The Execution Factor (2018) Book Summary and Insights

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Book Title: The Execution Factor
Subtitle: The One Skill That Drives Success
Publication Date: 2018
Author Name: Kim Perell

Book Summary   

The Execution Factor aims to equip entrepreneurs with the skills they need to run a successful business.  The author draws from her own experiences to highlight how we can go from broke to running a multi-million dollar company.
Perell argues that the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a college certificate or a high IQ. Rather, it lies in proper execution. And how can a person master the execution factor? You can do this by developing five principles which would lead you to success.
The five principles are; vision, passion, resilience and relationship; traits that will transform the ordinary ideas to the extraordinary.
Perell writes this book to spur readers into action, delivered in straightforward points that can easily be put into action.

Who Is This Book For?  

This book is for people looking to master execution skills, entrepreneurs looking to transform their dreams into business realities, and anyone looking for ways to take their business to the next level.

 About The Author   

Kim Perell started her career with Xdrive Technology, where she quickly moved up to Director of Marketing and Sales, due to her immense contributions to the company. In 2003, Perell founded Frontline Direct, which she later sold to Adconion Media Group.

Perell in now the CEO of Amobee, a subsidiary of Singtel.

Kim Perell is involved with helping start-ups, and has contributed to over 60 start-ups as an angel investor.

Kim is a CEO, executive, investor, founder, and author who has gained recognition from Forbes, CNN Money and The New York Times.
She has also received honours like, being named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association for Female Executives.

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Book Insights

The Execution Factor 2018 By Kim Perell - Book Summary and Insights-LarnEdu image


Ever wondered what truly separates the successful people from the failures? Or, what makes a business thrive while another struggles to stay on its feet.

The Execution Factor is here to give readers an insight into the strategically cultivated traits successful business people possess.

After reading this book, you will understand why you must have a vision which you would pursue with a passion, how to take the first steps into action, how to build resiliency and why it is crucial to maintain good relationships.


The ability to execute is what draws the line between the dreamers and the doers and, successful businesses and the failures. Perell is confident it is only after you master her five traits of execution you can attain new heights in your business.
The first of the five traits is “vision”. Visualising before committing to a venture will allow you have a clearer picture of your end goal. For example, before starting a business, consider the destination you see for yourself, whether it is eventually branching out your business or setting up a whole new company.
Your vision will act as a rough draft to come back to whenever things get rough along the line. No doubt you will experience some setbacks or even complete deviations but, the key here is to perseverance.
When the United States and Soviet Union were in a tight race for space exploration, President John F. Kennedy made a proclamation that the United States would make a moon landing by the end of that decade. Even though the United States was not ready for this feat at the time of the proclamation, Kennedy spurred them into a faster, more determined action with his ambitious vision for the future.
There is much to be done to turn our tiny ideas and plans into a comprehensive vision and see it come to fruition.  To fully define your vision, you must first sift through it till it’s in its most refined, clear form, an embodiment of your personality.
You must be careful to follow a vision that is truly yours and not an echo of other people’s ideas for you. Darren worked in a hospital and received many compliments from his friends and family on account of the chilli he made. After much persuasion, he quit his job and started a food truck. Because of not being interested in profiting off his chilli, he was never happy with his new job.
How can you avoid this? First, test out your proposed plan on a smaller scale, where you have a lot less to lose. If you determine that this idea you have is what you want to do, you can then work on actualizing it and putting it into action.


  Having a clear vision to guide you is good and fine but, how do you fuel this vision? You execute your visions by making them a priority in what you do, fuelling your activities with an intense love and desire to succeed.
Success hardly ever comes without a fair share of sacrifices and endurance. Believe it, you will need all the passion you can push out to get through the extra working hours and hurdles along the way. And, you need all the help you can get during those long, dark days.
The first step to pursuing your passion is defining what it is. It could be anything from a skill, a profession role or even an activity. The thing to remember is you should start small, you should not dive headfirst into the business world. It is much safer to test out the waters, carve out a comfortable niche for yourself and go forward from there.
Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories; after these are the wins that build up to the big success. For example, the author celebrated her companies first $1 million in revenue by celebrating with her entire team in Vegas. You don’t have to go all out; a small gift to yourself, a dinner party is good enough.
Passion is what you will suffer and sacrifice for. The author reminds us that passion is not sweet days and gallant endurance; but suffering.


