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Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over

Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over

Stuart Skorman, Catherine Guthrie (With)

ISBN: 978-0-787-99453-2

Mar 2007, Jossey-Bass

192 pages



Entrepreneur Stuart Skorman—the founder of Elephant Pharmacy,,, and Empire Video—grew up in a retailing family in Ohio. He worked every kind of job, from cab driver to professional poker player to CEO. In this entertaining, personal account of his coming-of- age in the business world, Skorman gives an insider’s view of what it takes to start a business from the ground up.

Stuart Skorman offers his hard-won lessons in business for any entrepreneur or small businessperson who wants to create a company that has a heart and soul. He reveals what he learned about marketing while working a stint as a rock band manager and bares his soul about his failure during the dot-com bubble. He describes in vivid terms the roller coaster ride of the entrepreneur in good times and bad and explains how to survive in today’s uncertain business environment.


1 My Jewish Merchant Family.

My home town was never home. Thank heaven for Life magazine.

2 Sex, Drugs, and the Business of Rock-and-Roll.

Some went to business school; I managed a rock band. (Guess who had more fun?)

3 Bankruptcy at Home.

How I tried and failed to save my father’s business.

4 Helping to Invent Whole Foods.

Battles with my mentor made me wiser, confident, and determined never to work for anybody again.

5 Bike-Touring Adventures.

By the end of my cross-country journey, I’d decided to become an entrepreneur.

6 Building a Video Empire.

My perfect start-up: a hole-in-the-wall video store.

7 Millionaire Without a Mission.

I struck a deal with Blockbuster, headed for Silicon Valley, and left small-town retail behind forever.

8 My Professional Poker Career.

After two years of high-stakes poker, I was ready for anything.

9 Easy Dot Come: The Making of an Internet Pioneer.

How I founded and sold a company for $100 million in less than three years.

10 Easy Dot Go: Getting Carried Away with the Internet.

Good intentions but a lousy business plan is a great way to lose millions.

11 Adventures in the Wild.

The sharks of the South Pacific are as dangerous as the ones in Silicon Valley.

12 Taming a Wild Elephant.

I thought I was ready for the biggest project of my life; now I’m not so sure.

13 What It Takes (and Doesn’t Take) to Be an Entrepreneur.

Know yourself, keep learning, and hang on for the ride!


About the Authors.