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

Retail Price: $24.95
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Format: Hardcover, 256pp.
ISBN: 9780470442371
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: March 22, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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.


"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

"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

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About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

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

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