In Killing It, the former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-founder of Plum, and serial entrepreneur Sheryl O’Loughlin offers insights about launching and growing a business while maintaining a fulfilled life in this practical guide filled with hard-won advice culled from the author’s own sometimes dark, raw experiences. The book contains a foreword by Steve Blank.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are told that to launch a business, you must go all in, devoting every resource and moment to making it work. But following this advice comes at an enormous personal cost: divorce, addiction, even suicide. It means sacrificing the intangibles that make life worth living. Sheryl O’Loughlin knows there is a better way. In Killing It, she shares the wisdom she’s gained from her successful experiences launching a company from the ground up (Plum), running two fast-growing companies (Clif Bar and REBBL), and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs (Stanford University). She tells it like it is: If you don’t invest in your wellbeing, your business will not succeed, nor will you.
Sheryl knows firsthand the difficulty of balancing the needs of her growing family with her physical and mental health, while managing other work and life challenges. In this warm, honest, and wise handbook, she gives you the essentials for killing it in business—without killing the rest of your life.
Filled with real-life examples and anecdotes, Killing It addresses common questions including:
How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture?
How do you time launching and growing your business with the ebb and flow of family life?
How do you find joy in the day-to-day?
How do you maintain meaningful, supportive friendships?
How do you walk away and start again?
The ultimate life and business course, Killing It gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to start their enterprise and thrive—both in the office and at home.
Before you have a baby, everyone gives you advice, but you can't really know what it's like until you’re in it. It's similar with entrepreneurship. But my hope is that when someone starts their entrepreneurial journey, they’ll at least have eyes wide open and think, ‘Oh, wait… I've read about this before. I'm not alone.’
I'm hoping the book will get entrepreneurs to think more deeply about what they're doing at different junctures. And I hope it encourages them to reach out to someone if they need to—and we all need to. I think every entrepreneur should have a third-party business therapist. Not a board member, not an investor, just someone to go to and say, ‘I’ve had a lousy day (week, month), and I can't shake myself out of it.’
Killing It is written for aspiring entrepreneurs, and recovering entrepreneurs. My hope is that for this last group, the book will be cathartic. It's also for ‘wannapreneurs’—those who might work in the corporate world but are thinking of making a change.
I also wrote KILLING IT for millennials who see the world and their place in it in a very different way, one that's not about men or women but about the human experience. My hope is that all readers will take off their masks and really talk to each other.
About the author
As a child, Sheryl O'Loughlin was best known for rushing everywhere and being too impatient to pour milk into a glass before drinking it. As an adult, Sheryl is no less eager. She served as the CEO of Clif Bar, where she introduced the world to Luna bars; she was the cofounder and CEO of Plum Organics; and she is currently CEO of REBBL super herb beverages. One of her favorite roles was mentoring budding entrepreneurs when she was the executive director at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. With her book, Sheryl is able to share her advice with a wider group of current and aspiring entrepreneurs all at once, which delights her because, well, it's faster. And that means more time for drinking wine at her Santa Rosa home, and hanging out with her husband and two sons.
Why LoA loves it….
If there is one thing we see and hear often in the Lionesses of Africa community, it’s women entrepreneurs putting everything have, mind body and soul, into their businesses, often at the detriment of their personal lives, health and wellbeing. Finding advice, information and insights from someone who has been there and come through this crazy entrepreneurial journey successfully, is really important. This book by Sheryl O’Loughlin is wonderfully insightful, personally told and ultimately relatable. A must read for all those women entrepreneurs who are trying to thrive both in the business and in their personal lives. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa