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Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive Hardcover – March 22, 2010
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—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.
Top Customer Reviews
1. Low personal expenses. It's easy to bootstrap a business without debt when your life is simple; you have few gadgets; and your entertainment is family, games and visiting friends.
2. A fear of God. This persuades away from idleness, and into productivity and investing in the good of others.
3. A commitment to excellent craftsmanship. It glorifies God to make a thing well. That alone motivates quality and a reputation for quality and service that can command premium prices.
4. God, family, community before business. Business is used to fulfill your calling to God, to family and to community. The American mantra assumes that business success is THE goal. The Amish don't see it that way.
The book is well written because Erik gets out of the way and let's the Amish speak for themselves.
By weaving together the Amish experience, common business knowledge, and ideas from mainstream business gurus, Wesner derives business lessons for the rest of us. As the title suggests, the Amish remind us that business doesn't have to be a complicated venture.
Here's a general summary of what's in each chapter:
Chapters 1 & 2: You learn about how the Amish use vision and faith to build successful firms. Next, Wesner explores how Amish people become successful with only an eighth-grade education, standard in the culture.
Chapter 3 describes the Amish approach to sales and marketing, which emphasizes relationship-building and customer service.
Chapter 4 dives more deeply into relationships and customer service. You also learn how the Amish tend their reputations and difficult clients.
Chapter 5 & 6 cover Amish approach to team-building, managing, and hiring. Many Amish people have to keep community interests at heart when hiring, firing, and motivating employees.
In Chapter 7, you learn how the Amish stay competitive. This includes how to compete in a friendly, sustainable way with others in your community--not something that's standard in so-called English (American) culture.
Wesner wraps up the book with the Amish definition of business and success, leading readers to ponder what community, success, and their overall goals mean to them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wesner's "Success Made Simple" is a terrific read. It imparts knowledge in a light way, and shows that doing business has some universal truths no matter who or where you... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Omar
In the spirit of his Amish subjects, Mr. Erik Jan Wesner has produced a well-planned, well-executed, thorough analysis of the unparalleled success of Amish businesses -- one of... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Leonard D Nelson
The Amish are very good at teaching us from Values we seem to have missed.
From the establishment of core values and a well written mission, to a Strategic RH Plan, the... Read more
Though they are unplugged, informally educated, and committed to the mores of 1693, the Amish are genius business men--and women, flourishing far beyond the average rate of success... Read morePublished on July 6, 2010 by Lorilee J Craker
There is a tremendous amount to be learned from Amish business owners, and Erik Wesner hits the target with Success Made Simple. Read morePublished on May 29, 2010 by Alyssa Gregory
Erik Wesner spent an intensive period of time in the Amish community even though he is not Amish himself. Read morePublished on April 29, 2010 by Jim Estill