The Facts Of Business Life

What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t

Excerpts from The Facts of Business Life

Read the Foreword by Ken Fisher, NY Times Bestselling author, below.

Also read the Table of Contents and Chapter One.

Congratulations, entrepreneur-minded reader. In your hand is a terrific book with real-life, ready-to-use-now lessons that should help you see more success and tackle life more comfortably.


But this book isn’t memoir or rule book. It’s a usable, open kimono look at the nitty-gritty of what’s truly required not just to start a business, but to take it from a new business to a surviving one to a thriving one. And once you’ve got a thriving business, he covers what few people have ever done in books I’ve seen—he describes how to decide whether to exit the business, when, and how. Sometimes foldin’ ’em is better than holdin’ ’em.

That’s where Bill McBean comes in. I know Bill personally—have for years—and he’s a sharp, shrewd, no-nonsense businessman. Most folks are lucky to find business success once, but Bill has met repeated success in a variety of venues, geographies, business lines, you name it. One time is luck and more than once is skill, but if you’re as repeatedly successful as Bill has been, that takes serious acumen and drive. Oh, and by the way, he’s a heck of a nice guy. His experience alone would probably make a good business book.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book, but another important lesson Bill delivers—another I’ve not seen well covered elsewhere—is the need to create your company’s DNA. This is a key lesson—critical—for building a business that lasts.

In fact, this is how I think about my own fi rm. Over the years, we’ve built processes to ensure that my firm’s DNA is embedded in each employee so no matter how far we expand geographically and no matter how far into the future, I can be assured our clients continually get the kind of service (or better) they get now and that I’ve wanted them to have since the beginning—and with it, the culture gets carried forward and is self-perpetuating. If you don’t build an enduring culture now that you’ll be proud of in the long-term future, you’ll have a long-term future with a culture that mildewed on you en route. That alone is a lesson worth the price of this book. Get that and his other Facts of Life in your bones, and this will have been time well spent.

Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They get, inherently and without effort, the myriad benefits of being the boss. They have vision—without it, you can’t hope to even think about starting a firm. But where I see folks fail is in their lack of grit. Grit is what it takes—and that ’s what Bill takes you through in this book. It’s no-holds-barred. It’s not sugar-coated. And if you walk away thinking, “Nope, that’s not for me,” then this, too, will have been time well spent, saving you (and your spouse, kids, next-door neighbor, and dog) the future multiple heartaches inherent in starting a new venture. But if you’ve truly got it in you, and my guess is you do, or want to, or you wouldn’t be reading this book, then Bill gives you some clear to-do, think-this-through steps to help you on your way to success

One more thing: In my 2008 book The Ten Roads to Riches, I make the point that entrepreneurship and failure go hand in hand. The most successful founder-CEOs have often failed a few times at no-go ventures. Nothing wrong with that. Failure is a great way to learn—again, nothing wrong with it, so long as you learn from it and fail differently next time and learn still another perms-lesson. But the lessons Bill gives here will help you learn still more from your failure and make a better go next time (and the time after that). And I hope you do try—and succeed—because the entrepreneur road is insanely rewarding, not just in money but in every other part of life, when done right. Bill will help.

Enjoy the read.

—Ken Fisher
Founder and CEO of Fisher Investments
28-year Forbes “Portfolio Strategy” columnist
New York Times bestselling author

Winner of the Small Business Trends 2013 Small Business Book Award for Leadership