Local author sees success with DIY book
Justin Crawford’s ‘Live Free or DIY’ has become a best-seller
Downingtown author, Justin Crawford’s recently published book “Live Free or DIY” has become a best-seller.
“People who quit their day job to start a company have a 33 percent higher failure rate than those who don’t. This cuts against conventional wisdom that you should go all in.” – Justin Crawford
Eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start small businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg. And a big reason for that, according to Justin Crawford, is because people who start businesses fail to value their time.
Crawford, 37, of Downingtown, recently published a book “Live Free or DIY: How To Get More Customers, Increase Profits, and Achieve Work-Life Balance As A Small Business Owner,” which went straight to the top of best-seller lists when it was released digitally. And now that the book was released in print earlier this month, many are expecting it to soar to the top of the bestseller list again. Even Inc. Magazine rated the book as one of five must-read business books
for budding entrepreneurs.
“Those who start businesses don’t want their loyalties divided,” Crawford said. “They want to be totally committed to the startup. But they can be equally unfocused working full-time on their startup by taking out the garbage. The better question to ask is ‘what is the value of my time?’ ‘What am I doing to add the maximum amount of value to my startup for every dollar I spend and every hour I work?’”
From the book: “Business owners across industries undervalue their time for a very simple reason: They’re not thinking about what they’re giving up. For every hour they spend fighting with QuickBooks, and trying to fix their own website, and plowing through a mountain of paperwork, and doing everything but the business itself, there’s a cost. For every hour you spend on those boring tasks, you’re giving up an hour in which you could have made your business better. That’s why it’s time — not money — that ultimately drives your bottom line.”
Crawford said small business owners should ask themselves where they spend their time, what is the cost of their labor and how much value they add to their business.
Starting a business is a dream for many Americans, Crawford said, but much thought must go into it before taking the dive.
“People who quit their day job to start a company have a 33 percent higher failure rate than those who don’t,” Crawford said. “This cuts against conventional wisdom that you should go all in. I think it is very hard to value our time properly and that clouds our judgment. We are quick to confuse cheap with efficient. And we are quick to do whatever it takes even if what it takes means taking out the garbage or mopping the floor.”
From the book: “Remember, you gave up your old salary in order to work for yourself. And every day that goes by in which you decide not to go back into the labor force — either part-time or full-time — you continue to double-down on that decision. Well, the salary you’re giving up is like that $5 million of investment capital. Instead of using your time to earn wages from someone else, you’re investing it into growing your business. And just like an entrepreneur carefully spending down $5 million of startup capital, you should be laserfocused on how you’re using your time, because your time is your startup capital.”
Crawford said passion is essential to those thinking of starting up a business, and that passion must be spread to every employee hired. “(Business owners) must get their employees to buy into passion,” Crawford said. “This is a very critical component to succeeding. There is nothing more expensive than apathy.”
The book covers a wide range of topics for prospective entrepreneurs to consider before opening a small business. Crawford even delves into crowdsourcing, a new social media method some are now tapping into to get start-up capital.
“If you are innovating an new product or it’s entertainment-related, crowdsourcing can be a really great resource,” Crawford said. “This was illegal for awhile, but laws are being adjusted because it has become so popular. But it very much depends on what type of business you want to start.”
Crawford said those thinking of starting a business should tap into every resource out there, especially SCORE of Chester and Delaware counties. With more than 100 certified mentors, experienced in just about every facet of business, SCORE provides free professional guidance and workshops to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Crawford is the founder and CEO of Agents of Efficiency, a company that’s revolutionizing the way small businesses operate. He’s also the chief architect of the Efficiency Roadmap, a unique step-by-step process for helping small businesses thrive. He has been featured in over 200 major media outlets, from CNBC and network television interviews to Forbes and many other publications.
“Live Free or DIY” is now available on Amazon, and last week, Crawford climbed to the top 100 authors list on Amazon.
Justin Crawford’s book “Live Free or DIY” has skyrocketed to the top of the charts.