Book Review: Make The Noise Go Away

“Make The Noise Go Away” written by Larry Linne & Ken Koller

Owning and operating a small business in the United States is a dream come true for many business founders. So why are so many of them unhappy? It’s the “noise” according to co-authors Larry Linne and Ken Koller in their book “Make The Noise Go Away”. The noise in business consists of all of the issues that get in the way of growing the enterprise. The constant worries and concerns about underperforming employees, demanding customers, cyber attacks… the list goes on. The noise can be deafening to many small business owners.

Is there a solution? Yes, according to the authors. The solution is for the first-in-command, the business owner, to hire a competent second-in-command. The founder must hire a strong #2 to address all of the day-to-day business issues that then allows the owner to lead the company forward without those daily distractions.

The book is written as a parable about a business owner and his second-in-command spending a weekend retreat determining their appropriate roles as first and second in command. By the time they are done, the two men have identified nine different principles that, when addressed, will make the “noise” go away. In addition, the book provides a very helpful job description for a second-in-command.

My experience is that the growth of a small business will often time slow down if not stop somewhere between one million and five million dollars in revenue due to the inability or unwillingness of the business founder to hire a second-in-command. Such operational leaders are hard to find and require the business owner to release control over much of the day to day operations of the business which can be very difficult for many business founders.

I have never had a business owner complain that they hired a #2 too soon. It’s usually the opposite. They complain that they waited too long to make such an important hire.

I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to all small business owners.