Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup Into a $231,000,000 Business

Irrational Persistence: Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup Into a $231,000,000 Business

by Dave Zilko


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A modern-day Detroit success story that fuels the entrepreneurial fire

Irrational Persistence tells the story of Garden Fresh Gourmet, and how two entrepreneurs turned a million-dollar debt to a 100-million-dollar annual revenue. Woody Allen famously said that 80 percent of success is just showing up; but any entrepreneur can tell you that it's the other 20 percent that's key. The founders of Garden Fresh took that old saying to heart, building so many strategic advantages into their products and business that their 'sales' team didn't have to do any selling—they simply had to show up. In this book, you'll find out what kind of legwork goes into building a mega-success product, and the strategies, methods, and just plain stubbornness that helped two guys from Detroit build a market leader.

Garden Fresh Gourmet is now the number-one fresh salsa in the US, shipping over a million units every week to Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and other national chains—and it all began with two middle-aged guys with negative funds and plenty of ideas. This book shares their journey, insight, and passion to help you build a better business and take it to the top.

  • Learn how two entrepreneurs went from major debt to major revenue
  • Discover the key characteristics of a product that sells itself
  • Consider why selling out might not be the ultimate goal
  • Track a journey of 'irrational persistence' from rags to riches

Garden Fresh Gourmet is an inspiration beyond the journey—the way you run things at the top matters, too. Irrational Persistence shows you how to make the tough decisions, live with the sacrifices, and prioritize your values as you build your brand and just keep on going.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119240082
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/04/2016
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

DAVE ZILKO is the former Vice Chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet, makers of the #1 brand of fresh salsa in North America and the premier deli supply company in the United States. He is also an operating partner at Huron Capital, a Detroit-based private equity firm that has more than $1 billion under management.

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Table of Contents

Prologue ix

Introduction: Starting with Less Than Nothing xiii

Chapter 1 Summon the Courage to Enter the Dark Room 1

Chapter 2 Find Your Place in This World 19

Chapter 3 Search for the Holy Grail 37

Chapter 4 Never Sell Anything 49

Chapter 5 Build a Company Woody Allen Would Be Prouvéd Of 67

Chapter 6 Value Values 95

Chapter 7 If a Fortune 500 Company Calls, Take the Call 123

Epilogue 155

index 163

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