February 11, 2020

Tom Golisano’s First Book Built Not Born is Launched – A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs

Tom Golisano's book, Built, no Born. National Best Seller

“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

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 BORNA 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 companyBUILT 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.

A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs
Harper Collins Leadership; February 11, 2020;
ISBN: 978140021755; Hardcover; 224 pages

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Additional Praise for Built, Not Born

“Deciding to leave a senior leadership role at a major film studio to lead Rachel and my startup was not easy. Every decision seemed fraught with risk. Absorbing Tom’s practical lessons for managing a high-growth business will reduce the fears that many feel when making the leap into entrepreneurship.”
Dave Hollis, CEO, The Hollis Co. and author of Get Out of Your Own Way

“Tom Golisano understands what it takes to grow and thrive as a business owner at all levels, and Built, Not Born is full of practical insights for those who have made or are considering making the leap to starting a new business.”
Tom Monaghan, founder, Domino’s Pizza

“If anyone discovered a smart growth path, it’s Golisano. His book Built, Not Born shows that success in business doesn’t come from an MBA. Instead it’s about seeing opportunities, taking risks, and applying common sense. His wise chapters reveal how to do so along every step of the entrepreneur’s journey to billion-dollar growth.”
Tiffani Bova, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Growth IQ; Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

Built, Not Born is sure to earn its place as the essential handbook for entrepreneurs and business owners of all types. Tom Golisano truly understands how to start, grow, and operate a successful business; his direct and practical approach to everyday challenges shows why he is one of this country’s great entrepreneurs.”
Joe Tucci, former Chairman and CEO, EMC Corporation

“Tom Golisano is a creative business and philanthropic genius, with an eye for doing just the right thing at just the right time. Read this book to learn how to he does it and how you can do it too.”
Tim Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics

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