I have just finished reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. And lately, I have been reading a lot, I have been reading books like Turning Pro and The War of Art, and that’s because I really need to learn more about how to stop procrastinating , how to stay creative, how to turn my passion into a business, and finally, I need to learn more about how to run a business. I am a solo entrepreneur, and I am building my business one small step at a time.
I Am a Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
To succeed, we must first believe that we can. – Michael Korda
When I first started my business, and trying to answer how to start a successful blog, I didn’t think that I was doing anything out of the ordinary. I just thought that I was working, doing what I had more or less always been doing, and getting paid by several companies, instead of the usual paycheck from the University. That was it. I didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur. But, I soon discovered, that if my business is going to be successful, and something I’ll be making money from years from now, I need change the way I think. And, I need to change what I believe is possible.
That’s when I decided to buy and started reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. The book by Mike Michalowicz is more or less a guide to how to start a business, and how to turn it into a successful one. At the moment, this is one of my favorite books, mostly because I really needed to learn what Mike Michalowicz had written.
The thing is, toilet paper entrepreneur are steadfast innovators who make miracles happen with three sheets or less. We don’t need a business plan, we don’t need a lot of money to get started in business. There’s a lot of things we don’t need, and the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur helped me realize what I should be focusing on.
Focus is more important than ever
I have been writing about how I constantly hustle with focus to get things done, and especially to become even better at what I am currently doing. But, the toilet paper entrepreneur is different, it’s not about writing or working per se, it’s about the business. I don’t know why, but after reading that I should concentrate on where I want to be, I understand that my chances of successfully getting there are far great than if I focus on what I am trying to avoid, things are far easier than when I first started my business.
I’ve been reading about that the sole purpose of my business should be to make the customer feel better. Feeling better is all that matters. And, I should always be better at providing “better” than any of my competitors. That’s how easy it should be.
I need to focus on my values. My values should say a lot about who I am, which in turn says a lot about the type of business I have created. I must ensure absolute consistency between my values and my business. If everything I do in my company is consistence with my values, I will be happy and always inspired to work. And, in The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, I read about the importance of having immutable laws; filters for every consideration in my business.
- Who should I hire?
- What should I sell?
- How should my customer service function?
The immutable laws are the spine of my business. After reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, I started to discover my own immutable laws. And, I ended up with things like, give to give. Giving for the joy of giving without expecting anything in return.
One of the reasons why I have been struggling to find focus, is that I have been trying to be everything to everyone. But, now that I’ve got my area of innovation, and I understand that I can’t focus on both quality, price or convenience. I must pick the category that fits seamlessly with my beliefs and my immutable laws. For instance, what happened when Wal-Mart launched a movie download service in February 2007? It failed miserably, because it wasn’t the cheapest. They focused on convenience rather than price, and that’s not who Wal-Mart is. McDonald’s leads on convenience. Mercedes leads on quality. And, as a business owner, we need to decide who we are.
Planning the business
I was thinking about creating a business plan, a marketing mix, and lots of other strategies to get my business going. But, after reading the toilet paper entrepreneur, I discovered that what I should be creating was three sheets of paper:
- Prosperity plan
- Quarterly plan
- Daily Metrics
A prosperity plan have some key elements, like what is your life mission, what is your life’s purpose?. Then, you should identify your destiny, think of it as your ultimate goals. Next, area of innovation, you should only focus on one, quality, price or convenience. Then, it’s the immutable laws, and they must be your personal values. And, finally, it’s the community. The people you are serving. You must connect with people who share the same values as you and/or aspire to be like you and/or aspire to be somewhat like you.
The quarterly plan is a one-page, detailed description of what your business must accomplish in the next ninety days to cover the most ground toward its destiny. It covers the most important goals that must be accomplished in the next quarter, and it covers:
- Overarching goal
- Overarching goal description
And, finally, review the daily metrics. The daily metrics should identify the three to five most critical numbers you can review, every day, to ensure you are progressing properly. Each daily metric must be a single number and must clearly identify progress toward your prosperity plan and quarterly plan.
That’s it. I know that I’ll be re-reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Michael Michalowicz sometime soon, because this is a book I really need to keep reading to have success in my business.