Lessons from a Compulsive Entrepreneur
|A new business memoir by Tweezerman’s founder shows how a lot of pluck and a bit of luck can lead to success.
Like the start of most small businesses, Tweezerman was a one-man show. Founder Dal LaMagna did all the selling, inventory management, bookkeeping, shipping, and deliveries himself. He operated out of a 400-square-foot bungalow that was his office, warehouse, and home. His initial investment was $500. Years later, he sold the company and walked away with millions.
LaMagna’s new business memoir, Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right (John Wiley & Sons), written with his two lifelong friends, Wally Carbone and Carla S. Reuben, is unlike any other. For those who are tired of entrepreneurship stories that gloss over hardships or sugarcoat risks, LaMagna pulls no punches in depicting the long and difficult work of realizing one’s dreams. But he makes you laugh along the way.
A self-described “compulsive capitalist,” LaMagna had his first entrepreneurial success at age eight. From creating the first computer dating service in college followed by drive-in discotheques, to inventing a psychedelic light box and selling waterbeds, LaMagna’s many money-making schemes tell the story of a sixties-era seeker who had inexhaustible ambitions, creativity, and resilience. According to Tom Hayden, “Karl Marx could learn from Dal LaMagna why capitalism is irrepressible.”
Every time one of his businesses flopped, he got smarter. By the time he flashed on the idea for Tweezerman -- after an erotic interlude on a splintery rooftop deck in California -- LaMagna had, by process of elimination, made every mistake one can possibly make in business. He then went on to build a legendary, socially responsible American business that has inspired a new generation of visionary capitalists.
In Raising Eyebrows, LaMagna delivers valuable lessons for budding entrepreneurs through sometimes hilarious, often cringe-worthy stories about his multiple business exploits. Readers also learn:
Ben Cohen, of Ben & Jerry’s, calls Raising Eyebrows “delightfully humorous.” In addition to being a page-turning, fun read, LaMagna’s book is invaluable for every small business person who wants to make a difference in the world -- and earn a lot of money doing it.
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