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Fan mail to The Reluctant CEO


The Reluctant CEO is available on and iBooks

I’ve received a few messages from readers since setting up a Facebook page to promote my book. Some are just plain obnoxious. But, many others are inquisitive.

Here’s one I got from a young woman in the Philippines. (English is her second language.)

Abby:  Hi Sir, I have been checking few of your great posting in this group. I found it really amazed me. I am Abby and have been thinking to start my own little business. And there’s always something that doubt me.

I’m just trying to sell books. This isn’t an advice column for aspiring CEO’s. Nevertheless, I put myself out there as something of an expert and I coach CEO’s for a living. So…

Me:  How can I help?

Abby:  Well, it was about how should I started it while I have no confident in making it.

Wow! Where should I begin?

Me:  Can you tell me in one or two sentences what your product or service would be?

Abby:  It’s a small hotel and a restaurant. And I am stuck with the capital even there are few of friends agreed to helps but as I told you earlier that I am not confident enough in making it.

I am not sure what she means by “I am stuck with the capital…” I need something to work with. So, I ask…

Me:  Assuming you don’t want to sell it, start with a tight definition of why people should want to come to your establishment. Can you tell me?

A few weeks go by. Nothing heard! Then, there’s this…

Abby:  It wasn’t about selling it but its about how I am going to started it without any confident while me myself needed to.

I’m pretty sure I am not going to be able to help her (at least not in 140 character clips). However, I am empathetic. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Presented with an opportunity to do something for which we are woefully unprepared but, nevertheless, really want to do. In my life, I have tried and succeeded and I have tried and failed.

Should you dive into the deep end of the pool?

To figure that out, you should start by analyzing what you’ll need to succeed. Then, review the resources that you’ll have at your disposal to address the challenge.

What are the gaps?

Can you hire the people you need? Is capital available to upgrade technology that is essential to your mission? What resources are necessary to ensure success? What are the constraints?

Surround yourself with the right people and ensure you have the support and resources you need. If you do, chances are you will have a great success.

In my book, there is a mentor nicknamed Big Al. And…

Big Al says: “Never shy away from a challenge. You can’t ask for anything better than an opportunity to fail.”

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