It seems from the contents of the book to read as a guidebook for entrepreneurs. In fact, Naomi states within the introduction that this book is intended to help your dreams come true on your journey to entrepreneurial freedom.
“I want to help you control your business, rather than your business controlling you.” Naomi Simson
The pages are intertwined with valuable quotes from internationally renowned celebrities, fun facts, and activities, as well as Naomi’s experiences.
My business is moving from the start-up phase, and I do wish I had read this book before I jumped into my entrepreneurial journey. In the last 3 plus years, I’ve considered the impact of my business on my personal life and lifestyle – not something I thought about initially. Naomi reminds the reader to consider how your business will impact your personal budget and time, plus how many adjustments you are prepared to make or sacrifice for your business success. Do you think of nothing else except your business?
When you are preparing for your business launch or progression to the next level, ensure you draw on past experiences and learn as much as you can via connections, mentors and the like. Ensure you have contingency plans that include an exit strategy, business growth and need for additional funds to name a few.
The third part of the book talks about pitching your business. And before you write this section off, consider the following quote from Natalie Massenet that Naomi included within the book.
“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – with investors, with customers, with PR and with marketing”
Learning to pitch your business is more than asking investors for money. It’s about knowing your business inside & out, knowing who to trust and knowing how to conduct yourself professionally to attract more clients, staff, mentors and valuable partnerships.
Ready to Soar talks about partnerships. Does every business need one? What role will the partner play within the business? How do you choose the most successful partner? If partnership is on your businesses agenda, this book will help you assess these questions and more to ensure your business success continues to grow.
What are my take away lessons from this book?
1. Re-read it again within the next 12 months. My business is on a growth curve, and although I have plans for the future and a mentor to help me along the way, I’m certain I will face new hurdles that I haven’t yet considered, and the best approach may just be between the pages of Ready to Soar.
2. Continue to understand my numbers. Each month I delight in collecting the data on my business that forms my KPIs. Knowing these numbers and reviewing them each month keeps me in touch with areas within my business that are travelling well, but also areas that may need more attention. I have a good accountant (who is a member of my mastermind group) and he is a constant source of valuable information.
3. Get to know my customers better. Defining my ideal client is an ever-evolving task I undertake and revisit within my business. I’ve never been completely satisfied with my definition. Naomi has included an activity within the pitching section of the book coaching readers to list all the things we don’t know about our customers or potential customers. From there we are to record where to get the answer from. I think this approach is not only refreshing, but tackles the problem realistically.
4. Learn to tell my story in a more memorable way. Naomi touched on this within the pitching section, and I will spend more time refining and practicing my story to excite those listening. I’ve heard Naomi speak previously, and I know it took 2 months and 4 days for Red Balloon to secure its first customer. How do I know this? Naomi’s story was amazing and memorable! (Plus, she reminded me within her book)
Who is this book for?
Initially I assumed this book was for those yet to embark on their business journey, or at least very early on in their venture. However, having now read it cover to cover, and being a solopreneur who is (at the time of writing) in her fourth year of business – I believe it is valuable to any business owner, inventor or entrepreneur who is ready to start, within the initial years or has a more established business ready to progress to the next stage.
Have you read Ready to Soar? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book.
By Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.