The Engine of America – Hector V. Barreto

The Engine of America: The Secrets to Small Business Success from Entrepreneurs Who Have Made It!
Hector V. Barreto

The Engine of America: The Secrets to Small Business Success from Entrepreneurs Who Have Made It! was written by former Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, Hector V. Barreto. I found Barreto’s book inspiring and full of useful information. With the stories of some of the most successful small-business entrepreneurs, he teaches the keys to successfully start up a company or grow an existing one.

The Engine of America gives a lot of the same advice that you hear all the time about running and starting a business. Therefore, it is a great book for someone just starting out. Additionally, the advice, although repetitive for those entrepreneurs who have been in business a while, is given in a way that keeps you entertained. Stories of successful entrepreneurs remind us that anything can be done, and help us keep an optimistic point of view.

Barreto gives sound advice about studying to learn what you need to know and planning your business venture to increase likelihood of success. Then he addresses the need to take risks, but to take calculated risks rather than just a shot in the dark. One aspect of business I don’t think of a lot is employees. I am far from that point, but Barreto addresses how to share your vision with your employees and how the people around you are a critical key to your success.

A large portion of The Engine of America is dedicated to specific tools for success that every entrepreneur can benefit from. From how to contact SCORE for free advice from successful businesspeople to how the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you obtain financing to what government programs are available to small businesses. From his insider’s point of view, Barreto helps unlock the mysterious process of dealing with government organizations and programs.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s an easy read, but it contains a wealth of useful information. I especially enjoyed the quoted advice from successful entrepreneurs such as Earl Graves, founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine, and Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples.

You can read an excerpt of Chapter 4 Challenge the Conventional Wisdom or go to www.theengineofamerica.com for more information.

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