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Growing a Business – Paul Hawken

“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” 

Paul Hawken (born February 8, 1946, California) is an environmentalistentrepreneur, and author. 

Hawken has written seven books. His 1975 The Magic of Find horn popularized the community of Find horn, an ecological spiritual center in Scotland. Most of his subsequent books cover business, activism, and sustainable practices. These include The Next Economy (1983), Growing a Business, and The Ecology of Commerce (1993),  in which he coined the term “restorative economy”.

The businessman and environmentalist Ray Anderson of Interface, Inc. credited The Ecology of Commerce with his environmental awakening. He described reading it as a “spear in the chest experience”, after which Anderson started crisscrossing the country with a near-evangelical fervor, telling fellow executives about the need to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Hawken’s book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (1999), coauthored with Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins, popularized the now-standard idea of natural capital and direct accounting for ecosystem services. Natural Capitalism has been translated into 26 other languages.

Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, published by Viking Press (New York) in May 2007, argues that a vast world-changing “movement with no name” is now forming, which Hawken believes will prevail. He conceives of this “movement” as developing not by ideology but rather through the identification of what is and is not humane, like an immune system. [From: Wikipedia.com]

“The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them.” 

Nearly everyone harbors a secret dream of starting or owning a business. In fact, 1,000,000 businesses start in the United States every year. Many of them fail, but enough succeed so that small businesses are now adding millions of jobs to the economy at the same time that the Fortune 500 companies are actually losing jobs.

Paul Hawken — entrepreneur and best-selling author — wrote Growing a Business for those who set out to make their dream a reality. He knows what he’s talking about; he is his own best example of success. In the early 1970’s, while he was still in his twenties, he founded Erewhon, the largest distributor of natural foods. More recently, he founded and still runs Smith & Hawken, the premier mail-order garden tool company. And he wrote a critically acclaimed book called The Next Economy about the future of the economy.
Using examples like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream, and University National Bank of Palo Alto, California, Hawken shows that the successful business is an expression of an individual person.

The most successful business, your idea for a business, will grow from something that is deep within you, something that can’t be stolen by anyone because it is so uniquely yours that anyone else who tried to execute your idea would fail.

He dispels the myth of the risk-taking entrepreneur. The purpose of business, he points out, is not to take risks but rather to get something done. [From: Amazon.com]


“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data.
But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.
What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.”


Kirkus Reviews
… A standout in an overcrowded field.

…a wonderful combination of hardheaded business acumen, plain common sense, humor, and warmth.

San Francisco Chronicle
Growing a Business is highly readable….Its ideas on doing business deserve widespread circulation, discussion and recognition.

WomanSource Catalog & Review:
Tools for Connecting the Community for Women

Creativity is probably one of the most important characteristics shared by the most successful entrepreneurs. In this book, Paul Hawken tells interesting stories about the creative strategies employed by successful business owners. Most successful entrepreneurs are not conventional, and neither is this book. He talks about entrepreneurs as risk-avoiders rather than risk-takers, about the necessity and even desirability of “problems,” and about the paramount importance of customer relations. The goal of Paul’s company is to create customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. This is where small business can compete with the big players in the market. Be brave, creative and non-conventional.
—Irene Hurst [From: Barnesandnoble.com]

Encyclopedia of Earth lists his many awards and recognition >

 You can visit his website Here >

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