An executive who built his own business offers an entrepreneurial guide.
York’s nonfiction debut breaks down the key lessons of work and entrepreneurship he learned when founding and growing his company, GYMGUYZ. The enterprise pursued the then-revolutionary idea of bringing a gym workout—equipment, fitness assessment, motivation, skilled trainers—to individual homes on a call-in basis. He encountered discouragement in response to such an unconventional idea, and his book attempts to distill the lessons he learned in the course of making his business a success. He grounds the beginning of his story with his own autobiography, tales of unsatisfying jobs and unfulfilling work situations, both his own and those of others. But the bulk of the advice he dispenses comes from his experiences starting and building GYMGUYZ, creating a workforce that he likens more to a family than a typical business hierarchy. “Every single Monday, I find out what everyone did over the weekend—how people’s kids are, things like that,” he writes. “I know their kids’ names. I check in. I make sure everyone’s okay.” He matches this proactive approach to his staff with an equally hands-on method to spreading the word about his company, handing out flyers, talking to other businesspeople, and so on. The vivid picture he paints of himself in those early years is that of a nimble innovator paying attention to every detail, and he advocates a similar tactic to the would-be visionaries among his readers. “As an entrepreneur, you should never go into anything blind,” he asserts. “Figure out where you fit into the rest of the world.” This close reading of leadership tips seen through the prism of York’s own experiences turns out to be a smart move—it lends authority and immediacy to his observation that people seeking to realize their dreams should concentrate on the day-to-day process rather than becoming discouraged by carefully presented end products they see in other businesses.
A compassionate and cleareyed business manual grounded in the author’s experiences.