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on October 11, 2017
Before the TPE book, I really didn't understand what an "entrepreneur" really was...This book helped me look past a lot of the assumptions about what it means to be an Entrepreneur and helps you focus in on how to run a business well. Mike is witty and refreshing. I've listened to it twice with the goal of implementing everything I can from this book!

Matt Gavenda
Ambit Design
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on December 17, 2008
I truly wasn't in the mood to read another "Business How To" book, but when I received my review copy of Mike Michalowicz's The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, I was honored. When people take the time and money to send out a complimentary book, I will not let it sit on the shelf. I will most definitely read it. I figure a guy younger than me who'd already founded three multi-million dollar companies could probably teach me a thing or two.

Mike's Target audience is actually young (age 18-26ish) entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs (with a sense of humor!) who are at the beginning stages of getting their businesses off the ground, but even as a Gen-Xer who has been in business for five years as a productivity and small business coach, I was engaged from start to finish.

Mike's tell-it-like-it is approach cuts out the fat and gets right to the meat regarding your passions, belief systems, vision, mission, purpose, funding (and how to hang on to your equity!), accountability, and team without having to shell out a lot of upfront cash or create an elaborate business plan. The calls-to-action at the end of each chapter are quite appealing as well.

He discusses in depth the only "Three Sheets" you'll ever need to succeed in business if and ONLY IF you implement and be consistent in your efforts (and he even shares the templates in Word format for these three documents on his site [...] in the resource section).

Have an open mind if you're not one for bathroom humor and metaphors because you will completely miss the point if you don't, I promise you. Even if you're not a beer drinker or a party animal, there is an immense amount of wisdom joined with all sorts of practical strategies and tactics to go with the suggested tech tools (many of them free) to get you off and running or improving on your existing business.
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on January 8, 2010
I have never written a review on a book before, but this one I felt warranted it.

I am a long time Entrepreneur and an even longer time business person. I come out of an IT and Project Management background and have read as many business books, especially those on starting and running a small business, that I can get my hands on. While I believe that I can always learn something from most books, most of them contain the same information, just couched differently. This one does contains some of the same info as well, but it also provides some very unique views on those items, as well as ideas on how to simplify things, and generally how to get things done in a small business or a startup. Much of it, while being strategic in thinking, also provides tactical insites on how to apply the information and use it in the real world. Honestly, many of the tidbits I highlighted, marked and have re-read in the book are ideas I have thought would work in years past, yet never tried because it isn't how I was taught to do things. Especially when it comes to the traditional requirement of having a small fortune set aside to start a business. In my case, my current business has forced me to try some of the items he mentions in the book just because it isn't a business that is ever going to receive funding from main stream banks, VC's etc. That being the case, unbeknownst to me, I became a TPE even before I knew what it was or had read the book. Necessity is the mother of invention after all I guess. As a result of finding and reading the book (my 15 year old found while shopping for Christmas presents and thought the title was funny, hence the reason I ended up with it. He made me buy it. Boy am I greatful!), I now have some of the supporting information and tactics to make the ideas I had more effective, and to be able to work smarter with that knowledge, not harder.

The book itself is a very easy read, breaks things down into easy to digest and follow portions, and is written in a style that I personally find refreshing. It's more like having a candid conversation with the author over a beer than sitting through a lecture like so many other business books are. I do have to say though, that not everyone will appreciate some of the humor or some of the terms and words used. Some folks will also not like the informal style of the book. If you can get past that style of writting, and I recognize that not everyone can, it is a wonderful read and contains some very good information, tools, techniques, and ideas to try in your business.

This is just my two cents, and please understand that your mileage may vary....
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on September 16, 2012
This book is genius and I recommend it to anyone who has an idea for a start-up but is too intimidated by the process to start. Mike manages to make the average aspiring entrepreneur feel like they can achieve whatever level of success they set out for themselves while simultaneously being wildly entertaining and informative. From the very beginning I found myself laughing out loud and had to call a friend to read several hilarious passages over the phone.

