EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches was a great book to read the second time around, and I learned more now than I did then. I marked it up thoroughly so that I can use it as a reference guide for building Paul Davis Solutions, and hope to give you enough of an idea in this review to decide whether you want to buy it yourself.
Good Content for Various Stages of Business
In fifteen chapters, Dave Ramsey covers everything from defining a term he coined (combining entrepreneur and leader) through all the fundamentals of running a business. It is an ambitious project to include sales and marketing, accounting, human resources, strategic planning, business launching, decision making and more in one book, and Dave Ramsey does an admirable job.
Whether just starting or celebrating 30 years, EntreLeadership is a great tool for refreshing your understanding of the fundamental principles to running a business. If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, you might have heard he gives the same advice your grandmother would give you, he just keeps his teeth in.
This book is no different. It has some solid, common sense principles for running a business and these are 3 key takeaways I got from the book (that will probably change the next time I read it).
“My total surrender following my failure is at the root of our tremendous success today.” – Page 2
Personally, this was a significant quote for where my business is at right now. I find it comforting, because PDS is being built on the backs of many part-time businesses. In the first two chapters, Dave Ramsey offers his significant history as a business person as the reason and the method behind writing this book. The sub-title gives it away: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches.
This is one of the most inspiring parts of the book for a business person facing tough times; it reminds us that we are not alone and in every failure is buried the seed of success.
Chapter 8, Death of a Salesman, is Dave Ramsey’s explanation on sales. Knowing his history with and love of selling from the introduction and chapter 1, I am surprised he waits until Chapter 8, but he had many prerequisites to cover. This chapter has some excellent points including the fact that everyone is in sales.
If you are asking someone out on a date, you are selling your prospect as a suitor.
If a child tries to convince their parents to buy something, they are selling the need for that toy to their parents.
This is a good reminder for any business person or employee: if you are not actively involved in getting and keeping customers for your business, there will eventually be no business.
Another good point to remember from this book is the sales cycle. Different from the inbound marketing cycle, the sales cycle involves qualifying a lead, building rapport with the lead, providing education/information to the lead, and closing the lead to a customer. As Dave Ramsey points out, if you have done the steps properly, people tend to close themselves and at that point you will be merely an order taker.
I would recommend this book just for the chapter on selling.
Back to the Basics
In 305 pages, Dave Ramsey “spanned high-level leadership philosophy all the way to the daily mechanics of starting a business in your living room.” In order to cover so much in one book, he has to provide basic, common sense answers to most people’s questions. If you want a primer on the different types of social media, their market demographics, and how to reach them, this is not the book for you. If you want a reminder on how to find that information, this book is right for you. If you want a legal primer on contract law and human resources, you should not be reading a blog on marketing, AND this book is not right for you. If you want an overview of all the aspects of your business that you might be overlooking, including contracts and human resources, this is the book for you.
EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches provides some common sense thoughts and guidelines to grow a business by and helped me remember some areas in my business that need improving.
So, on to the next step!
If you need help with your basics in marketing, creating content, or building inbound funnels, please contact me today to see if we would be a good fit.
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