I've been reading Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey since October. Little bits and pieces here and there. (and I'll admit I still have two chapters to go!) With so much information to take in, it has been helpful to read this book in this way. Small chunks of knowledge that I can breakdown and analyze over a period of time. And that's exactly how I recommend you approach this book. Dave covers so much ground you're left scribbling notes and pondering the lessons he's shared for days. This has been without a doubt once of the best business books I have read to date. The tagline (20 years of practical business wisdom from the trenches) is true and Ramsey doesn't hold back using stories and anecdotes from his years in business to share all that he's learned these past decades of business with the reader. Ultimately Ramsey's goal is to equip business owners to be leaders, to effectively lead their teams and their companies towards success. And while I don't have a team per say working under me I found every ounce of knowledge shared valuable. So if you're a small business owner, should you read this book? Yes. And here's why. Ramsey covers nearly all aspects of business ownership in the 15 chapters of this book. From vision casting to time management to salesmanship to working with a staff. It's all covered and within detail. Ramsey gives concrete examples of scenarios and solutions to problems along with practical ways to take on the day to day aspects of business. By now it's no surprise for me to write that I finish this book feeling completely inspired and ready to tackle some changes that I need to implement into my business!
Several points of this book spoke to me right where I am at in this stage of my business. These quotes are pulled directly from the text of the book and written by Dave.
-- "You cannot lead without passion. Passion causes things to move, and passion creates a force multiplier....Passion is not yelling or being wild; it is simply caring deeply. When you and your team really care about what you are doing, the natural by-products are quality, excellence, impressed customers, employees who become team members, and ultimately a high likelihood of profit."-- Am I communicating what I am passionate about? Am I making it easy for people to relate to that passion so in turn they too become passionate about what I am doing?
-- "Vision is the next step of developing your dream into something. Visions are dreams with more clarity. Dreams become a reality only when you pull them gently from the clouds and convert them into visions." -- I must find concrete ways to take my dreams and turn them into vision. That vision must be broken down in to achievable goals that will ultimately help me achieve the vision I originally had.
-- "As an Entreleader you have to share your vision with your team early and often. It is impossible to talk about it too much." -- I must talk about my vision MORE. Why am I doing what I am doing? And do people know that?
-- "The written goal is the breakfast of champions. You just can't do big things without making your goals specific, measurable, yours, with a time limit, and in writing." -- GET specific! I have to create time limits, deadlines, and specifications for all my goals! How am I going to accomplish them? When am I going to accomplish them? And who can I bring along to help me?
--"You will either tell your day what to do or you will wonder where it went. The weird thing is, that the more efficient, on task, on goal you are with your time, the more energy you have." -- Simply, I must create a better schedule for my business life that dictates when and where things are to be done.
-- "A powerful element of good decision making is to have lots and lots of options. Options are power and therefore options remove fear." -- There can be a lot of fear in the unknown in the life of a business owner. There needs to less fear and more options!
-- "The first reason they lose focus is fear. The same applies to you and me. Fear will cause you to lose focus every time because you are looking at all the potential for failure instead of concentrating on success." -- With a tendency towards pessimism and comparison it can be hard for me sometimes to maintain focus for the exact reason stated. I need to keep my head down and focus on accomplishments and ways that I can create continued success. No more worrying about a failed dream or goal or comparing myself to others. Hold me to it!
-- "Always be generous. Generous in business, generous at home, and generous in the marketplace." -- I try to live by this.
-- "Entire companies or their product lines cease to exist almost instantaneously in today's market. The only way you survive that as a business owner or leader is to be passionate and have a higher calling for what you do." -- There's that whole passion thing again!
-- "Your mighty oak was once a very scared little acorn. Your big train was once the little engine that could." -- It's important for me to look at just how far I've come instead of focusing just on how far I have to go.
-- "We all accept the influence of referrals and make referrals virtually every day...The trick in our business is to create such quality that we go viral with positive referrals in the community and on the Internet, creating instant rapport. And we must be very intentional about pushing referrals into the market as part of our sales plan." -- The power of a referral is HUGE. What am I doing to make it easy for clients to refer me? Who am I referring to other people?
-- "It sounds so primitive and unsophisticated when I state it again, but business is really not that hard. You are, however, required to do the basics or you will not win. Budget and do the accounting, stay out of debt, don't buy what is not needed to make a profit, save cash, and always be generous. When you do these basics with a steady hand and increasing sophistication you will find yourself running a stable and satisfying operation." -- Wise words from the money man himself. It all goes back to maintaining focus and allowing your dreams and goals to influence your money. Stay focused, stay on track and keep your bank account focused as well!
As you can see, I loved this book and appreciate all the nuggets of wisdom that Ramsey shared throughout the it's pages. A shoot from the hip kind of guy, Rasmey tells it like it is. But in a sea of fluffy feel good business books, Entreleadership stands out. Practical advice and knowledge to help your business grow. As a business owner, I appreciate that kind of honesty and leadership. I'll definitely be applying much of what Ramsey shared to my own business this year!
Did anyone read along with me this month? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book if you did! If you're just hearing about this book for the first time and you'd like to win your very own copy, just leave a comment below! I'll be announcing the winner on the blog tomorrow! Good luck!
**Next month I'll be reviewing Fine Art Wedding Photography by Jose Villa. So grab a copy and read along!**