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Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

Book Reviews

"I have not read a better book for entrepreneurs."
Paul Tulenko, syndicated small business columnist

    IdeaCafe reviews Thinking Like An Entrepreneur and says, "With its diverse topics and solid information, you'll get a well-balanced meal on making healthy business decisions as an entrepreneur."

    The Midwest Book Review says "Peter Hupalo's Thinking Like An Entrepreneur is a superb guide to making intelligent business decisions. Comprehensive, easy-to-read, even inspirational..." Midwest Book Review

    Ed Martin says, "I found Thinking Like an Entrepreneur to be a great read. Even if you are not interested in starting a business, the information contained in the book is highly informative and entertaining. If you work in business or want to understand the process of starting a business, I heartily recommend Thinking Like an Entrepreneur. Besides, any business book that quotes Yul Brenner, and does it well, gets my recommendation." Ed Martin, Guide to Small Business Information.

Carmen Slaybaugh, FindYourDream
"I can't say enough good stuff about this book. My copy--I've read it twice--is highlighted and written in. Some of the chapters--like the one dealing with marketing--I've already used. And, others have taught me things I didn't know. It's twenty-seven chapters of jammed packed, good reading."

Book Description
Thinking Like An Entrepreneur is a yes-you-too-can-achieve-your-dream-power-of-positive-thinking self-help motivational book coupled with some very serious business analysis. While some people dream of coming up with a hot idea and taking the next great Internet company public, this book focuses on building a real business with real profits. Such businesses can make the founder worth millions of dollars in only a few short years without the company ever becoming public. This book is written for entrepreneurs who want to make their company profitable ASAP.

But to build such a business demands an understanding of simple financial and business decision making. Thinking Like An Entrepreneur teaches you to understand the fundamentals that underlie intelligent decision making for your small company.

The book covers many important topics (cash flow, profit margins, and the time value of money, etc.) and will help get a new entrepreneur started. Whether or not you wish to grow your company to a substantial size, this book will help you succeed in business by teaching you to think more like successful entrepreneurs--to make fundamentally sound decisions.


Starting A Small Business?

"Peter Hupalo's Thinking Like An Entrepreneur is a superb guide to making intelligent business decisions. Comprehensive, easy-to-read, even inspirational..." Midwest Book Review

Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Don’t Get Bernoullied

Daniel Bernoulli was the first mathematician to show how people make investment decisions, not just from a mathematical risk and reward standpoint, but from an emotional standpoint. How they emotionally value the investment. People are risk adverse and often will stay at a job they are not passionate about for fear of losing what they already have. To start a company you must become de-Bernoullied. Chapter 1 explains how to become de-Bernoullied and learn to think more like an entrepreneur.

Chapter 2. You’re Not That Far Behind Michael Dell

Beyond a certain point, does it really matter how much money you have? Is there anything that you could buy for $100 million that you couldn’t buy for $10 million that would contribute meaningfully to your life? Probably not. In fact, a few million and financial security is more than enough for most people. You can build that much wealth by building and growing your own company. But to succeed you will need to learn financial decision-making and how to choose a business that puts the chances of financial success more in your favor. The rest of Thinking Like An Entrepreneur will take you far in that direction.

Chapter 3. Men Are Cheaper Than Guns

Yul Brynner, from the movie The Magnificent Seven, meets up with these representatives from a small town that is being pestered by bandits. The representatives are seeking to buy guns so that they can defend themselves from the bandits. Yul looks like a man they can trust. They ask him, "Will you help us buy guns?" and Yul responds, "Why buy guns? Why not buy men? Men are cheaper than guns." Henry, the struggling consultant, has an epiphany of understanding about how you grow a company. You don’t need to know it all. You can hire others.

Chapter 4. Intellectual Capital and Bootstrapping

Lifer Game Company has great demand for its "Lifers." They are able to bootstrap themselves to success because they control a proprietary product. We see just how quickly, in theory, a company can compound wealth and what real life factors can prevent such growth.

Chapter 5. The Importance of Margins

High-profit margins are crucial to a company’s success. Struggling with a low-margin business is like standing on a precarious ledge by a huge raging torrent of water at Niagara Falls trying to get a cup full of water. Learn how to predict likely profit margins for your company.

Chapter 6. The Need To Generate Good Revenue Per Sale

Often the thing overlooked by people who dream of direct mail (or today, Internet) riches. Profit margins are nice, but it’s difficult to be successful selling a $1 product. This chapter examines overhead and period costs.

Chapter 7. The Internet and Commerce

Will the combination of JAVA and Linux do in Microsoft? Will programming jobs flowing out of the U.S. create a Ross-Perot like sucking sound? How will the Internet revolutionize commerce? Everyone will have his or her own small online business someday. Needless to say, most will never succeed. What does the Internet mean for you?

