Title: Chicken Lips, Wheeler-Dealer, and the Beady-Eyed M.B.A: An Entrepreneur’s Wild Adventures on the New Silk Road
Author: Frank Farwell
Pages: 304, Hardback
Price: US$29.95 (This price is valid for India)
Publication Date: February 25, 2011
Published by John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
According to the United States Small Business Administration and other research groups, close to 95 percent of business start-ups fail within the first 10 years. Despite the odds, entrepreneurs keep jumping off the cliffs of job security, expecting to find some new elixir in the sea below. Usually, only unforgiving rocks await them at the bottom. The winner’s circle is an elusive 5 percent.
Chicken Lips, Wheeler-Dealer and the Beady-Eyed M.B.A.: An Entrepreneur’s Wild Adventures on the New Silk Road is author Frank Farwell’s personal tale. It is an engaging entrepreneurial startup narrative that takes place in the transitional years of modern China, providing helpful information for anyone crazy enough to want to leave well-paid tedium for the Wild West of self-employment. This nonfiction work tells the story of a tenderfoot company and its neophyte trail boss who maneuvers his way out of hostile territory into a land of plenty. The sequence of mishaps and recoveries gives a living lesson on how to, as well as how not to, go out on one’s own. A detailed appendix, tied in at the end of the book, gives a chapter-by-chapter analysis of what was done right – and wrong – and teaches readers to learn from the author’s step-by-step journey. Result: Readers can more efficiently steer their own start-ups and maximize chances of reaching the winners’ circle – and its considerable payoffs.
Author Frank Farwell was a marginally salaried staff editor in his late twenties when he decided to leave the corporate world and strike out on his own. In the depths of a sharp recession, many friends felt he was either extremely brave, or terribly foolish. His small family lived on a shoestring while he survived ongoing foibles and failures, learned from mistakes, met an alarming range of colorful characters, and eventually found a forgotten product from China with a defined American market niche. Persistence and hard work provided striking results: His company, WinterSilks (www.wintersilks.com), became a three-time Inc. 500 company, and eleven years after its founding, still owning 100% of its stock, he sold it for a handsome fortune.
“As years have passed into decades, I’ve realized there were plenty of entrepreneurs who had gone solo, as I had, yet few of them knew how to share what they had learned,” said Farwell. “It would be a crying shame for anyone to endure what I went through, so I figured I’d tell my tale, share a few laughs, and maybe help others’ journeys to freedom become a whole lot easier.”
This is a book that entertains and instructs; it is as much Ha-Ha as it is How-To. It is a must-read for all budding entrepreneurs, for businesspersons dealing with China’s complex retail supply chain, and for business and general-interest readers who simply enjoy a great story.
About the Author:
Frank Farwell worked as a cub newspaper reporter for the Claremont, New Hampshire, Daily Eagle, and Vermont’s Windsor Chronicle, then enrolled in Northwestern University’s M.B.A program. After two semesters he took a summer job at Times-Mirror Magazines in New York and stayed on to become managing editor of Ski magazine and, two years later, staff editor at Ziff-Davis’ Yachting. After another two years, tired of publishing’s modest pay scale, he quit gainful employment to found a tiny company in his attic that became the WinterSilks catalog. His staff- and freelance-written articles have appeared in The New York Times, Signature, Ski, Yachting, Backpacker, Yachts and Yachting (U.K.), AOPA Pilot, IFR, The Guide to Cross Country Skiing, Ski Business, Harrowsmith, Kiplinger’s Changing Times, The Kazi (Japan), Cross Country Skier, Outdoor Life, Marathon World, Nordic World, and In Business. He has been a commercial- and instrument-rated pilot with 2,000 hours flight time, and in his 50’s raced canoe and cross-country ski events throughout the Midwest and eastern Canada. He has three children and lives in the northern Great Lakes region. This is his first book.
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