I didn’t put two and two together when I first came across Double Double (I was sent a review copy). After I started reading, I realized it was the same Cameron Herold that gave a Ted Talk that I posted about last year – Teach Your Kids to be Entrepreneurs.
Double Double isn’t just another business book from an analyst. Cameron has spent the last 20 years running companies, including 1-800-GOT-JUNK where as COO he helped grow the company from $2 million to $105 million in just six years.
Unlike all those business bestsellers that are filled with theories and projections, Double Double is filled with practical, actionable advice. It is a recipe book for building a world-class company. The goal of the book, according to Herold, is to teach you how to double your business in just three years (which amounts to just under 30% annual growth).
In the beginning of the book, Herold recommends creating a vision of where you want your company to be in three years. This “Painted Picture” should be extremely detailed, describing every aspect of your company. How many employees will you have and what will their roles be? What kind of marketing will you be doing? What kind of press will you receive? How are you funded? What do the company’s financials reveal? Herold includes his Painted Picture of his company, Back Pocket COO, for reference.
He completes the first section with advice on how to create a world-class culture in your company. His advice, such as giving five weeks paid vacation per year, may sound crazy to some people. But it makes sense – create a place where people are beating down the door to work at and you’ll have an amazing group of the brightest people working for you.
The second section of the book outlines how to grow your company. It includes chapters on hiring, communications, marketing, meetings, public relations, productivity, and technology. Herold lays out a blueprint on how to run a company. While the information may seem trivial to some, like its simply common sense, in my experience its extremely rate to find a company actually following his advice. My favorite chapter in this section – How to Grow When it’s Slow. Herold shows how to grow a company and “steal” market share in a recession.
The final section of the book focuses on leadership. I personally feel that most entrepreneurs probably started creating a one-person business because they were tired of working for someone else. Many of us don’t have experience /leading/ people. I’ve read a lot of leadership books, but this section was very different from your typical advice. It was practical advice like “get a board of advisors.”
At the end of the book he includes some additional information such as possible interview questions (which are particularly helpful to me right now as both of my companies are in hiring mode right now).
Overall, Double Double is an excellent road map for growing your company. Even if you have been running companies for more than ten years (like me) you will learn something from reading this book. In fact, I was so impressed with the book that I bought a copy immediately after finishing my review copy.