125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
I fell in love with Toilet Paper Entrepreneur on page xxi (in the introduction) where Mike Michalowicz does a brilliant comparison between the "Media Darling" entrepreneur and his "Three Sheet Path." In Mike's example at the age of 18, the media darling is recruited to an Ivy League school only to quit and launch a successful VC. Meanwhile, Mike is picking colleges based on the guy-to-girl ratios. Yup - that would be me.
This book showed me that regular people with some skill and an idea can launch a successful business -- without all the fancy schmancy MBA stuff and spending thousands on consultants and technology. Don't get me wrong. There is a place for all the formal stuff - but this book will get you to that place.
One of my favorite Guy Kawasaki quotes (from his new book Reality Check) goes something like "Just once I wish someone would ask me for money to increase their capacity because they have more customers than they know what to do with!"
Toilet Paper Entrepreneur will get you to that point where you will build a business and an infrastructure for profitable growth. If you've ever dreamed of pitching the likes of Guy Kawasaki - read this first. This will get you to needing more capacity to serve more customers.
Mike doesn't have to impress anyone. He has proven (because he's made millions several times over) that real entrepreneurship is about resourceful action and this book tells you how.
Build your business with 3 documents
1. A Prosperity Plan - Your credo and vision for your success.
2. A Quarterly Plan - Your goals and objectives a quarter out
3. Daily Metrics - The numbers that immediately measure the health of your business.
You'll also find ways to:
- Get low-cost, no-cost employees and assistance
- Find office furniture
- Free conference calling and web casting
And so much more.
WARNING: Not for the easily offended.
If you are easily offended by potty humor - this book is not for you. If you're more impressed with high-end consultant, PhD. research-based books that tell you all the right ways to do things - you'll be disappointed.
But even the "negative reviews" here acknowledge that the information is good, valid, insightful and right on.
Personally, I love the potty humor. It's visceral and completely and effectively communicates what it really means to be resourceful when you have to be.
I've already used many of the tips in the book and saved some money. It's inspirational and is gathering quite the community of fun entrepreneurs committed to action and growth no matter what the economy.,
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
Ok, so I just finished the book....LOVED it!
Mike's book, The Toilet Paper Entrpreneur" is a no nonsense, tell it like it is book on business. I can say that the 3 sheet toilet paper theory is genius! Everyone can relate...
Being an entrepreneur myself, I know that there is a lot of hard work that goes into owning a business. My friends who have classic "9-5er's" don't get it. Reading this book is a breath of fresh air and gives me an instant energy charge. I have had people ask me over and over if I have a business plan. I do have one roughly written, but it is far from "perfect". I liked the chapter that talked about business plans being a waste of time. Afterall, do most people really look at them after they get a bank loan? Instead, Mike suggests making a Prosperity Plan, which is much more practical and definitely helps you keep focused on the big picture.
I also throughly enjoyed the chapter about the TPE's vs. The Media Darlings. I have had people give me their FREE advice that I don't have the money needed to make my business successful. Hmmmm... As Mike said, ask Bill Hewlitt and Mike Packard who began their business with $538.
The beautiful thing is that in America that can be your story too!
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is a must read for any entrepreneur!
All the very best!
President Chic Gems, etc.
100 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2010
Any time I find 'all business books suck so read mine' attitude - I know to watch out. It's silly to say something like that, especially when your book isn't good.
Let me describe why you shouldn't read this book.
* There is a serious lack of substance - Read articles from a dozen mediocre business blogs and you can pick up more substance. Though he presents some valid ideas, he does it in such a clumsy way that you are totally unconvinced.
* The toilet illustration got really old - the perfect example: when you feel the urge to start a business, you just gotta go. The book is filled with this....crap. Oh yeah, that's said plenty also.
So, in the footsteps of Mike, let me give you a tasteless toilet illustration about why you should read this book: The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is like wiping yourself with cheap toilet paper. There is just so much left behind that you need to find something else just to clean up after the mess that was made.
I have read plenty other books that give a overview of business without being immature, lame, sporadic, and ineffective. I don't want to promote them here in case I am taken for a spammer. If you are going to start a business, don't spend your money here. Do a little more homework and find the next book to read.
Not to demean the 200+ people that have given this book 5 stars...but what the heck?
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2008
Because of my interest in this topic (I write software for businesses who fit the definition of a Toilet Paper Entrepreneur), Mike (a guy I've just met over the web) sent me a review copy of the text.
I have to say, I really enjoyed the book. It's written with a humorous / conversational tone, which makes for an easy read (be prepared for lots of potty humor). While the book is fun, I was pleased to find lots of useful advice for building a business - the book goes beyond just cheerleading.
I happen to be a big fan of the whole bootstrapping method of building a business. Rather than figure this approach out via trial and error, Mike provides a concrete approach for doing just this.
I gave the book 5 starts because I think it nails the topic for the audience it wants to go after: people who want to start a business, but don't think they have the money or education to do so. If that's you, then this should be among the first business books you buy.
