Today, business owners are often urged to “Follow your passion,” but John Warrilow argues that this is the worst advice for most founders. He asserts that following your passion leads you to take on too many tasks and stay in your business too long. Warrilow instead proposes the “Built to Sell” model, where entrepreneurs build a company with an exit strategy from the outset. This business book review will show you how to create a sustainable business model and how to know when it’s time to sell.
What’s Built to Sell all about?
John Warrilow was an early-stage investor in both Airbnb and Pinterest and was their first business partner. First and foremost, Warrilow believes you should build a company to sell. He argues that too many founders invest in what they’re passionate about and over-commit to it, which leads to burnout, unhappiness, and, eventually, failure.
This business book is split into two parts. The first part details Warrilow’s history as an entrepreneur and his process for success. He details how he got to the $1 billion valuations for Uber, how he saved Pinterest and Google, and how he led Yodle from a young startup to a profitable company.
For whom is Built to Sell by John Warrillow?
If you are currently working on developing a new business or want to improve how you have operated your current business, this book is very relevant. If, however, you are already established, this book can be useful for new business owners, as it discusses the relationship between selling your business and passion.
Background of John Warrillow, the Author of Built to Sell
John Warrillow is co-founder and chief executive officer of Skimlinks, a digital marketing agency based in New York City. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in business administration and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He spent five years at Microsoft before co-founding Skimlinks in 2006.
Warrilow believes it is essential to do a business that can succeed without you. He focuses his book on creating a sustainable business model with a solid customer base and how to build a brand that people want to share with their networks.
The biggest mistakes Warrilow has seen founders make are in part due to not thinking big enough.
Business books similar to Built to Sell
If you’re looking for more, you can also read:
Speaking from the Heart: Mastering the Art of Closing, The Book that Wins at Closing a Sale, The How-To Book for Building Powerful, Lasting Relationships, The Book That Will Make Your Life Better with More, Entrepreneur Press, by Scott Gerber.
Making the Grade: How to Make the Most of College for the Rest of Your Life, Wiley Publishing, by Dr. Lance Cannon, JD.
Final Thoughts on Built to Sell
While Built to Sell may be marketed as a book about business, it is also an excellent book about leadership and personal development. It is extremely well written, and, as a business owner, I found it inspirational. Warrilow does not shy away from big-picture questions, including one of the most important for entrepreneurs: How should I balance my family with my business? He believes that business owners should always look to the big picture.
This business book is about how to build a business that can thrive without you. In other words, it’s about building a business that can thrive while you’re still in it. It’s not just about having a plan to leave your company. It’s about ensuring your company can go on without you, or with a successor who wasn’t even in the picture when the company was founded.