The Entrepreneur’s Framework by Joshua H. Davidson
23 February 2019
Praise for Joshua H. Davidson and his well-written book: The Entrepreneur’s Framework
Joshua, the CEO of Chop Dawg, wrote The Entrepreneur’s Framework for himself, but he also wrote it for us too. You get a first-person point of view telling you about the failures and successes of an entrepreneur who didn’t actually mean to become one. His explanations of all his ups and downs make this book worth reading. Some of the things he went through are amazing such as becoming his own website developer before the age of 16. At the age of 16, Joshua started his own business which still exists today. The journey Joshua describes is not about how to become an entrepreneur, it’s about becoming a student of entrepreneurship.
Read the post or watch the full review on YouTube:
The Entrepreneur’s Framework
The whole book is based on the framework you see in the picture above. Each chapter focuses on one of the points in the framework. Although Joshua doesn’t thoroughly explain how to use the framework until close to the end, he does give you many examples of how each section is applied in his own life. When I first saw the framework I questioned it, thinking what’s so special about this thing? But through his explanations, it became clear how important every part of this framework is for every single entrepreneur to implement in his or her life.
The entrepreneur’s framework you see above is a guide. You can never have a perfect score. What you need to use it for is motivation to improve in the specific areas. You can even post a copy of it on your bulletin board and use it to see how you’re progressing in each area from day-to-day. The results could be surprising to you and will probably change for you every day. But that’s okay because the framework is meant to be experimented with. Joshua even suggests for you to make changes to his design if you want to. Do what’s best for yourself.
The New Economy
Before I tell you a bit about each section in the entrepreneur’s framework I’ll introduce what Joshua calls the new economy. We exist in this economy now. It’s like a combination of the ‘main street’ mom and pop shops of the 1950s merged with the online-based customer services we have now. Back in the 50s (and in some local places now) the shopkeepers used to call their customers by name and get treated with the best service they could get. Then it almost entirely disappeared for decades. Now, this treatment has returned in a different form. Many of the emails, letters, and calls you get from companies now are personalized because of the digitalization of your information. The opportunities for companies to personalize their services is endless and will only get better and the information age progresses.
Although our technology is not perfect and may seem like humans are becoming more distant, I believe as technology improves we will become closer than before.
Things that are improving:
- Quicker response times
- Building relationships
- Taking time to understand needs deeply
- Educating customers about what they’re really getting
- Saving time
- Saving money
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Self-Awareness
Spend all of your time working on your business rather than in your business.
Being aware of how you’re acting and reacting, treating customers, coworkers or employees is terribly important in order to be a great leader. Joshua tells some scary stories about how unaware he was about his own actions when he had pivoted Chop Dawg from developing websites to developing apps. He had his team working nonstop without considering the consequences of how it’d make them feel about him or about how he made his own self feel. He lost sight of what his team was striving for and almost lost his business as well.
Being self-aware is not only about identifying why you feel and do the things that you do; it’s also recognizing what causes you to feel those ways and do those things.
Three Things to Help You to Become More Self-Aware
- Journaling: Keeping a daily journal where you write your feelings, ambitions, or whatever may be going on in your life whether it’s good or bad is one of the best ways to become more self-aware. I have found this as a self-therapy as well as a good source to review at a later date to look back at how far you’ve come. I guarantee if you make journaling a habit you’ll notice a difference in your self-awareness and overall well-being.
2. Create a routine and time for yourself: Make sure you have at least ten minutes per day just to relax on top of a routine in the morning or night that relaxes you. For Joshua, it is jumping in the shower immediately after waking up. For others, it might be going for a fifteen-minute walk or run on the beach while listening to an audiobook. Whatever your pleasure might be it’s important to take time for just you every day.
3. Focus on your WHY: Having a why is a big motivator which can also keep you on track in what you’re doing. Remind yourself daily what your why is and focus on that when doing what you do.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Empathy
To understand your customer, you have to understand that their needs come in multiple layers.
In creating and running a business you must set out to solve a problem your customers are having and build a product or service upon that. And don’t just go make up a problem that doesn’t really exist. One way to figure out what problems others are having is by listening attentively without interrupting, dominating the conversation, or debating too much. Do exactly the opposite. Always keep your eyes and ears open for new ways to help your customers.
You can also be aware of problems you might be having in your life and create a product or service to solve that problem just like Bill Bowerman did with the first pair of Nike shoes based on a waffle iron. Yes, Bowerman did actually burn the soles of his shoes in his wife’s waffle iron.
Most importantly is that you are fulfilling the needs of your customers.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Leadership
Leadership is a shared mindset. Individual leaders can be catalysts for change, but without a collective effort, nothing can get done. A collective is always more powerful than an individual.
Sometimes we take a look at CEOs such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos and we wonder how they got so good at what they do. We wonder how they’ve built such an amazing company. They did not do it alone. Although they are the face of the company there are many people behind the scenes working together to make the company what it is.
As the leader of a company
Your actions are more powerful than any word you say. Leaders must show by example and encourage each of their team to tap into the best version of themselves.
Another great takeaway from The Entrepreneur’s Framework is that as a leader you must realize your own capabilities especially when your company is young. When you realize you’re not so good at something you can then either look for a team member who has those skills you lack or outsource it. And as we’re living in the new economy outsourcing has become extremely easy and cheap.
Being a leader isn’t easy and takes a lot of practice and know-how. This book has many great tips and personal stories that can help you become a better leader.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Short-Term and Long-Term Thinking
Live a few years like everybody else won’t so you can live the rest of your life like everyone else can’t.