If you're like myself and have a bit more experience, then I still recommend the book. You'll no doubt find it educational, and at the very least, you'll get in quite a few good laughs.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2008
While I was reading this book I was tempted to use it as toilet paper innumerable times, as I was repeatedly turned off by the tone and imagery used. I was confounded by the fact that as I progressed, I discovered that Michalowicz was offering up truly valuable insights that would actually work and lead to success.
This is one of those books that you have to finish just to see i) how far the author will go in his pandering, sophomoric style, and ii) what flashes of novelty and brilliance he offers up, almost like an idiot savant who doesn't realize what he is capable of achieving.
Having run a successful small business and spent enough time in the corporate world to know the difference between good business advice and slickly packaged crap, I give this guy credit for taking a no-nonsense view of start-up businesses and making sensible, less-than-obvious recommendations that any new entrepreneur should embrace.
If this book was written for grownups and not for frat boys, it would be on the New York Times bestsellers list. Yes, Michalowicz's ideas are that good.
47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2010
This book reads like an infomercial. Poorly substantiated claims, loose organization, base writing style, dubious information, and assertions that everything you have been told before is wrong. This book is NOT for professional entrepreneurs! The author employs schoolyard humor and juvenile writing; I found it insultingly low-brow. This is not how professionals communicate. Would you take driving advice from someone driving a car that is falling apart and mashed up? Probably not. Then why would you take professional advice presented in an unprofessional manner? The author also fails to back up many of his claims and theories. Didn't we all learn to support an argument or statement with facts, examples, and to examine our own claims through the eyes of skeptic? Look around at others who are successful in business, like your bank's president, the manager of the large restaurant in town, the sales manager at the large retail outlet you wish to sell to. Do you believe these people think and behave the way this author suggests? Doubt it. I'm not saying that fresh ideas and novel approaches are not needed- of course they are- but business fundamentals, like a business plan are not outdated or unneeded. Use your head, or you'll be stuck trying to sell drivel to the unsuspecting masses, like the infomercial folks and this author.
One star, because I respect the attempt to separate people from their money, which is clearly the goal of this author.
I wish I could give a bunch of other 1-stars to offset the obvious review stacking going on here.
Amazon- get a grip on this problem or review "hijacking", or the whole review process is worthless!
41 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
A brash, offensive, extremely informal "tell-it-like-it-is" business book. There are some helpful concepts in here, but they are few and far between. I'd say you could safely give it a miss. I wish I could recommend this book. As I started reading it, I was initially fond of the spirit it was written in. Unfortunately the author fails to deliver much value.
"Growing a business" by Paul Hawken is a *much* more useful book if you are looking for one that cuts through the usual business cliches and tells it like it is, delivering useful, valuable, down-to-earth advice.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
Just another run of the mill "follow your passions" & "believe in yourself" books devoid of meaningful substance. One of the most disappointing books on entrepruerialism I have read in some time. Unless this is your very first book on the subject ... it is a complete waste of time. Remedial at best ... Off target at worst.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2013
Its always amazing how many glowing 5 star reviews some trash can get. This book is one of those, great marketing and pr to push (bribe) its ratings. The book is all about 'feel good' it contains no real practical or very limited useful information. You could get more info from a few blog post than reading the whole book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
I started reading this book while I was working full time as an options trader. I picked it up bc it was recommended to me by a friend and it could not have come at a better time! Because of this book I had the guts to finally quit my job and pursue my own startup company.
One of the things I like most about this book is that it is blunt, honest, and straight to the point. By my standards I would say this book is a quick read and that is one of the best parts about it. Mike states the facts, makes his points very clearly, and then gets out of the way for you to do the rest. Many other books I have read on business and entrepreneurship are filled with lots of pretty and fluffy metaphors and catch phrases which sometimes make it hard to even remember what their point was in the first place! I'm readying a fluffy one right now and I keep skimming over 2,3,4 pages at a time when I realize they are just repeating themselves! TPE, however, does away with the fluff and instead of explaining a concept in 5 different ways there are action items at the end of each section for the reader to do. Now you are probably thinking, meh I dont want to do these I will just read the book and that will be good enough. DO THE ACTION ITEMS! Seriously, the action items are invaluable and you will by far get the most out of the book if you make sure you do them. I still have all of my action items on my computer and I refer to them often. I referred to one just the other day in my blog! ([...])
Also throughout the book are little boxes with tips in them. Most of these tips are suggestions of resources that entrepreneurs can use when they are starting a company and they really are excellent resources and things I would have never known about had I not read the book. Overall, this has by far been one of my favorite entrepreneur books to read and I have recommended it to many people already. I even got my husband(who fully supports me but is an avid and happy 9-5er) to read part of it and he loved it! Its one of those books that has LOADS of awesome advice and lessons but you dont feel like you are getting them forcefully and awkwardly spoon fed to you.