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One-Page Proposal (by Patrick G. Riley)

Product Description

Brevity is the soul of wit.
And when it comes to business, it's the secret of success.

Lean. Trim. Clear. Concrete. In a world where decisions are made between two rings of a cell phone, this is what a successful business proposal must be. It's a lesson entrepreneur Patrick Riley learned after one too many potential partners ignored his painstaking (but long and forbidding) proposals. And now, in The One-Page Proposal, he shares his secret strategy -- the one that he has parlayed into a multimillion-dollar business career. Riley describes every important element of a successful business proposal -- from the basic message to the financial details. Step by step, he outlines how to create the perfect attention-grabbing pitch, offering dozens of strategies to help organize your research, focus your message, eliminate unnecessary language, and anticipate potential reservations. Learn how to:

  • Use active, positive wording
  • Compress data without losing important content
  • Tactfully ask what you want
  • Prioritize information, including only what's necessary
  • Get the tone and voice right
  • Tailor the product to your target reader

From choosing the right investor to selecting the typeface, The One-Page Proposal is the one tool you need to propel your business idea to the top of any investor's to-do list.

About the Author

Patrick Riley is the principal agent of Genisis Agents, an international agency representing extraordinary professors and researchers from leading universities and research institutions around the world. A longtime investor, businessman, and entrepreneur, he lives in San Francisco, CA.

  • The Birth of an Idea
  • The One-Page Proposal
    • What Is It?
    • Why One Page?
    • Why One and a Half Won't Do
    • What's Wrong with the Traditional Business Plan?
    • What the One-Page Proposal Isn't
    • When Should I Use the One-Page Proposal?
    • When the One-Page Proposal Isn't Your Best Choice
    • What About Expensive Production Values?
    • So It's Quick to Read; Is It Quick to Write?
    • The One-Page Proposal and You
  • Preparation
    • Be Cool, Calm, and Collected
    • How to Start
    • Do Some Accumulating
    • Your Goal Is Complete Understanding
    • Research on the Internet
    • Traditional Research
    • Who Gets the One-Page Proposal?
    • Keeping It Personal
    • What's the Deal on Your Wheeler-Dealer?
    • Factor In the Opposing Team
    • Fact-Checking
    • Anticipate the Questions
  • The Road Map-Starting to Think It Through
    • Putting It All Together
    • A Sample One-Page Proposal
    • The Sections, Up Close
    • The Sequence Is Sacrosanct
  • Translating Your Knowledge into the One-Page Format
    • Step 1: Sort Your Research and Thoughts
    • Step 2: Downsize
    • Step 3: Prioritize
    • Step 4: Start Writing
    • Step 5: Take a Break
  • Writing the One-Page Proposal
    • Title: Headline the Story
    • Subtitle: Build on the Title
    • Target: State Your Goal
    • Secondary Targets: Clarify Your Goal
    • Rationale: Who, What, Where, Why, and How
    • Financial: Spell Out the Numbers
    • Status: Where the Deal Stands Now
    • Action: If You Don't Ask for Something, It's Not a Proposal
    • Date It and Sign It
    • Ready to Write?
  • Improving, Reducing, and Compressing
    • Length
    • Style
    • Wording
    • Make It Universal
  • A Great One-Page Proposal
    • The Great Pyramid of Egypt: A One-Page Proposal
    • The Khashoggi Proposal That Should Have Been
  • Production Values
    • Paper
    • Typeface and Type Size
    • General Appearance
  • Presenting the One-Page Proposal
    • Putting It into Play
    • Telephone Protocol
    • Know Your Proposal Inside and Out
    • Proposing Within Your Own Organization
    • Put Your Heart into It
    • What If They Say No?
    • My Goals for You
    • The One-Page Proposal Support Network
  • Appendix: Sample Proposals


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

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