3 out of 4 stars
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You Are Not A Loser by Wallace Gustafson is a nonfiction book that pulls back the curtain on the entrepreneurial process. Readers observe how an idea becomes a business and how not to lose your soul in the pursuit of building a successful business. The author shared the lessons he learned while developing and managing several successful businesses. The road was not always smooth. He leaned on his faith to help him find his way. “Sometimes, God is there to walk you through the bad times, not around them.”
Wallace divided his book into five sections. The first section recounted his eight years as an employee in the corporate world. He started at the bottom, in the training program at Famous-Barr, accumulating experience and knowledge as he rose through the ranks. Section Two spoke of his transition from employee to company owner. Section Three carried the reader through the productive years when Wallace built up his business. After establishing a successful business, Wallace reflected on the difference between owning or running a business. He revealed his definition for success in Section Four. In the final section, Wallace offered an evaluation of his career.
This nonfiction book is full of practical advice for anyone interested in knowing the details for beginning and running a small business. Continued education, financial advice, people skills, networking, and how to balance family needs with business demands are some of the topics the author developed.
The author’s honesty and sense of humor about his successes and failures made this a captivating read. The description of both the highs and the lows of his business career presented a real picture of the grit and perseverance needed to keep your business afloat or know when to let it go. Wallace considered that his greatest weaknesses were in the areas of hiring, training, and firing. He shared his list of six questions to ask when facing any of these three circumstances.
Decisions that affect your finances and the future of your family can be stressful. Wallace spoke with candor about his prayers and spiritual life as he conversed with God about important decisions he was facing. How do you find time for family when your business is growing and expanding? How do you keep your priorities straight? I appreciated his humility when speaking about his faith without insisting that others be spiritual in order to be successful.
I liked that he included the story of how he chose the title. There are several photos inserted in the text that highlight his family and various business ventures. A list of suggested books, along with a short synopsis of what he learned from the book, helps readers broaden personal knowledge and provides inspiration for entrepreneurial innovation. I appreciated the update on the co-workers he had worked with over the years and who had influenced his career.
I did find more than ten grammar mistakes in the book. The majority of these were missing commas and misspelled words.
The author’s honest reflections about his business career and the helpful suggestions for readers motivate me to award this book 3 out of 4 stars. The number of grammar errors kept me from giving this book the full rating. Anyone who runs a small business, or is thinking of starting one, would benefit from the wisdom shared by this author. I encourage young people to read this book before entering the business world. Anyone in a leadership or human resource management position would appreciate Wallace’s insights and experiences.
You Are Not A Loser
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