The business world is fixated with entrepreneurs like Matt Zuckerberg of Facebook or Muziic's 15-year-old founder David Nelson. These are prodigious young talents, 21st century businessmen, changing the world with a new technological concept. But these are not the only types of entrepreneurs. As Mike Michalowicz would like us to remind us, there is another type of business person out there, toiling outside of the limelight, a person he portrays in his new book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
Michalowicz brands the Zuckerberg’s of the world as Media Darling Entrepreneurs (MDE’s). They won the plaudits of the media with their lucrative and trend-setting ideas. In his book, Michalowicz tells the story of the everyday entrepreneur, someone who struggles in order to make their business work, starting with little more than a dream, forced to do more with less. His book is a primer for these entrepreneurs, people who don’t have millions in their savings account or investors lining up outside their house.
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is an insightful and irreverent take on entrepreneurship. The ‘how to become a successful entrepreneur’ market has long been oversaturated and it’s nice to finally read a fresh voice. One feels that entrepreneurs, especially young ones, could learn much, much more from someone like Michalowicz than any MDE.
In his book, Michalowicz charts his own career arc, from the owner of a small computer programming company, which he started from scratch, to the founder of Obsidian Launch and a multiple winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Along the way, Michalowicz discusses the various attributes that he thinks are necessary for becoming a successful Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Belief is crucial, as is passion, the desire to succeed and the ambition to work in a career that you actually love. At the same time, Michalowicz is crystal clear that entrepreneurs are born, not made. If you don’t have an instinctual drive towards entrepreneurship, odds are, you will be lost at sea.
Throughout the book, Michalowicz filters in the life stories of other Toilet Paper Entrepreneurs, people like Bill Hewlett and David Packard, who started their famous company with only $538 and a ‘beat-up drill press’. Or Simon Sinek, who stared failure straight in the face and emerged as ‘the leading authority for entrepreneurs who seek their purpose’. Or David Tyreman, who after seeing his antique business fail, spent his last $20 on beer. He woke up the next day satisfied with himself and ready to start from scratch. From there, he founded successful branding companies like Propaganda and World Famous. In their meager beginnings and flirtations with failure, each of these entrepreneurs discovered the blueprint to their own success.
These inspiring anecdotes are almost as important as the entrepreneurial advice that Michalowicz offers. If you’re passionate, driven and ready to succeed, you’re probably a Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, even if you wouldn't describe yourself as such. This book offers a guide to rewriting the rules of business and a path to becoming a resilient and driven entrepreneur.
Finally, if you’re curious about the origins of the title of the book, we recommend you purchase the book for the introduction alone. Michalowicz defines the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur in truly vivid detail.