You Call the Shots : Succeed Your Way-- and Live the Life You Want-- with the 19 Essential Secrets of Entrepreneurship
Why work for someone else when you can call your own shots, pursue your dreams, and find success on your terms by starting your own business? So many people end up bored with their jobs, stuck in the corporate grind, never following their true passions. As wildly successful young entrepreneur Cameron Johnson shows, you don't have to live that way. We've entered a new age of entrepreneurship, with the Web making it easier than ever to start and run your own company. As Johnson's remarkable story reveals, the entrepreneurial way of life is a great way to make sure you love what you do -- and it offers the potential to achieve extraordinary success by following your gut instincts and going for what you really want.
What about the risks? Don't you need lots of money? Don't most start-ups fail? Johnson shares his essential secrets to entrepreneurial success that show you how he got into the life at very low risk, and, with very little money, took an idea that excited him and ran with it, achieving great success and satisfaction with businesses he loved. He didn't have an MBA; he didn't even have a college degree. But he had learned the simple yet vital secrets he reveals.
Cameron Johnson is a seriously happy entrepreneur who started his first business when he was nine with $50 and a home computer. Before he'd turned twenty-one he'd started twelve successful businesses and was offered $10 million in venture capital to grow his hot Web company CertificateSwap.com -- praised by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the Web businesses helping the tech industry get its groove back -- even bigger. He has never taken out a loan or racked up any debt, and every one of his businesses has been highly profitable -- so profitable that he made his first million before graduating from high school, and he's put away enough cash so that he could retire today. But that's the last thing on earth he'd want to do; he's much too happy starting up new companies.
Through the story of his own impressive career so far, in You Call the Shots, Johnson takes you behind the scenes of entrepreneurial success and empowers you to hit the ground running with your own great business idea, no matter how young you are or how little money you have to invest.
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January 09, 2007
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Excerpt from You Call the Shots by Cameron Johnson
The Entrepreneurial Life
I started my first business at age nine with $50 and a home computer, and ran it from my room at home as a one-kid operation. By the time I was nineteen I had started nearly a dozen profitable businesses, and for my latest venture I had received a very attractive offer of $10 million in venture capital. I turned that offer down and walked away because I didn't feel good about the conditions that would have been imposed on me if I'd taken the money. The venture capital firm would have called the shots, told me how to run my company, and paid me a salary that would've been less than I'd made on my own since I was twelve.
It was a lucrative offer, and who knows? Maybe with their backing and expertise I would have come out way ahead. But I didn't think it was the right deal for me. I made that decision without regret, and I've never looked back.
I knew this was not a now-or-never choice. There would be plenty of other opportunities to create even more successful businesses -- because I'd learned the skills it takes to do so. Once you learn these skills, you never have to be tied to any one particular enterprise. I realized that while I could have taken someone else's $10 million investment, I'd rather invest in myself.
I've been fortunate enough to make my first million before graduating from high school and buy my own house at twenty. At twenty-one, I've now put away enough in savings and other investments that I could practically retire today...if I wanted to. But of course, that's the last thing on earth I'd want to do. I just enjoy it all too much. Not to say the money isn't important, but frankly, it's not why I do what I do. I do it because I love it.
I've always loved starting new businesses. I take pleasure in every aspect of it, from coming up with a new concept, or a unique twist on an existing concept, to finding a name that perfectly captures the nature of the business, to building the team, launching the enterprise, and watching it take off and grow. Of the more than dozen successful businesses I've launched over the past twelve years, every one of them has been a unique experience, and I've loved the process every time.
That's what I want to share with you in this book. How to build successful businesses, what it's like to do it, and why I love it so much -- and hope you will, too.
Starting your own business is a great path for creating success on your own terms. It's an excellent way to build a financial base for yourself, but it's more than that. It's also about finding ways to exercise your creativity, to challenge yourself, and to rise to new levels of ability and experience. It's about the satisfaction of creating something that makes a contribution to other people's lives. And perhaps more than anything else, it's about freedom: the freedom to set your own hours, to do things your own way, to try out new ideas and put your talents to the test.
I wouldn't exchange the thrill of that freedom for anything in the world.
Entrepreneurship is more than a type of career; it's a way of life, and an exceptionally rewarding one. I was fortunate to learn this at a very early age, which is why I started my first business so young. I grew up in a family of self-made businesspeople, so I was exposed early on to the unique kind of satisfaction that comes with the entrepreneurial life.