More importantly, the book was exactly what someone like me needed to finally muster the courage to work on a business idea that I've flirted with for years but always found a myriad of reasons to convince myself that it would never work. I'm too broke, too inexperienced in the area, too busy, too young, too old, etc., you name it. One of the biggies was that I already have a career that I should be pretty happy with since I happen to be an attorney. However, I work with a legal service organization and although I do immensely rewarding work providing free legal services to the poor, I barely make enough to cover my own bills. As a result, my savings account is nothing more than a cruel joke. As a single-mom, something had to give. Enter The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur; the book convinced me that I don't have to add another $100k to my student loan debt to acquire a fancy MBA that'll purportedly teach me all I need about business. Instead, I learned that I can work to crystalize my idea and my personal goals in a way that is more practical and less time-consuming than your traditional theoretical tools or mind-numbing business plans.

Since it's a pretty quick read I read it once for motivation but intend to read it again to do all of the recommended exercises at the end of each chapter. I can't wait to see what I'll create and encourage anyone on the fence to take their time to read the book at their leisure and take a few minutes to do the work at the end of each chapter so that you can finally put ideas onto paper!

Buena suerte!
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on January 25, 2013
First, I am one of those who LOVED this book. After having my own moderately successful businesses for the past 3 years I really needed a jump start, shot of adrenaline, and dare I say . . . never mind.

I did read some of the not-so-enthusiastic reviews and I can't say they are wrong . . .this book is just not for them. So, I have come up with a 3 question test you can take to determine whether you should invest in this book or not.

Answer the following and give the appropriate point value, 1-5:

1)How much formal education have you taken for business?
I have my MBA in business = 1 point
Nada, zip, zilch = 5 points

2)How would you rate Family Guy the TV show?
I find it horrendous and void of any humor or what's Family Guy? = 1 point
It is THE best show . . . ever) = 5 points

3)How closely do you identify with the following statement: The only reason I am interested in starting my own business is to get rich by any means necessary.
Damn straight. I could give a "poop" about anyone or anything. I just want a sold gold pimp cup = 1 point
Not true in any way, if I can't contribute to this world, this nation, this town, etc while still making damn good money. . forget about it = 5 points

Total the points

If you scored 1-5 points:
Move on. Don't waste your time. You will either find his potty humor completely unnecessary & vulgar or be upset the he is telling you to throw away most of what you learned in school.

If you scored 6-10:
Ok, you might not be too offended that he wants you to scrap what you have paid good money to learn and chances are you think potty humor is only for kindergartners. With that said, I would still recommend investing in this book. Just skim over the poop references, Michael Michalowicz has some incredibly wonderful "nuggets" of truth in there. Sorry couldn't help it.

If you scored 11-15:
Congratulations! This may be the exact book you need to navigate the treacherous but rewarding waters of entrepreneurism. In the words of Michael Michalowicz, "TAKE ACTION NOW!" Buy the book, sit down on your throne and start to discover your plan for a fulfilling life with full pockets. Best of Luck!
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on July 11, 2012
[[ASIN:0981808204 The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll.

I just finished reading the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz and found it to be both informational and entertaining. As a recently retired 37 year school educator/administrator I would make it a must read for our future high school graduates. Mike's real-life analogies, his varied experiences, his down-to-earth humor, and of course the short length of the book make it digestible for the yet-to-be enlightned youth of today. Of course I have a somewhat minor stake in Mike's success. I was his high school teacher/coach. Though Mike played an integral role as a member of our varsity lacrosse team it was his unique achievement in goal on our most successful soccer team ever that bears note. With absolutely no prior experience Mike volunteered (was coerced) to jump in goal after our varsity goalie broke his arm two weeks prior to the start of the our high school's soccer season. Having coached high school and youth travel soccer for close to 30 years Mike has served as my example of how an astute learner with average athletic ability but way above average passion to play can make a positive impact in the goal and for our team.

