When we first start out as entrepreneurs, it's easy to make mistakes, waste time and money, and cause ourselves a lot of stress. However, motivated entrepreneurs will read extensively, learn from others and experiment continuously.

This little book, and the associated web pages, contain a few of the principles learned from half a century as a serial entrepreneur and mentor, helping selected entrepreneurs apply these principles to build their own successful companies.

The highest levels of success came to my business adventures when I focused on The Ten Basic Principles for Managing a Young, Growing Business.

These truths spoke to me as being essential to success. I resolved to use them fully and without reservation, and I still keep them at my desk today. I have shared them with you starting on page 4 of the Interactive Pocket Guide for Entrepreneurs book. Additional principles begin on page 16.

Each principle has a unique QR (Quick Response) code that your smartphone can scan to link to this web page where the principle is discussed in depth, and where you can ask questions, leave comments, and learn from other readers.

Repetition is key. Keep the book handy, review the principles often, and continue to engage with other readers to learn more.

This last point is most important: to engage with a community of like-minded and experienced people, to learn and share ideas.
See also:

Defining Entrepreneurship


is living a few years of your life

like most people won't,

so you can spend the rest of your life

like most people can't.


Previous  /  Next

See also:

Let There Be Cash

Project, monitor and conserve cash and credit capability.

Cash flow is the life's blood of a growing business. A company's ability to continue is determined daily, not at year end, by the contents of the checking account rather than the financial statement.

Keeping cash on hand or readily available for both planned and unplanned events is not only prudent but necessary in unsettled times. Cultivation of financial sources is an enduring duty.

Previous  /  Next

See also:
Resources for Startups

Think Straight

Maintain a detached point of view.

Managing a growing business requires unyielding dedication that can consume the body, impair the senses and warp the mind. Such effects are harmful to the individual and the enterprise. Clinical objectivity is the only preventative.

Growth implies and entails risk. Risk begets failure as well as success. Wide perspective gained through nonbusiness experience or study helps one endure the pressures and accept the results, good and bad, of business decisions.

This video is a true classic on clear thinking:

See also:
Your Business Must Serve You First
Resources for Startups

Travel Light

Limit the number of primary participants to people who can consciously agree upon and contribute directly to the goals of the business.

There are many reasons people become involved in young, growing companies as owners, investors, or key team members. The broad range of satisfaction sought runs from an opportunity to personal expression on one end of the spectrum to capital gains on the other.

Unless there is compatibility between what each primary participant wants out of the business, debilitating conflict is likely to ensue. The process of trying to consciously agree on the purpose of the enterprise is often difficult and revealing.

Consider the following video carefully:

See also:

The Customer Is King

Define the business in terms of what is to be bought, precisely by whom, and why.

Businesses are organs of society that perform tasks associated with providing most goods and services the public decides it wants. Under the capitalistic system, a business can prosper to the extent it performs its particular tasks effectively and efficiently.

The nature of the tasks to be performed usually changes over time as those served change The successful company predicts and responds to the needs of its chosen customers.

Customers, therefore define the business. At all times, some customers are growing in their ability to buy, others are declining. The astute manager ascertains which is which.

Previous  /  Next

See also:
Resources for Startups

Write It Down

Prepare and work from a written plan that shows who does what, by when.

Until committed to paper, intentions are seeds without soil, sails without wind, mere wishes that render communication inefficient, understanding uncertain, feedback inaccurate, and execution sporadic. Without execution, there is no payoff.

Begin it Now

Whatever you can do

or dream you can,

begin it.

Boldness has Genius,

Power and Magic in it.

Begin it now!


See also:

Hire Experience

Employ key people with proven records of success at doing what needs to be done.

People do what they like; they like what they know. Experience adds depth to knowledge. The best indicator of how people will perform in the future is how they have done in the past in the same or related activity.

Criteria for selecting key people are dictated by the plans, the blueprints for the business. The plans reflect the operational objectives and the intentions of the primary participants. The interest and capabilities of a new person must harmonize with both.

If experience is not required, hire Attitude.

See also:


Reward individual performance that exceeds agreed upon standards.

Performance above the minimum level is a discretionary matter for each team member. Most people have alternative off-the-job ways of using excess energy or talent. Channeling such excess into activity beneficial to the business requires a tailored approach for each individual.

A manager must first ensure that there is understanding of the minimum results to be achieved. Then, for performance above the minimum, forms of compensation important to the performer - or in some cases, teams of performers - must be used.

This video offers some surprising research on what motivates us and how it changes according to certain circumstances:

See also:

Conserve Energy

Concentrate all available resources on accomplishing two or three specific operational objectives within a given time period.

A young, growing company has finite resources and will therefore achieve competitive advantage when playing for limited, explicit gains in a marketplace of its own choosing. Specialization breeds an organization sensitive to opportunities and quick to act.

But any advantage withers if follow through is weak. It will be weak if resources are dissipated. Resource dilution is a sure formula for mediocrity, a state of being that aspiring growth businesses cannot afford.

Steve Jobs started in a garage and built the most valuable company in the country by saying "No!". The bottom line is that you can't do everything, so choose wisely.

See also:

Be Not Greedy

Expand methodically from a profitable base toward a balanced business.

Optimism is both the poison and the antidote of the growth company manager. It may be possible to accomplish all things, but not simultaneously. With limited resources, sequential growth over time is the judicious prescription for prosperity.


Anticipate incessant external change by continuously testing adopted business plans for their consistency with the realities of the world marketplace.

The Superior Man

The superior man 

is slow in his words 

and earnest in his actions.


See also:

Measure it to manage it

You’re either in control, or out of control. It is of the utmost importance to know the difference, and the only way to know that is to measure what you need to control.