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Barefoot to Billionaire

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Published (first published August 28th 2014)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
"How does one build great wealth? Through focus, flexibility, hard work; by following one's intuition with self-confidence. And then there's the matter of being willing to bet the farm. A lot of people have those first attributes, but few dare to risk what they have earned to that point. Most would-be executives are reasonably good at conceptualizing, but poor at implementing new ideas and concepts. It is the individual who possesses both of these qualities, particularly the latter, who succeeds ...more
Valerie Haines
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was a tell all book about Mr. Hunstman. I enjoyed it more then I thought and his details about business deals were fascinating. It was enjoyable to learn a little about his family life and how the Hunstman Cancer Institute came to be. I struggled with him being a little more then confident and almost bragging through most of the book.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good. A little petty. The business growth and strategy were very enjoyable. The chapter on his family and how they are everything to him was moving and definitely the cherry on top.
David Zerangue
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I will start with some oddness regarding the ISBN number. I can only imagine the information associated with the number must have been preliminary information. Call Me Old-Fashioned vs Barefoot to Billionaire. Second, the length of the book is about 60 pages longer. Again, I would guess preliminary versus final draft.
I received this book as a Christmas gift from my company. They handed out signed editions to all associates. Many associates promptly placed the books on their bookshelves in their
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an amazing and honest memoir of Jon M Huntsman Sr, who started Huntsman Chemical. He started with nothing and grew his small company into a mammoth corporation, a leader in the chemical industry. He described starting and growing the company, with next to no money and financed much of the early growth with debt. It amazed me the sheer guts and tenacity Huntsman had running his business. He went bankrupt nearly three different times. It was awe-inspiring to read how he kept up on his ...more
Daryl Thompson
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read about a local Idaho boy with education and guts made billions. Interesting to read about his efforts to give it all away to good causes.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
My sister gave me this book for my birthday. Mr. Huntsman proved to be quite a writer. I liked his turn of phrase, and his story. I really enjoyed reading about his early life, and his family. The personal stories were most interesting to me. For instance, I had to smile when I realized that one of his first ventures was making and selling a Christmas album where various artists of the day sang, and they were sold in grocery stores. I remember our family owning it when I was in school. His big ...more
Fabrizio Poli
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of Jon Huntsman Sr is a fascinating read. He had a very different take on money compared to many. He believed that while it is important to give your family a nice lifestyle you also have to give to others. Even though he made billions of dollars, he gave most away. more money he donated to charity and more money he seemed to make, Jon kept giving and has left this legacy to his children and grandchildren, who continue to give.
Hunstman is a Christian and a man of great faith and this
Tammy Low
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the remarkable bigraphy of a remarkable man! Jon Huntsman set out to make a lot of money so he could give it away. A father of nine, he was able to keep a good balance of family, church service, and humanitarian service, all while leading a huge, multi billion dollar business. I don't know when he slept! One of my favorite anecdotes is that he rarely left less than a $100.00 tip. Even for a sandwich! He loved to see how happy it made the waiters and waitresses.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
The intense business stuff was not what I read this book for so I fast-forwarded through a lot of the middle but the way the foundation was laid and the ending stuff about the family was very interesting. It was helpful to get insights into where he came from and how Huntsman businesses were formed. It takes a certain mindset to be able to do what he did so more power to him! And earning money to give it away is a great aspiration.
Jacob Roberts
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Grateful to have learned more about a man who is so well-known and beloved in my community. Not as interested in the chemical business which seemed to go on and on at times. Thankful for his grit and determination in starting the cancer institute. I wish more had the desire to give away everything they had.
Jason Lewis
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great and inspiring

