Fail Fast or Win Big

The Start-Up Plan for Starting Now

 Fail Fast or Win Big

Author: Bernhard Schroeder
Pub Date: February 2015
Print Edition: $21.95
Print ISBN: 9780814434789
Page Count: 208
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814434796

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If You Want to Be an Entrepreneur, Be one!

“I have met a lot of people who have become really good entrepreneurs. They are not special,” states Bernhard Schroeder, a marketing and start-up expert who, among his credentials, helped launch ESPN online and Amazon. “What is the most important thing they do? It is that they do.” In his new book, FAIL FAST OR WIN BIG (AMACOM; February 2015), Schroeder offers all aspiring entrepreneurs the following do it advice:

Founders create start-ups; teams build companies. No single entrepreneur can possibly know it all and run it all. “What true entrepreneurs realize,” Schroeder attests, “is that they are only good at one or two things and so they need to attract the best possible people to help them in building a real company.” Team-building tip: Invest in creating an outstanding diversified network; you will need it.

Mentors really do matter. Everyone seeking to be an entrepreneur, regardless of age, needs a mentor. “Mentors will help you neutralize your weaknesses and expand your strengths,” assures Schroeder. “They will keep you from making ‘career limiting’ mistakes. They will be a great sounding board. They will make you think. They will hold you accountable.” Mentee must: Look for a person who has deep experience in an area where you aim to launch a company. Look for someone to push and support you toward the next level of your life.

Entrepreneurship is a mentality. Lean, hungry, and resourceful. That’s the ideal state of mind for an entrepreneur. “Leverage every resource possible, whether that’s office space, technology, or people. Think lean, be lean.” Schroeder urges. “If you behave in this manner, you will get things done and other people around you will become resourceful as well.” To start thinking like an entrepreneur: Assume you won’t get enough—or any—money to launch your company. Don’t use that as an excuse. Use it as an advantage that will move you faster.

Embrace the idea of listening. Being an entrepreneur takes more than thinking you have a great product or service to offer. It takes knowing whether that product or service is something customers actually want or need. That takes listening to advisers, employees, competitors, forecasters, and, above all, potential customers. “A collective customer voice is your truth,” Schroeder stresses. “Ignore it at your peril.” Listen up: Arrogance rarely pays. Be prepared to adjust your product or service, based on customer feedback and changes occurring in the marketplace.

Adapted from FAIL FAST OR WIN BIG: The Start-Up Plan for Starting Now by Bernhard Schroeder (AMACOM; February 2015; $21.95 Hardcover; ISBN: 978-0-8144-3478-9; eBook ISBN: 978-0-8144-3479-6).

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