The Big Dream of any entrepreneur really has very little to do with the entrepreneur. If you truly love repairing automobiles, chances are, you'll be a lousy business owner. Likewise, if you are fascinated by debits and credits, the dream of building an accounting firm with you at the helm is probably best left unfulfilled.

Ray Kroc called his first McDonald's restaurant, which he opened in Illinois, 'a little money machine.' That's why thousands of franchisees bought it.

Being an entrepreneur is more than a matter of simply starting a business.

Your success starts with how you are able to get clients in the door, get their business, and leave them satisfied. If you, personally, have to spend too much time doing that, you have simply bought yourself a job, not an enterprise. Take hints from success stories all around you!

People crave predictability, and when you design and use systems, you give people predictability. More importantly, when you build systems, they can help you orchestrate, and orchestration helps you create the habits that continuously improve the systems!

Your Dream, Vision, Purpose, and Mission all come together when you bring products to market - so make sure you're bringing your best.

The entire idea of building a series of systems in a business is simply this - to create the tools that allow you, as a business owner, to increase productivity and get the job done. The idea behind these systems, of course, is to quit needing your judgement or input in every area of the business.

My experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.

Look at what is average in your area, your industry, and your company and then be better. That could be as simple as reading another book each month or attending a seminar each year. On the other hand, it also means acknowledging what 'average' actually is and how you, as the owner, arrive at that figure.

For decades, I've spoken of McDonald's as one of the premier examples of how to build a company, scale it, and ultimately sell it.

'Product life' is measured in months, not years, and as soon as you introduce a 'product,' understand that others in your business are going to reverse engineer it to duplicate the results after they circumnavigate the patents, the trademarks, and the intellectual property.

We all know that Ray Kroc founded the McDonald's franchise back in the 1950s, and it then became the most successful business enterprise in history.

The Internet is fundamentally free, and when faced with the decision to use something free, we, as humans, always seek to grab all we can.

Don't look at small business as a means to an end and a way to make money until the corporation hires you; look at it as a chance to create something of immeasurable value and beauty in a world that desperately needs it.

In my experience, most small businesses are worried about the client fulfillment - 'getting the Job done' - and lead generation far more than they are in how the sales process flows.

The deciding factor of why some entrepreneurs are successful and others fail is not limited to your DNA or your education; it is about the actions you take as the leader of your business.

Most people who go into business for themselves and, therefore, believe they are entrepreneurs, are doomed to struggle because they don't have a true Entrepreneurial Perspective. They have a Technician's Perspective.

Your goal as an entrepreneur is to understand not only what your business does but the clients that it serves. If you really have your pulse on their needs and wants, then your 'absolute' failures are always going to have limits.

Take the time to create an easy-flowing process that makes the sale, saves time, and gives you the best chance to scale a system that can pay off as you grow and scale.

Strategic Work is all about the big questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? Tactical Work is all about answers: This is the system we use to do each task. This is how we do it, how we measure it, how we monitor it.

If you make converting a lead into a sale harder than a trip to the local DMV, then you lose sales to someone else - with an inferior product - who can make it painless. Don't do that!

People who lack the skill of discrimination tend to believe that everything is of relatively equal importance.

After decades of studying the men and women that make the decision to open their own Great, Growing Company, I'd have to say it comes down to the Vision they have for that business - do they expect to build the company or just have some income for the short term?

Have you ever noticed the fact that once you begin to think about something, you see it everywhere? Anyone who has ever begun the search for a new automobile can attest, from the moment you Google it, you begin to pass that model in traffic everywhere. Of course, they were there the whole time; we simply didn't have them at top of mind.

I've said it for four decades - work 'on' your business, not just 'in' your business!

The Entrepreneurial Perspective is absolutely necessary for the creation of a great, growing business.

The world is littered with the tales of small businesses in the dire straits of hiring that spent time and money they couldn't afford to hire people who couldn't perform.

Be honest: if your pitch is 90 minutes and you only have 60 set aside for a business lunch or a cup of coffee, there is no way that you can give an honest representation of your company or products. You're lying to yourself and wasting your own time as well as that of your prospect or partner.

Opening a business is going to be hard work, no matter what choices you make. If you decide to fall on your sword and just slog through all the work as an operator instead of an owner, then you take responsibility for the entire operation and the actions of the business.

As a small business owner, you may not have the luxury to throw good money after bad, but if you can ascertain the 'why' of the failure, you can draw some significance from it and then turn it into something that clients will buy.

Your target market and their demographics realistically need to be in alignment with your own beliefs and morals, or you may have trouble reaching out to them - or keep them once others have entered the market.

Results transform the world, and a great dream creates results. That's what this thing we call 'business' is really all about.

As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, you are intimately familiar with goals. You've dreamed of the 'right' ones, you've projected 'real' ones for the banker and the investor, and, secretly, you've imagined how life can be if you can reach the ones you've set.

It is one thing to seek out new ways to grow your company and new potential streams of income from new services or products, but it is quite another to take on responsibilities that are far from your primary job as Entrepreneur.

You're going to dream no matter what you do in your life, so make those dreams so big that you can attract others who are amazed at your visions and goals.

More than a few studies have shown that the five people you spend the most time with represent you - so you need to decide - who do you want to be?

The entrepreneur rarely thinks in terms of what he or she wants, but dreams about results - always results and nothing but results - that can solve someone else's problem or contribute to making someone else's life better.

If you expect to grow your business, you need to be plotting out your schedules days in advance. Until you get that most basic of steps orchestrated, you can never get to the critical steps that I outline in any one of dozens of books.

I'm not really into the business of giving out tips, but if you are not using an all-encompassing software to integrate and sync your schedule, then you might be losing time. Most of these are free, and they can allow you to keep track of everything in one place and then access that from your computer, phone, or tablet.

At some point, you have to declare an idea dead and, if not a failure, then at least not a success.

One of the biggest challenges we have, as business owners and people, is that we think in linear terms.

The challenge of any business owner is not only to keep the saw sharp, but also to know if you even have a need for such a tool.

The world of the small business owner is all about moving multiple items forward at once, and it's a fool's errand to believe one person can do it all when the shift comes from linear to parallel.

Everywhere you turn, there are lists and statistics. Any business, any sport, any hobby - we will try to categorize who is the best at some component of that endeavor. It's part human nature and part technology, since we have been conditioned to have access to answers and trivial problems at our fingertips.

Your first job, as an owner and an entrepreneur, has to be to understand how the business is going to actually work.

For over forty years, I've been one of the most passionate believers in entrepreneurs. From day one, I've learned that too many small businesses are predicated on business models that the owner barely understands, and then, those same men and women are baffled when their business dreams are overwhelmed with struggles they never foresaw.

The more Strategic Work you do, the more effective, productive, and joyful the Tactical Work becomes.

When I say, 'doin' it, doin' it, doin' it' to a group of small business owners, they immediately respond. They recognize the experience of doing the same things over and over. Keeping the business afloat without ever getting ahead. And it's more than frustrating - it's heartbreaking.

Steve Jobs didn't seek solace among minimum wage workers. He sought it from highly educated men and women who understood and shared his focus on growth, technology, and company-building.