Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive

Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive

Hardback

By (author) Erik Wesner, Foreword by Donald B. Kraybill

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  • Publisher: Jossey Bass Wiley
  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 28mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 16 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470442379
  • ISBN 13: 9780470442371
  • Sales rank: 635,303

Product description

The keys to better business from a thriving group of business owners-the Amish Business can be discouraging. According to US Department of Labor figures, only 44 percent of newly-opened firms will last four years. Amish firms, on the other hand, have registered a 95# survival rate over a five-year period. And in many cases, those businesses do remarkably well-as Donald Kraybill writes: "the phrase 'Amish millionaire' is no longer an oxymoron." Success Made Simple is the first practical book of Amish business success principles for the non-Amish reader. The work provides a platform of transferable principles--simple and universal enough to be applied in the non-Amish world, in a wide variety of business and management settings. Learn how to develop profitable and fulfilling enterprises as Amish explain how to build fruitful relationships with customers and employees, prosper by playing to strengths, and create an effective marketing story Includes interviews with over 50 Amish business owners outline the role of relationships in business and the importance of the big picture-taking in long-term goals, the welfare of others, and personal integrity Offers ideas on practical application of Amish business practices to non-Amish businesses, with bullet summaries at the end of each chapter reviewing the most important take-away points With a focus on relationship-building and the big picture, Success Made Simple offers business owners everywhere the tools for better, smarter, more successful enterprises.

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Author information

Erik Wesner is an independent expert on the Amish and their business practices, and previously spent a decade as a sales manager and record-breaking salesperson at Nashville's Southwestern Company. He divides his time between Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he has strong ties to the Amish community, and Poland, the country of his roots. He also writes the popular blog Amish America at amishamerica.com, covering Amish business, culture, and other topics.

Review quote

"I loved Wesner's comment that the Amish 'don't need an M.B.A. to run an effective business...There's life in commerce for those more dedicated to the Golden Rule than the Golden calf.' Nonprofit managers and employees would do well to take the lessons of personal responsibility, hard work, and a cheerful attitude to heart. After all, they really do engage in work that matters." - About.com , April 11, 2010 "Erik Wesner's new book, "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive," might have been titled "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Being Amish." This fascinating and engagingly written book spells out the principles that guide Amish business owners, based on interviews with 60 Amish CEOs employing about 400 people in various enterprises." - LancasterOnline.com , April 10, 2010 "How can a people whose preferred mode of transportation is a horse and buggy do so well in the modern marketplace? That question intrigued Erik Wesner, a former sales manager. His exploration of the Amish approach to business can be found in his fascinating book Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive . Despite the group's insular nature, Wesner was able to live and work among its members for three years. 'We're not going to become Amish,' he says, 'but I think some of the cultural values that the Amish display consistently are things that non-Amish people can adopt and incorporate.'" - Time magazine, April 8, 2010 Articles, excerpts, slideshows, and mentions with the author also from: - MSNBC Live with David Shuster, April 2, 2010 -Slideshow, FastCompany.com , April 1, 2010 - Michael Dresser , Business Talk Radio, March 23, 2010 -Q&A, The New York Post , March 22, 2010

Back cover copy

Praise for Success Made Simple"Success Made Simple is a gift to business leaders everywhere--a brilliantly written, tantalizing story of practical success, homespun charm, and unexpected delight! A must-read for organizations looking to restore America's enduring and sometimes forgotten values to their rightful place." --Dan J. Sanders, CEO, United Supermarkets, and author, Built to Serve"Recent high-profile business disasters have reminded us that intellect and even competence are not the essential ingredients for business success. Success Made Simple captures the soul of Amish business and reveals how character, faithful relationships, and a commitment to the greater good of community lead to 'uncommon' success." --Dan Miller, author, 48 Days to the Work You Love"In Success Made Simple, Amish entrepreneurs show that a focus on relationships and service builds thriving businesses. This is an intriguing look at an uncommon business community!" --Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com"I urge you to let the Amish entrepreneurs show you the amazing power of putting simple ideas into practice. This book will take you up several notches in overcoming obstacles, motivating employees, and winning--and keeping--customers." --Martin Fridson, CEO, Fridson Investment Advisors, and author, How to Be a Billionaire"As simple as possible, but not one bit simpler. Erik Wesner perfectly captures the essence of success--the Amish case yields valuable lessons for us all: business is a vehicle for something more important, and you can't do it all on your own." --Chris Adams, CEO, Division 17, Southwestern/Great American, Inc."Erik Wesner shows that success has many more dimensions than numerical growth. Success Made Simple is a valuable read not just for mainstream American business people but also for the Amish." --Benuel Riehl, Amish father and business owner

Flap copy

The keys to better business from Amish business ownersBusiness can be discouraging. According to United States Small Business Administration figures, only half of newly opened companies will last five years. That is, unless you're Amish; then there's a ninety-five percent chance your business will still be open. And in many cases, doing remarkably well, as noted scholar Donald Kraybill writes: "The phrase 'Amish millionaire' is no longer an oxymoron."Success Made Simple is the first practical book of Amish business success principles for the non-Amish reader. Written by Erik Wesner, a noted expert on the Amish, the book includes a wealth of transferable principles that are as straightforward to apply as they are universal in scope.Based on in-depth access gained while working, living, and researching in Amish communities across the nation, as well as on interviews with more than fifty Amish business owners, the book offers a fascinating look at reasons for the remarkable success of Amish businesspeople.Success Made Simple reveals how, with only an eighth-grade education, these thriving businesspeople choose and manage employees, acquire skills and know-how, get and keep customers, and lead their organizations to lasting success. The common threads woven throughout their experiences stress the vital importance of cultivating strong relationships (with employees, customers, other business owners), creating long-term goals, taking the welfare of others into account, and maintaining personal integrity. Wesner makes the lessons of Amish business easy to absorb by distilling essential take-away ideas in a ten-point summary at the end of each chapter.With a focus on relationship building and the big picture, Success Made Simple offers business owners everywhere the time-tested tools for better, smarter, and more successful enterprises.

Table of contents

Foreword (Donald B. Kraybill). Preface: Unearthing the Secrets. A Note on Names. 1. Eye to the Horizon: Cultivating a Vision and Thriving Through Crisis. 2. Getting Smart: Hands-On Versus the Hallowed Halls. 3. Market-Bound: Excelling at Sales and Marketing. 4. Doing Unto Others: The Crucial Customer Relationship. 5. Choosing Up Sides: Getting the Right People in Place. 6. Fishing Lessons: Empowering Your Most Valuable Asset. 7. Around the Edges: Honing an Efficiency Mentality. 8. The Big Picture: Getting What You Came For. Conclusion: Barn Raising. Appendix: Research and Interview Methodology. Bibliography. Acknowledgments. About the Author. Index.