There are some businesses that start out on “easy street”, but this is not one of those stories. Chris’s passion project was Actionable Books. A couple of years after starting Actionable Books, he discovered that this could be a real business. The struggle came in when Chris began to market it to the world. In the first four years of marketing, Chris describes his approach as “dabbling” which is jumping from target market to target market. Chris’s company was barely getting by. But the turning point came when Chris really got a handle on his ideal target market that was hungry for his offer. In this episode, we go through the ups and downs of this journey.
Chris’ Target Audience: Chris’ target market is the time-starved manager who wants to build stronger relationships with their employees and the people who report to them. His niche is comprised of the forward-thinking team leaders, which is typically small business owners. These people believe in the importance of developing their staff; they have the knowledge and the wisdom but not the time to develop their people.
TWEET THIS: “As leaders we can strengthen the relationships we have with our direct reports.” ~Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor is the man behind Actionable Books, an online resource center for busy professionals who value the importance of business books and their teachings, yet they lack the time to read these books and put into practice the book’s teachings. Actionable Books makes the valuable content of business books available through a variety of free summaries, free author interviews and some paid services. At their core, Actionable Books helps team leaders and their direct reports to pull ideas from business books and put them into practice.
TWEET THIS: "It was important, for me, not to define myself by that business.” ~ Chris Taylor
Chris began Actionable Books as a passion project back in 2007. Having been an entrepreneur his entire life, Chris was enthusiastic about learning however he realized while building his previous empire, his reading habits had dwindled.
As a way to lick his wounds after that empire went south, he started reading again. Realizing the necessity of putting the content of the books into practice, Chris chose to read one book per week for a year with the intention of taking one idea from each book and putting it into practice in his life. And thus…Actionable Books was born.
TWEET THIS: "I love the act of authors turning their ideas into something that's consumable." ~ Chris Taylor
In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:
- Who he believes are the best leaders today and what they do differently to be the best.
- What are the deliberate choices he made to make Actionable Books a success?
- What was the empire he built and how did it go sour? Hear his story and the lessons he learned as well as what you can learn too…
- What allowed Chris to be more confident and be less attached to the ups and downs of starting this company versus his previous one?
- The impression and impact he wants to leave on anyone who works with him.
- The three universal things everyone wants and how he uses them to succeed in his business.
- How he has narrowed down to the niche he is in today.
- Is pre-validation a beneficial tactic for his business?
TWEET THIS: "Being the solution to everyone means you're the solution for no one.” ~Chris Taylor
Practical & Actionable (at 27:40):
Chris has one practical and actionable tip for the listeners’ of this episode. He says wherever you are in your business, whether you have people on your team or you are still solo, take the time to connect with that bigger picture of where you’re going and why you’re going there.
Take the time to connect with the people in your company or yourself if you’re solo. Everyone has sacrificed something to be there with you so be sure to include them as you go forward; they are with you because they believe in what you’re doing.
It’s important, Chris says, to “step out of the weeds and look towards the horizon as far as what we are working towards. Ask yourselves: is this the best direction we’re taking? Do we have the right people in place and the right tools in place? If yes, then let’s get back down there and go for it.”
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS SESSION INCLUDE:
- Chris’ web site
- Chris on Twitter
- The Rockefeller Habits
- The Lean Start-up Book
- Share the LOVE and TWEET about this episode.
Do you have questions about today’s episode!?!
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