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The Magic of Tiny Business: You Don't Have to Go Big to Make a Great Living
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The Magic of Tiny Business: You Don't Have to Go Big to Make a Great Living

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  273 ratings  ·  46 reviews
"This is a powerful book--tiny is mighty. Sharon Rowe's simple shift in thinking is a profound idea, precisely what we need to hear."
--Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

Too many of us feel trapped by work that keeps us from living our purpose. We fantasize about starting our own business, yet we're warned against falling into debt, working eighty hours a week, and coping with
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone that is very familiar with the tiny business, I found this book so very full of awesome information! The author, creator of @ecobags_us breaks everything down: from time management to public speaking and makes everything feel less intimidating and totally doable. I highly recommend this book for small business starters, those that have been in for a while and those that want to spark a change in their life! A big thank you to @getredpr and @sharonrowe_ for sending me a copy (and an aw ...more
Ivaylo Durmonski
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
The first things you will want to do after reading The Magic of Tiny Business by Sharon Rowe will probably be to start your own company. In this book, Sharon - the founder of a million dollar tiny business - is sharing her story about her company called EcoBags. The difficulties, the mistakes, and finally the sweet taste of success after several years of hard work. If you're planning to start a business on your own, read this book first. Read my full review here: ...more
Melissa Flower
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of the book. I cannot say how much it has already inspired me. Learning about business has always seemed so out of reach, all these books that are mundane, assume all you want to do is get rich. The narrative is so repetitive and strained. I have felt for a while that I somehow failed myself because I was so financially reliant on my husband and I do not have the skills to survive in the real world on my own. I am doing it, but it seems like the narrat ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it

Sometimes, the problem is one of increments and scale.

After 25 years of full-time corporate work, I recently looked at my husband in defeat. You could hide one of my three young children in the bags beneath my eyes and rock another to sleep in the anxious pulse forever beating at the base of my neck.

--Can we talk?--
“I think I have to quit my job,” I said to him in horror, using words I never expected to utter.

He carefully raised a full curtain panel of the Los Angeles Times between us – the Sund
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
If you’ve read a lot of Inc magazine articles, or other books are starting your own business, you will find this book trods familiar ground. The focus was on operating your business, not on the initial sparks of creation. So you learn it's not all magic. Then you learn about the "tiny" side of the title. The focus was also on “tiny business”, but while some of the book is about those tiny businesses you tend to call side-hustles, much of the book is about businesses that are larger. The book is ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. The book helped me look at my own business in a more realistic way, without minimizing it for being small. And it helped me see the benefits of a tiny business. Growth just for growth’s sake is just not something I need. I prefer to do something I love and enjoy it!
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because my goal is to have a business with a “tiny” ethos. I want to open a sustainable, zero-waste coffee shop that sources locally. I don’t want a grand, expensive life, I want to live sustainably, ethically, and minimally. I want to work enough to be able to travel for at least two months out of the year and have a cute little eco-friendly family.

WANTED: a fun boy interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle, loves being outside, enjoys drinking coffee, and wants to build a t
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like the French Press rule/exercise- what is all you need to keep you happy / grounded. I wish there was more of this.

Later on there is Choose a New Habit and later Quit

These were the best takeaways from the book which is a little repetitive at the start. And is mostly a how I did it.

Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a fast read and informative. I liked that i can apply some of her tips and advice to other areas of life, not just business.
Nithianandan Balagopalan
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
I have read several books that would fall into the category of 'Management' or 'Self-Help' or 'Business'. I am well acquainted with the works of authors from this domain.

I rate 'THE MAGIC OF TINY BUSINESS' by SHARON ROWE as the BEST BOOK EVER READ BY ME on the subject of 'Management' or 'Self-Help (For Entrepreneurial Pursuits) or 'Business' or better still on the subject of the point of intersection of all three.

Crisply written and on a very focused subject, this book is a must-read for anyone
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this. The advice in the beginning to set your goals and your guiding principles right from the start is particularly useful. When an opportunities and challenges arise, always return to that core belief and test solutions and actions against whether they'll keep you true to your mission or not. I especially liked, implicitly, that the book basically gives you permission to start a business that doesn't have to get enormous and earn millions. There are lots of us in the world who want to ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNFed around 40%. This is a really misleading book!

I thought, based upon the title and the blurb, it was going to be about how to start and maintain a small business that you want to stay as a small business. Early in the book she starts talking about million dollar profits and making money all over the world and I was like, WTF? This is the opposite of tiny business. Not that small businesses must automatically equate to small profits, but that blurb sounds like a completely different book than
Matt Hutson
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Barrett-Koehler Publishers asked me to give an honest review of this book about how to build a Tiny Business from the ground up. I was pleased with the topic of this book because it fits directly with what I am working on right now in my own life. Building a Tiny Business.

I felt like Sharon Rowe did a great job of being 'different' from the rest of the self-help guru entrepreneur authors out there. After all, she comes from a different background from those jet-fueled productivity junkies. She h
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Winning in life is more then just money. I was able to peek my head into the world of a Magic tiny business. After finishing her book I'd love to Sharon to be a possible collaborator.

