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Book review: Mike Michalowicz’ The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

I recently finished a new book on entrepreneurship that has excellent parallels for the proactive jobseeker.  Graphic bathroom analogy notwithstanding, Mike Michalowicz’ The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur gives candid, motivational and tactical ideas on launching a business from three-time entrepreneur Michalowicz.  According to Michalowicz, you are a Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (TPE) when you give all you can to keeping the business going and growing — nothing fancy or overly strategic, a TPE is all action all the time.

My favorite tip is his analogy to tacking, a sailing term that refers to the continual adjustment of the sail to get to the destination.  Michalowicz likens this to running a start-up where you need to have an overarching goal in mind but constantly need to readjust.  This is also a perfect analogy to a proactive job search.  Yes, you need to have a target in mind for your career, but you also need to readjust based on market conditions, your personal circumstances, what is happening with your industry of choice, etc.

Another great feature of the book is the examples of other entrepreneurs.  I particularly liked the case of Joe Spano and Buy-Rite, which picked its Top Nine customers and focused exclusively on adjusting the business to focus on these customers even if it meant saying no to others.  Similarly, a job search should be targeted.  As a candidate you cannot be all things to all companies because you dilute your benefits and disperse your energy chasing too many things.  Better to focus and build on where you can and want to make an impact.

Mike Michalowicz’ The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is a breezy read and an entertaining way to get inspiration and practical advice.  As people change jobs and careers more frequently, the job search becomes more entrepreneurial.  In this way, reading entrepreneurship books can inject new ideas into your search.  As you go through your search, think about if you are doing all you can.  Don’t overthink it.  Just remember your goal and move towards it.  This way, you can be a Toilet Paper Jobseeker.

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One Response

  1. 4casajak says:

    I liked the sailing analogy.
    When I go sailing I’m constantly aware of the old adage that one should sails ‘towards’ ones goal rather than ‘to’ it. Perhaps it holds true for life generally as well.

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