Even though Joshua is only 26 and further along on his entrepreneur journey than most people, he mentions many wise short and long-term strategies you need to add to your toolbox.
Here are a few thoughts and takeaways from this chapter:
- It’s hard when first starting your business and everyone around you just wants to have fun. ‘But this is an illusion.’ But it’s a very powerful illusion that could trap you in the vicious cycle of middle-class mediocrity.
- You will often overestimate what you might be able to accomplish in a day, week, month, or year. Be realistic about the goals you set for yourself.
- A long-term goal shouldn’t be something on a one to five-year scale, it should be set over decades or even a lifetime. Some goals you set could even take longer than your own life to achieve. This is what I call a legacy.
Watch my YouTube video about my legacy:
4. Game-changing visions take time to form. According to the book, it says that it took James Dyson, the founder of the Dyson Cyclone Vacuum, 5,127 prototype designs between 1979 and 1984 to get anyone to buy into his product. The power of persistence is a must in this game. If you quit after the first try or even the tenth try, then you’re out of luck.
5. In the new economy, disruption happens more often than ever before. You must be aware of these changes going on around you otherwise sooner than later your business will be disrupted. You might as well be the one disrupting your own business just like Apple did with its iPhone.
6. Narrow your focus in on your purpose. Everything you do should align with that purpose and bring you closer to achieving your big goal.
7. Don’t be afraid to pivot if you see the tides changing.
8. Never stop experimenting.
The magic when creating your business isn’t in your individual contributions. It’s in the compound interest of all your contributions over time. The larger your principal becomes based on your contributions, the more it will be able to compound. The more time you give your fund to compound, the larger it will become.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Economics
This chapter is the chapter that I know the least about, so it was insightful to read about economics. It’s also one of the chapters which hit home for me. Take for example this quote:
Right now, two-thirds of American households are despaerately scrambling to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly half of the American population earns too little to live comfortably.
This is a scary fact, but a fact both Joshua and I strive to solve. In Joshua’s case, he mentions a few times through the book that the reason why Chop Dawg exists is to help people with great ideas turn them into a tangible reality by building the best applications for them. Some of the applications out there are life-changing and the team at Chop Dawg are bringing these to life.
In the event of an economic crisis
There will always be people spending money on things. The key here is to keep your eyes wide open for opportunities where you can help people solve a problem. This reminds me about when I read Building a StoryBrand where you must make your customer the hero of their own story. You solve a problem for them which makes you their guide. There will always be times when you can help people.
You must be always aware of other businesses as well. What’s trending and what’s failing. Figure this out for your business and pivot if need be.
Build a Moat to Protect Your Business
- Build long-term relationships with your customers
- Cut down on unnecessary costs and investing
- Prepare alternative strategies/new products in anticipation of change
- Challenge the way your business does things once in a while
- Keep your business’ savings account full and let it grow
- If your product becomes too common immediately pivot or move on
Be Aware of How You’re Spending Your Money
- Is there a return on investment (ROI) for the expense?
- Does the expense improve your offering?
- Is the expense critical to the operation?
- Is the expense going on a credit card or being paid with cash?
Lastly, be sure to know your business inside out even if an aspect of it is not your specialty.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Operations
If you are working too hard at something, you probably could find an easier way to do the same thing.
As a leader, you must clearly define who is doing what. Communication and organization is one of the biggest keys to having a happy company culture. I know from personal experience at my current job how lacking communication can really make employees sour and talk behind other people’s back. This is something you don’t want in your business.
From the get-go
You need to set your system up, and as technology improves you need to adapt with it. If you see an easier and cheaper option you should go with that.
The same thing goes for your customers. Sadly, people will take advantage of you any chance they get. That’s why you need to be clear on your B2C relations and guideline for doing business with them. Never forget to keep it personalized and human when talking or sending emails/messages to your customers.
Most importantly it takes a team to succeed. Don’t just depend on one person to get the majority of the work done.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework: Purpose
You shouldn’t start a business based on artificial goals such as wanting to make a lot of money or get acquired. You should only start a business with cause, with conviction, and really do it for something you truly believe in.
This is a topic I absolutely love and Joshua does a great job of explaining what purpose is to him and how people can go about attaining it.
It is elusive and also changes over time. You also have to take into consideration that not all purposes can lead to running a business. But everyone does have a purpose. In order to find it, you must experiment with your passions. Go experience the world and all the wonders in it all while keeping your mind open to all the great opportunities you can have. When you find your purpose you will know it deep down. It’s something you cannot stop thinking about and is something that keeps you getting up every morning just so you can experience the thrill of following what you love.
Having a purpose while building your business makes all the stress worth it. It’s that sense of direction that gives you the motivation to keep on moving forward no matter who or what is in your way.
Whatever your purpose might be in life I encourage you to search for it. Fulfillment isn’t just about getting to a destination–it becomes about aligning your day-to-day activities with your purpose.
The Entrepreneur’s Framework Will Make You Happy
It was a joy reading this book, but not all aspects were applicable for me, but could be for you. No doubt you’ll find a takeaway in each chapter. You get to see into the reflections of a young entrepreneur with over a decade of experience. I’m looking forward to what Joshua H. Davidson has in store for the future.
I recommend this book to you. I recommend sharing this review with others to pass this knowledge on to all the other entrepreneurs who want to succeed. Life is chaotic, but if you have a framework to help you along it’ll be much easier for you. You might as well make that The Entrepreneur’s Framework.
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