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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 $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.
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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 $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.
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Editorial Reviews

Santa Barbara News-Press
"As amazing, as ebullient...as its founder, Mr. Orfalea." - Santa Barbara News Press
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761143857
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/30/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.73 (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
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Chapter 1: Anybody Else Can Do It Better
Chapter 2: Are You “In” or “On” Your Business
Chapter 3: Manage the Environment, Not the People
Chapter 4: The Business of Business is Emotion
Chapter 5: Face Outward
Chapter 6: Find Your Philosophy
Chapter 7: Life is a Picnic
Chapter 8: Deal With Your Dark Side
Chapter 9: Watch Your Karma
Chapter 10: Fail Forward
Chapter 11: Make Money While You Sleep
Chapter 12: Know When to Fold’Em
Chapter 13: Know When to Walk Away
Chapter 14: Repurpose Yourself
The Cast of Recurring Characters
Appendix I: Stories That Didn’t Fit in the Book
Appendix II: Orfalea’s Aphorisms
About the Authors
Appendix III: The Big Thank You
Index
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