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Tee Time

Make sense of the global economy by riding the coattails of a T-shirt.
May 1, 2005
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77208

Globalization is a hot-button topic that generates strong feelings along with images of boarded-up, independent businesses in America and exploitative sweatshops overseas. But what exactly is it? In The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy (Wiley, $29.95), Georgetown University business professor Pietra Rivoli chronicles the round-the-world odyssey of a T-shirt, from Texas cotton-growers to an African used-clothing bazaar, to reveal how the planetary economy really works.

Along the way, we see how entrepreneurial U.S. farmers team with government-sponsored researchers--and take advantage of subsidies and trade barriers--to dominate world cotton production. Migrant workers from Chinese family farms tell why they regard low-wage jobs in Shanghai sewing factories as golden opportunities. And only in that African used-clothing bazaar do we encounter a truly free market where entrepreneurs--perhaps including some future tycoons of the 21st century--utterly rely on pure business skills and instinct. Whether you feel hurt or helped by globalization, you'll certainly understand it better after reading this fascinating account.

Stiff Competition

Next time you sit down for a sales presentation with a new prospect, realize that a third party is looking over your shoulder: your competition. How can you get rid of them? Sales consultant Randy Schwantz provides an answer in How to Get Your Competition Fired (Without Saying Anything Bad About Them) (Wiley, $24.95). Schwantz's sales process, which he dubs "The Wedge," promises to reliably unseat entrenched suppliers and make their customers yours. Starting with proposing an ideal picture your competition is unlikely to meet, Schwantz reveals a subtle yet simple process for getting prospects to practically demand to buy from you.


Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's "Staff Smarts" columnist.