Nuggets of Truth:

Growth is good but not growth at all costs
It makes you a living and still gives you space to live
Risk tolerance
What are you working for really?
Whats enough money?
Get the lay of the land
Internet acquaintance
Practice takes practice
Don't let your business become busy-ness
Don't go mental go incremen
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
When the author uses the word tiny, it doesn't mean keeping your business sized that way. Which ends up putting this book in with all the other business advice books about being a million dollar enterprise with suppliers, employees, contracts, benefits, warehousing, office space etc. While there are some good bits of info, I would have preferred the book go in the direction of how to keep your business from becoming a sprawling entity and instead being focused on your local market and how to be ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, borrowed
A memoir of how one organized lady runs her Oprah-endorsed reusable bag industry, including quite liberal interpretations of the words "tiny" and "don't have to go big"
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexandra Cross
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok

I always feel terrible giving low ratings to books. I related a lot of the author, I respected and agreed with her choices, both with her sustainable business and the 'me time' in her business structure.

However, I was able to read through this very quickly. The key take aways were put into bullet points which left me thinking it could have been a really solid blog post.

But a 160 page book? Meh.

The other reason for the two stars is that this book isn't really about owning a tiny business. The a
Dean Murray
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciate this little book. having had a tiny business for many years, I wish I had this book when I started out. It makes the least appealing aspects of this sort of thing so much easier, and I really like the light, friendly tone. Perhaps some readers will find the book a little too much like a pop psychology self-help book, but for anyone shying away from taking on a new project, the warm encouragement could be most welcome. I like the balance between realism and gentleness, and the ...more
Beth Hale
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Magic of Tiny Business is informative, engaging, and filled with tips for how to start a small business.

Sharon Rowe talks about her business, and the mistakes she made throughout growing said business.

She also talks about what she did right and offers tips.

I’m only giving this 4 stars. While I found the tips and information valuable, I think Rowe kept circling back to own business too much. I wasn’t personally interested that she swims almost every day or that she was an actress before ECOBA
Veronica F
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
What I liked- there was some great energy throughout the book, there were a few great ideas/thoughts that made me stop and think... especially 80/20, and it was a quick read written in normal English not business lingo.

What I didn't like- I thought it would a business book not a book about a bag maker who is in business, it was not the path many entrepreneurs have taken and it is a common path. I get we are to learn from it, but there not enough help to get from A to B. It was you are at A now
Bree Taylor
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
What a fascinating concept. Get really specific and "tiny" with your business plan and purpose. And the business will thrive.

Sharon Rowe provides a number of excellent techniques for getting your business thriving. The only part that seemed to be missing was the middle ground. She talks about how her business was still "small" when they were pulling in $700,000 per year. That feels enormous in my own business! I would have loved more specifics on how to get to that point!
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good book with a misleading title, which is good. Apparently, by tiny, the author more means to designate a business that does not consume your entire life, but instead leaves you time to enjoy your family, take vacations and not work until 11 PM every night. She designates her own $3MM business as "tiny" in this regard. So this is definitely a book for those that run most any kind of home-based business, whether large or small.
Karen Whooley
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tiny Business is where it's at!

Having just come off reading Paul Jarvis's book Company of One, this book was a great dovetail into it! Sharon shares her story about building a small company with scaling as needed. It really put being small in perspective.

As a small business myself I found this to be exactly what I needed to help me shape my 20 year old business to be more profitable yet remain small with keeping my values in tact.
Cameron Norman
Slow start, meh finish

This wasn’t what I’d hoped for. It might be a good read for someone in a similar business, but I didn’t get much insight into what a tiny business is and how it fits with my company. It was a very personal book, which might appeal to some, but wasn’t hooking me. The book becomes more practical as it moves on, but not enough to save it for me. Some people will like this and I hope it’s you.
Laurie Gershgorn
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As one of the first small green product companies, Eco-bags' founder Sharon Rowe guides the small business owner through a refreshing, practical approach to running a small business. It is a fun read as Sharon takes the reader through her trials, tribulations, and successes - from idea conception to the present.
Emmy Nota
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, I expected this book to be highly inspirational and motivating, since the idea of ‘tiny business’ - like the tiny house movement - IS inspirational: focus on the core of what is needed and go for only that. Have laser focus. However the book largely entails practical business advice on marketing, networking, the importance of proper finance. Inspiring? Not so much.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting business start up story - that grew into something much more than I would call 'tiny'. The word tiny in this instance doesn't refer to the size of the business but to a theory of work life balance. I was able to pick up a few points in the short read that were helpful /motivational, but on the whole it was unrealistic for my business situation.
Onie Maniego
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, business
Beautiful book.

I felt this book called me to read it. I felt connected to Sharon's experiences before quitting her job. Although circumstances differ, her book beautifully addresses real obstacles and opportunities that a passionate entrepreneur might encounter.

I highly recommend this to people who know that they are truly destined for entrepreneurship but are still afraid to begin.
Carla Brown
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many inspiring Tiny business tips.

A big thank you to Sharon Rowe for sharing her stories of her Tiny business. This book brought clarity to ideas that have popped into my mind as I worked to create my unique business of one. I can create my own Tiny business that grows, connects and develops through all the seasons of my life.
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I am a social entrepreneur, author, speaker, and CEO. I founded Eco-Bags Products to “clean up the planet one bag at a time” make a good living and put family first.

You can find out more about my business here:

Here's what Seth Godin, Author of Linchpin, says about my book:
"This is a powerful book--Tiny is mighty. Sharon Rowe's simple shift in thinking is a profound idea, pr

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