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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

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"Never started a company before? Struggling with little or no cash? Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against? Thank God! You've got a shot at making this work." So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Roc "Never started a company before? Struggling with little or no cash? Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against? Thank God! You've got a shot at making this work." So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Rock. The founder of three multimillion-dollar companies, including Obsidian Launch, a company that partners with first-time entrepreneurs to grow their concepts into industry leaders, Mike Michalowicz knows what it really takes to spin your great idea into pure gold. Whether you're just starting out or have been at this for years, Mike's "get real" approach to business is a much-needed swift kick in the pants. In this book, you'll discover: * Why a business plan is a total waste of your time. * Why fulfilling your own needs is the first and last order of business. * Which three sheets of paper you need to successfully launch, manage and grow your business. * How to get started in business with little or no money. * How to find and exploit resources that no one else knows about. * How to stop procrastinating and take action NOW!


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"Never started a company before? Struggling with little or no cash? Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against? Thank God! You've got a shot at making this work." So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Roc "Never started a company before? Struggling with little or no cash? Have no experience, no baseline to judge your progress against? Thank God! You've got a shot at making this work." So says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, a business book that is so uniquely useful, so raw and entertaining, it reads like the brainchild of Steve Jobs and Chris Rock. The founder of three multimillion-dollar companies, including Obsidian Launch, a company that partners with first-time entrepreneurs to grow their concepts into industry leaders, Mike Michalowicz knows what it really takes to spin your great idea into pure gold. Whether you're just starting out or have been at this for years, Mike's "get real" approach to business is a much-needed swift kick in the pants. In this book, you'll discover: * Why a business plan is a total waste of your time. * Why fulfilling your own needs is the first and last order of business. * Which three sheets of paper you need to successfully launch, manage and grow your business. * How to get started in business with little or no money. * How to find and exploit resources that no one else knows about. * How to stop procrastinating and take action NOW!

30 review for 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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gabriela

    The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is a book written in a conversational and humorous tone on how to get started with your business, even in hard times. Mike Michalowicz takes a down to earth approach in explaining serious business concepts. Unlike most business books that advocate for a business plan as a cornerstone for any business, the book suggests that business plans may not be plausible after all. Other topics covered include the three sheets of paper needed to effectively start and grow a succ The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is a book written in a conversational and humorous tone on how to get started with your business, even in hard times. Mike Michalowicz takes a down to earth approach in explaining serious business concepts. Unlike most business books that advocate for a business plan as a cornerstone for any business, the book suggests that business plans may not be plausible after all. Other topics covered include the three sheets of paper needed to effectively start and grow a successful business, getting started on a shoestring budget, how to spot undiscovered opportunity and to exploit them and how to simply get started and to stop procrastinating. I think this is an excellent read especially for young, aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in the business world even with little capital. The great thing about Michalowicz's book is that it explains business concepts and entrepreneurship without being too academic about it. This makes it an easy read for both those who are getting started out as well as those with established businesses. However, the book would have been even better had the author used more concrete examples about how people can put his advice into practice. Stories of successful entrepreneurs who have applied his concepts would have been a plus.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Ciancio

    I very much enjoy reading "big thinking" books, as I like to call them. They stimulate my creative juices and desire to be successful at all things in life. This is the first one that really boils it down to important action items, not just concepts. In fact, reading this book made me feel like all the other books of this nature are just too vague or too big thinking and not enough hardcore advice. You can click my screen name, I don't write a lot of reviews but I felt incredibly compelled to sp I very much enjoy reading "big thinking" books, as I like to call them. They stimulate my creative juices and desire to be successful at all things in life. This is the first one that really boils it down to important action items, not just concepts. In fact, reading this book made me feel like all the other books of this nature are just too vague or too big thinking and not enough hardcore advice. You can click my screen name, I don't write a lot of reviews but I felt incredibly compelled to speak up on behalf of this book. Read, learn, grow & share.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Donna Frano

    Remarkably entertaining for a business book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Peoples

