Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire's No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs

Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire's No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs


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Tested and proven, no-nonsense advice on how to navigate risk and succeed in all phases of business ownership—written by Tom Golisano, self-made billionaire and founder of Paychex.

"Tom Golisano understands what it takes grow and thrive as a business owner at all levels, and Built, Not Born is full of practical insights for those who have made or are considering making the leap to starting a new business." - Tom Monaghan, founder, Domino's Pizza

Tom Golisano understands the fears, risks, and challenges small-business owners face every day—he’s lived it. He has launched and grown his own highly successful businesses and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs, helping them build their own successful companies.

Built, Not Born shows readers:

  • How going against the grain can be a great strategy for finding business opportunities and why it pays to question conventional wisdom.
  • Why the pregnant pause can be an effective weapon in negotiations and when interviewing potential employees.
  • Why a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement is critical to any business owner.
  • What potential buyers and funding sources look for, and the best way to present a business plan.
  • And finally, the key growth and leadership strategies that have helped Paychex sustain its incredible level of growth and profitability.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400217557
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Publication date: 02/11/2020
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 366,082
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tom Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and former owner of the Buffalo Sabres NHL team—is the founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York, with more than 15,500 employees and 100 office locations nationwide. Still active in business and philanthropy, he currently mentors the entrepreneurs who run the businesses in which he has invested, and he also oversees his family’s charitable foundation. To date he has donated over $250 million to a wide range of charitable causes, including educational institutions, children’s hospitals, and especially organizations working with people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Mike Wicks is an award-winning author, collaborator, and senior writer at Kevin Anderson & Associates. He has managed several multimillion-dollar government programs, rebranded towns and regions, written economic development and tourism strategies, and created sponsorship programs for major not-for-profits. Wicks is also a well-regarded trainer, facilitator, and speaker whose clients have included national banks and multinational insurance corporations. Wicks has written and collaborated on over twenty books, e-books, and training manuals. Fire from the Sky: A Diary Over Japan won a silver medal for best military memoir of 2005, awarded by the Military Writers Society of America. He’s a foodie, so when he’s not writing he can be found in his kitchen preparing a gourmet meal.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Entrepreneurship: A Risk Worth Taking 1

The Risk Explored 1

Being Employed Is Not Risk-Free 2

Do You Question Every Business You See? If Not, You Need to Start 3

Why Do You Want to Become an Entrepreneur and Should You? 6

Are You Cut Out for the Lifestyle? 7

Becoming a Better Entrepreneur 9

The Rewards of an Entrepreneurial Life 10

How Do I Spot a Good Entrepreneur? 11

Entrepreneurial Employees 11

Takeaways 12

Chapter 2 Understand Your Business 15

Viability on One Page 15

Business Planning 17

Business Structures-I'm Not Talking Buildings 25

Buying a Business 28

Buying a Franchise 35

Buying a Job 36

Takeaways 36

Chapter 3 Money Matters 39

How Much Money Do You Need? 39

Sources of Financing 40

Going Public 43

Understanding Financial Statements 46

Managing Your Financials 48

Understanding Profitability 49

Pricing 51

Get a Pre- or Postnuptial 52

Takeaways 53

Chapter 4 Would You Buy What You Sell? 55

Six Key Questions 57

Is There a Large Enough Market? 57

Can You Make a Decent Profit Margin? 59

Can Your Company Deliver? 60

Does It Have Longevity? 61

Do You Have Enough Capital? 62

Can You Keep Up with Technological Change? 62

Product Diversification 63

How Multiple Product-Related Mistakes Can Kill a Business 64

Takeaways 65

Chapter 5 It's Not a Cash Flow Problem-It's a Sales Problem 67

Understanding Sales 68

Understanding Your Competition 73

Hiring Salespeople 76

Managing a Sales Force 78

Training Salespeople 81

Takeaways 82

Chapter 6 Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill, Fire When Necessary 85

My HR Philosophy 87

Corporate Culture and the Growing Company 88

Hiring the Right People 91

Nepotism-Notes 97

Employment Contracts 97

The Importance of Training 99

Firing When Necessary 104

Takeaways 106

Chapter 7 Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way 109

Integrity and Respect, the Bedrock of Business 111

Business Knowledge-What Should You Know? 113

You Have to Be Confident, Not Arrogant 114

Management 115

Utilizing Advisors 118

Leadership 119

Persistence Pays 120

Get Noticed for Good Management 121

Takeaways 122

Chapter 8 A Good Deal for Everyone 125

Divorce: The Ultimate Negotiation 127

The Day I Broke the "Never Negotiate from an Ultimatum" Rule 128

No-Nonsense Negotiating 130

Working with Vendors 132

Negotiation and the Pregnant Pause 133

Asking Direct Questions 136

Winning Graciously 137

Fun and Responsibility 138

Takeaways 141

Chapter 9 Building a Positive Public Image 143

Picking a Name 144

A Positive Profile Starts at Home 145

Act Professionally 146

Vendor Relationships 147

A Professional Image 147

Get on Board with Social Media 148

Inexpensive Profile Boosting 148

The Best Form of Advertising 148

Media Relationships 149

Networking Builds Profile 149

Politics and Business-Can They Mix? 150

Be Charitable When You Can 150

Takeaways 151

Chapter 10 Only Diamonds Are Forever 153

Managing Your Success 154

When Is It Time to Leave? 155

Before You Sell 156

Selling Your Business 157

Forget the Stock Options-I'll Take My Credenza 163

Takeaways 165

Chapter 11 Regrets, I've Had a Few 167

Too Many Players 167

Nor Bringing EAS on Board 168

A Monster Mistake 169

I Paid to Play 170

Not Keeping My Poise 170

Hanging In for Too Long 171

Hiring the Wrong Person 172

Missing Family 173

Takeaways 173

Chapter 12 What Can We All Do Better? 175

Education 176

Government in All Its Guises 177

Media 180

Business Associations 181

A Final Word 182

Takeaways 183

Notes 185

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