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Rework Book Review: Part 1




When I have a business mentor that highly recommends a book, I have to take a look. In this case, I enrolled in Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy, and she recommend Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson. If you have ever listened to her podcast or know about Amy, she is a marketing genius! As I read through the book, I could actually spot examples in the way I watched Amy run her business and course that I know she took straight out of these pages. They work, y’all!

My Two Objections

Now, I have to say straight up that some of the information is unconventional, and therefore, may be contraversial in the business world. As an enneagram one with a nine wing, I like to try to keep the peace, ya know?! So, just saying that you might not agree with it all, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Second, my audience is largely Christian, so just a forewarning that this is not a Christian book and there are a few curse words. Ok, now that you have the full picture, let’s dive into some of the statements that caught my attention.

This will be an 8 part series! Yes, you read that right! If you would like to discuss it, come join my Facebook group for Christian business women, where we will be discussing one of the statements weekly. I’d love to have you as part of our community!

1. Failure is Not a Rite of Passage

In the business world, failure has become an expected rite of passage. Contrast that with learning from your successes. When something succeeds, you know that worked – and can do it again. And the next time you’ll probably do it even better. (p16)

2. Planning is Guessing

There are just too many factors that are out of your hands: market conditions, competitors, customers, the economy, etc. Writing a plan makes you feel in control of things you can’t actually control. Start referring to your business plans as business guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them so much. You have to be able to pick up opportunities as they come along. If you write a big plan, you’ll most likely never look at it anyway. Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year. Figure out the next most important thing and do it. (p20)

business woman planning

3. Why Grow?

Why is expansion always the goal? What’s wrong with finding the right size and staying there? Small is not just a stepping-stone. Don’t make assumptions about how big you should be ahead of time. Have you ever noticed that while small businesses wish they were bigger, big businesses dream about being more agile and flexible? Grow slow and see what feels right. Small is a great destination in itself. (p23)

4. Workaholism

Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. Working like that just isn’t sustainable over time. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task. (p25, 26)

5. Make a Dent in the Universe

To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference. That you’re part of something important.  Your efforts need to feel valuable. You want your customers to say, “This makes my life better.” You don’t have forever. This is your life’s work. What you do is your legacy. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to make the change you want to see. Don’t think it takes a huge team to make the difference either. (p31)

woman on phone

6. Scratch Your Own Itch

The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. You know the problem and the value of its solution intimately.  When you build a product or service, you make the call on hundreds of tiny decisions each day. If you’re solving someone else’s problem, you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is.(p 34-36)

7. Start

Start making something. What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan. When you’re new at something, you need to start creating. The most important thing is to begin. Stanley Kubrick gave this advice to aspiring film-makers: “Get hold of a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind at all.” Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The real question is how well you execute. (p 38)

8. No Time is No Excuse

The perfect time never arrives. But, there is always enough time if you spend it right. And don’t think you have to quit your day job either. Hang onto it and start work on your project at night. We’re not talking about all nighters or sixteen hour days. We’re talking about squeezing out a few extra hours a week. That’s enough time to get something going. Besides, the perfect time never arrives. You’re always to young or old or busy or broke or something else. If you constantly fret about timing things perfectly, they’ll never happen. (p40-41)

9. Draw a Line in the Sand

For everyone who loves you, there will be others who hate you. If no one’s upset by what you’re saying, you’re probably not pushing hard enough. We’re willing to lose some customers if it means that others love our products intensely. When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious. (43,44) Stand-in for something isn’t just about writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it. (p48)

computer on white desk

10. Start a Business,  Not a Startup

A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby. Actual businesses have to deal with actual things like bills and payroll. Actual businesses worry about profit from day one. Act like an actual business and you’ll have a much better shot at succeeding. (p56,57)

11. Start Chopping

You can turn a bunch of great ideas into a crappy product real fast by trying to do them all at once. You just can’t do everything you want to do and do it well. You have limited time, resources, ability, and focus. It’s hard enough to do one thing right. Trying to do ten things well at the same time? Forget about it. If you have truly fantastic ideas, you can always do them later. Lots of things get better as they get shorter. Directors cut good scenes to make a great movie. So start chopping. (p70)

12. Start at the Epicenter

When you start anything new, there are forces pulling you in a variety of directions. There’s stuff you

  • could do
  • want to do
  • have to do

The stuff you have to do is where you should begin. (p72) The big picture is all you should be worrying about in the beginning.


Whew  – that’s a lot! Comment below which is your favorite piece of business advice! If you liked the snippets in this post, stay tuned because it’s the first in a series of eight! To discuss these tips with other business women, join the Facebook group!

Facebook Group for Christian entrepreneurs

  1. […] series, where we learn simple, yet unconventional business methods that really work. Check out the first post to catch up on what you missed. Join my free Facebook group for women entrepreneurs if you’d […]

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