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Publisher's Summary

Please download the supplementary PDF for a list of the figures referenced in the audio.

When Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg launched their high-end virtual assistant (VA) company, Less Doing™, they changed the culture of start-ups forever, effectively debunking the gospel that every new venture requires months of preplanning and a hefty investment of capital. A business born from scribbled notes on a cocktail napkin during dinner was an up-and-running concern less than 24 hours later, ingeniously brought to life with the help of free, readily available digital tools and apps and no outlay of cash whatsoever.

Meisel and Sonnenberg reveal how a scalable start-up is done to perfection in this fascinating and informative chronicle of their first year in business together. An essential listen for any budding entrepreneur, it follows the creative commercial process from inspiration to inception to success, detailing a bold new approach to 21st century business based on a fearless ingenuity and a willingness to rewrite the rules.

©2016 Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Idea to Execution

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This book wasn’t for me

Tons of advertising for software that they use in their business. I listened to the entire book just to get it off of my feed.

4 people found this helpful

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Deleted after 30 minutes

This feels more like an ad for the author’s business than a helpful book for me.

4 people found this helpful

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more like how to automate "our" business

I thought this book was going to be about helping me automate and outsourced my life but really it was about a story of how they built an Outsourcing company and the tools they use. It was a good story for sure but in the end it didn't really help me out at all

3 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste your time

Seeing as this whole book is about “optimization” it should do more than waste the readers time. Frankly, it’s just a couple tools pontificating about how cleverly they started a business without prioritizing their efforts. Glad to have spent an hour listening to this just to realize that maybe the whole book is about learning when you are wasting your time. If that was the case it does work. There’s literally a million better books in this space to guide and actually help.

2 people found this helpful

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Not a "How to" but a "How we did" brag book.

Is other than name dropping a bunch of apps they used and briefly describing how they used them, this book was barely worth the price… free. But not worth the time.

1 person found this helpful

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Concise but complete

It was very helpful To see the real process for the creation of the company

1 person found this helpful

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good read, listened to it twice

use the tools and ideas in this book, and your business will run itself, great process O.A.O

1 person found this helpful

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Time well spent

Solid information, insights, recommendations and real world experiences. It is commendable and refreshing that the authors also point out in detail mistakes they made along the way which enhances their credibility.

1 person found this helpful

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Good info but...

Took to long to get to the meat. The front end of the book came off like a verbal infomercial that would never end. Once I forwarded past all of the sales pitch for the company I found the rest of the book for the most part pretty informative...

3 people found this helpful

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A good listen

This reminds me of a 4 hour work week book series. Lots of good references with substance.

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  • Greg C.
  • 09-08-21

Too much personal story

Full disclosure, I only got halfway through but…
Too much personal story and not enough actionable points. It felt a little more like it was advertising their business and what they do and how they do it. Yes one could take from it, but it’d be better if the author spent time on theoretical principles, or more concrete ways people can implement them.

Not an awful book in the least, but could be better for sure.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Schmidt
  • 08-30-21

Easy listen very insightful

This is not necessarily a how to book, but rather a case study and story of best practice of a start up company. Very insightful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-21

This book is one big ad. Just repeating the same.

Just repeating the same. Just repeating the same.Just repeating the same. Just repeating the same. and thats it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeff Harvey
  • 10-07-21

Not too many nuggets but they are there

Basically it’s the storey of how they created a business but only give snippets of what they are at and tools the use.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs Beverley Lawrence
  • 05-31-22

Frighteningly familiar!

What a great story, I couldn’t believe how similar it is to our own with the company I co-founded, gave a useful view into a possible future, very easy to listen to

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  • Susan
  • 04-22-22

Very Detailed

I found it quite detailed and I have learnt some precious gems that can be applied in my business.

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  • Sian Finn
  • 04-08-22

Excellent case study and tips!

Packed with value and inspiration, an insight into efficiency, purpose and strategy - thank you gentleman!

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  • CriticalTorque
  • 03-30-22

Seems like they are just advertising their services

Gave up as it felt mainly like they were advertising their business and services.
Not recommend.

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  • Burt
  • 03-18-22

It flows

Optimise, automate, and outsource, three channels I didn't know I needed to save my work. I loved it. it showed me where I need to look to make work seamless and find time for growth.
Anyone starting a small business should listen to this book.

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  • Dr A H Abbot
  • 02-23-22

I'd hate to have worked for these guys...

Seems to be just an ongoing story of exploitation of a workforce by squeezing them to failure...and a seemingly endless list of unrelated web and mobile apps that will unlock this process by automating humans away. Hubris.

But then I would probably have been fired by the authors on the first day!

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  • Justin
  • 12-21-21

Not really helpful

The book in a few sentences: Apparently the entire business world hasn't heard of internal messaging software, or project planning tools, so they are #1 because the authors use Slack and Trello, and tell everyone about it. (I'm sure next year they will find Atlassians software suite or Microsoft teams and be mind blown.)

First half of the book is basically an advertisement for their VA service where they recommend tracking nothing, not planning presentations, using free software, and outsourcing everything.
The second half of the book they say they were able to handle difficulties because they learnt how to track everything, plan presentations, write their own custom software, and only outsource things that aren't their key roles.

Good job setting up a business, and telling an interesting story. However, I'm not sure who would find business value in this book - also it only covers their first year in business where they did a total 180 on their first hour or so of advice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-22

This is just a 2 hr ad

This book is just a 2 hr ad for a virtual assistant company 🤦🏻‍♀️ with all the same recycled points as reading any article on the topic. Don’t waste your time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Riinu A.
  • 03-22-22

Just a long way of saying to hire a VA

Ok, I have to be honest, I haven’t finished the book yet. But I’m in chapter 4 and so far it has been one long marketing pitch of why their VA company is so good and it looks like the rest of it is just about how they built up the business. In one sentence: hire one of their VAs or learn how to delegate.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-22-22

different from what the title tells you

was hoping to learn some fascinating stories on go to market strategy, vision, segmentation, etc but it was a shallow story of a successful business. suitable for first year University students I'd say.

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  • Ryan
  • 12-15-21

a good quick read

love thre story got lot of high level learnings. and a ton of self evaluation questions in my business around OAO

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-21

Good, with some nice ideas of automation

It is a nice book, with some good ideas about automation and outsourcing.
Could've go deeper in the Optimise, Automate and Outsourcing theory.

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  • Philip
  • 01-16-18

Worth the knowledge

The book provides the tools in way of a story about how Nick and Ari and their startup growth.

Although filled with insights on how to optimise, It wasn’t what I was looking for. I work for a company remotely so was aware of ways to optimise a business, in saying that, I did find it to be more a confirmation in the process I intend to implement in my personal startup.

For he person who isn’t aware of the tech solutions or what is actually capable with the tools and resources available today, this book would be a brief and handy insight.