Growing a business is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated and this book is refreshingly full of practical and actionable advice for success, which Cameron has learned over years of running hyper-growth businesses. Throughout the book you’ll find out not just what you need to do, but why to do it and instructions on how to do it, along with tons of real-life examples from Cameron’s companies and his coaching clients.
Double Double is an essential manual for CEOs and entrepreneurs.
Whether you are already a large and long-established business with ambitious plans to double in size every three years, or a high-tech startup enjoying massive user traction and doubling every 3 months, the challenges of building fast-growth companies are the same. Cameron has condensed his knowledge gained from running high-growth businesses such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? where in his six year tenure as COO, the company roughly doubled in size every year, growing from $2MM to over $106MM in sales.
What’s inside the book?
Part 1 is all about preparing for fast growth by sowing the seeds for your success. Skip this and you end up operating tactically with no strategic objectives in mind; a disaster. The three opening chapters focus on:
Vision: Cameron describes how it’s essential to excite and align everyone in your company with a detailed “painted picture” which describes how your company will look three years in the future. This is an incredibly powerful tool and if you only implement one thing out of the whole book, this should be it. Critically this painted picture is shared with everyone the company touches or employs.
Reverse Engineering goals. Once you have a clear vision of where you want to get to, you work backwards and reverse engineer it, so you know what you need to do quarterly and yearly to make your 3 year painted picture a reality. Cameron explains how you can identify the projects that will get you there, and crucially get employees buying in at every step of the way.
Culture: How do you grow super-fast and achieve your vision and goals? Your people will make it happen, and your company culture will keep them motivated, engaged and loyal. Companies are more than just a collection of disciplines and skills but a collection of people and how they interact with each other and feel about the company will massively affect the success of your business.
The eight chapters in part 2 go in depth on “focused actions for fast growth” and it covers three main themes in detail:
People: How to excel at recruiting the best employees, how to improve your communication skills and how to run better meetings. The right meeting structures and rhythms really contribute to building a successful business and he goes into detail on the types of meetings you should be holding, the purpose of these, when and how to run them effectively as possible.
Promotion and marketing: The chapter on PR in particular is great. It’s an often overlooked and misunderstood element of promoting your business and Cameron is a master at it.
Techniques and tools: Working with and choosing the right metrics and KPIs as well making using of the right technology.
A final bonus theme in part two addresses the recession and some ideas to help exploit and make the most of the opportunities presented.
The book ends with part 3, a focus on leadership and is really all about managing your emotions, your productivity and your work-life balance. It kicks off with a detailed chapter on the rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows you get when living life as an entrepreneur. This chapter and its explanation of the transition curve, along with specific activities you should do, or avoid at each stage, is essential reading. (For a preview click here).
Within the leadership section a chapter on advisory boards explains how the right group of people are there to support and help you grow as a CEO, and Cameron is strong in his belief of the importance of them, and says they are an often overlooked tool for success.
I’m lucky enough to have Cameron as the first person on my board of advisors at Teamly, and can say that Cameron is every bit as good a mentor and coach as you would expect from reading this book. I’m also delighted that he recommends Teamly on a number of occasions throughout the book as a great way for people to stay focused, and an essential management tool. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for his help and support in the last year since I started up. I’m extremely lucky to have him there for me, but you can access 20 years of distilled knowledge, experience and advice by reading his book; go buy a copy!!