Thursday, September 22, 2005

I've Seen a Lot of Famous People Naked by "Body by Jake" Steinfeld


The man who invented the Hollywood personal trainer concept pens a tell-all book with "Famous People Naked" in the title—and Steven Spielberg writes the foreword.

I've Seen a Lot of Famous People Naked isn't an alternate-universe tale, it's about Jake Steinfeld—Body by Jake—and what he has to share: what he learned about business from these powerful people. That's why he immediately follows the title phrase with "and They've Got Nothing On You."
I did see a lot of famous folks naked, but not in the buff, unclothed nekkid naked. Instead I saw them stripped of the trappings of fame and fortune. No entourages. No public relations flaks. No makeup. No Gucci. No Armani. No bull.

You can almost hear the personal-trainer persona, "You can do one more rep, come on!" as Jake talks about entrepreneurial spirit, and the street-smarts that led him from body-building to his business success today. He keeps coming back to the simple truth he realized in "seeing famous people naked," that any of us can find success by using the correct approach.

First, you need to find the opportunity that matches you. A checklist of yes/no questions helps you decide if something will fit you. For example, if the answer to "Can I see myself doing this for the next five, ten, twenty years?" is no, Jake advises, "do something street-smart. Go to work for somebody who has a similar business... Spend at least six months checking it out... If at the end of that period, your no has turned into a yes, get rolling!"

The chapter on street-smarts is followed by a close examination of the process of getting into the game. Plenty of solid advice (like: get it out of your head, and onto the paper) is leavened with humor, and sledgehammered quotes that you can't miss or ignore: "Make sure you can deliver on the promises of your plan!"

Next, Jake covers how to put together your team. He cautions that, no matter how street-smart you are (or how much you learn from his book), you probably can't do it all. So he provides a guide to the kind of associations that every business involves. Partners (do you need one?), employees (pick the right ones), advisors or a board of directors, a network of cooperative people in similar or supporting businesses, and even family and friends who provide emotional support. My favorite PT-prompt in this chapter was "If details aren't your thing, hire a micro-manager."

With your team in place, it's time to go digging for dough. If you need investment or a loan to get going, there are some important concepts to grasp. Or, as Jake puts it, "Money talks. So learn the lingo." There's a list of 11 one-time start-up costs, and a 14-item list of monthly (continuing) expenses, to help you decide if you do need money to start up.

In "Name It and Claim It," Jake dives into the deep waters of brand recognition. From "your brand is your reputation" to "live up to your brand image," this is all common-sense stuff—but he backs it up with specific examples from big business brands. It isn't dry or legalistic at all; he starts with a story about appearing on-stage with the Village People that you shouldn't miss.

Once you are started, and have your brand image in place, you want to grow stronger. Jake provides some specific strategies for doing that, including selling online, even on eBay. Yes, even for a brick-and-mortar store, if you have a product to sell, having it available online strengthens your business—but only if you do it with street-smarts! Growth-time is also when you want to reconsider partnering up. Strategic alliances can help your business past the growth pangs, if you choose your partners carefully.

One of the most powerful lessons Jake learned from his "famous naked people" was that failure is not a reason to quit. "Every great entrepreneur has experienced failure," he reminds us. "None of them have been failures." In "Go to Failure and Beyond," Jake covers not only surmounting failure, but also how to recognise it's coming, before it becomes a disaster.

With the closing chapters, Jake even covers what to do when the money is rolling in. And like the professional personal trainer he is, he keeps your spirits from flagging as you get moving. "What are you waiting for? Get off your buttissimo!" I can almost hear him.

Whether you want your own business, or you're just curious about the secrets of famous naked Hollywood types, I've Seen a Lot of Famous People Naked is a delight to read.

And you don't need a sweatband.

Please join us at BlogCritics to comment on this review.


Anonymous Market Survey Companies said...

I think, you have a business & idea generator mind. yet you could have been done more.

9/24/2009 3:57 AM  

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