Is starting a new business in the cards for you in 2013? Or have you recently started a new business and are looking for helpful tips and insights from someone who’s been down that road – more than once?
If either of these sounds like you, then Bill McBean’s book, The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows that You Don’t, is a book you’ll want to read – and soon. I received a review copy and decided to read and review it for you because I found a lot of interesting advice inside that applies to all kinds of business owners and managers.
Bill McBean Knows the World of Business; the Good, the Bad and the Surprising
Bill McBean has been a successful business owner for over forty years. He spent a lot of time in the automotive industry where he purchased several under-performing dealerships and turned them around. You may not have heard of the dealerships he purchased and revitalized, but you’ve certainly heard of the automotive retailer that bought them from Bill – AutoNation.
How The Facts of Business Life is Like an Onion
NO – it doesn’t stink! The Facts of Business Life is a book written in a very unique way – it’s layered. This is very interesting because the book delivers these lessons in a similar way to the way they are delivered in real life – in layers. Let me explain.
According to McBean, there are five levels of business success:
- Ownership and opportunity
- Creating your company DNA
- Survival to success
- Maintaining success
- Moving on when it’s time to go
AND, McBean outlines the seven facts without which no business can succeed:
- If you don’t lead, no one will follow
- If you don’t control it, you don’t own it.
- Protecting your company’s assets is your first priority.
- Planning is about preparing for the future, not predicting it.
- If you don’t market your business, you won’t have one.
- The marketplace is a war zone.
- You don’t just have to know the business you’re in, you have to know business.
And this is where The Facts of Business Life gets interesting. McBean then takes the seven facts and takes them through the five levels of success. This is fantastic because as the reader, you get the feeling that all the bases are covered and you won’t miss a thing.
In other words, you feel like everything there is to say about the subject has been said. McBean helps the process along by having a “Benefits” section at the end of each level. If you’re the type to create affirmations, you’ll actually be able to take these on as reflections.
Let me show you what I mean: In an early chapter that addresses rule #1, “If you don’t lead no one will follow” at level 4: Maintaining Success, McBean gets into that wondrous feeling of having attained your goals and your success. More importantly he addresses the tendency to sit back and enjoy the ride and, along with that, the necessity to be ever vigilant with the following reflections:
- Being a leader enables you to give the company focus and renewed purpose even after success has been achieved.
- Being a leader enables you to overcome the traps of success.
- Being a leader drives change, and change keeps a business fresh
What to Look Out for While You’re Reading The Facts of Business Life
I’m not sure if I’m the best authority to say this, but as I was reading this book, I could feel some resistance around some of what McBean was writing. I could hear that little voice inside my head saying things like, “It shouldn’t be like that!” – especially as I was reading the section called “The Market is a War Zone.”
To me, “the market” occurs as a place of infinite choice, rather than a fight. McBean says:
“The marketplace is finite and there is a limited number of customers and of money…”
I don’t operate this way and this chapter got me to play around with how my assumptions might be limiting or hampering my growth. I also got to thinking about how the assumption of limited money and customers would impact other decisions a business owner might make.
As you read through The Facts of Business Life, you may find yourself having those same kinds of thoughts and feelings. And this is the great gift that McBean gives the reader; the opportunity to take that time to think it through. You can agree or disagree, but at least you’ve taken the time to think about it rather than just acting and reacting with no focus.
Why Read The Facts of Business Life?
You may have already noticed that the books I’ve been reviewing lately are all focused on thinking things through strategically. My intention is to get us all prepared for the start of a new quarter and a new year. This is the time to take in a variety of ideas, thoughts, strategies and tools so that you have the time to process all the information and develop strategies that will drive your business into the future.
The Facts of Business Life is a great book to add to your reading list as you prepare for 2013 and beyond.