SELF-MADE IN AMERICA: Plain Talk for Plain People About the Meaning of Success by John & David Legge McCormack

SELF-MADE IN AMERICA: Plain Talk for Plain People About the Meaning of Success

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An engaging and generally instructive guide to succeeding in business, which draws its object lessons mainly from the author's offbeat career. A New York City cop for three years, McCormack left the force to try his luck on Wall Street. While he soon amassed a small fortune trading stocks, he quickly lost it and more when the market turned against him. Down but not out, McCormack apprenticed himself to a series of immigrants who, by dint of their own efforts, had become millionaires in a variety of enterprises (catering, commercial washing machines, etc.). Having learned what he could from these bootstrap mentors (who also afforded him the chance to earn a six-figure income), the author and his wife (an industrious and accomplished hairdresser) left the Northeast for Houston. There, the ambitious couple launched Visible Changes, a chain of mall-based hair salons that has prospered mightily despite the woes of the Long Star State's energy-reliant economy. McCormack's exemplary prescriptions for getting ahead are largely tried-and-true, though his counsel on thrift (i.e., live on 20% of what you make and save the rest) may strike some would-be entrepreneurs as unduly rigorous. Otherwise, he commends diligence, discipline, the capacity to take a longer view, initiative, perseverance, self-improvement, and allied virtues. Motivating employees with monetary rewards, public recognition, and on-the-job training is also important in the author's canon. Although McCormack offers no particularly startling advisories or shortcuts for building a going concern, his anecdotal text brims with zeal and uncommonly sensible suggestions for paying the price required to capitalize on opportunity when it knocks. The bottom line: an ingratiating standout in a crowded field.

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1990
Publisher: Addison-Wesley