Friday, September 26, 2008

Review: The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

Mike was kind enough to send me a review copy of his soon-to-be-released book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. He made it quite clear to me: he wanted me to give him my honest to goodness feedback.

Well, the bottom line is, I liked the book very much. And not just because I got a free copy. Here are a handful of reasons why I enjoyed it:

  • It's an easy read. Mike takes the topic of starting a business and mixes in quite a bit of bathroom humor and other conversational tone to lighten the mood. You can almost hear him yelling at you to get off your butt and start building your company!
  • It matches up with what I know to be true. I found myself nodding as he talked about how money can cause more problems than it solves, how there are creative solutions around every corner for those who look for them and generally how the small can kick the big's butt.
  • It was more than just inspirational words. Don't get me wrong, having a book that's filled with inspirational stories, and a general can do attitude is valuable - but it'll only take you so far. To be honest, I was a bit concerned that was as deep as the TPE was going to go. Turns out, I was wrong. Mike does spend a good portion of the book talking about getting the right mindset for starting a business (which is critical), but he also goes into mechanics too. He gives concrete suggestions for avoiding the business plan, and helping improve your cash flow.

Perhaps I'm most excited about the book, because of the people I interact with on a daily basis. I meet people with great ideas, and often they aren't quite sure how to proceed. Sure, I can write their software, but there's more to a successful business than the technology. This book can help exactly this kind of person get on the right path to building a successful business.

When people ask me about starting a company from an idea, I usually suggest they write up a business story of some kind. But now, I think I'd point them to this book, and tell them reading it was the first step to take.

I give the book a 9.0/10.0 for being just the kind of resource that a new entrepreneur would find invaluable, and a more experienced entrepreneur would still learn from. Oh, and it's also a skinny book, so that earns it points as well.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Ben, is "avoiding the business plan" something that would make sense if I read the book, or was that a mistake?