This week we read REWORK, by Jason Fried. This business book, by the creators of 37 signals, attempts to show you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. The author’s belief is that you need less than you think to succeed. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses. They definitely toss out the old business rules, which may make some people uncomfortable. Truth be told, I don’t agree with everything they have to say. I still believe in meetings and paperwork. At first I was put off by this book, but I am always determined to find the nugget of wisdom in any book I read. However, some will find these suggestions refreshing.
A few months ago a colleague of mine recommended Rework to me. We had been talking about what would be the best first suggestion to share with a new business owner or entrepreneur. We both agreed that going into business doesn’t have to cost much, and that was the best advice given in this boo. In the beginning you don’t need all the bells and whistles. Minimal costs for a domain name, cost of business cards, and maybe applying for you’re doing business as” (abbreviated DBA, dba, d.b.a. or d/b/a. DBA, a legal term used in the United States and Canada, refers to the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented). These are just the basic necessities for a new business, but Fried also has a lot of useful information for anyone in the business world.
Basically, your goal should be to get your first customer or client. Getting that first client or customer starts the cash flow. There are many avenues you can explore to find that first client. It doesn’t cost anything to go to networking meetings in your community, for example. With today’s technology and social media you can also expose you business world-wide without it costing anything. Remember going into business is about making money. They say if you do what you love the money will follow, it’s true. When you go out to meet people you will find out what their wants and needs are and if your product or service can fit that need.
I found this great video interview with Fried. I like how he treats his people and his office. He stresses that you should value your time and your teams time. At one point he says, “When you interrupt somebody your telling them whatever they’re doing is less important than your question.” In the book he focuses on an excuse we all make, saying it’s no an acceptable excuse to say you don’t have the time to do something; “When you want something badly enough, you make the time—regardless of your other obligations.” I think he has a lot of good advice.
Rework gives many examples and shares with you how other companies like Crate and Barrel started. With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of “downsizing,” and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages. Check it out and see if there isn’t a nugget of wisdom for you or your business.