Wednesday  May 4, 2011

How They Did It "Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America"

Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America by Robert Jordan

Keith Bates’ long time friend Joe Piscopo, of Pansophic fame, and one of the featured entrepreneurs in this book invited him to attend its introduction at the Great Lakes Entrepreneur Bash last November. Joe was also the first investor in Keith’s social network LLC.


Copy courtesy of Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, author Robert Jordan invited 45 of the most successful entrepreneurs from the American heartland to multi-author a book in 90 minutes. The goal was simple, to allow these founders to tell the world how they did it. This book provides a quick jolt of inspiration for anyone starting a new venture of undertaking a bold plan.

The book can be read in two ways: as a fast read with advice and inspiring quotes from the founders, or as a more detailed discussion with the founders explaining in more detail as to how they hit their home runs. Founder Joe Mansueto shares how he started Morningstar in his apartment in Chicago Illinois and grew the company to serve 7 million customers. Raj Soin talks about founding MTC with $1,700 in Columbus Ohio, surviving without cash and eventually selling to BAE for $425 million.

Rock Mackie, founder of TomoTherapy in Madison Wisconsin, had to lay off all his employees at launch but eventually went on to a billion-dollar IPO. They and many more founders share their secrets with the goal of encouraging the next generations of entrepreneurs. You don’t have to wonder how these empires were built any more. These creators of $42 billion in value tell you their secrets in their own words.

Six of these winning entrepreneurs are friends of Keith Bates and two were clients of KBA.

The event was sponsored by Grant Thornton and presented by ITA, Enterprise Forum Chicago, and TechAmerica.

If you need inspiration to build your business this book will do it!

Enchantment makes a powerful appeal to emotion. Logic does not. Guess which works best in persuading people to buy your products.

You’ve heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, enchantment is worth a thousand pictures. According to Guy Kawasaki, one of my favorite authors, enchantment “…causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions.” And isn’t that what marketing communications is all about, changing attitudes and therefore actions? Enchantment cranks the whole communications business up a notch.

Learn to do it. Get a copy of Guy’s new book, Enchantment, the art of changing hearts, minds and actions. Then read Chapter 6 on How to Overcome Resistance:

“You’ve launched your cause and you’re in the game. You even have some first followers. Next the bad news: You now realize enchantment is a process, not an event, and  “instant success” is an oxymoron. You will encounter  reluctance, but people often resist anything worth doing.”

Why people are reluctant:

  • Inertiapeople at rest will remain at rest, and people in motion will remain moving…
  • Hesitation to reduce options…people like, or at least think they like, the ability to make free choices
  • Fear of making a mistake…people may think that as long as they haven’t made a choice they haven’t made a mistake
  • Lack of role models…if there are no role models, people don’t have behavior to copy, so they hesitate to give your cause a try
  • Your cause sucks…you or your cause may suck. Then people are right to be reluctant.


To quote Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group:

“The power of a really good idea to transform the marketplace and individual customer experiences is huge. Enchantment offers a wealth of insights to help businesses and entrepreneurs tap into that potential”


Michael A. Boylan’s THE POWER TO GET IN offers a step-by-step system to get in anyone’s door so you have the chance to make the sale, get the job, or present your ideas.

“The Power to Get In has been written for one single purpose: to help get you in the door of your desired prospects faster, more effectively, and with less expense, so that you can increase your income and achieve better overall results.

You are a persuader

Every one of us is in the persuasion business. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living (or what you hope to do). The fact is certain parts of every job require you to persuade others to do certain things, to do them in certain ways, to work with you productively, and to listen to you and take you seriously.”

“This brings us to one of the key principles behind the  Circle of Leverage. Getting in the door is not primarily a matter of personality or verbal skill. Nor it is primarily a matter of the particular product, service, or idea you have to offer. Rather, it’s about understanding what truly motivates your prospect—and using those needs, fears, and concerns as leverage to navigate your way in.”

This book was first published in 1998 and is still available on Amazon. It’s worth its weight in gold if you are in the position of needing to contact people who are prospects or influencers important to your business. Keith Bates has purchased dozens of copies for his clients over the years and has loaned his own copy to many. This pushes the primitive practice of cold calling up about 25 notches.

The Power to Get In deals with the single most common and frustrating problem for anyone who’s in business, a job transition, or a move back into the work force: the problem of gaining access to the correct audience. Today, no other skill is as directly connected to your ability to earn a living as the skill of getting in to see the right people. Michael Boylan’s step-by-step system, The Circle of Leverage, will help you cut through bureaucracy, identify the people you most need to see, and get in their doors. Anyone with something to sell, abilities to offer, or ideas to present, will find this book invaluable.