Books are inspirational, influential and sometimes life changing. As a child I loved books; as a commuter I remained an avid reader. Boy did I wish that e-readers were around then!
A few years ago a contact suggested that I read Work The System by Sam Carpenter. I’d just read The E-Myth Revisited, so understood the Why of systemisation but it was Sam’s story (his very personal journey) that articulated the How. This book, above all others, is the one I recommend to everyone!
As I wrote my book The Grown-Up Business I found myself quoting Sam and then I decided that I needed to include his 30 Principles to really demonstrate a point. My publishers told me to take it out as “I’d never get permission to reprint it”. Odd I thought as I hadn’t even asked. In my, don’t ask don’t get mood, I emailed via the book website for the attention of Sam and asked.
I explained what I had written and why I wanted to include his 30 Principles. Within an hour I had a ‘Yes’ from Sam himself. He appreciated my comments about his book, gave me permission to include his 30 Principles and offered to read my book. I was delighted. I had never met Sam, nor talked to him or had any contact before that [email protected] email.
I sent him the edited manuscript and asked him if he would write the foreword to the book if he thought it was worthy. I held my breath. Would he like it, would he write it……?
A few tense days went by, then Sam’s holiday and then it appeared in my inbox! Yippee!! He’d read the book, written a quote for me “If you operate a business buy this book today. Not tomorrow. Today” I was thrilled and as I read on he had also taken time to write the foreword to my book too.
Here it is….
It’s not often that I endorse a business book because the vast majority beat around the bush and wax too philosophical for my taste. But Grown-Up is different. It’s honed in the non-theoretical/let’s-face-reality world, and is down-and-dirty useful. It is my pleasure to make a strong endorsement.
I’m a systems-mindset, international business consultant specializing in fixing broken businesses and here’s something that I know for sure: the fixing happens in the mechanics of an operation and that fixing can only begin at the very top, at the ownership level. Only there can permanent change begin to take place.
Another essential fact: a faux-business is one in which the owner insists on working inside, day and night, to make it work. That’s a job, and usually a lousy job at that. A true business is one that stands alone; one that produces a profit – and provides jobs and a great product or service – as a self-contained entity that is separate from the owner. Anything less than this is a self-imposed job.
Shirley’s book begins with the comparison of a business with a human life… It’s a perfect analogy, really, and this thread weaves its way throughout.
Change? Change starts with a “tweak in the head,” and that engenders a separation from the business, and that separation leads naturally to the point where problems are solved by “awareness, then analysis and then identification,” and then, next…”reviewing, making a decision and prescribing.” Well, it’s very simple: one does this over and over and over again until one ends up with an “adult business.” No more fire-killing and a great bottom line. This is a business that has a backbone, stands on its own, and creates value for all involved… and is worth tangible value to the owner as an independent money-making machine.
Grown-Up assertively addresses the emotional aspects of operating an enterprise. One has to stay motivated and this means the inevitable emotional slumps must be minimized and remain short-lived. How does one accomplish this? It’s in these pages, with scores of actual real-world approaches and solutions. I really enjoyed this book!
And, another important thread that weaves its way throughout: “Tiny tweaks can have a massive impact.” It’s all about systemization and process control.
Grown-Up is more than a front-to-back read: It’s a practical handbook in which one can dip in and out. It’s a comfort to have on the night stand by the bed, and as a permanent passenger in the back seat of the car. For the struggling business owner – or the owner who’s doing fine but just isn’t advancing – The Grown-Up Business is mandatory reading.
-Sam Carpenter, author of Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less September, 2014
To this day I’ve still haven’t met Sam, but I will do one day. This little story is proof that sometimes having the courage to ask means you get exactly what you ask for. I am forever indebted to Sam and for his feedback on my book.
You can read what Sam is talking about in the The Grown-Up Business. But I’d also like you to buy Sam’s book – you’ll be pleased you did!
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