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Growing a Business Paperback – October 15, 1988

4.8 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews A standout in an overcrowded field.

Entrepreneur ...a wonderful combination of hardheaded business acumen, plain common sense, humor, and warmth.

San Francisco Chronicle Growing a Business is highly readable....Its ideas on doing business deserve widespread circulation, discussion and recognition.

About the Author

Paul Hawken's bestselling books include Blessed Unrest, Natural Capitalism, and The Next Economy. He has also written dozens of articles, op-eds, and papers concerning the responsibility of business to the natural environment. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Inc magazine, the Boston Globe, the Utne Reader, and more than a hundred other publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671671642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671671648
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Hawken has written seven books published in over 50 countries in 29 languages including four national bestsellers, The Next Economy, Growing a Business, and The Ecology of Commerce, and Blessed Unrest. Natural Capitalism, co-authored with Amory Lovins, was read by several heads of state including Bill Clinton who called it one of the five most important books in the world. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and been profiled in articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, and Esquire. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Orion, and other publications. He founded several companies including the first food company in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He has served on the board of several environmental organizations including Point Foundation (publisher of the Whole Earth Catalogs), Center for Plant Conservation, Trust for Public Land, and National Audubon Society.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Thomsen on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book and watched the TV series around 1990. I credit Growing a Business, as much as anything I ever read or heard, for the success of my company today.
In 1992 a group of first-time entrepreneurs started a company together. Some of the group had a blueprint of how a company is supposed to start. Get capital. Build something. Launch it. Succeed. They had not read the book, or they had but did not believe it spoke to us.
Some of the group had a more organic idea, inspired in part by this book. Each company has its pace, its flow, its learning curve. The CEO is the clock, the pacer, the navigator. There is a constant calculator going on each decision, each day, extrapolating payoffs, comparing the costs and benefits. And there is a recognition of what we are going into business for and structuring the business to support those objectives.
For example, we wanted a great place for employees. Each employee would share the experience and benefits. The "Startup 101" types of books treat this topic as an add-on after you do all the important things. Hawken makes it primary. It is primary if you want a place for the best people to do their best work. Structure your company around the employee experience and all else falls into place - if that is the kind of company you want.
An important lesson from this book is serious initial capital for inexperienced entrepeneurs can be a mistake. Hawken describes this. So important. So easy to overlook.
Large amounts of startup capital allows you to outsource parts of a company you may not totally understand yet. It makes some mistakes very expensive. It dulls the creativity at times, the innovation to do more with less. It might encourage one to do things just because you see other companies doing them.
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By A Customer on October 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
I started my business in 1988 and no advice I received was a valuable at Paul Hawken's. He helps you to see a business from 10,000 feet as well as from just inches below the surface: in your heart, where ultimately your business must succeed.
I recommend this book to everyone, but have ceased lending my copy out-two have disappeared. Today, my business is an enormous success-indeed, a somewhat famous one-and no one deserves more credit than Mr. Hawken, for the advice and inspiration of this lucid and engaging book.
To every small business owner: buy it today, read tonight, and see if it doesn't change things immediately.
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Format: Paperback
The reason I like this book is because it does not follow popular style "10 ways to get rich" or "how to make business in 5 minutes". It is focused on individuality and it recognizes that every business is different, the same way we are. It does not give you a recipe on how to grow business, because lets face it, there is no recipe. If it was easy everybody would be doing it. However, it does give you a sound advice that makes sense. I think that lots of small business owners are thinking the same way and it is nice to read that somebody experienced same kind of problems and faced similar obstacles as well as how they approached the problem. It is great book that simply makes sense...
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Format: Paperback
This book is not the standard run of the mill business book. It's almost a cross between a philosophy and a history, but written in a light/easy to read way. Most books on business tend to be detailed, technical, or boring--this book tells business as if it were a story. (Which it is)

Very few business books are written in this style and by doing so he captures some of the feelings and passion of business along with a few strategic concepts. Business comes from the heart as well as the head and I appreciate the way this book combines both aspects.

On the other hand, I had some reservation giving 5 stars. While he extensively chronicles his own business--there are few/no references to other businesses and/or collaborating evidence. Still, I would recommend this book to any budding businessperson--but I'd also recommend reading from other authors (I recommend Peter Drucker) to gain a wider perspective.
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By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
A very insightful book from the man who understands business. I read this book in one sitting and boy it is a better one compared to the many business books that I've read. Hawkin really knows how to run a business. What's intriguing about Hawkin is that he started business from ground zero without any prior business education. He succeeded because of his leadership, persistence, and most importantly, a willingness to learn. It is a good read for anyone who wants to go into business or desires to grow a business. Suggested reading: Creativity in Business by Michael Ray
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By A Customer on December 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, even perfect, book (as much as any book or work of art can be perfect). It is smoothly written and loaded with uncommon, common sense which unmasks many conventional business "truisms." Take this for example: "Research into small business has shown that most fail because of a lack of working capital. But that's like saying the cause of most divorces is conflict." By focusing on the inner business, Hawken helps any business person create an enterprise that is ideally suited to its owner. It's smart capitalism with a human face. If this sounds appealing, also consider The Mindful Money Guide. It's not about establishing a business per se (although it does have a whole section on finding truly satisfying work), but it will complement Hawken's book well, by thoughtfully (and amusingly) addressing one's whole financial life.
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