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on September 15, 2011
I received a pre-release copy of this book for review.

I'm a business writer and I read a LOT of business books. Many of them are simply regurgitated fluff. This one is not.

Here's what you're looking at:
2 young but already experienced & successful entrepreneurs give you their take on the "big topics" of start-ups, small biz, and entrepreneurism in general.
They also give you interviews/profiles of other successful entrepreneurs. You'll get to hear from people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Anita Campbell, and Dan Schawbel. In other words - people who KNOW what they're talking about.

Each chapter gives you an overview, a profile or two, and often some step-by-step instruction on how to do what you need to do. I especially liked their advice on investors (do you need them or should you bootstrap?) and business plans (are they really necessary?). Balanced, insightful.

Great book for small biz owners, beginning entrepreneurs, those in the trenches with their start-ups... or those who are tired of dreaming about it and ready to start moving forward.
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on May 12, 2012
Over the years I have read business books voraciously. And every now and then one comes along that I find particularly useful. That's certainly is the case with Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs by Adam and Matthew Toren. So what is it that makes this book a powerful?

Advice from the Trenches

Many of you know me as a leadership resource and ensure you imagine that I sit in soft chairs and tell other people lofty ideas about themselves. Here's the part you may not know. That leadership role is very recent. I came up the hard way and learned business in the trenches. And from there I expanded into the natural space of coaching which always seemed so familiar to me. So when I look at a business book I want to know that the entire breadth of business acumen is nested in what I'm reading. I look to see an appreciation of both the `nuts and bolts' of business as well as the personal development that I know is the driver of good outcomes.

More about Camels

I am sure have all heard the saying "follow your bliss, but don't forget to tether the camel". For many years I toiled at the task of tethering camels. I was a merger/acquisition specialist as well as an executive manager of many companies. I learned my leadership style by working like a donkey. I must confess and I'm sure this comes as no surprise that I respect the basic hard work of building a company. So when I read this book my expectation was that it would be heavy on vision and light on the hard-core execution pieces necessary to get the job done.


But as I said every now and then someone pays attention to the whole symphony of entrepreneurial music. I would be shortchanging my commentary on this book if I didn't tell you that it even delivers something more. Adam and Matthew have actually figured out a way to not only cover the two major drivers of business, but to place them in today's environment. Yes they start with the necessity of a big vision. And they cover the development of a business plan, accumulating investors, hiring good employees, and even the need for social media. Certainly a book worth the read for just those pieces.

Social Responsibility?

But my excitement really rose when I came to the chapter about socially responsible entrepreneurs. For here they had put their finger on the new wave of business today. It is always been my opinion that leadership is being pulled into the space of personal development as a result of the demand of our newest generations. These new young leaders have looked at the old corporate paradigm and come to to astounding conclusion. One is that the corporate wingspan is not wide enough and does not benefit a large enough portion of the community from which they come. Further, they are courageous enough to stand and say "I will not work where I am not nourished". And nourishment to this crew means thrusting your ego aside, forgetting who gets credit, and creating the gratitude of seeing a world much bigger than themselves benefited.

Awakening and Tethering

My job now is to bring this kind of awareness to larger corporations that now see that they must provide personal leadership development in order to keep the best leaders. But I will never forget my roots and I am gratified to see that someone is taking care of the small business and entrepreneurial market. For the best way to have a great business is to start with great basics. Small Business, Big Vision gives a blueprint to the new generation of entrepreneurs that will allow them to hold a possibility much bigger than the normal book about business plans. My book 'Awakened Leadership' describes the personal journey and it's relationship to business building. In every generation the story of how to build a business must be told in both the language and the wingspan of that very group. Adam and Matthew have done a great job of giving us the current version of the entrepreneurial story. In my mind it is a wonderful companion to my leadership story.
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on September 14, 2011
I've read countless of business books and this has to be one of the most enjoyable ones I've read in some time. It was an easy read in that it only took me a couple of days to read, which I found to be particularly refreshing; no complicated business jargon, just down-to-earth, straight up talk!

This book is not only pragmatic and practical in giving you solutions to creating a successful business, but inspirational in that it showcases other entrepreneurs whom have found true success; most of them by bootstrapping their business along the way! After reading many of these stories listed in the book, I was left with a new-found feeling of hope that with vision, patience, persistence and courage, anyone can find success in their business. Well done!
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on November 9, 2011
I've been involved in the entrepreneurial world for decades as an author and a launcher of businesses. Matthew and Adam have produced a 5 star buffet for the hungry entrepreneur looking to launch a business. It's pretty much crack for the serial entrepreneur. I particularly like the case examples of many different entrepreneurs sharing how they did what they did. One of my favorite lines is in regard to the fact that social media is great but it doesn't take the place of real relationships, face time with people. Oh how true that one is. Anyways, if you're looking to add some zip to your start up or simply start up, this book is good home spun wisdom by a couple of guys that have no doubt been to the launching pad numerous times. Thanks guys!

PS - once again thanks for Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas! too. It keeps my 6 y.o. thinking.
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on September 22, 2011
Here is some great practical guidance from real entrepreneurs to real people. It goes way beyond the "vision" to offer guidance on when and how to bootstrap your business, and when and how to find investors. Very realistic, based on my own many years in this business.
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on December 9, 2011
This is the most USEFUL book on entrepreneurship that I've ever read (My previous favorite was Crush It!).

The most useful aspect of SMALL-BUSINESS-BIG-VISION, is it's recognition that businesses and business people are all different. I love to learn from successful entrepreneurs, but most books in this genre lack variety in their perspective. Every writer's advice carries with it the bias of that person's experiences, predispositions, and inbred skill-set.

Small Business, Big Vision, on the other hand, is crammed full of tips and case studies from some of the biggest names in the modern entrepreneurial arena (Ryan Shea, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Craig Newmark to name a few).

I read this book two months ago, and I have literally doubled my monthly income by applying techniques from this book. It is the real deal...unbiased, factual, and infinitely beneficial. Thank you Adam and Mathew Toren!
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on August 24, 2013
Adam and Matthew have an amazing take on building a business while also creating a lifestyle that all Entrepreneurs strive for. Many small business owners eventually become slaves to their own company but with these innovative business tips and advice, you really can build a business that fulfills your dream and not doesn't become your nightmare! As the founder of a million dollar company, I can confidently tell you that this book is a MUST READ for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs!
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on September 13, 2011
I read just about every best selling business book that gets published. Unfortunately, many of these books are regurgitating the same type of guidelines and information that you can basically find anywhere on the web. This is one of those rare gems that features a multitude of successful entrepreneur stories and focuses on commonalities that readers can implement today.

This book is such a worthwhile read that I recommended it to my blog community.

Highly recommended!
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on November 15, 2011
This book is awesome.
The best so far.
If you are planning on starting or growing your business, you must read this.
I recommend this book.
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on September 3, 2011
I received a pre-release copy of this book to review, and loved it! I've been an entrepreneur for a long time and am always looking for better ways to build and improve my businesses. This book provides practical advice that anyone can put into use to "dominate their market" as the book says.

I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone who is or wants to be a business owner. Whether you're thinking of starting a business or have been in business for 30 years, there's something for everyone to learn here.

My favorite parts: The chapter on social media marketing, the "Pulling a 180" chapter on turning your business around, and the section on social entrepreneurship. Good stuff!
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