Never Get a Real Job

Scott GerberIn 'Never Get a Real Job,' serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber covers everything that's necessary for a start-up to produce revenues. Its value is that it blows up the glamorous myths and great expectations about launching a business.

Gerber's approach is strictly nuts and bolts. It's a how-to derived from the trenches of both successful and unsuccessful small businesses. Regarding the latter, Gerber's credibility is enhanced because his first venture was a bust. He leverages that failure as a platform for presenting evidence of the more realistic way to do things. Although Gerber's brand name is associated with advising Generation Y to become entrepreneurs, this guide is useful for all generations, right through Silent.

The chapter that wannabe and newbie entrepreneurs will turn to first is 'Business Plans Suck.' If you scan Craigslist's help wanted section, a growing amount of ads plea for help with a business plan. Gerber immediately hits the nail on the head when he states that a business plan focuses on what you have already done that supports your contention of what you can do. That has nothing to do with highly detailed text and graphics regarding projections for the target markets or industries.

Those who read Gerber's stern rules about what to do and not do won't feel any need to ask for assistance with business plans on job boards.

Other useful territory Gerber covers includes:


The key is to establish a business that will generate revenue immediately. So, keep it simple. Instead of launching competition for Google, you might think more modestly, like a low-cost video service that public relations agencies can provide their clients.

To make money on it, you have to go out there and be a sales animal.

Tip: Maybe opening a deli near the new plant going up would bring in money immediately and keep bringing it in.

Instinct/common sense vs. book learning

Businesses wither in the womb or never reach break-even mostly because those running them don't trust their instincts and don't operate according to the principles of common sense. Feeling vulnerable, instead they embrace what the books indicate should work. Gerber notes that he majored in film, not business, and learned the most in the school of hard knocks.


Be prepared to feed the business from your own flesh. Until you have a track record, outside funding sources -- from venture capitalists to local banks -- won't give you the time of day. Experience shows everything takes longer than you expect and you will make many more mistakes than anticipated. Do as much as you can yourself, ranging from your marketing/public relations to due diligence about the competition.

Hint: Take the time to find free everything, mostly on the Web. That includes ongoing information about who your competitors are and what they're up to.

First things first

Initially, your goal is getting clients/customers, not a brand name. To do that, price as low as need be. Forget incorporating right away. Unless you identify and pounce on what's important to do, there will no company to incorporate.

Incidentally, when that time comes, is the affordable way to handle many legal matters.

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