Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review : The Entrepreneur: 25 Golden Rules! by Bill Heinecke アジアの起業家:ビル・ハイネケ: 億万長者からの25のルール

There are 25 rules to becoming a billionaire, and this is according to a real one. Not some Donald Trump type who inherited his father's business, but from scratch, as in zero cash. Not many expat high school kids skip college, clean offices at night, sell advertising by day, and sell the business to become a millionaire by age 21. Opportunity comes rarely, and must be seized right away, not when you are ready. Bill Heinecke, now a billionaire in Thailand, is such a person, and is running hotels and restaurants all over Asia today. 

This book is about his 25 golden rules. Valuable insight from a billionaire, after more than 40 years in Asian business, and they come from a very valuable source, direct on the job experience. Many in the media feel he is the Richard Branson of Asia, and I agree with the comparison.

Bill explains 25 clear rules that are basic to any entrepreneur who seeks to start a business. He started 2 when he was 18, a cleaning business AND an advertising firm. All of his lessons come with realistic constructive views on what is important and what is not. He also touches on the sacrifices needed. 

One of my favorites is about being committed, and working part-time. If you work 100% of time for $100, you cannot work 90% of the time and expect $90. The money is made in the last 10%. There is no clear reward in climbing Mount Everest 90% of the way up. You have to finish what you start, and close any deal. That is how you really get paid as an entrepreneur. That is how you learn and build upon your own success. 

He was the Thailand partner for Pizza Hut for over 20 years, and fought back corporate actions to break away with a more successful brand called "The Pizza Company" still running smoothly today. His battles over the the Royal Garden Resort with Goldman Sachs, are other business battle scars that he reveals in full detail right from inside the boardroom. 

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a lot to learn about hard work that takes a long time. Persistence over time is key. Easy quick ways to riches are often not solid.

2) There is a real art to introducing foreign brands into any new market. The product or service does not sell by itself. Local tastes have to be understood and adapted.

3) A local expert is tough to beat. If you know your own market deeply, a foreign management team can easily lose when trying to enter from overseas.

Bill Heinecke has a current net worth according to Forbes of over US$1.1BN. He runs Minor International which now runs 100 hotels, 250 retail outlets, and 1500 restaurants in 18 countries, mostly in Asia. If you did not know about him before, he is worth learning about. This book and its 25 golden rules, are the foundation needed for any self made billionaire to use as a guide, and that is the bottom line. 

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