I have had Tycoon, the book by Peter Jones for quite a while and eventually got around to reading it. Peter Jones, a well known Dragon from the UK TV show the Dragons Den (Dragons Den is an investment business show shown on the BBC) has written a book and it had a few useful tidbits, in particular the section on this self made millionaire golden rules I found useful.
The book is split into eight chapters:
- The Ten Golden Rules
- Put Your Imagination to Work
- What’s the Big Idea?
- Planning and Pitching
- Ignition, Making it Happen
- Building Your Future
- My Time on TV
- Final Word
I found most of the book a bit of ego trip for Peter and I have a feeling it went along with the TV show of the time that was very similar, a bit of a disappointment.
The part that has the most value for new entrepreneurs and resonated for me was the The Ten Golden Rules as below, the rest I skipped through as it was useful in parts but nothing new from the many of other books out there.
The Ten Golden Rules
RULE 1: Have a vision. Your vision is your destination. You’ll need a map to help you reach that destination, which will be made up of goals and results. The vision is the vital part, otherwise you won’t know where you are heading and your goals will be irrelevant.
My comments: So I agree that you need to have a clear “outcome” for your business but it goes well beyond a vision, it needs to be a big “dream”, one where you can build a passionate team. I also think the vision must be shared with the whole startup team and you need to be able to “live” the vision daily…it should be baked into the culture.
RULE 2: Use your influence. All businesses need business partners to grow. Tycoons know the importance of filling the gaps and weaknesses in their own skill set or business idea by finding the parts of the jigsaw puzzle to create the best chance of success.
My comments: This is important, know your strengths and weaknesses and then finding people to compliment you is very important to success and also raising funding.
RULE 3: Build your confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself or your idea, why should anyone else? Gain confidence through gaining experience, skills and knowledge. Change your perception of failure to realise that it gives you feedback. Feedback provides essential learning to help know what not to do next time.
My comments: Confidence is very near the top of the list for success in my view, you need it to do anything in a startup from raising funds, getting staff, getting customers…all these early tasks will be carried along by confidence and very hard to achieve without it.
RULE 4: Make a commitment. Committing to follow through once a decision is made is an invaluable ally on your road to success. Be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices. Commit to a common goal and make it happen, but commit to yourself and your health too.
My comments: Again, the startup road is extremely tough and long, you have to be up for it and to make a solid commitment to see it through or you will likely fail just before you get the success you deserve. So many fail 2’” from their goals through lack of commitment.
RULE 5: Take action. Action is the bridge between your vision and results. Action involves figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be and taking the necessary steps in order to get there. Without action, there would be no results.
My comments: This is pretty obvious but many people have a great dream and do nothing about it! Use tools like my book “So you want to be an entrepreneur” to get very clear on what you want and then take action and break the inertia.
RULE 6: Aim for results. Tycoons make things happen. They are driven by results. Planning for your success is as important as achieving it. You need to know exactly how you got there so your success can be duplicated, scaled up and multiplied, and it is that which turns an entrepreneur into a Tycoon.
My comments: This is much the same as have a clear vision and outcome. You must set targets and aim for them, frankly a startup rarely hits it’s targets as they often move but if you don’t aim for the stars you won’t even reach the clouds!
RULE 7: Get your timing right. Anticipating the changing needs of the market and partners is crucial. Timing when to enter a market or not will help optimize success, as will knowing the right time and circumstances to start your business.
My comments: This has a lot to do with early planning of a business or taking advantage of changes in a market, or perhaps the availability of funding and staff. In 2009 it’s good timing for low overheads and staff availability but poor for funding. Also, with the many new changes there will be many opportunities for new businesses. Make sure you use your head as well as your heart making deciding to startup!
RULE 8: Persevere. Tycoons go the extra mile. Perseverance, sheer determination and tenacity are core characteristics of the Mindset of a Tycoon. Successful entrepreneurs battle against all the odds to build their business and always appreciate when it is time to get out. Try to have flexibility to work outside your own comfort zones in order to bring your dreams to fruition.
My comments: This is my No.1 trait for entrepreneurial success!
RULE 9: Be caring. Relationships with people are key. Business and personal relationships should be cherished. Treat people how you would want to be treated. Always remember that people are the lifeblood and engine room of any business.
My comments: This seems pretty obvious to me.
RULE 10: Use your intuition. Listen to your instincts. They can protect you from making poor business decisions and guide you down the right path. These key attributes are your tools for entrepreneurial brilliance.
My comments: I like this last one as I can tell you every time I have made a decision where my “gut” reaction was against it I made a huge mistake! You have to learn to trust your inner intuition even when you will be wrong on occasion – in my case it cost my a great deal of pain and aggravation and was mostly related to people who I should not have hired or done business with…
So these are useful set of rules, I would have added some and removed others but they do “set the scene” for a new entrepeenur and give you some useful guidance across the board in getting going.
The rest of the book has few nice bits in it but is not for those of us who have the experience of running our own business but it is useful in parts for someone totally new to business.