15 Bedtime Stories that Keep Entrepreneurs Awake at Night

I do most of my reading at night. In fact, there’s a stack of books on my nightstand that has become a standing joke with my husband. I choose my reading like you might choose a meal at a restaurant – just depends on what I have a taste for. Lately, I’ve had a hankering for short books that teach me something in a new and interesting way.

About a week ago, I received a review copy of David Ingram’s book called 15 Bedtime Stories That Keep Entrepreneurs Awake at Night.” I thought that was an interesting title to a book. When I saw that the introduction started with “Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story, ” I was looking forward to a whole new twist on entrepreneurial business lessons learned through stories and with a moral at the end that wraps up the lesson in a nice little package.

15 Bedtime Stories aren’t really bedtime stories at all. They are 15 real-life stories of what NOT to do as an entrepreneur:

Bedtime-stories1.  Don’t Run Out of Cash
2.  Don’t Ignore Trusted Advisors
3.  Don’t Lock Your Doors
4.  Don’t Isolate Yourself
5.  Don’t Compromise Your Ethics
6.  Don’t Avoid Confrontation
7.  Don’t Let Your Company Depend on Just You
8.  Don’t Cut Corners
9.  Don’t Try to Do Everything
10. Don’t Rely on One Customer
11. Don’t Be a Scrooge
12. Don’t Hire and Fire Haphazardly
13. Don’t Ignore Worst Case Scenarios
14. Don’t Mess Around with Rotten Attitudes
15. Don’t Tolerate Sloppy and Off-Color Communication

Each chapter starts with a story from David Ingram’s many successful entrepreneurial experiences. Within each successful venture are some not-so-successful moves; like the one in “Don’t Ignore Trusted Advisors” where David interpreted his Advisor’s silence as approval and opened a satellite office which proved to be more of a drain than an asset.

At the end of each chapter is a moral or lesson from the story followed by a “Reflection and Action” section . I like this section because Ingram asks the questions that only someone who has been there knows to ask or has the right to ask.

What I Like About The Book

I like that you can glance at the chapter names and read the moral and the action items and get a real-life MBA worthy education in about 30 minutes. Then when you have a little more time, dig into the meat of any of the chapters and see how he learned that lesson.  Think about what you can learn from his experience before you trip up yourself.

Who Would Enjoy This Book

This book is ideal for entrepreneurs who are starting a new venture. It contains lessons David Ingram wished he had learned a little sooner because it would have saved him not just time, but exponential earnings and growth.

Why Should You Listen to David Ingram?

I have to admit that when I started reading this book the first thing I thought was “Here goes another book filled with someone’s war stories about their entrepreneurial journey.” I knew there had to be more to the story, so I set up an interview with David Ingram.

Before the interview, I sent him an e-mail that asked for more juicy details that may not have been covered in the book. I wanted to get to the heart of why he wrote this book. David told me that he wanted to make an impact on the success of small businesses. “If 65% of small businesses fail within three years, what if I could change that to 62%? A small impact in that number can effect thousands of lives. I want to be part of a solution and share my mistakes and lessons so that others can take advantage of the growth that comes with doing it right.”

David Ingram is committed to the growth and success of small business. He’s proven that he can build a grow a successful business in the worst of times and is a two-time Inc. 5000 winner. You should listen to him because he’s been where you are.

What You Won’t Find

Don’t let the title fool you. This is NOT a story book. It’s a series of real-life learning experiences. If you’re thinking (like I was) that you would be entertained, you won’t. If you’re thinking that the stories will lull you to sleep with reassurances that this won’t happen to you – they won’t. In fact, you might see some of yourself in these stories and start losing sleep in the process.

Entrepreneurs have always been the lifeblood of the economy. 15 Bedtime Stories That Keep Entrepreneurs Awake at Night will prepare and educate small business owners to succeed in any economy.

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Ivana Taylor About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer.  She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers.  Her blog is Strategy Stew.

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."