I don't generally look forward to reading how-to business books. I usually find them full of platitudes, outmoded common sense, lacking wit and, worse, containing personalized advice that may only app...
I don’t generally look forward to reading how-to business books. I usually find them full of platitudes, outmoded common sense, lacking wit and, worse, containing personalized advice that may only apply to the author. The book “You don’t need an MBA to make Millions”, by Tim Moore with Carol Davis and Allan Gould is a rare exception. Tim Moore was among other things the founder and chairman of AMJ Campbell Van Lines.
I looked forward to reading Moore’s book, his second, because I have known Tim, the so-called “serial entrepreneur”, for many years. He’s always been a straight-to-the-point kind of guy, an honest rascal without all the pomposity that is usually the baggage with too many self-made men.
So, as I began to read the book, I felt something odd happening to my senses. My mind floated back to Grade Seven when my teacher used Friday afternoons to read sections from “Call of the Wild” by Jack London. I initially thought I could nap during the reading and get an early, rested start to the pending weekend. But, as his telling of the wild and exotic tales of the North laid claim to my vivid imagination, I felt drawn in more and more each week and actually started to anticipate being awake those Friday afternoons.
In the same way, Tim’s new essays on his successes and, indeed, failings in the business world were hooking me. His re-telling of the awkward events as he first started a business while still in university filled me with the same thrills and anticipation as those readings of my teacher – I laughed when he laughed, got angry when he felt frustrated and celebrated with him at his small but growing number of victories.
Jack London’s narrative of the frozen adventures of a mystical wolf in the Canadian North during the Klondike Gold Rush became true for me then simply because, I later realized with a more adult mind, I connected with that wolf as if I was that wolf’s lifetime companion sharing its triumphs and tribulations.
In similar fashion, Tim slowly but surely draws the reader into his world, his mind and his soul. I felt “privileged” to be sharing his stories, as if we were both kibitzing about schoolboy antics over a hot chocolate and pie.
It’s a special gift that not too many business people have, that of being humble as well as being proud. Indeed, it is this humility that cements a reader’s relationship with Tim and, as such, allows my easier understanding and acceptance of what Tim has to offer.
Sure, Tim admits he has failed and failed miserably. The adventures of the midnight mover, the Barbados bushwhack over an investment property, the mishandling of the nursing home scheme and, worse still, the total botching of a succession plan within his own trucking company all highlight the author’s admitted missteps.
Yet, Tim lists not only these failures but also the valuable lessons gleaned from the experiences. It is this direct link between a personal midadventure, and the learned lessons that makes a personal handbook for any aspiring entrepreneur, including me.
These are hard lessons won, steeped in the old-fashioned but still relevant School of Hard Knocks. And Tim being the guy he is, an old fashioned entrepreneur who easily admits to bowing before no king or law, to which the episode over the unpaid parking tickets attests, he wants you to know he also had the helping hand or two on his climb to being a millionaire. In fact, he admonishes the reader to keep the faith in always being ready to help and praise others, especially his own staff, and having total respect for the customer.
I admit I’m prejudiced. I read every page. But, believe a believer, Tim’s book is a true self-help book, deserving of apt attention and loyalty. Gee, it’s a lot cheaper buying and using this book than trying thousands of gruelling hours of study to earn an MBA, and you get smarter a lot faster, too!mt
Mark Borkowski is president of Toronto based Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corporation.
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