Did I ever tell you about the time my husband and I nearly broke up over a map?
We had just started dating and decided to drive down to D.C. from Philadelphia, where we lived at the time. You know the kind of spontaneous road-trip I’m talking about? It’s the one where you have this great idea and decide on the spur of the moment to throw a few things into a bag, jump in the car and head out for a romantic weekend.
It was glorious for about 90% of the trip, until I made a wrong turn into the worst part of D.C. It was getting dark, we were lost and Tony said, “Where’s your map?” I just looked at him blankly and said, “Map? Uh, let me see if I have one.”
Well, let me tell you that was a moment. I wasn’t sure if our relationship would survive it at the time. But since then, I’ve learned how to read a map and both our travel and our relationship have been on relatively smooth sailing since.
Until that moment, I hadn’t realized how powerful a map could be. But when you really need to get to a destination and you aren’t quite sure where you’re going, a map is your best bet.
The Roadmap to Profitable Growth has Business Wisdom at Every Turn
The reason I shared one of my personal map stories (yes, I have more) is that it’s a lot like being in business. I guess John Mariotti, Author of Roadmap to Profitable Growth saw the same connection between maps and business. In the introduction to Roadmap to Profitable Growth, he explains:
Too many people get lost and wander aimlessly because they have no “roadmap” for where they wanted to go or if they did, they failed to use it.
While so many books today seek to intellectualize or romanticize the business-building and business-running experience, Mariotti does nothing more than speak from his experience of running several world-class organizations. He served as the CEO of Huffy (when Huffy was the darling of marketing case studies) and Rubbermaid Office Products.
What I’m trying to say is that this book is a pragmatic business owner’s handbook. It’s not grounded in any kind of lofty research nor does it contain dozens of case studies from big brands that you can’t possibly relate your smaller business to. Instead, it’s filled with practical lessons gained from real-world, on-the-job experiences Mariotti has learned from and now shares with you.
What Makes Mariotti An Expert Worth Listening To?
I first met John Mariotti almost 13 years ago through a mutual friend who invited me to be a part of John’s Enterprise Group, a coalition of time-shared advisors™ which he founded 18 years ago after having been the President of two companies and then Chairman of World Kitchen.
John has written eight business books, a mini-book and even a prescient novel about cyber terrorism. In addition to all of his books, he’s written hundreds (maybe even thousands) of articles which have been published on Forbes and here on Small Business Trends.
What makes him worth listening to is his experience of managing big businesses, small businesses and everything in between. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if he hasn’t seen it all, he’s seen at least the 80% that counts. And more than that, Mariotti isn’t afraid of acting, failing, learning and trying again to gain better results.
What I respect most about Mariotti is his openness, honesty and pragmatic sensibility when it comes to running a business.
A Few Fun Tidbits From the Book
Like I said, I happen to have known John for quite a few years and was comforted to see so many of his favorite phrases and stories in this book mashed and combined with classic quotes from folks like Peter Drucker.
Here are just a few of the “Mariotti mantras” that any business owner can appreciate:
- Planning and acting is better than waiting and acting.
- Complexity is created with the best of intentions.
- PP*2 Does not equal FF — (Preserving the Past) and (Perfecting the Present) does not equal (Finding the Future).
- Nothing is more important in business – and in life – than people.
There are many more of these simple phrases and explanations of how to use them to successfully run your business and make good decisions inside this small book of 122 pages.
Read It and Reap
I would say that this book isn’t just for business owners. In today’s age where everyone is expected to be entrepreneurial – chances are, you’ll want to have a copy of this book and read it often.
Roadmap to Profitable Growth is a book that you’ll read once all the way through, dog ear some of the sections that are worth returning to and then go back again and again to simply make sure that you’re still on the right path to profitability.