Foreword Reviews

The Cost of Greatness

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Simple, to the point, and humble, The Cost of Greatness is an inspiring story for budding entrepreneurs and those hoping to build a successful business from the ground up.

Most people know what “success” means to them: financial security, healthy relationships, a future built on a solid foundation. But how to get there? Ryan Gilliam’s thoughtful and thorough The Cost of Greatness offers a road map for starting a business and keeping it successful. Using lessons from Gilliam’s own path to financial and personal confidence, The Cost of Greatness is authentic and accessible from the very first page.

“I went from barely having ten thousand dollars to start a business, to growing that business to over five million dollars in revenue,” Gilliam begins. His strategies are all firmly rooted in his own experience—no snake oil here, just honest advice from someone who’s been there. Gilliam’s perspective is refreshing. Rather than viewing obstacles as setbacks, he treats everything as an opportunity to learn. Failure is his greatest teacher, and he passes the lessons on with warmth and humor.

The Cost of Greatness is organized like an inspirational memoir, not a how-to manual. Gilliam’s story is engaging, and he is a likable narrator. Rather than rely exclusively on his experience, however, the book is peppered with helpful information, such as insights on profitability and cash flow.

By following the money trail, Gilliam became a millionaire by the time he turned thirty, putting in plenty of hard work and long hours. He makes it clear that success doesn’t come easily, but once opportunity starts showing up, anyone can capitalize and turn a profit. For Gilliam, those opportunities are a chain of autism-specific treatment centers in Florida. As the first business of its kind, the centers enjoyed rapid success, but not without some financial missteps along the way.

The Cost of Greatness is not a typical wealth management manual. Gilliam is quick to point out where he went wrong, and much of the book is a tally of the ways he failed. He’s unflinchingly honest about his shortcomings as a business owner, husband, and human being. He is also quick to give credit to God for much of his success, which often follows on the heels of a prayer or a visit to his pastor. After realizing he’ll have to close one of his clinics—the first closure in his business’s history—Gilliam admits, “All our problems were created by my stupid ambitions.” His openness makes Gilliam a relatable writer, and makes his success seem attainable. Rather than follow a secret formula or flow chart, his millions came from a change in his attitude—a change that anyone could make.

Simple, to the point, and humble, The Cost of Greatness is an inspiring story for budding entrepreneurs and those hoping to build a successful business from the ground up.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

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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