Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire's No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs
HarperCollins Leadership
WSJ Best Seller

A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs

Paychex Founder, Tom Golisano shares the hard-won lessons from his entrepreneurship journey in BUILT NOT BORN, a guide to growing a company to any size by going against the grain like he did.

About the Book

Built, Not Born is for current or aspiring business owners who feel nervous about the risks of entrepreneurship. Tom Golisano, self-made billionaire and founder of Paychex, believes starting a business isn’t as risky as you might think and provides no-nonsense, often humorous advice on how to succeed in all phases of business ownership.

Starting a business can often feel like performing a high-wire act for the first time, without a safety net. After taking that first brave step, the early phases of business ownership can still feel fraught with risk; every decision seems to have the power to sink your entrepreneurial dreams.

Tom Golisano understands the fears, risks, and challenges small-business owners face every day–he’s lived it. He has launched and grown his own highly successful businesses and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs, helping them build their own successful companies. In Built, Not Born, Golisano shows readers that starting a new business is, in many ways, far less risky than more traditional career paths, especially in our current age of disruption.

Golisano shares the knowledge and wisdom he wishes he’d had when he started Paychex over thirty years ago, with just $3,000 from the sale of a small business he launched from the basement of his home, and a much-abused credit card. Today, Paychex has a market value of $28 billion.

In his trademark direct and often humorous style, Golisano provides no-nonsense advice across all phases of business ownership, including:


How going against the grain can be a great strategy for finding business opportunities and why it pays to question conventional wisdom


Why the power of the pregnant pause can be your best weapon when negotiating and when interviewing potential employees


Why a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement is critical to your business

Getting Funded

What potential buyers and funding sources look for, and the best way to present your business plan

Growth and Leadership

The key growth and leadership strategies that have helped Paychex sustain its incredible level of growth and profitability

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About Tom Golisano

Thomas Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader—is the founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, Inc., headquartered in Rochester, New York, with more than 15,500 employees and 100 office locations nationwide.

Before starting Paychex, the prevailing wisdom was that it was a waste of time selling payroll services to companies with fewer than 50 employees. Golisano, however, saw an opportunity; he did the math and proved that smaller companies needed payroll processing services just as much as larger companies, while still offering an excellent return on investment. He grew Paychex one partner and franchisee at a time, over many years, and today the company has a market value of $28 billion. Still active in business and philanthropy, he currently mentors the entrepreneurs who run the businesses in which he has invested, and he also oversees his family’s charitable foundation. To date, he has donated over $300 million to a wide range of charitable causes, including educational institutions, children’s hospitals, and especially organizations helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.



Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire's No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs
HarperCollins Leadership
WSJ Best Seller