Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson – Book Review

Title and Author: Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

Synopsis of Content:

Masterson, a self made millionaire, provides somewhat of a blueprint on how to create, build and grow a small business into as large an enterprise as one could want. He divides businesses into four stages: Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood. He even draws some comparisons between these human development stages and the stages of growth in a company. For each stage he defines the parameters as well as the challenges and requisites for success at that stage.

Over all Masterson’s thesis is that one cannot plan and design a successful business in advance. Two likely consequences flow from such an attempt. Either the planning consumes the entrepreneur such that the execution never really happens – paralysis from analysis. Or, the plan s created and on the mistaken belief that one must then follow the plan the creator of the business fails to adjust and change as circumstances require.

Masterson insists that you must be ready to start – some form of plan and preparation are certainly essential to avoid certain failure. He then advocates action – implementing the plan before it is perfected and then refining it as you progress, thus it is Ready, Fire, and Aim rather than the traditional Ready, Aim and Fire. Rather than firing a gun, he likens starting a business to flying a plane: while you have a basic flight plan you must correct your course continually to make your designated destination.

Scattered throughout the book are additional gems of wisdom and experience from the author’s half a century building businesses. He discusses everything from career satisfaction to the value of other books and publications such as Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (Little, Brown, 2000).

Whether you are contemplating the idea of starting a business, are in the midst of doing so or are higher up the ladder in growing an existing business there are valuable lessons and tips in this book for everyone. It is well worth the read.

Readability/Writing Quality:

Masterson writes well. He is not always as polished or as concise as one might wish but he gets his point across clearly enough. He uses lots of examples, headings and sub-headings, text boxes and other devices to organize the material and help make it more interesting and useful.

Notes on Author:

Michael Masterson is not just an author who likes to write about financial success – he has lived it. He has founded and grown several businesses including two that grew beyond $100 million in value. He has a loyal following for his Early to Rise ezine which is free and available at He has authored other books which have been on a number of best seller lists including Seven Years to Seven Figures, Automatic Wealth and Automatic Wealth for Grads.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. Developing a sales strategy is absolutely essential to any business venture. Developing an “Optimum Selling Strategy” can be the difference between success and failure.

2. Understanding the difference between marketing and sales is also critical. Learning this and putting it to work can be the difference between success and failure. Development of the Unique Selling Proposition for our business is crucial as well.

3. Every start up business needs four personality types to make it work: a seller, an improver, an organizer and a pusher. Identifying those business types in your business will make success much more likely.

Publication Information:

Ready, Fire and Aim (Zero to $100 million in nothing flat) by Michael Masterson.

© 2008 by Michael Masterson. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Rating for this Book:

Overall Rating: Very Good

Writing Style: Very Good

Application: Very Good

Technical Difficulty: Moderate