Lo­cal author sees suc­cess with DIY book

Justin Craw­ford’s ‘Live Free or DIY’ has be­come a best-seller

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran Maye fmaye@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ken­nettpa­per on Twit­ter

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.

FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Justin Craw­ford’s book “Live Free or DIY” has sky­rock­eted to the top of the charts.

Justin Craw­ford

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