Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive

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Overview

The keys to better business from Amish business owners

Business can be discouraging. According to United States SmallBusiness Administration figures, only half of newly openedcompanies will last five years. That is, unless you're Amish; thenthere's a ninety-five percent chance your business will still beopen. And in many cases, doing remarkably well, as noted scholarDonald Kraybill writes: "The phrase 'Amish millionaire' is nolonger an ...

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Overview

The keys to better business from Amish business owners

Business can be discouraging. According to United States SmallBusiness Administration figures, only half of newly openedcompanies will last five years. That is, unless you're Amish; thenthere's a ninety-five percent chance your business will still beopen. And in many cases, doing remarkably well, as noted scholarDonald Kraybill writes: "The phrase 'Amish millionaire' is nolonger an oxymoron."

Success Made Simple is the first practical book of Amishbusiness success principles for the non-Amish reader. Written byErik Wesner, a noted expert on the Amish, the book includes awealth of transferable principles that are as straightforward toapply as they are universal in scope.

Based on in-depth access gained while working, living, andresearching in Amish communities across the nation, as well as oninterviews with more than fifty Amish business owners, the bookoffers a fascinating look at reasons for the remarkable success ofAmish businesspeople.

Success Made Simple reveals how, with only an eighth-gradeeducation, these thriving businesspeople choose and manageemployees, acquire skills and know-how, get and keep customers, andlead their organizations to lasting success. The common threadswoven throughout their experiences stress the vital importance ofcultivating strong relationships (with employees, customers, otherbusiness owners), creating long-term goals, taking the welfare ofothers into account, and maintaining personal integrity. Wesnermakes the lessons of Amish business easy to absorb by distillingessential take-away ideas in a ten-point summary at the end of eachchapter.

With a focus on relationship building and the big picture,Success Made Simple offers business owners everywhere thetime-tested tools for better, smarter, and more successfulenterprises.

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  • Success Made Simple
    Success Made Simple  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I loved Wesner's comment that the Amish ‘don't need an M.B.A. to run an effective business....There's life in commerce for those more dedicated to the Golden Rule than the Golden calf.’ Nonprofit managers and employees would do well to take the lessons of personal responsibility, hard work, and a cheerful attitude to heart. After all, they really do engage in work that matters."

About.com, April 11, 2010

"Erik Wesner's new book, "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive," might have been titled "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Being Amish." This fascinating and engagingly written book spells out the principles that guide Amish business owners, based on interviews with 60 Amish CEOs employing about 400 people in various enterprises."

LancasterOnline.com, April 10, 2010

"How can a people whose preferred mode of transportation is a horse and buggy do so well in the modern marketplace? That question intrigued Erik Wesner, a former sales manager. His exploration of the Amish approach to business can be found in his fascinating book Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive. Despite the group's insular nature, Wesner was able to live and work among its members for three years. ‘We're not going to become Amish,’ he says, ‘but I think some of the cultural values that the Amish display consistently are things that non-Amish people can adopt and incorporate.’"
Time magazine, April 8, 2010

Articles, excerpts, slideshows, and mentions with the author also from:
MSNBC Live with David Shuster, April 2, 2010
—Slideshow, FastCompany.com, April 1, 2010
Michael Dresser, Business Talk Radio, March 23, 2010
—Q&A, The New York Post, March 22, 2010

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470442371
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/22/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,488,923
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik Wesner is an independent expert on the Amish and their business practices, and previously spent a decade as a sales manager and record-breaking salesperson at Nashville's Southwestern Company. He divides his time between Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he has strong ties to the Amish community, and Poland, the country of his roots. He also writes the popular blog Amish America at amishamerica.com, covering Amish business, culture, and other topics.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Donald B. Kraybill).

Preface: Unearthing the Secrets.

A Note on Names.

1. Eye to the Horizon: Cultivating a Vision and Thriving ThroughCrisis.

2. Getting Smart: Hands-On Versus the Hallowed Halls.

3. Market-Bound: Excelling at Sales and Marketing.

4. Doing Unto Others: The Crucial Customer Relationship.

5. Choosing Up Sides: Getting the Right People in Place.

6. Fishing Lessons: Empowering Your Most Valuable Asset.

7. Around the Edges: Honing an Efficiency Mentality.

8. The Big Picture: Getting What You Came For.

Conclusion: Barn Raising.

Appendix: Research and Interview Methodology.

Bibliography.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 1, 2010

    An Inside Look at Amish Enterprise

    It's a delight to read an excellent book about the Amish by someone who really knows his stuff. Erik Wesner, the go-to guy for all things Amish and author of the popular AmishAmerica blog, has done a terrific job of explaining the phenomenal success record of Amish-run business enterprises in SUCCESS MADE SIMPLE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT WHY AMISH BUSINESSES THRIVE. Whether you are interested in Amish culture or in entrepreneurship, you'll find this book simply fascinating. With his easy, engaging style and wealth of knowledge about all things Amish, Erik has created a book that deserves a spot in your library. From Marta Perry, author of Amish fiction

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Great book!

    One of my favorite reads in a long time. Very well written and extremely informative. This book was for me a great source of information and inspiration in getting my business up and running. I would strongly reccomend for anyone desiring to do business in an etical and faith led way to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

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