Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee, and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life

Michael J. Coles and Catherine M. Lewis. Univ. of Georgia, $24.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-82035-462-0
Coles, cofounder of Great American Cookies and former executive at Caribou Coffee, shares life lessons learned the hard way in this winning chronicle. He begins by movingly recounting how, as a young boy, he had to give up his dog to a neighbor boy after his bankrupt parents lost their home. This began a series of challenges for young Michael, but even as an adolescent, his entrepreneurial spirit was clearly in evidence. In fourth grade, he started a leaf-raking and snow-removal business that became so successful he had to hire employees. Through setbacks, such as a severe motorcycle accident that left him severely disabled, and achievements, including beating his dire prognosis to finish a post-accident cross-country bike trip and franchising his cookie company, he illustrates a never-give-up spirit. The 10 life lessons he extracts from these experiences include taking risks early in one’s career, finding and becoming a mentor, and offering customers the personal touch. Though framed for the business world, his advice can easily be adapted for the personal realm. Uplifting and entertainingly written, Coles’s work offers something for everyone who has ever faced and overcome a significant challenge. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
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