Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, A Book Review

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur -- a book review about growing a business with no moneyWhen the going gets tough, the tough get going.  When the tough get going – they had better bring “Toilet Paper” with them!

This is my sorry attempt at potty talk and if you’re offended by it, then you might pass up The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. And that would be a real mistake.

First off, it’s a really short book (175 pages) — so short in fact, you could read this business book while doing your business. There I go again! There are a lot of potty references (like just about every chapter name) — but in between laughs, you will get some straight-talk and in-your-face advice on what to do to grow your business and how to do it.

But first, let me introduce you to the author, Mike Michalowicz. You might have seen him on “Big Idea” with Donnie Deutsch – he was one of the expert panelists.

Maybe you know him from one of the several companies he’s launched, grown and sold for mega millions like: Olmec Systems, a computer network integration firm or PG Lewis & Associates, a data forensic firm that does computer crime investigation.

I didn’t know him, but after reading the book, watching some videos and chatting with him via e-mail and phone – let me tell you. He’s knowledgeable.  He’s practical.  He’s brilliantly, refreshingly funny.

What You Can Learn From “Toilet Paper”

  • Yes, you can do it with three sheets — Who needs a business plan when you can get the job done with these 3 sheets: Prosperity Plan, Quarterly Plan and Daily Metrics.
  • Pick up Cool Tools using the TPE Tips — Just like that pesky toilet paper that sticks to your shoe, Mike throws down these wonderful tips for how do get the job done on as little cash as possible (many of them are free) like these: Use eBay as your e-commerce site.   For web meetings, try Dimdim.  Use the library.  Find retired people or students who can help.
  • The right way to get rid of 90% of your customers and make (that is KEEP) even MORE money — One of the consistent lessons in the book is to FOCUS. Instead of giving everyone some of what they want – focus on the few, loyal, profitable customers that are taking you to where you want to be – and say YES.

What I LOVE About “Toilet Paper Entrepreneur”

Mike doesn’t just give advice — he actually tells you what to do and how to do it. If you’re at the stage of your entrepreneurial journey where you’ve hit a wall or are feeling depressed about your life, the economy or your future — get this book. You will laugh, you will learn something. But most importantly, you will actually do something, even if it’s just to go online and explore some of the tips and tools he shares.

The book is flush with action items at the end of each chapter. He also guides you through some actions within certain chapters such as the Prosperity Plan. In addition to that, you can see examples of Mike’s 3-Sheets at The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur site. In addition to the book, it’s a good idea to subscribe to the blog because he’s forever updating it with really terrific articles that are useful and fun.

Who Can Best Use “Toilet Paper?”

Mike initially thought the ideal audience for this book was a 20-something, college-age guy who wanted to be an entrepreneur. Not so. He’s getting rave reviews from WOMEN entrepreneurs over 35! Apparently we’re not scared away by potty references as long as they are backed up with low-cost (no-cost) ways to start and grow a business that we feel passionately about.

Here’s the deal with Mike’s book and process. It’s not your college’s MBA or Academic Entrepreneurial Program. This book takes building a business from a very human perspective. It assumes that you are NOT a wunderkind genius with access to venture capital. It assumes that you are a regular person, with access to every day resources and helps you combine your passion, resources and action into some results that will make you happy.

* * * * *

Ivana Taylor About the Author: Ivana Taylor has spent over 20 years helping industrial organizations and small business owners get and keep their ideal customers. Her company is Third Force and she writes a blog called Strategy Stew. She is co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers.”

No, Thank You