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Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After Hardcover – August 6, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Agrawal, who founded New York City's farm-to-table pizzeria Slice at age 25, presents a unique approach to happiness and fulfillment: "doing cool shH t." Her success story is likely to lure potential readers: she's now partnering with Zappos.com founder Tony Hsieh (who contributes the book's foreword) to open Slice: Las Vegas. Offering a combination of vivid stories with action-able advice, Agrawal helps readers define and achieve their personalized versions of success. A cornerstone of her advice centers on mutually beneficial experiences. She encourages the evaluation of all relationships through a mutually beneficial lens and then prompts action, whether it means asking for change or moving on. Throughout, she challenges the reader to continually ask questions and to assess using her "BET" (bullet, eliminate, and take on) system, which consists of creating a segmented list of commitments, affiliations, and people. The result: eliminating the unworthy, nurturing the useful, and initiating new activities that conform with personal goals. Simple yet powerful, Agrawal's process liberates readers from conventional thinking and restrictions, freeing them to pursue their passions and make a living at the same time. (Aug.)Ǩ

Review

“Offering a combination of vivid stories with action-able advice, Agrawal helps readers define and achieve their personalized versions of success....Simple yet powerful, Agrawal’s process liberates readers from conventional thinking and restrictions, freeing them to pursue their passions and make a living at the same time.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Miki Agrawal is a real piece of work. It turns out that so are you. Once you read her high-energy book, you might be able to embrace the gifts you already have and go take advantage of them.” (Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception)

“This book is your official permission slip to quit yappin’ and make it happen. Miki’s book is smart, straightforward and a ton of fun—a must read for any aspiring entrepreneur.” (Marie Forleo, marieforleo.com)

“Miki is an unstoppable force in successful pursuit of a rich and fulfilled life, and a source of practical wisdom for how you can be the same. The more people that follow her advice, the better the world will be.” (Ben Rattray, founder of Change.org)

“If MacGyver were a woman she would look a lot like Miki Agrawal-she might even BE Miki. But this book makes it clear just how to tap into your inner MacGyver and transform your life!” (Lee Zlotoff, creator of MacGyver)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 7.7.2013 edition edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062261533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062261533
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book, while admittedly having decent information in it, especially about how to get investors to the table for your business pitch, is written mainly for quirky hipster women. No investor in the world is going to lend tens of thousands of dollars to a guy pitching a business idea if he passes out pet rocks or asks investors to write a haiku, as he will likely come off looking mentally unstable or immature.

Both of these "ideas" are actually in the book.

In another passage, the author tells about her creepily staring at a potential investor from across the bar until he made eye contact. If a guy does that he'll likely be asked to leave the establishment.

It should also be noted that this book is similar to others of its kind, in that it is written by an Ivy League graduate in NYC who likely has more access to wealthy connections that the average person. Much of what I have read in this book simply did not apply to my situation. I have to imagine this sentiment will resound with many who read this book and don't have the access to capital that she does.

I would have appreciated some sort of disclaimer, in the description, that the book primarily focuses on non-traditional methods of developing your business and as is totally dependent on your current location. Having known that beforehand, I likely would have looked elsewhere for information.
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Format: Hardcover
In defence of this book I'd say that she does she seem full of energy and enthusiasm, which plenty of readers will find helpful to get them fired up and motivated to take some action on their own big ideas. That's a big plus.
On the other hand, the information contained in the book is limited and specious. It's great to be presented with new ideas for raising capital and meeting contacts, but as an Ivy League graduate, and a former wall-street analyst I think it's fair to say that Miki's contact book and access to resources is a little different than 'most people'.
I mean, suggesting that you invite all the business people you know to a dinner to pitch them your idea is great; but plenty of budding entrepreneurs don't already have a pool of friends and contacts that have cash to spare. In fact, I think a lot of 'normal' folks would laugh at the very idea that they know even a handful of people who'd be willing to fork over thousands for a random business venture. So, the advice is sweet and genuine, but maybe not actionable for those who don't already move in Ivy League circles, with friend's of friend's who own Tao (!).
I should also mention that I'm British, not American. I don't know how this reads on the other side of the pond (and admittedly in Britain we are a little bit over-reserved) but some parts of this book were really cringey; either quite self-aggrandising, or just out-and-out 'NO'.
She gives an anecdote where she busts in on a successful businessman having dinner in his restaurant, Tao, in New York City.
Firstly, that alone would be considered atrocious bad manners in Europe, and would certainly not lead to a positive business connection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting a book of quitting my day job, starting my own business and living happily ever after... instead I was treated to a story of how a girl from a well off family went from Cornell, to summer internships at film studios, to a semester in London... which apparently all entrepreneurs do? Then it goes on to tell us how she was nervous of hosting a dinner brainstorm session... at an MTV Studios boardroom.... which she only did after shadowing a top level restaurateur of NYC. This book isn't motivational or feel good by any means. It makes you feel that unless you went to a well off college and have high end connections through school or family... you won't make it. Hoping to be able to return this as it won't be staying anywhere near my library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The networking and fundraising methodolgy is very screwed up. It will not work for 99% of the population. The fundraising dinner party idea is so ridiculous.

THINX, Miki's new startup, and doesn't make sense either. She received innovation awards from The Tribeca Film Festival for innovation and the Grommet, but she has yet to actually deliver a single panty to a customer even 8 months after getting funding and launching. So nobody can vouch for THINX's quality or performance. Neither Miki or her Co-founders did any THINXing about the charity component of THINX. At first, their goal was to give away reusable pads to girls in third-world countries for their period since they couldn't afford pads. The truth is that most probably can't afford and don't have panties to put the reusable pads in. The reusable pads can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome from improper cleansing. Finally, many girls may not even have access to clean water to clean the pads with. THINX is all about hype. The concept of the period panty isn't anything new so the founders were not truly innovative, and the cause wasn't well thought out. Miki's success with fundraising really came only AFTER she met Tony Hsieh at Summit Series, which costs $5K for a single weekend. THINX won't be a huge hit because the founders don't understand what they are doing.

All in all, Miki is a very energetic woman. Her charisma, luck and ability to manufacture hype should be applauded, but her business skills are not impressive. She has been lucky to meet and partner with Tony Hsieh for Wild and THINX as well as getting the founder of Century 21 to invest in Super Sprowtz after meeting him in an elevator.
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