Tom Ehrenfeld and The Startup Garden

TomI have the enormous good fortune to have a wonderfully knowledgeable accomplice this month with my Ho‘olaule‘a Ho‘ohana!

His name is Tom Ehrenfeld, and he is the author of our Talking Story Book of the Month, The Startup Garden, How Growing a Business Grows You.

Tom is a business journalist and former writer/editor at Harvard Business Review and Inc. His work has also appeared in The New York Times and Boston Magazine. He is a frequent speaker on small business issues, and in Blogsville we have recently come to know him as a guest author on the 800-CEO-Read Blog.

Tom and I met back in June via email, after I had snagged one of his 800-CEO-Read Reviews on Stephen Covey’s The 8th Habit for Talking Story. My post was short, but there was a spirited comment conversation thereafter, and much to my delight Tom jumped back into it with us. Tom Ehrenfeld was now a talking story member of our Ho‘ohana Community!

Tom’s name was familiar to me because I had read his book about two years earlier. I remember spending a good two hours in Borders Bookstore one morning, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of their business book section devoted to Entrepreneurship and Small Business. I pulled nearly every book off those bottom three shelves and previewed them, and when I had made my selections and walked to the cashier, The Startup Garden was one of only two books which had made the cut.

The story gets even better!

I will be telling you more about my own entrepreneurial journey with The Startup Garden as part of my Ho‘olaule‘a (celebration) this month. When my company was created two years ago, Tom unknowingly became my mentor-in-a-book, and to have him my co-conspirator in our anniversary celebrations is an incredible gift for me, and for Say Leadership Coaching. Come month’s end, I am sure you will feel that knowing Tom better has been your gift too.

Here is a preview of the plans Tom and I have made for this month on Talking Story; 4 Monday articles which add up to an exciting line up for our August Ho‘olaule‘a:

Monday, August 8

On this day I’ll share with you my detailed review of Tom’s book. I’ve told you about my first reading: well I’ve read The Startup Garden cover to cover three times now. With my second reading, it became a kind of lens for field studies while I was traveling and visiting different small businesses. I read Tom’s book a third time earlier this summer in preparation for our Ho‘olaule‘a.

Monday, August 15

I will be interviewing Tom here on Talking Story in anticipation of even more entrepreneurial insights for us all to learn from. Don’t be surprised if some of this spills over into another day or two of this week, for we have much to share with you!

Monday, August 22

Tom has written a new article on entrepreneurship exclusively for first printing here on Talking Story! You will discover why Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit says, “Tom Ehrenfeld is one of today’s most insightful writers on the topic of small business.”

Monday, August 29

Are you wondering what this gift of Tom Ehrenfeld and The Startup Garden may have to do with Managing with Aloha? I am confident those insights will come to you all month long, and on this day I’ll tell you even more about it. Get your own copy of Tom’s book, and let’s see if you have made the same connections!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer: you can begin The Startup Garden today! Read the beginning of Tom’s book for yourself this week, and you will quickly see why I am so excited about what Tom and his Startup Garden can teach us:

Book Excerpt: Introduction—How Does Your Garden Grow?

Book Excerpt: Chapter One—Finding Your Calling

“Inspirational, holistic, and packed with anecdotes, this book imparts a plethora of sound advice and timeless wisdom. A breath of fresh air that will get you to think about choosing work that motivates and excites you.”

—Eric Tyson, syndicated columnist and author

Remember, by my definition, entrepreneurship is about a mindset for the work you do. Deciding to go into business for yourself may or may not be your result. I’m inclined to agree with Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Built to Last, who wrote this for Tom as the first paragraph of the Foreword for The Startup Garden:

“Many of us become entrepreneurs because we’re constitutionally unemployable. A job is nice, but we have an inner itch to do something we are truly passionate about—a need to build something we can shape in our own image, something that reflects not just what we do, but also who we are. I’ve always viewed entrepreneurship not as a business concept, but as a personal concept. Entrepreneurship at ist’s best is about creating a path that is uniquely suited to you as an individual and building a vehicle for driving down that path.”

Related Posts:

Our August Ho‘ohana is Ho‘olaule‘a; Celebration!
The Entrepreneurial Mindset: 8 Rules when you are “On-Again”


  1. says

    No Rosa, I am not wondering what Tom’s gift of The Startup Garden has to do with MWA. I know exactly what it has to do with MWA, but I’m not going to spill the beans here. Instead, I am going to work through it with you guys.

  2. says

    Why The Startup Garden?

    Had an after-work front porch visit with a good friend Friday evening. She’s just begun to read Talking Story regularly, and “Why The Startup Garden?” was the question she asked me into our second brew. “Why does it figure so

  3. says

    We Talk Story with Tom Ehrenfeld this week!

    I had previously announced that Monday, August 15th would be the day of my interview with Tom Ehrenfeld, business journalist and author of The Startup Garden. Slight change of plans: We will be talking story with Tom all week long!