    Take action in your business! This is the second book that I have read by Mike michalowicz. I have found that his books are easy to read, very informative and offer Real World experience to be applied to your situation. I have read Profit First and was very impressed and I am as well impressed with the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. You need this book if you're just starting out or if you have a business already and want to define clear actions to move forward and be accountable. I highly recommend t Take action in your business! This is the second book that I have read by Mike michalowicz. I have found that his books are easy to read, very informative and offer Real World experience to be applied to your situation. I have read Profit First and was very impressed and I am as well impressed with the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. You need this book if you're just starting out or if you have a business already and want to define clear actions to move forward and be accountable. I highly recommend this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

    Liked: - Mindset discussion on limiting beliefs - "Three Sheets" business plan replacement - Inspiring and interesting anecdotes of real entrepreneurs - Focus on the entrepreneur first, customers/clients second - An entertaining and super quick read, I read it in an afternoon! Disliked: - Philosophies on finance and borrowing - Emphasis on multi-million dollar businesses Liked: - Mindset discussion on limiting beliefs - "Three Sheets" business plan replacement - Inspiring and interesting anecdotes of real entrepreneurs - Focus on the entrepreneur first, customers/clients second - An entertaining and super quick read, I read it in an afternoon! Disliked: - Philosophies on finance and borrowing - Emphasis on multi-million dollar businesses

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dominic Heng

    Awesome book on telling us how to bootstrap our company with little resource as possible. Timeless principles that I will be applying

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Ferrick

    I really liked this book and am a big fan of Mike Michalowicz now, after having been introduced to Profit First last year. I gave 5 stars because I had some major takeaways and exercises I did and now do each week. I did his "Prosperity Plan" exercise. You write out what's in your heart about why you do what you do and where you want to go (destiny). He challenges you to dig deep. Yeah, I'd done that before but he has you read it weekly so I have it show up in my task list on Monday and take 3 m I really liked this book and am a big fan of Mike Michalowicz now, after having been introduced to Profit First last year. I gave 5 stars because I had some major takeaways and exercises I did and now do each week. I did his "Prosperity Plan" exercise. You write out what's in your heart about why you do what you do and where you want to go (destiny). He challenges you to dig deep. Yeah, I'd done that before but he has you read it weekly so I have it show up in my task list on Monday and take 3 minutes to read. It's a great emotional connection for me that keeps me on track, reorients me, and it's sustainable. Secondly, I now have a quarterly plan. Yes, I've done this before too but get off track. Now my asst and I review it weekly or bi-weekly and "tack" where we are. It's simple and sustainable. Lastly, he recommends 5 metrics to track daily. You don't need to overthink this; just pick 5 and review them. You can change them as your business changes. My bookkeeper fills out mine and it lands in my inbox at the end of the week for my weekly review. He recommends you do this daily but we don't have a business with daily transactions so I made this work for us with a weekly review. I see low numbers in one cel or another and it's a reminder of where to apply my focus and intent. Overall, I loved the simplicity of these 3 things. Mike is also funny, light-hearted, crass, and wide open with his own flops in business. And this made it an enjoyable read. I'm on to his next book, Surge.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scott Friedman

    I liked the book, but given that it was based on a lot of the experiences of the author, I would have liked to read more about his specific experiences. The author extrapolated general lessons to make the book more applicable to the general audience, but the stories backing up the lessons were not included. While I didn't expect the book to be an autobiographical tome, it could have well been written by the academic that the author disparages, since the personal specific examples were missing ab I liked the book, but given that it was based on a lot of the experiences of the author, I would have liked to read more about his specific experiences. The author extrapolated general lessons to make the book more applicable to the general audience, but the stories backing up the lessons were not included. While I didn't expect the book to be an autobiographical tome, it could have well been written by the academic that the author disparages, since the personal specific examples were missing about the author's businesses. The author did give specific examples of other businesses where other entrepreneurs were "Toilet Paper Entrepreneurs" by his measure, so there are some specific examples there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    M A Shuttle

