A retired entrepreneur and business radio show host offers thumbnail profiles of entrepreneurs in an engaging format that makes for light, quick reading.
While it lacks depth, this compendium of true stories makes up for that deficiency through its broad coverage. Here, the business-owner wannabe will read about 22 self-made men and women who overcame all sorts of odds to build their own successful companies. For instance, Scott Marincek developed an environmentally safe cleaning liquid in his mother’s kitchen, turning it into a $100 million business. Arline Kneen got interested in business in her early 40s, and today, at 96, she continues to work as an independent travel consultant. Each of these stories is a little nugget of encouragement for those with a burning desire to strike out on their own. The tales are cautionary as well: Many of the individuals speak candidly about facing widespread skepticism and starting seriously underfunded businesses. The commonality, however, is the entrepreneurs’ passion to pursue their dreams and do whatever it takes to succeed. Readers looking for a do-it-yourself game plan will not find it here; rather, they’ll get a taste of the trials and tribulations of successful people who forged their paths in diverse industries. Marlow does an admirable job of writing these encapsulated case histories, but discriminating readers may find his style to be just a bit too breathless. On occasion, some of the stories come off as public relations hype; for example, Marincek, writes Marlow, “took home samples of the raw material ingredients and blew up his mother’s kitchen. Well, not literally…but it sure seemed that way.” Still, this collection has value, especially since it avoids rehashing tales of famous entrepreneurs and focuses instead on lesser-known individuals—proving that anyone can indeed “make it.” The brief closing chapter ties the stories together with five “secrets to success.” Overall, entrepreneurs looking for inspiration should find plenty in the pages of Marlow’s breezy book.
Though it just scratches the surface, this worthy book offers entrepreneurial cheerleading for anyone thinking about starting a business.