You can hear the voice of Wayne Rogers while reading his book, "Make Your Own Rules: A Renegade Guide to Unconventional Success."
Although Wayne Rogers is better known nowadays for his appearances as a panelist on the Fox Business Channel, once upon a time he was involved with a little TV series called "M.A.S.H." A Princeton grad, Rogers has been a serial investor and entrepreneur so his smarts extend beyond drinking home brew in The Swamp. I confess to being highly biased in his favor when, early in the book, he notes:
"I have never read a business book; therefore, this will not be a conventional business book. I often see 'how-to' manuals for every type of business and books on how to 'win' in business. I have no interest in telling you what you should or should not do or in giving you lessons about how to get involved in a business, start a business, or run a business. I have no step-by-step plan for success or surefire tips to becoming a millionaire."
He goes on to say that the book will only say what worked and didn't work for him and why.
So what do you learn? Precisely that. Rogers's book is an informal business memoir of his real estate and development deals; the sort of account that you might hear if you'd played golf with him and he decided to tell some business tales. [I thought his metaphor of a tray of food to describe derivatives was rather nifty.]
Although an important part of his message is that he was able to use his creative side in his business ventures, the book is more a story of a man who performs three basics very well: He picks extraordinary associates, he does his homework, and he always has an eye open for opportunity.
To his credit, Wayne Rogers uses "we" far more than "I." He tells how his teams were able to achieve success in a variety of businesses, ranging from vineyards to bridal shops. I found it refreshing that he didn't try to peddle a magic formula. He clearly acknowledges that the elements don't always work and that business can be more poetry than prose.
Readers who are looking for a bunch of show biz anecdotes will be disappointed. The main character of this book is the entrepreneur. If you are in business, you know that is dramatic enough. An enjoyable read. Check it out.