    Never started a business? You may find this useful. But if you've already launched and are looking for new ideas or perspectives, you won't find them here. The toilet joke gets old quickly - and to be honest the whole book just feels like a pretty long winded way of saying "Got limited cash or resources? Hustle your backside off and find free or cheap alternatives to all the things you'd usually pay for." It's fine. But as someone who's been in business for a few years, I've heard it all before Never started a business? You may find this useful. But if you've already launched and are looking for new ideas or perspectives, you won't find them here. The toilet joke gets old quickly - and to be honest the whole book just feels like a pretty long winded way of saying "Got limited cash or resources? Hustle your backside off and find free or cheap alternatives to all the things you'd usually pay for." It's fine. But as someone who's been in business for a few years, I've heard it all before but without the toilet humour.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Phil Willis

    PROS: Short. Entertaining. Crude. Good exercises on planning Emphasised putting yourself and your values first when designing your business - otherwise you've just created another job you hate. This is the first book I've read that really stressed not taking money up front if you can avoid it. Don't take debt and *definitely* don't raise money with equity. CONS: Style is pretty flippant. Very "if you believe it you can achieve it". Crude humour might not be for everyone. Low on specifics Not much new info PROS: Short. Entertaining. Crude. Good exercises on planning Emphasised putting yourself and your values first when designing your business - otherwise you've just created another job you hate. This is the first book I've read that really stressed not taking money up front if you can avoid it. Don't take debt and *definitely* don't raise money with equity. CONS: Style is pretty flippant. Very "if you believe it you can achieve it". Crude humour might not be for everyone. Low on specifics Not much new information

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bartosz Majewski

    That's a book quite similar to Chris's Guillebeau's 100$ startup. Only poorly written. With less concrete information. And focused on offline businesses mostly. What's a strong side is managing profitability and actionable tips about managings scarce resources and cash. It's less than 200 pages but i've struggled a bit through it. Author was a founder of 3 businesses but now he doesn't run any business besides his podcast, books and speaking gigs. I should know better. That's a book quite similar to Chris's Guillebeau's 100$ startup. Only poorly written. With less concrete information. And focused on offline businesses mostly. What's a strong side is managing profitability and actionable tips about managings scarce resources and cash. It's less than 200 pages but i've struggled a bit through it. Author was a founder of 3 businesses but now he doesn't run any business besides his podcast, books and speaking gigs. I should know better.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reyes

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. It was entertaining, light-hearted, humerous and packed full of suggestions, recommendations and ways to start your business. For anyone contemplating starting a business, this is a must read. The content easily flows beginning to end and an easy read. No big complex words or ideas to confuse or make the reader feel inferior. Just positivity.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gina Nielsen

    I loved the premise of this book: starting and building a business requires effort and a healthy dose of confidence in one’s abilities (more than education or a lot of money). If it weren’t for so much inappropriate language and humor, I would happily give it a higher rating. Mike Michalowicz has great ideas and a fairly engaging writing style - too bad his language spoils an otherwise good business book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Rwabose

    I think Mike just made it to the list of my favourite Entrepreneurship-book=authors! Having read Profit first, now TPE & soon The Pumkin Plan, i love his 'colorful' & humorous writing style. TPE is a good read, more so for those just starting out in business. I like the 3 plans he states should replace the conventional business plan: Prosperity Plan for your business, The Quartely Plan & The Daily Metrics plan. I think Mike just made it to the list of my favourite Entrepreneurship-book=authors! Having read Profit first, now TPE & soon The Pumkin Plan, i love his 'colorful' & humorous writing style. TPE is a good read, more so for those just starting out in business. I like the 3 plans he states should replace the conventional business plan: Prosperity Plan for your business, The Quartely Plan & The Daily Metrics plan.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bálint