This lesson resurfaces time and time again in his book the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Our country to this day remains a fertile ground for ideas, innovation, and personal success. As Mike points out, the obstacles are many. What we absolutely must have is the passion and the willingness to attempt the unimaginable without ever losing sight of the goal.

Well done Mike! Remember, practice tomorrow morning!

Carl Cucchiara
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on July 19, 2012
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is a book written in a conversational and humorous tone on how to get started with your business, even in hard times. Mike Michalowicz takes a down to earth approach in explaining serious business concepts. Unlike most business books that advocate for a business plan as a cornerstone for any business, the book suggests that business plans may not be plausible after all.

Other topics covered include the three sheets of paper needed to effectively start and grow a successful business, getting started on a shoestring budget, how to spot undiscovered opportunity and to exploit them and how to simply get started and to stop procrastinating. I think this is an excellent read especially for young, aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in the business world even with little capital.

The great thing about Michalowicz's book is that it explains business concepts and entrepreneurship without being too academic about it. This makes it an easy read for both those who are getting started out as well as those with established businesses. However, the book would have been even better had the author used more concrete examples about how people can put his advice into practice. Stories of successful entrepreneurs who have applied his concepts would have been a plus.
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on October 1, 2011
I found Mike's book direct, creatively-presented and spot-on in telling the budding and current entrepreneur how to ensure he/she has what it takes to successfully launch a business. If you are easily offended, don't buy this book. If you are an employee who is not looking to leave your job and venture out to start your own business, don't buy this book. If you are a high-level manager at a large corporate organization looking for management and organizational development techniques, don't buy this book--won't find what you need here. (I think this sums up some of the profiles of those who wrote negative reviews on this book--which I do respect, but they seemed to me to not be the audience of this book for the most part).

However, if you are starting your own business or have your own small business, this book will unabashedly tell you what to do and not-to-do to put you on the path to success and profitability. Here are some of the gems I walked away with:

- Throughout the book there are many common and unorthodox ways to conserve funds to improve positive cash flow within one's business.
- Chapter Two helped me uncover and address limiting beliefs that were impeding my next level of productivity in my business (I have been open for 2-1/2 years at this writing)
- Chapter Three will reinforce (if you are a current entrepreneur) or determine (if you are just starting) if you have what it takes -- blind positive fortitude, resiliency to bounce back from change and an constant quest for knowledge -- to carry you through rough periods and catapult you to incremental heights when the business mojo is going your way.
- Pg. 61 helped me realize I was currently suffering from "I can do it" syndrome--a huge killer of solopreneurs
- Pg. 67 will help new and current entrepreneurs define (or redefine) their area of innovation--know what you are selling and who you are selling it to and against.
- Chapters Eight and Nine will define how to keep your business healthy and afloat...

As for the potty talk, I have the stomach and the sense of humor for you?
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on November 30, 2014
This should be required reading for those who need a coach to help thin creatively. I live the fact the author is in your face as he tells you why your excuses for not starting a business are dumb. Age is just a number and the introduction of the profit-first system is simply amazing. Michalowicz strips away the fluff, and gets to the core of how to become a successful entrepreneur.
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on September 15, 2012
A must read book for the new entrepreneur as well as anyone tossing around the idea of becoming one. Definitely a `feel good' book full of inspiration, and who of us can't use a little more of that? Mike's down to earth approach to building a business is one that is appealing to the average Joe. He is a cheerleader for the underdog, for those of us who think they don't have enough education or money to become an entrepreneur, while giving valuable information and insight for the seasoned business owner as well.

I appreciate the TPE Tips Mike has in every chapter, with subjects ranging from helpful websites for your business needs to how to get a free workforce, meeting space and even free rent. The Take Action Now steps at the end of every chapter give you clear, definite, and doable steps to planning, starting, moving ahead and growing your business. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur will encourage and motivate you to take your business to the next level, whether that level is more towards the top or just the beginning, you will be left with a desire to not only MOVE forward, but to RUN!
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