Why Every Entrepreneur Should Read "Guts and Borrowed Money" by Tom Gillis

Updated: Jan 16


Guts and Borrowed Money” by Tom S Gillis, 1997



“Originating an idea doesn’t make an entrepreneur: Backing an idea with guts and money and building a business does”


No doubt on your entrepreneurial journey you have faced numerous challenges. This book addresses numerous challenges and issues that a business can face and provides an abundance of timely advice.

I only wish I had read this book earlier and could have avoided some of the challenges I have faced.

Guts and Borrowed money is far from a dry text book about business.


It is divided into 2 sections.



The first tells a story of a business from its inception, growth and finally its sale. It outlines what you can expect and the problems you may run into.


The second section is an A-Z trouble-shooting guide, addressing an extensive list of challenges and situations you may face on your entrepreneurial journey.


The 5 key ideas I took away from this book where;


1.Quality First, Quantity Second


Focus on building a reputation for quality. All too often businesses determine their product or service and then jump straight to marketing it. If the quality isn’t there then the marketing won’t save you.


2. Don’t Scrimp When it Comes to Hiring


Spending a little more on the right people is better than getting the cheapest person. Hire the best people your business can afford.


3. Ask For More Money at The Start.


When raising capital from the bank or investors it may be wiser to get more than you need at the start whenever possible rather than going back seeking more money if you haven’t reached your targets.



4. Delegate Results Not Actions.


Delegate away to experts at creating that result and be less concerned with their actions. If you are determining all the actions, then the business won’t grow beyond your own knowledge.


5. Get Rich Slowly


“The worst thing that can occur is fast increase in sales volume with a decreasing gross profit margin. The compound effect is an increased need for capital and a decreased ability to earn it” be sure that you are making an adequate margin on your products or services or your business may be unable to fund its own growth.


The book was written in 1997 so some sections are a little out of date, especially concerning technology however I have found most of the information to be still relevant. I keep this book close by and when I am planning or facing a challenge use it regularly.


Hardcopies are available on Amazon but unfortunately there does not appear to be a kindle version.

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