    Useless motiational book with very little actionable stuff. Typical american "you can do it just believe in it" bollocks. I bought the book because Profit First was great. This is not. Most annoying is that he picks succesful people as case study and juxtapositioning himself and his invented "toilet paper entrepreneur" idea as if they were related. I get it, this is marketing, it's just cringe-y. Already regretted to have preordered his next book. Meh. Useless motiational book with very little actionable stuff. Typical american "you can do it just believe in it" bollocks. I bought the book because Profit First was great. This is not. Most annoying is that he picks succesful people as case study and juxtapositioning himself and his invented "toilet paper entrepreneur" idea as if they were related. I get it, this is marketing, it's just cringe-y. Already regretted to have preordered his next book. Meh.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bereket

    Great practical advice; great how-to guide He’s very good at telling stories. I like his writing style. His sense of humor is irreverent but clever. I can definitely see the image of a frat boy when I read his stuff. But he also has a very down to earth personality. He’s not pretentious and he seems to have a genuine desire to help people.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave Williams

    Great book! If you're a first time entrepreneur then this is the book for you. It's no nonsense and has great advice and motivation for starting a business, especially if you have limited resources. A must read! Great book! If you're a first time entrepreneur then this is the book for you. It's no nonsense and has great advice and motivation for starting a business, especially if you have limited resources. A must read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Guershon

    Practical, unconventional, and motivating. Worth the read if you plan on starting a business and don't know where to start. Has useful exercises to get you in the right mindset, and get the ball rolling. Practical, unconventional, and motivating. Worth the read if you plan on starting a business and don't know where to start. Has useful exercises to get you in the right mindset, and get the ball rolling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Hoos

    I've really enjoyed all of the Mike Michalowicz books. His writing style is very easy to digest. While this isn't my favorite of his, it was still a solid all-around book about the need to be resourceful if you want to be an entrepreneur. I've really enjoyed all of the Mike Michalowicz books. His writing style is very easy to digest. While this isn't my favorite of his, it was still a solid all-around book about the need to be resourceful if you want to be an entrepreneur.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol Bogere

    Loved it! I really enjoyed reading this book. The author tells you the truth with a sense of humour. The exercises are great and give you something to think about and action at the same time. Would recommend to anyone starting out on their journey of entrepreneurship.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Smith

    Great Book Book delivers on its premise. Plenty of highlighting and notes taken. Covers mindset, action steps to take, and enough anecdotes and historical information to support the author’s stance. Recommended for beginner entrepreneurs specifically.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mandy C.

    I am a fan of Mike and I was hoping to find insightful business ideas from this book. Unfortunately, I found that this book is written for probably collage kids who have yet started anything. There are a lot lines along "why you need to start" and "follow your passion", which I find very cliche. I am a fan of Mike and I was hoping to find insightful business ideas from this book. Unfortunately, I found that this book is written for probably collage kids who have yet started anything. There are a lot lines along "why you need to start" and "follow your passion", which I find very cliche.

  23. 5 out of 5

    D. Eugene

    Inspiration Sometimes we forget about how we struggled to get our business where we are today after 20 years. It’s good to go back and maybe consider reinventing yourself, or start over again in another adventure. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. 4 out of 5

    James White

    Another great book from Mike Mike’s books are fun and entertaining and inspiring for entrepreneurs around the world! Nice and short and easy to read with many useful practical tips you can use in your business today.

  25. 4 out of 5

    April Baskin

    Wish I’d read this sooner, but glad I accessed it when I did! Very helpful and uber pragmatic. I’m enriched and inspired and want to read for a second time to more deeply metabolize all the value and insight!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Griffith

    Some really great points about how to look at building a business. I’m not a fan of the writing style I.e. (everyone else is wrong but me). Some of his thinking is very black and white. Not bad just not as great as I expected.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Read this when it first came out. Wish I'd paid more attention. The information is pure gold. Read this when it first came out. Wish I'd paid more attention. The information is pure gold.

  28. 4 out of 5

    AJ.N

    Good -short to the point I like it short - very relatable The beginning sound very good - but get little boring at the end

  29. 4 out of 5

    William Beldham

    Good points. A strain to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harmony T.

    There is some great advice on here that I wish I had heard when I was first starting my business. This book isn’t quite so helpful for established businesses.

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