A parable reveals several business truths through the eyes of an enterprising paperboy.
Budding entrepreneurs and small-business owners should find this short story about a paperboy who employs 11 principles of success to be enlightening. They may also find it humbling that the fable was written by a debut author who is all of 16 years old. Patel says he modeled this tale after his father’s stint as a paperboy at age 16, realizing that he could weave in “universal business truths.” The narrative describes how Ty Chandler, anxious to raise money before going off to college, uses his ingenuity to acquire and service newspaper subscribers. The boy’s experiences are recounted in brief chapters, each of which illustrates a particular principle. For example, in the chapter “Investing in Success,” Ty takes some of his own money out of his bank account and invests it in greeting cards and photos so he can introduce himself to customers, engage them, and encourage their loyalty. The chapter “Delegating Authority” demonstrates how Ty recognizes that his booming business (which now includes a neighborhood lawn service) requires an additional worker. Every chapter is further enriched by a passage extracted from interviews the author conducted with 15 entrepreneurs and business professors. The construct of this entertaining book is ingenious; the cleverly devised tale depicts a business at its most basic level, dramatizing how even a paperboy can use proven strategies, skills, and techniques to grow a thriving enterprise. The author relates the business truths with a skill and sophistication that belie his age. An undercurrent of the story is also a nice touch: that it is possible to breathe life into a dying medium, the printed newspaper, by demonstrating its value to subscribers, supplemented by superior, personal service. The carefully chosen interview excerpts validate the principles, adding credibility to the approach. The complete interviews, each offering key insights, are included at the end of the book. Every principle, whether it is “Harnessing Ingenuity,” “Overcoming Objections,” or “Scaling for Growth,” should strike a chord with readers.
A finely crafted business fable steeped in meaning; made all the more remarkable by the author’s youth.