The Business Zone
Upon the recommendation of Martin Varley, CEO of industry technology company Trade Only, I picked up a copy of the New York Times best selling business book, REWORK, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The authors are both partners at 37signals, a privately held Chicago-based company that builds web-based business productivity tools like Basecamp, Highrise and Campfire.
The book is a straightforward read that zeroes in on simple business strategies that are often overlooked, and sometimes in complete discord with everything we’ve all been taught about running a business. The book is an invaluable source of information that will push you out of your comfort zone and into the building business zone.
There were a few key bits of advice I wanted to pass along.
- “Stop talking and start working.” I loved this one. Just think about all the time wasted talking about what you are going to do, rather than just doing it. Tip from the REWORK crew: Cool it with the meetings, they are actually toxic. Be more productive by doing.
- “Toss out the business plan.” OK, I actually heard a few gasps come through the magazine on this one. But the real meaning behind this is to be flexible. Don’t get so caught up in the finer points of your five-year plan that you can’t be nimble and quick to act when necessary. Business isn’t won by being rigid and unyielding, but by showing your ability to adapt and change—intelligently and swiftly.
- “Forget about the competition.” If you are focused on your goals and where your company is headed, success will happen no matter what your competitors are doing. If you get too bogged down by them and their goals, it is easy to forget your own. Instead, keep your eye on the prize.
While I know it can be tough to break those long-standing habits, maybe injecting a few of these concepts into your business model (note, the book has many more ideas to review and consider—so pick it up) can kick-start your business into high gear. Thank you, Martin, for the quality recommendation. Happy reading, everyone!