Author's Note

“We don't need no more stinkin' business books.”

The above is my version of the famous, frequently misquoted, and oft-parodied line from the movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It is uttered by the Mexican bandit leader, played by Alfonso Bedoya, after Humphrey Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs challenges him by demanding, “If you're the police, where are your badges?”

Disgusted, Bedoya scoffs, “Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges.”

Drop the word “badges” and substitute the words “business books”—and this statement says it all. The world doesn't need another business book. But there is a need for a hands-on digest that uses proven street-fighter methods to build a business from scratch, create significant value, and help entrepreneurs figure out what it takes not just to survive, but to excel. To achieve these lofty and elusive objectives, The Benevolent Dictator focuses on lessons that will help you to build your business, empower your employees, and outwit your competition.

I have written this book with my long-time editor, Dustin S. Klein, of the management journal Smart Business. After producing more than seven years of monthly columns for Smart Business—which is published in 17 markets nationwide and read by more than 750,000 monthly readers—I finally decided that perhaps others could benefit from what I've experienced during my career of building businesses from the ground up.

And I've certainly read ...

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