It has been fun to learn about this giant of a man and the process that made him who he was. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to rub shoulders with one of the greatest out there.
Ander Heaton
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: financial
This man is crazy, but very good at heart. I can't believe his crazy life, but he is a real character who wanted to build something powerful and to do some good. Plenty of faults but he didn't try to hide them from the tone of this very interesting biography.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Amazing places and circumstances he put himself in. Many things I did not know about him.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maybe I would give the book 4* and 5* to the man. An interesting and exhilarating autobiography.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting book. Easy to read and follow. Some humor and interesting anecdotes.
Aeron Downer
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a Cluster of a life he's been handed. He earned his Billions. That is indisputable.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give it a 4.5.. but it actually won't let me. this is a great book it gets a little repetitive at times. I really enjoyed reading it.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Book club choice: some of this was interesting, and some of it was tedious and overly technical. But I feel like I learned a lot about a very prominent (and influential) fellow Utahn.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and at times, inspiring.
Morgan Lyons
I guess I should finally review this one. Good not great. That's my take.
Obviously Huntsman Sr. was super rich and successful, and he did a lot of good for a lot of people. He also wasn't shy about letting us all know it. For all his talk of anonymity, this book was rife with the recounting of precise seven-figure donation amounts and the name-dropping of his many influential besties. I don't begrudge him any of his wealth or success, but surely I'm not the first person who felt this
Mary Lou
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book because I lived in the same neighborhood as the Huntsman's when they moved to Salt Lake. I had no idea the wheeling and dealing he was doing all the time. He was just another neighbor. I was mainly interested in the family and the history surrounding them. I got lost in all the details of his sells and transactions. This would be a great study for an MBA class, but I didn't really want to know such details.

I did find some great quotes from the book that I thought
Suzanne Hudson
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read of a savvy businessman who makes his fortune many times over and does his best to give it away. His humble beginnings form his character and lead him to Wharton School of Business which is life changing for him. He is not shy of singing his own praises but I suppose a man doesn't become a success like him without some swagger. I'm glad he gives credit to his wife in the final chapters for her unfailing faith and support, and recognizes he couldn't have built his business empire ...more
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
It was interesting to learn more about this prominent Utah citizen. From his business dealings, to his political interests, to his membership in the LDS church, to his personal health problems; he covers it all. He was unafraid about acknowledging his mistakes, and likewise very proud to boast about his success. That boastingt bugged me a bit, and between that and the complexities of some of his business deals, I sometimes skipped forward to get through some passages. He's done a lot of good for ...more
Jul 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The climax of the book was on or before page 178. Up until then it was an entrepreneur betting all and managing to survive, after that it seemed like just turning the crank generating more riches. There were some bumps and crisis after that, but by then he had already established his tenacity and unwillingness to fail.

I liked that he didn’t try to portray himself as perfect, or even orthodox.

One little thing that struck me a little strange is that he would paint someone as a total jerk. Then a
Carrie Snider
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it
If you are interested in business and how one of the richest businessmen in the world today got where he is, this is an interesting read. He started out in close to poverty in Blackfoot, Idaho, and made his way to the top. He had an interesting life, spending some time at the White House and also with many LDS Church leaders. I like that his motivation was to give so much of his money to charity, specifically building the Huntsman Cancer Institute. He did toot his own horn a lot in this book, so ...more
John Jannuzzi
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He is a driven, and generous person. While living in the financial Stratosphere, he has managed to stay grounded and is aware of, and responds to the needs of many. He noted that of Forbes 400 richest Americans, less than 2% of them signed on to the $600 billion Giving Pledge.

Jon is very open, and candid in the book. He told it all, including some very personal experiences and feelings. Except for maybe the second qarter of the book, which pertained to his many business acquisitions, I found
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating autobiography of Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. It was so interesting to read the inside story of his life and how he got to where he is today. He is very driven, and has an amazing amount of integrity that is severely lacking in most of the business world today. I really admire his generosity and loved hearing more in depth about his charitable causes that he is so passionate about.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I love biographies, particularly of individuals who overcame early set backs, and made a difference in the world. I liked the personal stories about Jon Huntsman, and I gained greater appreciation for all of the good he is doing.

If you like biographies, I also recommend "Gifted Hands" about Ben Carson.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jon says it straight and I would love to get his opinion on a myriad of topics and ideas. I never had the feeling he was bragging because the book was simply about putting it all on the table: the good and the bad. His insight to life's experiences was tremendously helpful to me. Thanks and best wishes, Jon.
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Jon Meade Huntsman, Sr. was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was the founder and executive chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a global manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals. He was the father of Jon Huntsman a former United States Ambassador to Singapore, China, and (as of 2017) Russia and a former Governor of Utah .