Tom Golisano's First Book "Built, Not Born" Available Now!

Built, Not Born is for current or aspiring business owners who feel nervous about the risks of entrepreneurship. Tom Golisano, self-made billionaire and founder of Paychex, believes starting a business isn’t as risky as you might think and provides no-nonsense, often humorous advice on how to succeed in all phases of business ownership.

Built, Not Born Book Cover

In his new book, Tom Golisano, self-made billionaire and founder of Paychex, provides no-nonsense, often humorous advice on how to succeed in all phases of business ownership.

Starting a business can often feel like performing a high-wire act for the first time, without a safety net. After taking that first brave step, the early phases of business ownership can still feel fraught with risk; every decision seems to have the power to sink your entrepreneurial dreams.

Tom Golisano understands the fears, risks, and challenges small-business owners face every day–he’s lived it. He has launched and grown his own highly successful businesses and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs, helping them build their own successful companies. In Built, Not Born, Golisano shows readers that starting a new business is, in many ways, far less risky than more traditional career paths, especially in our current age of disruption.

Golisano shares the knowledge and wisdom he wishes he’d had when he started Paychex over thirty years ago, with just $3,000 from the sale of a small business he launched from the basement of his home, and a much-abused credit card. Today, Paychex has a market value of $28 billion.

In his trademark direct and often humorous style, Tom Golisano provides no-nonsense advice across all phases of business ownership, including:

1- Strategy

How going against the grain can be a great strategy for finding business opportunities and why it pays to question conventional wisdom

2- Negotiation

Why the power of the pregnant pause can be your best weapon when negotiating and when interviewing potential employees

3- Practical

Why a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement is critical to your business

4- Getting Funded

What potential buyers and funding sources look for, and the best way to present your business plan

5- Growth and Leadership

The key growth and leadership strategies that have helped Paychex sustain its incredible level of growth and profitability

Available Now!


Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound

Bulk Orders: please email with the quantity you’d like to purchase.

Press Release

January 28, 2020

A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs - by Paychex Founder, Tom Golisano

With $3,000 and a credit card, Tom Golisano became a billionaire and grew the company he founded, Paychex, to a $30 billion market valuation and more than 670,000 customers.  How? By spotting an opportunity that giant established competitors did not: that more money could be made off of the 95% of the payroll services market that are small businesses than the deep-pocketed corporate giants getting chased by everyone else.

Golisano wasn’t born with an instinct to think entrepreneurially, but instead honed this skill over a long career of leading Paychex and investing in other companies. Now, Golisano shares the hard-won lessons from his entrepreneurship journey in BUILT NOT BORN: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs (Harper Collins Leadership, February 11, 2020), a guide to growing a company to any size by going against the grain like he did.

From assessing whether a business concept has a chance of getting off the ground to executing a sound exit strategy from the company BUILT NOT BORN is for entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey. In keeping with the general principle of minimizing risk and tilting the odds in one’s favor, it explains among many principles the advantage of having a recurring revenue stream and diversifying one’s product range. More than once Golisano admonishes entrepreneurs to do the math, and reminds us that the bedrock of business remains integrity and respect.

Told in no-nonsense language spared of academic theories or charts, the book includes many practical takeaways:

  • Business plans should not double as doorstops. It takes only a single page to calculate the viability of a business. Anything beyond that is strategy, useful but peripheral.
  • In negotiating, fight for a win-win for all, since win-wins can lead to long-term relationships and losers can become enemies.
  • When interviewing potential employees or negotiating, use the pregnant pause.
  • Why a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement is critical to your business.
  • Getting Funded. Learn what potential buyers or funders look for in a business plan.
  • Nurture the image of a company from day one. A company’s public profile influences everything from employee morale to customer satisfaction and investor interest.

“The biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs is that most don’t have the benefit of over fifty years’ experience mastering their trade, fifty years of making mistakes and finding ways not only to correct them but also to ensure they don’t make them again. They haven’t fought their way through seemingly impossible challenges and dealt with idiots, phonies, and others who seem to delight in hampering their progress,” Golisano says. “It’s this experience that I bring to the businesses I invest in, and now to those of you.”

Entrepreneurs, whether fledgling, struggling, or already successful, will gain an edge from wise, actionable nuggets of wisdom like these and many more.  They’ll learn from the trenches what really works from a businessman whose fortune is the result of defying the status quo and championing common sense.

