Start for Success is not a textbook guide to starting out. But it does deliver an inside picture of what it truly takes to plan and to grow a successful start-up. This is an authentic picture of entrepreneurship, its ups and downs and how entrepreneurs negotiate the challenges along the way.
And there is no shying around the challenges. The author notes that, “Success does nothing to dispel the fear of failure – if anything it makes it worse. But what will see you through these challenges is a passion for what you are doing, a total focus on the desired outcomes, an increased recognition that the world doesn’t end when you mess up, and the ability to re-frame failure as the best possible learning opportunity.”
Early on, the book focuses on the personal why of entrepreneurship coupled with the mindset needed to both start and keep going, making effective decisions. Dealing with failures are inevitably part of that. But this is a book about concrete foundations, for those who have not yet started and those who are already starting to scale. So, it then moves on to all the practical subjects; from MVPs, branding, sales, marketing, financing, values, culture and risks… and much more.
The chapters are full of advice and applicable tips, illustrated with anecdotes from a vast array of entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe. These range from the fairly straightforward, to the sad, funny, and sometimes extraordinary.
The style is straightforward, down to earth and relatable. Mistakes and points of learning are as openly shared as the wins. The compelling stories make the concepts easy to understand.
The combination of these anecdotes and the author’s own extensive experience of running businesses makes for an honest and an authentic description of the roller-coaster life of the entrepreneur.
Whatever stage you are at, it will offer reminders of your journey so far and prompts to re-evaluate your current thinking. But the despite the huge quantity of extensively researched information, key points are continually highlighted.
“The only three questions you need to ask: do your customers love you, do your teams love working for you and are you financially sustainable? If the answer to those three remains a positive “yes” every time you check (and check regularly and often) then you are 99% there already,” the author comments at one point.
It is clear the author genuinely admires each and every one of the community of entrepreneurs she brings to life and that gives a joy and an inspirational quality to the stories told and lessons to be learned. This makes the book encouraging and positive while at the same time being realistic about the changes of success… that it is rarely instant and never guaranteed.
Start for Success by Jan Cavelle is available for pre-order from Amazon and other major retailers and launches 25th January priced £14.99 for the papreback