CONTACT: Lizz Aviles

A guide for cultivating a creative approach to realizing entrepreneurial dreams


How Growing A Business Grows You

According to the Small Business Administration, today there are nearly 25 million small businesses in America. In fact, business school students now rank entrepreneurship as their top career choice. There is more capital, investors, commercial loans and resources in the form of technology, magazines, websites, and software to help individual startups thrive.

Unique among books of its type, THE START UP GARDEN: How Growing A Business Grows You (McGraw-Hill; Original Paperback; November 2001; $18.95), by small business expert Tom Ehrenfeld, combines what truly matters to hopeful entrepreneurs with the fundamental tasks of starting a business.

Before providing a step-by-step examination of the business, financial, managerial, and marketing skills required to make a dream business a reality, Ehrenfeld walks readers through the process of determining what type of business best fits their hopes and dreams and helps them take an honest look at what they care about, and what they are good at.

Each chapter in THE START UP GARDEN focuses on a particular skill required to operate an enterprise and uses the cultivation of a garden as a metaphor to provide real business strategies such as how to:

  • Identify the seed to grow
  • Determine whether it is fruitful
  • Plots the idea's growth
  • Nourish and feed the plant as it grows
  • Examines the human resources needed as the venture begins to sprout
  • Identify how to move from tending the plant to becoming a gardener
  • Know when to step back and let the plant tell you what it needs

With dozens of interviews with now-successful entrepreneurs, such as Tom Scott and Tom First from Nantucket Nectars, THE START UP GARDEN combines case studies and examples with practical wisdom that guides readers from the initial idea to the eventual need for growth and diversification. This is an ideal book for anyone launching a new business, no matter where they are in the process.

TITLE: THE START UP GARDEN: How Growing A Business Grows You AUTHOR: Tom Ehrenfeld, foreword by Jim Collins, coauthor of Built to Last
PUB DATE: November 2001
ISBN: 0-07-1368248
PAGES: 209
PRICE: $18.95 Original Paperback


Tom Ehrenfeld 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 a regular commentator on PRI's "Marketplace."

Endorsements for The Start Up Garden

"The real-life stories in the "Start-Up Garden are inspiring and demonstrate that you can do it, too. Tom Ehrenfeld is one of today's most insightful writers on the topic of small business."

--Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit

"Inspirational, holistic and packed with anecdotes, The Start Up Garden imparts a plethora of sound advice and timeless wisdom. A breath of fresh air that will get you to think about choosing work that will motivate and excite you."

--Eric Tyson, syndicated columnist
and author of Personal Finance for Dummies
and Investing for Dummies

"This book is the start of something new and fresh and powerful. In the next decade you will see the flowering of entrepreneurship as a creative activity, as a way of building a life, and not just a business. This book makes a substantial contribution by giving people permission to think and talk about business in new ways that today they are afraid to."

--George Gendron,
Editor-In-Chief, Inc. Magazine

"With so many books offering startup advice crowding bookshelves, this book is a refreshing change. It goes beyond the dry basics to examine the deeper issues involved in starting a business, from the passion necessary to sustain an enterprise to business ethics and exit strategies."

--Lisa Waddle,
editor, MyBusiness magazine

Book cover



Read or print the Intro and Chapter 1.

Read the book reviews at Inc and 1-800-CEO-READ.

Read the publisher's press release.

Buy this book from

Visit the companies that Tom discusses in the book

Hear a recent lecture by Tom on the Startup Garden


Buy my book and I will send you a worksheet and list of local and industry resources for your startup. Simply send me an email with your zip code and type of company and I will email you the free kit. Thanks!


Just Managing – articles that Tom wrote for The Industry Standard and some Business Articles written for Inc., Fortune Small Business, Harvard Management Update, and other places.


Read about other books and web sites about starting your own business.


© 2001-2003 Tom Ehrenfeld | Site design by Tim Swan