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Raising Eyebrows. A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets it Right

  • ID: 1429129
  • Book
  • October 2010
  • 338 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Praise for Raising Eyebrows

"Dal LaMagna tells his story with startling candor about how he learned from his business and personal failures to develop that combination of resiliency, curiosity, and necessary entrepreneurial discipline to build a successful company, sell it at the top, and open up many other new initiatives."

?Ralph Nader, leading consumer advocate

"Raising Eyebrows is the story of an indefatigable entrepreneur and adventurer who meets life's failures with an unrelenting forcefulness to always forge forward. Dal's book is a lesson in innovative life engagement and the power of unbending will."

?Juleanna Glover, republican strategist, founding principal at The Ashcroft Group, LLC

"Dal's improbable success after many failures is a lesson for all of us not only about business but about life. Dal tells his story in a delightfully humorous 'no–holds–barred way' and shares what he has learned about creating a business that benefits society as a whole. This is a really good read. Dal rocks."

?Ben Cohen, co–founder, Ben and Jerry's

"Dal LaMagna is one of the funniest, most original people I've ever met. He puts his money, passion, and creativity to work for what he believes in. I say that with particular appreciation because he was the first person ever to invest in me. Dal is a born storyteller who has good material to work with. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh?and think about how you are living your life."

?Nina Rothschild Utne, co–founder, Utne Reader, and founder, Future Fit

"Dal LaMagna is a great storyteller, both funny and emotionally deep. He has gotten into and out of more trouble than any ten of us. This makes great stories, but it also allows him to teach the essence of entrepreneurship in a memorable and entertaining way. In addition to the laughs and thrills, reading Raising Eyebrows will make you a better businessperson and a better human being."

?Gifford Pinchot III, co–founder, Bainbridge Graduate Institute

"Dal's book is delightful, entertaining, real, thought–provoking, and when it is over, you are inspired to live a more authentic, adventurous, and courageous life. Read it so you too can become a more engaged citizen for the peace and well–being of the world."

?Jodie Evans, co–founder, CodePink
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PART I: Everyone Starts Somewhere.

Chapter One: Fortune.

Chapter Two: Know What You Want and How to Get It.

Chapter Three: The Truth.

Chapter Four: Believing.

Chapter Five: Change.

Chapter Six: Publicity.

Chapter Seven: Be Organized.

Chapter Eight: Going International.

Chapter Nine: Don't Spend Money (Unless You Have To).

Chapter Ten: Making It.

Chapter Eleven: Problems Are Opportunities.

Chapter Twelve: Boxed In.

PART II: The Do's and the Don'ts.

Chapter Thirteen: Be Careful.

Chapter Fourteen: Some Things Can't Be Saved.

Chapter Fifteen: The Noise Stops Here.

Chapter Sixteen: Luck.

Chapter Seventeen: Partners.

Chapter Eighteen: Make Sure It Works.

PART III: Building the Business.

Chapter Nineteen: Don't Despair.

Chapter Twenty: Great Ideas.

Chapter Twenty–One: Focus.

Chapter Twenty–Two: Don't Create Overhead (Have I Said This Before?)

Chapter Twenty–Three: A Rising Tide Lifts All Yachts.

Chapter Twenty–Four: A Hollywood Detour.

Chapter Twenty–Five: Finally, a Marriage.

Chapter Twenty–Six: Rededication.

Chapter Twenty–Seven: The Fearlessness of Expansion.

Chapter Twenty–Eight: Oprah and the Goliaths.

PART IV: Why Are You Doing This?

Chapter Twenty–Nine: Beyond Business.

Chapter Thirty: Congressman as a Brand.

Chapter Thirty–One: Tragedy.

Chapter Thirty–Two: Opportunity.

Chapter Thirty–Three: The Big Sell.

Chapter Thirty–Four: The Negotiation.

PART V: Citizen Diplomat.

Chapter Thirty–Five: Good Morning, Baghdad.

Chapter Thirty–Six: Filling a Hole.

Additional Photos.

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Lessons from a Compulsive Entrepreneur

Connect with Wiley Publicity

Like the start of most small businesses, Tweezerman was a one-man show. Founder Dal LaMagna did all the selling, inventory management, bookkeeping, shipping, and deliveries himself. He operated out of a 400-square-foot bungalow that was his office, warehouse, and home. His initial investment was $500. Years later, he sold the company and walked away with $30 million.

LaMagna’s new business memoir, Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right (John Wiley & Sons), written with his two lifelong friends, Wally Carbone and Carla S. Reuben, is unlike any other. For those who are tired of entrepreneurship stories that gloss over hardships or sugarcoat risks, LaMagna pulls no punches in depicting the long and difficult work of realizing one’s dreams. But he makes you laugh along the way.

A self-described “compulsive capitalist,” LaMagna had his first entrepreneurial success at age 8. From a computer dating service in college and drive-in discos, to a beachside concession stand, psychedelic light boxes, and waterbeds, LaMagna’s many money-making schemes tell the story of a sixties-era seeker who was irrepressible in his ambitions, creativity, and resilience.

Every time one of his serial businesses flopped, he got smarter. By the time he flashed on the idea for Tweezerman — after an erotic interlude on a splintery deck in California — LaMagna had more than earned his business chops. He went on to build a legendary, socially responsible American business that has inspired a new generation of visionary capitalists.

LaMagna delivers valuable lessons for budding entrepreneurs through sometimes hilarious, often cringe-worthy stories about his multiple business flops.

Readers also learn:
- Best and worst ways to finance your business dream
- What to look for in a partner
- How to risk it all, fail, and bounce back stronger
- Top tips on managing debt and revenue
- How to be a responsible capitalist — and why you should

Ben Cohen, of Ben & Jerry’s, calls Raising Eyebrows “delightfully humorous.” In addition to being a page-turning, fun read, LaMagna’s book is invaluable for every small business person who wants to make a difference in the world — and earn a lot of money doing it.
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Dal LaMagna is a serial entrepreneur who in 1979 founded Tweezerman, a beauty tool manufacturer he built into a multinational socially responsible brand. Although he sold the company in 2004, LaMagna is still widely known as the Tweezerman and continues to sit on the company's board of directors. A responsible capitalism activist, LaMagna is a major funder and active trustee of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), which awards MBAs in sustainable business. He has executive produced four feature–length Iraq War films: The Ground Truth, The War Tapes, Meeting Resistance, and Iraq for Sale. In 2008, he cofounded Reel U Films and produced and distributed War Child, a film about the life story of Emmanuel Jal, a Sudanese child soldier. LaMagna is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Carla S. Reuben has written screenplays for feature films and published short stories in literary magazines, including Plowshares and No Exit. She completed her first novel, Camels in the Rain, and is currently working on her second.

Wally Carbone is a writer/director who has written or cowritten dozens of screenplays. He is currently completing a novel. Carla and Wally live in upstate New York with their twelve Labrador retrievers.
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