“Living Proof” Proves That Anything Is Possible


From mice and chocolate bars to Moonshine and high street bars, “Living Proof” tells the author’s own intriguing story of his entrepreneurial feats. It also includes guidance and advice on a variety of challenges that most entrepreneurs will encounter at some stage or other during their time in business.

Living Proof

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Some people are born to be entrepreneurs and Adam von Gootkin @AdamvonGootkin just happens to be one of those fortunate people. In “Living Proof,” he tells the story of his entrepreneurial journey while also passing on an abundance of sound business advice learned through his own experiences.

What is “Living Proof” About

Adam von Gootkin tells the story of how he went from selling mice and candy bars as a school boy to becoming the co-founder of both Onyx Soundlab and Onyx Moonshine in New England.

Von Gootkin’s story in itself makes “Living Proof” worth reading as it’s both interesting and proves what can be achieved with sheer persistence and a desire to succeed. However, the book is more than just another entrepreneurial success story. Interspersed throughout are a variety of astute business lessons that Von Gootkin and his business partner, Pete, learned during their journey to success.

These real life situations and problems will ring true with the more established entrepreneur, and the advice passed on will likely be extremely useful for the new or would-be entrepreneur.

The author is himself a strong advocate for seeking advice from more experienced entrepreneurs and those with a vast knowledge of the business you are in. As he mentions when talking about Onyx Moonshine:

“The company wouldn’t have continued to grow if we hadn’t paid close attention to the counsel of others. The thing is, nearly everybody you will meet in business (or life) has something valuable to teach you, even if it’s simply what not to do.”

He also suggests that:

“When an entrepreneur launches any business, no matter how small, one of the best assets they can think about gaining is the formation of an advisory board. You need to hear a voice that’s not inside your head and not your business partner. They will tell you the hard truths and help you think about the things that will most certainly happen.”

Much of what the author has achieved in life can be attributed to the fact that he was prepared to listen and learn, and now he himself is in the position to pass on a wealth of knowledge as is demonstrated throughout the book.

About the Author

Adam von Gootkin may have failed to get past his first semester at college, but he has never looked back since. He signed up to join the military after his short time in college only to realize that what he really wanted from life was to be an entrepreneur. Fortunately for him and perhaps for the US government too, he managed to talk his recruiting officer into allowing him to be released from his commitment.

What Was Best About This Book

“Living Proof” is a thoroughly interesting and motivational read. Not only does it tell the story of the author’s entrepreneurial experiences and successes in a variety of businesses, it passes on advice from the lessons he learned during his journey to success. From conceiving an idea, to funding and building a solid brand, all the major elements of building a business are touched upon and there is much to be gained from reading about the author’s experiences.

Yet, what is great about the book is that these tips, techniques and pieces of advice have been interwoven into the story rather than being set out like a text book or guide. In doing so, Von Gootkin has created a book which contains both a fascinating story and some sound business advice.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

I would undoubtedly have enjoyed the book just a little more had it been accompanied by a sample bottle of Onyx Moonshine. Regrettably, as I only received an electronic copy of the book to write my review, I guess this was not possible and I will therefore have to forgive the author on this occasion. Other than that, the book contained everything that I like to find in a good business book.

Why Read This Book

If you are someone like me who likes a good story combined with sound advice when reading a book on entrepreneurship, then you too should certainly enjoy “Living Proof”. Regardless of whether you are looking to start up your own business or have one already established, you are sure to glean some useful advice from the author and his experiences in business. “Living Proof” is an interesting book which will provide both inspiration and sound guidance to entrepreneurs regardless of the type of business they are in.

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John Blunden John Blunden is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He is a British writer now living in South Africa where he successfully owned and ran a variety of businesses for several years before deciding to take up his passion for writing.