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Feeding the Meter

BOOK REVIEW: THE ART OF THE START

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If your transition includes starting a new business and getting it off the ground seems harder than expected, you’re not alone! True, new businesses have been on the rise but, according to a World Bank report published two years ago, the United States doesn’t make it easy to get a start-up, started. World Bank ranked 190 countries on the ease of beginning a business and the U.S. ranked number 51 on the list. Yikes! According to the report, a combination of regulations, taxing, licensing, and finding capital are the major culprits. Having some good tools on hand to help you proactively think through some potential quicksand is always a good idea. That’s why Guy Kawasaki’s book The Art of The Start 2.0 is great to have on any would-be-bootstrapper’s bookshelf. Although its aim is to help people grow small entreprises into big ones, there’s a ton of worthwhile gist for aspiring entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners.

Guy’s no-nonsense approach combined with a dose of humor, make it a fun but useful guide for thinking through everything from crowdfunding to cloud sharing. Guy worked at early-Apple, became a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley and is currently “Chief Evangelist” at Canva. He’s been on the giving and receiving end of pitches, watched companies boom and bust, and has fallen on his own sword as a leader more than once which he shares pretty candidly. Having loaned my own copy of The Art of the Start 2.0out a number of times only to have it disappear I finally decided “gifting it” it to clients and colleagues was the way to go. The reason? Guy’s book is really a manual that you revisit along your entrepreneurial journey, dog-earring pages and highlighting paragraphs in chapters such as “The Art of Evangelizing, “The Art of Pitching” and “The Art of Enduring” as you go.

Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“The first follower is what transforms the lone nut into a leader, and in a startup, that first follower is usually a cofounder.”

“Good enough is good enough. There is time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start—it’s how great you end up.”

“Meaning is not creating a cool place to work with free food, Ping-Pong, volleyball, and dogs.

“Meaning is making the world a better place.”

“If you make meaning, you’ll probably also make money.”

Starting a business is hard and according to the World Bank’s list, countries like Canada and Hong Kong (who ranked better than us) make it a whole lot easier so a little help from Guy and The Art of the Start 2.0 probably can’t hurt!

Lynne Cage