If It Helped Roy Reiman, Why Not You?

“”Some men succeed by what they know; some by what they do; and a few by what they are.”” – Elbert Hubbard

In Message #184, I told you about Roy Reiman, the guy from the Midwest who built a $300 million magazine-publishing empire that carries no advertising. In reviewing Reiman’s career (which he began as a free-lance writer for farm magazines and culminated with the sale of the majority of his stake in them for $667 million), we noted that he has several characteristics that we’ve been talking about in ETR:

* He’s an early riser. He gets up at the crack of dawn and gets right to work, doing important things first.

* He eschews focus groups and surveys when it comes to figuring out what his customers want. He reads their mail and speaks to them on the phone and in person – and from those discussions, he comes up with the ideas he uses to run his company.

* He also uses his customers to provide “content.” In some of his magazines, reader contributions account for up to 80% of the editorial copy.

* He doesn’t like organizational charts. They limit what people can do, he says.

* He actively seeks out and rewards employees for good ideas. (He goes so far as to tape $100 bills on the coffee machine.)

* He launched his business only after he had worked in the industry, learned its secrets, and developed a network of potential supporters.

* He takes a “ready-fire-aim” approach to new projects and thanks employees for their extra work on start-ups, because he wants to encourage “accelerated failure.”

Today’s action requires you to make a choice. First, take a look at the above list and select one thing that you are not doing now but would help you achieve your goals. Second, spend some time thinking about what it would be like to sell a business you own for $667 million. Third, do or start the task you selected. Today.