"I loved Wesner's comment that the Amish ‘don't need an M.B.A. to run an effective business....There's life in commerce for those more dedicated to the Golden Rule than the Golden calf.’ Nonprofit managers and employees would do well to take the lessons of personal responsibility, hard work, and a cheerful attitude to heart. After all, they really do engage in work that matters."
—About.com, April 11, 2010
"Erik Wesner's new book, "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive," might have been titled "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Being Amish." This fascinating and engagingly written book spells out the principles that guide Amish business owners, based on interviews with 60 Amish CEOs employing about 400 people in various enterprises."
—LancasterOnline.com, April 10, 2010
"How can a people whose preferred mode of transportation is a horse and buggy do so well in the modern marketplace? That question intrigued Erik Wesner, a former sales manager. His exploration of the Amish approach to business can be found in his fascinating book Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive. Despite the group's insular nature, Wesner was able to live and work among its members for three years. ‘We're not going to become Amish,’ he says, ‘but I think some of the cultural values that the Amish display consistently are things that non-Amish people can adopt and incorporate.’"
—Time magazine, April 8, 2010
Articles, excerpts, slideshows, and mentions with the author also from:
—MSNBC Live with David Shuster, April 2, 2010
—Slideshow, FastCompany.com, April 1, 2010
—Michael Dresser, Business Talk Radio, March 23, 2010
—Q&A, The New York Post, March 22, 2010
From the Inside Flap
The keys to better business from Amish business owners
Business can be discouraging. According to United States Small Business Administration figures, only half of newly opened companies will last five years. That is, unless you're Amish; then there's a ninety-five percent chance your business will still be open. And in many cases, doing remarkably well, as noted scholar Donald Kraybill writes: "The phrase 'Amish millionaire' is no longer an oxymoron."
Success Made Simple is the first practical book of Amish business success principles for the non-Amish reader. Written by Erik Wesner, a noted expert on the Amish, the book includes a wealth of transferable principles that are as straightforward to apply as they are universal in scope.
Based on in-depth access gained while working, living, and researching in Amish communities across the nation, as well as on interviews with more than fifty Amish business owners, the book offers a fascinating look at reasons for the remarkable success of Amish businesspeople.
Success Made Simple reveals how, with only an eighth-grade education, these thriving businesspeople choose and manage employees, acquire skills and know-how, get and keep customers, and lead their organizations to lasting success. The common threads woven throughout their experiences stress the vital importance of cultivating strong relationships (with employees, customers, other business owners), creating long-term goals, taking the welfare of others into account, and maintaining personal integrity. Wesner makes the lessons of Amish business easy to absorb by distilling essential take-away ideas in a ten-point summary at the end of each chapter.
With a focus on relationship building and the big picture, Success Made Simple offers business owners everywhere the time-tested tools for better, smarter, and more successful enterprises.