The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The Tell-It-Like-It-Is Guide to Cleaning Up in Business, Even If You Are At the End of Your Roll, by Mike Michalowicz is an entertaining hard-edged read mixed with valuable business lessons from an experienced entrepreneur.While this week's entry in the Weekend Reading series is an established book from 2008, it is still a highly touted read for aspiring entrepreneurs with little time and resources that are looking to get a business started.
In 1996, at the age of 24, Michalowicz started his first company Olmec Systems, where we was recognized as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration. On New Year's Eve 2002, he sold Olmec Systems, and on New Years Day 2003, he launched his second company, PG Lewis & Associates, which quickly grew until being sold to Robert Half International. Michalowicz's current company, Obsidian Launch, is a business growth accelerator specifically aimed at young entrepreneurs.
In his book, Michalowicz provides advice for the up-and-coming entrepreneurs of the world on how to get a business started with the bare essentials, including some tips for taking advantage of little-known resources to get ahead quickly. But above all, Michalowicz knows that starting a business takes more than planning and acting on that plan; it takes the entrepreneurial spirit, and passion.
"What makes you lose track of time, complete tasks almost effortlessly, and come out even more energized? When you are talking with friends, what is the one subject you can just go on and on and on about, until they are rolling their eyes? Answer these questions and you've found your heart's desire," writes Michalowicz. "And when you have found you insatiable thirst, your passion, you will have taken the most important step to launching a company that will excel."
Throughout the book, Michalowicz provides "TPE Tips," which are small, but valuable nuggets of information that will help a small business gain ground on-the-cheap. An example from the first chapter of the book explains how while every business needs a web presence, not every business needs a website.
"You can establish a web presence by sing Facebook.com, MySpace.com, Squidoo.com or a million other social sites," says Michalowicz. "Spread the word about what you are doing through these social sites and set up free email. Supplement your social networking site with a free blog at Blogspot.com. That's more than enough to get some business rolling in."
This echoes similar advice we've discussed from other books, such as Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It! which focuses heavily on building your personal brand. Author of the Personal Branding Blog, Dan Schawbel, says Michalowicz has built his brand quickly and efficiently and suggest that entrepreneurs pick up the book in order to "stop wasting time and start building your entrepreneur brand today."
The title alone should tell you that this book is lighthearted and easy on the brain, but don't take its outward appearance at face value. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is full of great advice for entrepreneurs - advice that still holds true in 2010. Be sure to also visit the TPE website where Michalowicz regularly blogs and posts videos of updated advice.