By Rieva Lesonsky
“Are you ready to ‘get off the pot,’ wipe away your excuses and clean up in business?” asks Mike Michalowicz in The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. If this line doesn’t give you a chuckle, Michalowicz’ book may not be for you. But if you need a swift kick in the butt to achieve your business dreams, read on.
Contrary to what his book’s title might suggest, Michalowicz isn’t a toilet paper manufacturer. He’s a serial entrepreneur who’s founded three multimillion-dollar companies, been involved in the startup of several others and won multiple Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Through it all, he’s gained a clear understanding of what differentiates successful companies from those that never get off the ground—and his book tells it like it is.
“Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” refers to the situation where you’re in a public restroom, reach over for the T.P. and notice there are only three scraggly squares on the roll and nothing else to wipe with. What do you do? Michalowicz argues that your response to this situation mirrors your entrepreneurial ability, for true entrepreneurs faced with scarce resources rise to the occasion and find creative solutions. While Toilet Paper Entrepreneurs may not get the media attention of a Google, they’re everyday entrepreneurs who quietly make millions without a lot of hoopla.
Ready to be one? Then start reading. Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is divided into four sections. The first, Beliefs, explains how to destroy the beliefs that limit you and replace them with beliefs that enable your success. Michalowicz ‘s explanation of how beliefs, thoughts and words interrelate will revolutionize how you think.
But just when it seems like the book is veering into “The Secret” territory, Michalowicz gets practical with section two, “The TPE Focus.” Here, he shows you how to find a niche that’s small enough to own, but big enough to make you real money. He also shares his strategy for staying on track by developing your own Prosperity Plan and Quarterly Plan and honing in on your Daily Metrics. Commit to this and you’ll see results.
Part three, “Action,” is the key to making it all happen. Michalowicz has no patience for would-be entrepreneurs who dither and wring their hands while putting roadblocks in their own way. “Don’t overthink,” he urges. “Imagine if the founding fathers thought about every variable and planned every detail of the American Revolution? If they had thought it through, they surely would have known it was foolish even to try.” That doesn’t mean, of course, you should run off half-cocked. But by keeping your beliefs and your focus firmly in mind, you’ll be able to act swiftly and change direction when needed.
Part four, “Money & Equity,” hammers home Michalowicz’ belief that lack of money actually boosts your chance of success by making you hungry and innovative. “You don’t need money—you need to MAKE money,” writes Michalowicz. Illustrating his cash-conserving principles, Michalowicz sprinkles the whole book with tips about free tools you can use to get your business going. And true to his no-nonsense approach, each chapter ends with three Action Steps that can be completed in 30 minutes or less to bring you closer to your goals.
Startup and existing businesses alike can benefit from The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. This energizing book will have you reading it cover to cover in a sitting, then returning to it again and again whenever your entrepreneurial spirit needs recharging. Both inspiring and practical, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is the perfect combination of encouragement and action.