Biz Lit

Start Small, Finish Big (Warner Books, $25.95)

Few have started smaller or finished bigger than Fred DeLuca. The co-founder and president of the Subway International sandwich chain opened his first shop in 1965 in Connecticut to earn tuition money for college. The 19-year-old had only $1,000, lent by his partner, Pete Buck.

To go from $1,000 to 15,000 global units, you'd think DeLuca must have had uncanny business expertise from the start. Instead, Start Small, Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start-and Run-Your Own Successful Business by Fred DeLuca with John P. Hayes chronicles a saga of ignorance and bad judgment. Among other facts, DeLuca reveals he'd never made a sub until his first customer walked in.

But DeLuca made up for ignorance with a willingness to work hard and keep learning. Here, he distills 15 of his hard-won lessons (example: "Never run out of money-borrow before you have to."), each clearly presented and illustrated with anecdotes from DeLuca's career and the careers of other entrepreneurs. DeLuca's first book deserves to be as successful as his first sandwich.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Biz Lit.

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