About the Author

Tom Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and former owner of the Buffalo Sabres NHL team—is the founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, Inc.  Headquartered in Rochester, New York, with more than 15,500 employees and 100 office locations nationwide, Paychex is the leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing services for small- to medium-sized businesses. Active in both business and philanthropy, Golisano currently mentors the entrepreneurs who run the businesses in which he has invested, and he also oversees his family’s charitable foundation. To date he has donated over 300 million to a wide range of charitable causes, including educational institutions, children’s hospitals, and especially organizations working with people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.

"If you are an entrepreneur or owner with a burning desire to do better, this is one book you need to get." —Small Business

Built, Not Born is full of hard-earned insight from a proven entrepreneur. Tom Golisano’s commitment to clients to ‘make their business his business’ is not only smart advice, it’s good leadership wisdom. He has something to say to anyone who has built—or is looking to build—a successful business.”John C. Maxwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author and global leadership expert

News & Resources

Press Release

Paychex' Billionaire Founder Shows You How It's Done - Investors Business Daily - Jul 2, 2020

10 Millionaire Books for Entrepreneurs - Small Business Trends - Jun 28, 2020

Writing His Own Ending - Gulfshore Life - June 2020

Tom Golisano Interview with Eliances Heroes in Business - May 2020

Tom Golisano, Founder and Chairman, Paychex $30 Billion from $3,000; Author, "Build Not Born" on Amazon - Apple Podcats - May 2020

Interview with Tom Golisano - Advice for Entrepreneurs - “The Answer Radio” on 970 AM in NYC with host Frank Morano

How Tom Golisano Built Paychex Into A Billion Dollar Company - Small Business Trends - Mar 16, 2020

Built Not Born #1 on February 2020 Business Bestsellers - Porchlight Books - Mar 16, 2020

Golisano's Book a Best Seller - Rochester Business Journal - Mar 3, 2020

Kimberly & Beck - iHeart Radio 95.1 Mar 3, 2020

DiTullio and Moran show - iHeart Radio 95.1 - Feb 28, 2020

Podcast with Tom Golisano - CEO Forum Group - Feb 25, 2020

Built Not Born: Naples billionaire Tom Golisano talks about his new book - Naples Daily News - Feb 24, 2020

Built Not Born: Naples billionaire Tom Golisano talks about his new book - Fort Myers News Press - Feb 24, 2020

Billionaire Tom Golisano: ‘No regrets’ - Messenger Post News Feb 22, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers - Feb 21, 2020

Built, Not Born #5 in Hardcover Nonfiction on Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers - Feb 21, 2020

Q&A: Tom Golisano talks about new book, entrepreneurs and 'no regrets' - Democrat and Chronicle - Feb 20, 2020

Connections - WXXI - Feb 20, 2020

Alfred State alum, Paychex founder Tom Golisano authors new book - Olean Time Herald Feb 17, 2020

Golisano shares advice, wisdom and anecdotes in new book - Rochester Business Journal - Feb 17, 2020

Tom Golisano's busy week: a book, a homecoming, an ovation- Buffalo News - Feb 15, 2020

Tom Golisano Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio - Trend Following Podcast - Feb 13, 2020

Self Made Billionaire & Paychex Founder Tom Golisano on Yahoo Finance The Final Round Feb 12, 2020

How To Take $3000 And Turn It Into A $28 Billion Company - Start-up Life Podcast - Feb 11, 2020

Self-made billionaire takes on Warren’s comments vilifying wealthy - Fox Business - Feb 11, 2020

Self-made billionaire weighs in on Bernie Sanders' proposed wealth-tax - Fox News - Feb 10, 2020

Tom Golisano – Self-Made Billionaire Founder of Paychex on Entrepreneurship - What Got You There - Feb 2020

Forget the Stock Options—I’ll Take My Credenza - Chief Executive - Jan 30, 2020

5 Leadership Books to Help Transform You Into a Modern Leader - INC. - Jan 28, 2020

Forget the Stock Options—I’ll Take My Credenza - Chief Executive - Jan 20, 2020
Built Not Born: Reading it is Like Picking a Billionaire’s Brain - Small Business Trends - Oct 20, 2019