One of my takeaways from this year’s Retail IT VAR of the Future Conference was to read The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Michalowicz. The book was recommended to me by Erick Wilson, the President/CEO of TEC Works, a growing managed services provider in Florida. When I asked Erick what was the key to the success of his business, he said this book turned everything around for him.
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is one half inspirational, one half practical on how to build and grow your business on a shoestring budget. It’s also filled with all sorts of cringe-worthy bathroom humor, but I’ve spared you of that in my notes below.
Following are 21 insightful quotes from the book that can be applied to ISV organizations:
- Have you ever been doing your business with your pants hugging your ankles and, when you are ready to wrap things up, noticed that you are extremely low on toilet paper? The best option is to manage with what you've got.
- When we literally have no option to just get up and walk away, we find a way to get the job done.
- It's awe-inspiring how careful, thoughtful, and innovative we are when our supplies are scarce.
- The real deal of successful entrepreneurship is bloated with failures, drenched with progress, marred with mistakes, and peppered with major achievements.
- Always bet on the individual who is serving his calling, not the guy who is doing it for the money.
- Passion begets persistence.
- Excuses are a great mechanism to apply logic to our fears.
- Early entrepreneurial success is defined by surviving, not thriving.
- Once you define your values, document them in a way that sings with your soul.
- Starting a company is all about serving your needs, your beliefs, and your values first.
- Know your prospects better than any of your competitors and you will have an easier time finding them. Recognize that by knowing one group so well, you will not know other groups at all.
- You have a “super strength” that no one else will ever match: you care more about your business than anyone else.
- Area of innovation: What is the area where you just can't be touched? What specifically do customers rave about when they talk about you? This is your area of innovation, and you must commit to leading in this area for the life of your business.
- The familiarity of repeating past actions, albeit unsuccessful ones, can seem much safer than moving decisively down an unexplored path.
- Entrepreneurs who adhere to life principles and constantly adapt to elusive business dynamics experience enormous, lasting success.
- Properly executing a process is all about doing it first, then planning for it. The first time through is often best served with less planning and more doing.
- The devil is in the details, but you will have a devil of a time getting anything done the first go around if you fixate on them.
- The more mistakes you make, the more progress you're making. Just don't repeat the same mistakes.
- Mistakes are good, successes are great, and idleness is a sin.
- A lack of resources forces you to use ingenuity, a skill that will help you stay ahead of the pack for your entire run.
- Ideas don't make money; effort does.
If you’d like to talk more about The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and how to improve your ISV business, please reach out to me. My job as a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services is to work with Vantiv partners to help them with hiring right, developing staff professional development programs, improving customer service, and more.
Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of the book Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer.