“An excellent summary of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Every person who wants to start the ‘next big thing’ should read 6 Secrets to Startup Success before taking the leap forward.”
—Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Alltop.com and author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
Because they see and hear it all the time, on the Web, on TV, in magazines, it’s easy for aspiring entrepreneurs to believe the message: Starting a business of your own is the surest way to happiness and wealth. The only thing holding you back is…you! With no corporate safety net to fall back on, millions of passionate believers—six million Americans a year, according to Small Business Association figures—make the bold leap onto the startup path. Unfortunately, less than half of these new ventures survive beyond a few years. Among the minority of entrepreneurs who keep their business running for 10 years or more, the vast majority work longer hours, endure greater stress, and earn less—about 35 percent less—than they would have if they’d kept working for someone else. What accounts for the significant gap between entrepreneurial desire, drive, courage, creativity, and faith and what entrepreneurs actually achieve? As an entrepreneur and a growth consultant to entrepreneurs, John Bradberry was not only intrigued by this question; he had a financial stake in finding answers. In his new book, 6 SECRETS TO STARTUP SUCCESS: How to Turn Your Entrepreneurial Passion into a Thriving Business (AMACOM; March 24, 2011; $21.95 Hardcover), Bradberry reveals how the very qualities that breathe life into a new business can lead to behaviors that doom an exciting venture to disappoint or devastate. “Entrepreneurial passion is a double-edged sword,” Bradberry says, “bringing value as well as danger.”
Based on years of studying the downfalls of promising new business ventures, Bradberry identifies a pattern that every enthusiastic entrepreneur should make it his or her business to understand: the passion trap. When entrepreneurs fall into the passion trap, they become blinded by their emotional attachment to a business idea, prone to rose-colored planning, lulled into measuring success by how good they feel about their effort, and inflexible in the face of new data. Entrepreneurs will learn about how the passion trap impacts a new business, how it sneaks up on unsuspecting founders, and why some personality types are more susceptible than others. They’ll also come to recognize early warning signs that they might be headed for a fall into the passion trap when there is still time to counteract its destructive effects.
6 SECRETS TO STARTUP SUCCESS explores six principles to help entrepreneurs channel and apply their passion to dramatically improve their odds of new venture success. Filled with proven strategies and compelling stories of real-life entrepreneurs—passionate business founders who share their struggles, mistakes, and triumphs—chapters delve into the importance of:
* Preparing to become a business founder before jumping in by taking an honest look at what you bring to the table and aligning your skills with your venture goals.
* Building a business model to the marketplace, rather than to an entrepreneurial idea.
* Ensuring that your passion adds up by doing the math and charting a clear, realistic path to breakeven and beyond.
* Testing and adapting your concept as early as possible, staying open to change, and continually improving the fit between your big idea and the marketplace.
* Setting a tone of truth-telling and healthy debate throughout your venture.
* Giving your startup more than sufficient time (and money) to take flight, while building healthy personal resilience and perseverance.
Packed with valuable insights and useful tools, 6 SECRETS TO STARTUP SUCCESS provides amuch-needed bridge between entrepreneurial passion and reason—the essential combination for a launching a business with staying power.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Bradberry has improved the performance of hundreds of teams and more than a thousand leaders over two decades as an entrepreneur, consultant, and investor. Since 1997, he has led an independent consulting practice focused on helping businesses of all sizes achieve healthy growth. He has a master’s degree in psychology and has taught leadership programs to executives in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. In 2007, he launched an extended study of the universal factors that drive new venture success, which led to his first book, 6 Secrets to Startup Success. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.