You are previewing Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over.
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Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over

Book Description

Entrepreneur Stuart Skorman—the founder of Elephant Pharmacy,,, and Empire Video—grew up in a retailing family in Ohio. He worked every kind of job, from cab driver to professional poker player to CEO. In this entertaining, personal account of his coming-of- age in the business world, Skorman gives an insider's view of what it takes to start a business from the ground up.

Stuart Skorman offers his hard-won lessons in business for any entrepreneur or small businessperson who wants to create a company that has a heart and soul. He reveals what he learned about marketing while working a stint as a rock band manager and bares his soul about his failure during the dot-com bubble. He describes in vivid terms the roller coaster ride of the entrepreneur in good times and bad and explains how to survive in today's uncertain business environment.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. CHAPTER 1: My Jewish Merchant Family
    1. My Business Roots
    2. Growing Up in Retail
    3. Being Honest Is More Important Than Being Rich
    4. My First Business Trip
    5. There's No Algebra in Accounting
    6. My Summer of Love
    7. “I Think I Went to College”
    8. In Business, You Can't Accept the Status Quo
    9. Growing Up
  8. CHAPTER 2: Sex, Drugs, and the Business of Rock-and-Roll
    1. An Unlikely Mentor
    2. The Accidental Entrepreneur
    3. Act Like You Know What You're Doing
    4. Be Authentic, and They Will Come
    5. Do Whatever It Takes—and Don't Count the Hours
    6. Make Sure All Employees Share Your Enthusiasm
    7. Seek Out Your Customers, and Listen to What They Say
    8. It's All About Brand, Baby
    9. Learn About Supply and Demand (Heart and Soul Aren't Enough)
    10. You Need the Complete Package
    11. Know When to Leave the Business—No Matter What Your Age
  9. CHAPTER 3: Bankruptcy at Home
    1. Politics and Rock-and-Roll Don't Mix
    2. Return of a Native Son
    3. Miracle Mart Needed a Miracle
    4. Going Broke
    5. A Happy Ending to a Sad Story
    6. Grown Up at Last
  10. CHAPTER 4: Helping to Invent Whole Foods
    1. Out of Defeat, a Plan for Success
    2. Retailing 101
    3. Human Resources: Lazy New Agers Need Not Apply
    4. Operations: Don't Kill Your Customers (and Other Details)
    5. Leadership: It Takes a Tough Man to Run a Natural Foods Store
    6. The CEO Wannabe
  11. CHAPTER 5: Bike-Touring Adventures
    1. Who Needs Madison Avenue?
    2. The Power of Hunger
    3. Be Persistent: The Winds Will Change
    4. Never Stop Paying Attention
    5. Believe in Yourself
  12. CHAPTER 6: Building a Video Empire
    1. How to Choose a Business
    2. Retail Is All About Location
    3. Choosing the Right Part of Town
    4. Make Your Customers Fall in Love
    5. Don't Spend Money Before You Have It
    6. Taking My Perfect Start-Up on the Road
    7. Revolutionize the Customer Experience
    8. Movie Matchmaking: The Heart of Our Business
    9. Attract the Right Employees—and Train Them Well
    10. Make Customer Value Profitable
    11. My Perfect Start-Up, with Lessons Learned Along the Way
  13. CHAPTER 7: Millionaire Without a Mission
    1. Learning to Heal
    2. Seducing a Giant
    3. Learning What Fits
    4. Taking My Music to Jamaica
    5. The Sale Is Made
    6. The Joy of Vermont
    7. A New Adventure
  14. CHAPTER 8: My Professional Poker Career
    1. Choose Your Game Carefully
    2. Don't Play with Money You Can't Afford to Lose
    3. Hope for Good Luck, Plan for Bad Luck
    4. Know the Difference Between Luck and Talent
    5. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
    6. Be Ready to Leap
    7. Play the Players, Not the Game
    8. Time to Move On
  15. CHAPTER 9: Easy Dot Come
    1. Start with What and Who You Know
    2. A Dot-Com Is Born
    3. My VCs Wanted Their Money Back
    4. Investors Can Come from Unlikely Places
    5. Know Your Limits
    6. Big-Time Marketing on a Small-Time Budget
    7. My Most Expensive Mistake Ever
    8. The Deal That Got Away
    9. We Didn't Know We Were Getting Rich
    10. A Hollywood Ending
    11. A Time to Celebrate
  16. CHAPTER 10: Easy Dot Go
    1. Find a Mission for Your Venture
    2. Don't Forget the Bottom Line
    3. Haste Makes a Lot of Waste
    4. The Only “B” That Counts: Your Business Plan
    5. The Crash Roars Closer
    6. Fail Like a Winner
  17. CHAPTER 11: Adventures in the Wild
    1. Whales, Dolphins, or Extraterrestrials?
    2. Sea Snakes, Tiger Sharks, and Other Fun Animals
    3. Religious Fanatics Ruin Our Mountain Paradise
    4. Adventures with Captain Bob
  18. CHAPTER 12: Taming a Wild Elephant
    1. The Vision
    2. Love Is Blind
    3. The Spark That Started the Great Fire
    4. An Elephant Can't Be Small
    5. The Right Man for the Job (or So I Thought)
    6. Start on the Right Foot
    7. Fail to the Chief
    8. Location, Location, Location
    9. Opening Day Disaster: Let's Make a Deal!
    10. The Good News: Competitors Pay Attention
    11. Changing Everything; Then Changing Everything Again!
    12. Berkeley in Love
    13. Not Out of the Woods . . .
    14. Don't Underestimate the Challenges: A Guidebook for Entrepreneurs
    15. Greener Pastures
  19. CHAPTER 13: What It Takes (and Doesn't Take) to Be an Entrepreneur
    1. Mixing Business and Revolution Is Dangerous
    2. Slow Down When Necessary
    3. Never, Ever Underestimate Technology
    4. Know When to Pull the Plug
    5. Don't Fly Blind
    6. Don't Design Your Business Around You
    7. Be Financeable
    8. The Contradictions of an Entrepreneur
  20. Acknowledgments
  21. About the Author
  22. Index