Foreword Reviews


What It Takes to Survive as an Entrepreneur

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

FUEL charts one entrepreneur’s successes while offering practical guidance for others with similar drive and determination.

In FUEL: What It Takes to Survive as an Entrepreneur, GYMGUYZ founder Josh York shares the twists, turns, and detours he faced to become a successful business owner and franchisor. His story contains anecdotal advice aimed at inspiring others who hope to launch their own successful start-ups.

York found little to hold his interest in the traditional school setting; the same was true for his first job out of college, a position at a marketing firm. He turned to moonlighting as a personal trainer at a gym, where one late-arriving client made an offhand comment that spawned his company, GYMGUYZ, which brings a personal trainer and a van full of fitness gear to the customer’s location.

Some of the book’s best stories come from the early days of York’s company, when it was a one-trainer, one-van enterprise that left him falling into bed late after days packed with a bevy of clients and networking activities. York’s writing style fits that determined approach to fitness and franchise building, offering absorbing anecdotes told in a to-the-point manner that lets the events speak for themselves. Likewise, the book’s relatively short chapters, which use personal stories to prove York’s points about business building, help keep FUEL moving.

Analogies and acronyms provide additional structure for the story; some work better than others. For instance, FUEL and DRIVE are logical partners within the text and are concepts that York employs every day. FUEL—fun, unity, earnings, and leadership—encompasses his key business concepts; the book explains how each fits into the company’s business model. He demands DRIVE—determination, respect, integrity, versatility, and excellence—of his employees and himself; specific examples illustrate these ideals. Analogies, such as one between being a medical doctor and a personal trainer or entrepreneur, are less effective because they aren’t as well fleshed out.

Candid vignettes about York’s travails and triumphs serve to illustrate his own drive to be successful, though some are too short on information to be truly instructive to other aspiring entrepreneurs. For instance, stories on how he made an impression at a key business meeting or struck up a conversation while on vacation offer few specifics on how he sealed deals in the end. Similarly, the book’s last chapter touches on balance between personal and professional lives but stops short of proposing exactly how to maintain a healthy schedule.

Part memoir, part how-to guide, FUEL charts one entrepreneur’s successes while offering practical guidance for others with similar drive and determination.

Reviewed by Charlene Oldham

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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