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Guts and Borrowed Money: Straight Talk for Starting and Growing Your Small Business Paperback – March 25, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"A must-read for any entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur! This practical guidebook provides the 'nuts and bolts' of starting, operating, and growing your business."
-- Nancy Upton, Ph.D., director, Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship, Baylor University

Includes an information-packed, Trouble-Shooting Guide covering 265 critical topics.

Straight Talk for Anyone Considering the Purchase of This Book

Dear Entrepreneur:

If you're thinking about starting a business, or an overworked entrepreneur wondering why your business isn't making faster progress, Guts & Borrowed Money is for you.

To start a business takes guts and money; to keep it going and growing takes other talents and resources. This book tells what you need to know to start your business, ensure its survival, and grow until you have around 200 employees. It isn't your usual "how to" book. It's straight talk, advice, and the successful strategies of an unrepentant entrepreneur who has already learned "how to" and can save you time, trouble, and money.

I started with two employees. Twenty-four years later, when I sold out, there were 400 employees. Along the way, I purchased five small companies and sold four. As a CPA, then as a lawyer, and later as a business consultant, I have worked with many owners to solve a multitude of business problems. I still do. Out of these years of experience came the common-sense, practical, real-life answers and solutions found here.

Part One gives you basic information about the stages your company will go through as it starts and grows. I suggest you read this straight through. Part Two discusses 265 specific problems or situations common to nearly every small business.

Look through the table of contents or index to find subjects of importance to you. You're holding valuable advice to help improve the quality of the business game you want to play as well as your final score.

About the Author

Tom S. Gillis has been active on the Houston business scene for 50 years as a business owner, entrepreneur, lawyer, CPA, and management consultant. He continues as a consultant, advisory board member, and an executive professor at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Houston. During World War II, he served on the staff of Gen. George Patton during combat in Europe.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 473 pages
  • Publisher: Bard Press (March 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885167202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885167200
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ever since my husband and I started our business about two years ago, we are constantly in search of good books on small business management. Having read many of the books out there, Tom's is by far the best of its kind! Tom walks you through the life cycle of a small business, alerting you to the possible pitfalls and giving you advice along the way. Almost the entire book has been directly applicable to our small business, and has steered us in the right direction many times. Whether it's financial management, IRS questions or employees problems, Tom's book can help advise almost any small business owner today. Thanks, Tom!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jdbriggs@yahoo.com on March 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The two great features of Guts and Borrowed Money are, 1) the down-to-earth, practical advice offered by a businessman with a lifetime of experience, and, 2) the simplicity and brevity with which the advice is rendered. Another big plus to the book is its breadth. Mr. Gillis covers the stages of hatching and growing a business as well as such practical topics as handshake deals and retirement planning. He also gives valuable advice on finding mentors and organizations to help you continue to grow in your business skills. As Gillis says in the forward, if you're a born entrepreneur like Bill Gates, you don't need this book. But, if you're a mere mortal who runs or would like to run your own business, this book is for you. It is like having a wise, street-smart advisor sitting beside you. A terrific book. I'd rate it a strong 9.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This isn't your usual "How To" book. Reading this book is as if Author Gillis is speaking to you with advice and successful strategies from someone who's already learned "how to." Gillis, both a lawyer and a CPA, as well as a management consultant, answers the question of "who should read this book?" For example, YOU should read it....
* If you want to learn what it takes to start and run a successful business.
* If you want to understand the stages of growth your company will experience or is going through, and how things can change without your realizing it.
* If you are searching for a mental spark plug to give you new ideas and knowledge for solving your most pressing problems, or
* If you think business is a game and money is the way to keep score.
When discussing "Guts and Borrowed Money, Straight Talk for Starting and Growing Your Small Business, author Gillis says, in part, "I wrote this book because it's one I wish I'd had when I was in business. I'm a firm believer that for every reasonable business problem there's a reasonable business solution.
Divided into two sections, Part One is the foundation and deals with basic information about The Stages of the Game: Idea, Survival, Growth, Big Business. Part Two, organized in A to Z reference style, discusses 265 specific problems common to nearly every small business.
Going back to why he wrote this fine book, Gillis says to "keep your eyes and mind open, think smarter, and work hard. If entrepreneurship were easy, there would be a lot more rich folks. Don't find excuses--find solutions." Then he closes with, "I wish you every success." Again, he talking to his reader, one-on-one
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Tom Gillis has written half of the entrepreneur's bible. This book provides great practical advice to students who are embarking on entrepreneurial careers. My students love it. The other text I use in teaching entrepreneurship focuses on business law. Together with Tom's book, they form a "must-have" set of references for every entrepreneur.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for business owners, but as the name implies, it's not about venture capitol, it's about business sense. Nevertheless, it's a great book to have and refer to time and time again. It's timeless
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Gillis points out the hazards, signposts, and often unheralded milestones one will encounter as the business goes through the idea stage, survival stage, and into the growth stage. The second section is literally an alphabetically organized encyclopedia of business topics, ranging from "Accountants - Selecting Yours" to "Zero-base Budgeting," and everything you could imagine in between. On page after page, Gillis offers clear and concise answers to most of the problems an entrepreneur faces as a dream is turned into reality. Some of the entries were a bit dry for my taste. Reading Tom's book is like sitting across a coffee table from a very astute friend, listening as he gives you advice borne of hard-won wisdom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
It's an exploration of what's needed to be a success in the marketplace. Gillis looks at most things the entrepreneur will experience, from banks and bankers to zero-based budgeting. It's an easy book to read, full of useful insights. The author is a business consultant and executive professor at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Houston, where the book has been adopted as a text book
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