an hourly wage under the command of someone who is profiting from the fruits of your labor.

“I can do this,” you say, “How hard could it be?”

Some, emboldened by the desire to take charge of their own des­tiny, actually take the leap.

Things can go well for a while, until the moment when they real­ize that there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong.

And that if they had known then what they knew now, they may not have been so quick to give notice at their job, or to invest precious money, time, and energy in an idea that was not quite ready for prime time.

The greatest heartbreak, popular success publications tout, is failing to do something about your burning passion for a world-changing idea.

A greater heartbreak, in reality, is placing this idea onto a shaky foundation, and watching it fall apart.

What is really driving your desire to start a business? If you are like most people:

■ You want to make an impact in the world.

■ You want to create wealth for yourself and your family.

■ You want to translate your idea into a tangible product or service.

■ You want to have flexibility to spend time with your family.

■ You want to feel fully alive.

■ You want to use your strengths in a way that leads to deep value.

These desires are not fantasies. There are thousands of entrepre­neurs who have built successful businesses on a solid foundation and accomplish these goals every day.

The difference between them and others who end up in the “failed” pile of startup statistics is that they cared enough about their ideas to give them the very best chance to succeed.

Caring means researching. Caring means testing ideas before committing too many resources. Caring means not brushing off peo­ple who challenge your idea. Caring means getting the very best ad­vice from people who have successfully guided companies through the startup phase and beyond.

In 6 Secrets to Startup Success, John Bradberry, a calm, steady hand and seasoned mentor, brings an invaluable voice of reason that will guide you every step of the way without preaching or dampening your enthusiasm. He celebrates entrepreneurial passion while giving it the structure it needs to result in business success:

The solution lies not in ratcheting down passion, but in elevating awareness. By pausing early in your startup process to take an ob­jective look at yourself and what you bring to the table—your pur­pose, goals, skills, resources, and needs—you can develop a highly valuable kind of optimism, one that rests on the rock of clear, hon­est assessment and willful preparation. I call it earned optimism.

It is such a relief to know that sustained energy to grow your busi­ness is not based on manufactured enthusiasm or pep talks from mo­tivational speakers. It is based on executing a well-defined yet flexible plan in tiny steps, leaning into the market and adjusting your business model as you go.

If you want to mitigate and reduce risk to your career, your fi­nances, your relationships, and your health before starting your busi­ness, read this book.

You will breathe easier.

Most important, you will increase the likelihood that your busi­ness will be a raging success.

—Pamela Slim, author, Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur


Resources and Readings

Thanks to Internet search technology and social media interconnec­tivity, answers to most entrepreneurial questions can be found with a few clicks. I have attempted to list sources beyond the usual …

Startup Readiness Tool

This tool can be used to: ■ Evaluate and improve a founding team’s readiness to launch a business ■ Calibrate the timing of a startup effort (accelerate or delay) ■ …


The deepest form of entrepreneurial commitment acknowledges and accepts that there are forces in the marketplace that are beyond the founder’s control, forces that will impact the venture’s destiny for …

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