With vision and passion defined, how can you channel them? By putting yourself out there and taking action.
There is no doubt going out into the business world can be overwhelming. And, while careful strategising will help in the long run, the author advises you just take a step forward and avoid over thinking. That first step will be the most critical as it pushes you into active execution.

Even though you must not over-analyse this action, you shouldn’t dive in recklessly either. The author advises you turn your vision into a side hustle while still keeping your regular job. This way, you stay on the safe side and can safely make small or big changes to your plans.
Your first step might be the most important but, you would get nowhere if you just stood there. So, you must keep onward marching. Make your journey easier by creating a review board where you note your actions and their effects.
Apple is one of the biggest technology brand today but, the company was definitely not the first with innovations. What pushed them to the top was the company’s ability to always make their products better.
So also you should not rest on your achievements but develop follow-up ideas.


Oxford English Dictionary defines resiliency as the ability of people or things to feel better quickly after some something unpleasant, such as shock, injury.
When applied to business, a resilient person can bounce back from knockdowns and use those experiences gained to build himself. Positivity, a thirst for more, and hopefulness were among the contributing factors that led to the success of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. He is also known as a cofounder of popular payment platform PayPal, and CEO of SpaceX. These two companies might be huge successes now but, they both started off rocky, losses and rejected ideas.
If Musk had tucked tail and ran after those difficulties and delays, these companies may not exist today, and he wouldn’t be the successful business person he is now.
Knowing the importance of resiliency and how to build your resiliency are two different things to master. Developing resiliency involves more than just reading success stores and books that implore you to exhibit the trait. You must connect with yourself emotionally and learn to meditate, exercising your mental muscles. A good technique to improve your mindfulness is writing in a journal or engaging in activities that centre you.
No matter the situation and setback, turn it around to favour you, or at least experience a level of satisfaction while facing these obstacles. The author certifies that tasking ourselves like this would build not only our resiliency but also help business growth.


You have your vision mapped out; you are pursuing it with a passion, and you have taken your first steps into action with a resiliency that can move mountains. The question now is how can you really do it all by yourself.
Relationships are an important part in any effective execution plan because, the saying “no man is an island” comes to play even in the business world. No single woman/man can possess all the skills or knowledge in the universe and tasks will get done quicker with more hands on deck.
We all have a network of people in our lives, from immediate family to friends and then work colleagues. A successful businessperson works on expanding and maintaining this network of people, reaching out to new connections frequently. Appreciations, gifts and thoughtful questions are a tested and tried means of connecting with people.
The author recognises that you cannot always get a positive influence out of every connection and she has practical advice for that. Perell has used a method where she reviews her relationships and arranges them under two categories; positive people, and negative people.
She realises the negative people are only drawing her back and may even influence her negatively and attempts to slowly but eventually cut them off.
This method is not foolproof, and the author makes some allowances here.
By defining where the positivity and strength in your relationships lie, the author believes that you can build yourself up more and properly execute your vision.

Key Quotes   

Passion comes from the Latin word for pain. What is something you”re so passionate about that you would gladly suffer for?

Execution is what separates the dreamers from the doers
: the ability to do and get results—to keep moving forward to achieve your vision and goals in business and life despite the challenges, hardships, and obstacles that lay ahead.
Execution is what I and the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders I have known had mastered. Execution disrupted complacency and markets. Regardless of role, organization, or industry, execution was the difference between success and failure.

I didn’t go from broke to multimillionaire. I went from broke to $100,000 and then from $100,000 to $1 million and then from $1 million to $10 million, and so on, recommitting myself to execute better after I reached each milestone. That’s how I kept climbing. That’s how I kept evolving. That’s how I became the master of my success. Mastering execution will allow you to reach your goals and mark new milestones.


In The Execution Factor, Kim Perell shares what she has learned in her journey as an entrepreneur; starting her first company from her kitchen table after her employers had laid her off work and she was broke. The advice in the book is practical, easy to follow and relevant for everyone, no matter the stage of your career.
She teaches us to examine our goals daily and take actions to get even closer to achieving them, instead of being busy and accomplishing little. Ensuring that you stay resilient and have the right people in your life are excellent lessons to apply and carry forward.

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