‘The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur’ by Mike Michalowicz

This book is not about celebrity entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. This book is about ordinary people like you and me, who don’t have a special talent, past experience or abundant amount of money to start a successful business today. Nevertheless, the author says you can become an entrepreneur today. To show you what you can, he busted typical three myths about entrepreneur’s requirements – Extraordinary Talent, Customer and Funding.

Myth #1 – Extraordinary Talent

Today the word ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘startup’ has become sounding cool, thanks to the great success stories of young and talented corporate founders that media covers every day. Media makes you think that becoming a successful entrepreneur means becoming Jobs or Zuckerberg. They are, however, only a small fraction of the entire entrepreneur population in the world. Vast majority of them are ordinary people that no media follows. Setting Jobs as a role model is good, but you don’t need to mythologize the entrepreneurship.

Myth #2 – Customer

Another misconception about entrepreneurship is the need to know what the customers want. The author argues that the customers are not the first priority, but you are. You as the sole drive of your company is the most important success factor. In order to keep on pushing your business forward, sometimes under the toughest time, it is you who should be hyper passionate about your business – not your customers.

Myth #3 – Funding

‘I need money to start a business’ is a typical excuse that the would-be entrepreneurs use. Even if you wait for life, however, no one will come and give you money to start your business. What you can do is to start it anyway, with limited resources at hand now. The author introduces a lot of creative but feasible way to utilize the resources that anyone has. Starting up a business is not equal to pitching a fancy business plan to an Angel or a Venture Capital. You can start it with what you already have – today.

Today’s Lesson

The author used toilet paper as a symbol of the resource at hand (or lack of) but it may not be a good analogy in India, where I frequently have a toilet paper problem.

2 Replies to “‘The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur’ by Mike Michalowicz”

  1. ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris is another book to inspire anyone with little talent, funding and customers to become a successful entrepreneur. He makes it seem very achievable for the ‘average Joe’

    1. Thanks Stephen, I will check that out. Actually, that book was in the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..’ list and I was interested too.
      Now I’m reading ‘The Power of Habit.’ You may have read an NY Times article circulated on the Social Media recently about Target analyzing customers’ shopping history to find who is pregnant. It was the same author. It’s quite interesting so far.

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