Copy This!: Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic Who Turned a Bright Idea into One of America's Best Companies

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Copy This! tells the story of how a struggling kid who could barely read, write, or sit still managed to grow a 10'-by-10' copy stand into a {dollar}2 billion business empire. Of how an individual used learning disabilities-ADHD and dyslexia-as learning opportunities to mold the homegrown, compassionate culture that allowed Kinko's to thrive. No reader, in business or out, will leave this book without looking ...
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Overview

Copy This! tells the story of how a struggling kid who could barely read, write, or sit still managed to grow a 10'-by-10' copy stand into a {dollar}2 billion business empire. Of how an individual used learning disabilities-ADHD and dyslexia-as learning opportunities to mold the homegrown, compassionate culture that allowed Kinko's to thrive. No reader, in business or out, will leave this book without looking at the world and its problems with fresh eyes and ideas.

About the Author:
Paul Orfalea frequently teaches at USC and UCSB

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The now-retired founder of Kinko's mixes autobiographical anecdote with large doses of business advice in this candid, conversational account of his entrepreneurial rise. With the help of coauthor Marsh, Orfalea replicates much of the usual business wisdom, like customers come first and keep your co-workers happy and motivated. More original are his autobiographical sections, which explain how a man with dyslexia, an uncontrollable temper and a mistrust of authority managed to grow a tiny California copy shop into a $2-billion-a-year company. His difficulties gave him "learning opportunities," he explains. "They propelled [him] to think differently," he says, and to develop "an unorthodox, people-centered, big-picture business model" that relied heavily on the intelligence and skill of his franchise managers. Orfalea's exuberant and irreverent attitude-he freely admits to cheating in school and relying on others to get him through college-will entertain many readers, and his sanguine acceptance of his dyslexia will inspire many others. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As the founder of Kinko's copy shops, now a $2-billion-a-year company, Orfalea is currently seen as a consummate entrepreneur. He was not always marked for success, however. Unable to read because of dyslexia, he was expelled from four different schools and finally graduated in the bottom 1 percent of his high school class (with an emphasis on wood shop). His subsequent success in creating a copy-shop empire is a testament to his vision and determination, as well as his choosing good people to work with. This skill at working with others is one of the 14 "lessons" Orfalea presents with coauthor Marsh (a former staff writer for Forbes); other lessons focus on business philosophy, management style, and knowing oneself. The text, which is easygoing and eminently readable, abounds with interesting anecdotes about the early days of the business. While framed as a business how-to book, it is really more a personal reflection on the author and his career. Purchase for larger business collections or where there is interest.-Susan Hurst, Miami University, Oxford OH. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-What's to become of a hyperactive boy with dyslexia who can't sit through a full lesson and who spends more time in the principal's office than in class? If he is Paul Orfalea, he turns potentially overwhelming challenges into strategic opportunities and grows up to nurture a small copying firm into a $2-billion-a-year operation called Kinko's. This effervescent memoir tells how he did it, not least by making the most of his advantages--including intelligence, imagination, pep, and a close extended family of Lebanese-American origins--and by realizing early on that his reading, writing, and attention problems meant that he needed others to help him achieve his dreams. His unconventional, team-based approach to business and his can-do philosophy for success are explained in 12 entertaining chapters called "Lessons." Each one offers numerous cogent tips from the author as well as recollections and comments contributed by longtime colleagues. Written with wit and style, this book offers much to inspire readers with obstacles to overcome or who march to a different drummer.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Santa Barbara News-Press
"As amazing, as ebullient...as its founder, Mr. Orfalea." - Santa Barbara News Press
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375728402
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print
  • Publication date: 8/9/2005
  • Series: Random House Large Print Biography Series
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Marsh first met and wrote about Paul Orfalea as a staff writer for Forbes magazine. She lives in Costa Mesa, California.

Paul Orfalea founded Kinko’s in 1970 and retired from the company in 2000. He frequently teaches at the University of Southern California and talks to educational and business organizations around the country. Through the Orfalea Family Foundation, Mr. Orfalea supports a broad range of educational initiatives. He lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     vii
Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     xiii
Anybody Else Can Do It Better     1
Are You "In" or "On" Your Business?     10
Manage the Environment, Not the People     22
The Business of Business is Emotion     40
Face Outward     51
Find Your Philosophy     72
Life Is a Picnic     85
Deal with Your Dark Side     99
Watch Your Karma     116
Fail Forward     126
Make Money While You Sleep     139
Know When to Fold 'Em     155
Know When to Walk Away     168
Repurpose Yourself     180
The Cast of Recurring Characters     190
Stories That Didn't Fit in the Book     192
Orfalea's Aphorisms     199
About the Authors     204
The Big Thank You     205
Index     220
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