Friday, December 23, 2016

Killing It: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart by Sheryl O'Loughlin (Review)

Killing It is one of those books that you should read if you are thinking of launching a business and then once again after you've launched the business and every year after that.

Book Details:

Title: Killing It: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart
Author: Sheryl O'Loughlin
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Published: December 6, 2016
Hardcover: 304 pages
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

The former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-founder of Plum, and serial entrepreneur offers insights about launching and growing a business while maintaining a fulfilled life in this practical guide filled with hard-won advice culled from the author’s own sometimes dark, raw experiences. With a foreword by Steve Blank.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are told that to launch a business, you must go all in, devoting every resource and moment to making it work. But following this advice comes at an enormous personal cost: divorce, addiction, even suicide. It means sacrificing the intangibles that make life worth living.

Sheryl O’Loughlin knows there is a better way. In Killing It, she shares the wisdom she’s gained from her successful experiences launching a company from the ground up (Plum), running two fast-growing companies (Clif Bar and REBBL), and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs (Stanford University). She tells it like it is: If you don’t invest in your wellbeing, your business will not succeed, nor will you.

Sheryl knows firsthand the difficulty of balancing the needs of her growing family with her physical and mental health, while managing other work and life challenges. In this warm, honest, and wise handbook, she gives you the essentials for killing it in business—without killing the rest of your life.

Filled with real-life examples and anecdotes, Killing It addresses common questions including:
How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture?
How do you time launching and growing your business with the ebb and flow of family life?
How do you find joy in the day-to-day?
How do you maintain meaningful, supportive friendships?
How do you walk away and start again?

The ultimate life and business course, Killing It gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to start their enterprise and thrive—both in the office and at home.

Purchase Links

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

It's been three years this month since I launched my business and it has been full speed ahead since then. In Killing It, the author states the fact (taken from Deborah Gage's The Venture Capital Secret: 3 out of 4 Start-Ups Fail) that 95% of startups fail. Yeah...that's because being an entrepreneur is HARD work, requiring skills in many areas.

So when I read the full title of Killing It, I knew I wanted to read it. And I like what Sheryl had to say right from the very beginning. She addresses that being an entrepreneur is a calling, driven by passion, and because of this a lot of entrepreneurs get driven to the ground. Their health and relationships can suffer. So she tackles topics that business books don't. She helps you navigate the waters of launching and keeping a business when you have a significant other in your life as well as children.

It made me understand that a lot of my success was the unwavering support of my husband, his timely advice when I was stumped with a problem or racking my brain on how to handle a situation. Thinking back, he's been my faithful adviser and the voice of reason when I was too emotionally invested.

This year has been tough on my health. Anyone who knows me knows I am dedicated, driven and determined to establish a good business model with excellent customer service at its core. I've succeeded, but the time and the energy has also drained me. Sheryl knows what that's like, she gets it. And for this reason, as I was reading this book, I felt that she was my guide and a wake up call to take better care of myself so that I can continue to be successful without killing myself. I need to start investing in my well-being. It's a learning curve, that's for sure.

Sheryl's business experience, her woman's perspective and the many anecdotes she includes in this book are strong points for me. This book is far from dry or boring. Sheryl is honest and forthright, using examples of her own past mistakes, fears and insecurities. This resulted in my feeling reassured that I'm not alone in feeling this way, in having self-doubts or berating myself when I feel I messed up.

Killing It is one of those books that you should read if you are thinking of launching a business and then once again after you've launched the business and every year after that. Why? Because her advice will make sense during the different phases of your business' growth. And isn't that book cover clever? It looks like a post-it note, drawing one's eye to it. Simple and effective. I highly recommend this book for entrepreneurs and artists.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
About the Author:

Sheryl O’Loughlin earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages, and she previously served as the CEO of Clif Bar, where she led the concept development and introduction of Luna Bars, and was the cofounder and CEO of Plum Organics. She is the former executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in Santa Rosa, California, with her husband, Patrick, and her two sons.

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  1. Killing it without killing yourself. ;)

    Being your own boss can be hard when you want to do something other than work. There's difficulties in running your own business, but the flexibility of working for yourself is worth it, in my opinion.

    Thank you for being on this tour!

    1. Yes, the best part is making your own hours and being home when the kids are home. :-)


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