5 out of 5 stars
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Part memoir, part business primer, Big Things Have Small Beginnings delivers on its main premise. The author refers to competing in business as the Great Game and you have to make the right moves to win. It's an apt description and perspective, written in an approachable conversational style.
The book includes a lot of time-tested advice that I know from personal experience works. With visualization, positive thinking, and the power of intention, I've achieved a lot of my goals in life. Even really specific goals like wanting to be a member of a small team to win a PC Magazine Editor's Choice Award. I visualized it and it happened!
I've noticed my own life seems momentum based. Things go well and I'm on a roll for a while. Then something bad happens and I'm a derailed train. It takes a while to get back in the groove. I'd never figured out why that happens until I read one piece of advice from the book. Forgive yourself when things get off track, or you'll derail your positive thinking. Crap! That's what I've been doing wrong my whole life. It was worth reading the book just for that one insight.
While I’m not generally a believer in American exceptionalism, Wesley Berry makes a strong case for why America is such a great place to do business. America isn’t always number one in everything, but in business, it truly is number one. By the end of the book, I felt luckier to be American.
I loved reading the story of how the author approached a problem many businesses have of how to improve their business without spending money. Constraints like that often drive creativity. The way he used advancing technology and adapted to changes in the business environment showed just how the small beginnings built on each other. From a $60K to $60 million, Wesley Berry built a flower empire and we get to come along for the ride.
The book covers leadership and I found the section on understanding alternative viewpoints especially relevant in these polarizing times. Some believers of American Exceptionalism don’t see value in understanding other cultures or viewpoints, so I’m really glad this was highlighted.
He uses an eclectic mix of anecdotes and historical examples to drive his points across. I was unfamiliar with some of this background and it added depth to the material. I was intrigued enough to read up on Elbert Hubbard and found it ironic how a man that was so against American involvement in World War One was killed, including what the book mentions was his intention at the time. I can also recommend the PBS documentary the author suggests. It's not often that a book engages me enough to read the source material.
A major section of the book goes over the type of employee to look for and nurture, a "Rowan." These traits for success also apply to business owners. I’ve seen some of these approaches to keeping morale high and preventing burnout used successfully in past technology jobs. The advice definitely applies outside the flower business.
This book left me energized, optimistic, and ready to face the world to grow my business.
While I’ve read a number of business books over the years, I was still able to cull new and useful information from Big Things Have Small Beginnings. I’m rating this gem 5 out of 5 stars for a quick easy read that engaged me enough to do additional research and left me with an insight to potentially improve my life.
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