Chapter 8. Expectation Values and Decision Making

The concept is simple. What do you expect to happen? You figure this by multiplying the probability of occurrence of the event by the value of the event that will occur if this probability were to materialize. By summing over all likely and important business cases, you get a measure of the most likely overall result. I discuss how to use this method to evaluate business decisions from a rational framework.

Chapter 9. Personality and Business Choice

There are companies for bold people, and there are companies for shy people. Choose a business suited to who you are as a person. Don’t fail because you choose to start a business not suited to your personality. It is important that you have fun building your business.

Chapter 10. Risk Shifting and Pursuing Larger Opportunities

This chapter is about shifting the risk of your venture by seeking equity capital. How to make your company interesting to venture capitalists.

Chapter 11. Long Shots and Diversification

How not to diversify your business, but why you might want to. Active entrepreneurship is compared to passive investment.

Chapter 12. Cash Flow Versus Earnings and Working Capital

This chapter teaches the reader how to make cash flow predictions and prevent having bills to pay and no money to pay them. Not predicting or understanding cash flow is one of the most common and deadly mistakes new entrepreneurs make. Really following the advice in this chapter will enhance your chances of company success tremendously. You will learn to think about cash flow issues before you begin your company.

Chapter 13. Knowing Where The Value is Created. A Comparison of Computer Programming to CBT.

Learn how finding the address on an envelope can save a billion dollars. Computer Based Training is a rapidly growing area. You do not need great programming skills, but an understanding of instructional design is important. Know where your company creates value. Even if your business is totally unrelated to computer programming or multimedia development, this chapter shows you how to view things from your potential customer's standpoint.

Chapter 14. You Know Enough, But Keep Learning Anyway

Is it who you know or what you know that is important?

Chapter 15. The Role of Luck In Business. The Importance of Getting Started Now

Is business like chess, a coin toss, or backgammon? Why is Bill Gates the richest man alive today?

Chapter 16. An Introduction To the Nature Of Compounding and the Time Value of Money

Extremely important topics for a new entrepreneur to understand. How does your company grow its profits? You will learn to analyze this. Learn what affects your company’s compounding cycle and your company's rate of return in the cycle.

Chapter 17. To Incorporate Or Not To Incorporate? That is the Question

This chapter discusses the benefits of incorporation, S-Corp versus C-Corp decisions and how to minimize your overall tax rate. Taxes due on S-Corp phantom income is discussed as are issues of liability and how you can inadvertently destroy the protection that incorporation was meant to offer you.

Chapter 18. The Definition of Entrepreneur: Bringing Together the Resources

When resources come together, things can happen. What is the job of a movie producer? This chapter points out the simple fact that entrepreneurs are the ones who make things happen by simply taking action and doing it. Yet, why don't most people ever learn to take action and just do it?

Chapter 19. A Lesson From Direct Mail: Test First

An introduction to targeted marketing to a niche. But more than that. A philosophy for seeking to learn whether or not what you are trying to do will work, cutting your losses if it won’t, and running with the idea to success if the idea will work.

Chapter 20. Selling Benefits, Savings, "An Image"

An introduction to sales. Why people really buy consumer products and how to reach what is important to them. You sell products that make the person feel more like himself or herself, that reinforce self-perception.

Chapter 21. Relationship Marketing: The Cost of Losing Clients

Finding new customers is not as easy as selling to previous customers. Bill Gates has turned you into an annuity!

Chapter 22. Supplier Financing, Customer Financing

Learn great alternatives to borrowing money from a bank or seeking venture capital. As sales grow, cash flow can be a big problem to the entrepreneur. Supplier and customer financing are ways to combat this problem. Learn how to get the deal you want.

Chapter 23. Going It Alone, Consulting

Are you cut out to be a consultant? What issues are important to a new consultant? How much money do consultants really make? You will learn what you need to get started consulting if you decide to go it alone.

Chapter 24. Virtual Organization, Outsourcing

An alternative to hiring employees is presented, and the opportunities for becoming a person or a company outsourced to are considered.

Chapter 25. The Value of Time

How much is your time really worth? A meeting with the grim reaper shows the danger of calculating the value of your time by your wages alone. Learn how to evaluate if time is being squandered within your organization.

Chapter 26. Buying a Business

A detailed chapter that discusses price-to-sales ratios, valuation issues, accounting differences, the valuation of intellectual capital, and other issues to consider when buying a business. Buying into an existing business is a good entry strategy for many new entrepreneurs, but don't get taken on valuation. This chapter is also excellent reading for angel investors who wish to invest in smaller companies and are looking for objective methods of small company valuation.

Chapter 27. Writing a Business Plan

Having a business plan helps you focus upon the issues important to your business. It also helps you evaluate your entrepreneurial thinking. Failure to properly plan your business is one of the key factors The Small Business Administration lists as leading to company failure. Two types of plans are considered. One, a plan of business to help you understand what you need to do to succeed. And, two, a business plan targeted to raising capital.