Ones To Grow On

Business feeling sluggish? Here are some books to help it grow big and strong.

Many entrepreneurs want to grow their businesses, but they don't know how. Others feel conflicted about growth or even about the goals of business in general. Still others lack the innovative ideas that can power growth. All of them can benefit from this trifecta of approaches and plans for growing businesses.

Business As Unusual

Anita Roddick may have been the only internationally known entrepreneur participating in protest lines at 1999's World Trade Organization meeting, but The Body Shop founder has never marched to the orthodox rhythm. From opening her first natural beauty products store in 1976 through growing it to more than 1,700 outlets across the globe, Roddick has consistently done the unexpected. So to have her marching around downtown Seattle shoulder-to-shoulder with anti-WTO demonstrators, as recounted in her new book, is eminently believable.

Roddick's second memoir is more than an inspirational tale of success against convention. It's also chock-full of advice for mainstream business owners. And for all her radicalism, Roddick is revealed as a pragmatic entrepreneur with an ability to assimilate easily when necessary. For example, early on she negotiated with a bank officer while shod in sandals and towing two small children. The banker wasn't impressed, and her loan request was rejected. Undaunted, she quickly returned to the bank better-clad, accompanied by her suit-wearing husband and a business plan. She received the loan. You don't have to turn deathly pale at the thought of animal testing to get that lesson.

Business As Unusual is available at Amazon.com.

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This article was originally published in the April 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ones To Grow On.

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