Kick Up Some Dust

Lessons on Thinking Big, Giving Back, and Doing It Yourself

Description

A candid, rollicking business memoir from the Home Depot cofounder, filled with personal stories, savvy business advice, and timeless lessons for a life well lived

"A classic Cinderella story of the American dream fulfilled, told with humor and honesty." — GARY SINISE

"An extraordinary story. ... [Tells] Marcus's version of the American dream, from tenement to boardroom, homespun into lessons for readers wanting to make it in business or philanthropy." — Financial Times

The start of Home Depot sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: Two Jews and an Italian decide to build a new kind of hardware store... In 1978, Bernie Marcus's livelihood depended on just such a scenario. Having been fired at the age of forty-nine, he teamed up with Arthur Blank and Ken Langone on a bold new endeavor. Their first day in business was so disastrous that the next morning, Marcus's wife wouldn't let him shave because she didn't want a razor in his hands. But the last laugh would be theirs, as the business partners grew Home Depot into the world's largest home improvement retailer, empowering millions of Americans to "do it yourself."

"Doing it yourself" has been the theme of Bernie Marcus's entire life. By the time he was fifteen, he had held more than a dozen jobs, joined a gang, and worked as a hypnotist in the Catskills. The son of a cabinetmaker and garment worker who survived the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Bernie overcame a hardscrabble upbringing to author one of the best entrepreneurial stories in American history. Today, Home Depot employs 500,000 associates at 2,300 stores and is one of the most recognized and admired companies in the world.

The same energy that made Home Depot successful has helped Bernie give away more than $2 billion and pioneer a new model for philanthropy, transforming millions of lives. There is no single, winning formula for trying to make the world a better place, but Bernie shares what he's learned—that the skills needed to build a Fortune 500 company are the same ones that can help cure cancer, treat veterans with PTSD, and transform autism treatment. And it doesn't take a fortune to make a big difference in your community.

Kick Up Some Dust will inspire you to dream, build, and give—and, maybe, change the world.

About the author(s)

BERNIE MARCUS co-founded Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, and served as its inaugural CEO and as its chairman until his retirement in 2002. Over the last several decades, he has redirected his entrepreneurial spirit toward hundreds of charitable endeavors to solve big problems. He has given away more than $2 billion and is a signatory of the Giving Pledge.

Reviews

"An extraordinary story. ... [Tells] Marcus's version of the American dream, from tenement to boardroom, homespun into lessons for readers wanting to make it in business or philanthropy." — Financial Times

"A call to do big things and change the world." — Atlanta Jewish Times

"Jam-packed with lessons, tools, and several lives wrapped into one. ... [A] pull-yourself-up by-your-bootstraps, rags-to-riches tale." — Philanthropy News Digest

"Full of stories and humor." — New York Post

"Kick Up Some Dust is a classic Cinderella story of the American dream fulfilled, told with humor and honesty. Bernie shows us that 'do it yourself' is more than a theory; it's a way of life." — GARY SINISE, actor, philanthropist, and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation

"Bernie Marcus is a legend in entrepreneurial philanthropy, having invested in people-focused projects and life-changing institutions all over the nation. In Kick Up Some Dust, he shares his ideas, lessons learned, and philosophy about life and business that will inspire you." — SHIRLEY FRANKLIN, former mayor of Atlanta

"Bernie Marcus will go down in history as one of the greatest business minds and truly thoughtful philanthropists of our time. His life and accomplishments are a direct result of a unique ability to think around corners with unbound vision and courage to pursue what many believe to be impossible. The lessons he share in Kick Up Some Dust will benefit anyone who aspires to build their biggest dreams now and in the future." — ARTHUR M. BLANK, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons

"In this book, Bernie Marcus chronicles his remarkable trajectory from the child of immigrants to a revolutionary business leader to a philanthropist whose contributions have driven discovery and improved countless lives. Bernie is living proof of the power not only of 'doing it yourself' but also of giving back, and Kick Up Some Dust embodies this ethos." — RON DANIELS, president, Johns Hopkins University

"Bernie's story can be the story of anyone who has the entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to work hard and succeed. With humor, humility, and a knack for telling stories, Bernie's life unfolds on every page. It's a must-read from the co-founder of one of America's most successful companies." — KEN LANGONE, co-founder of Home Depot

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