MJ Gottlieb takes a new and exciting approach on how to teach entrepreneurs.
Learning from the mistakes of someone else’s experiences will save them from
making similar mistakes in their entrepreneurial journey.

-Daymond John, Co-Host of ABC's "Shark Tank"

How to Ruin a Business - Buy the Book How to Ruin a Business - Buy the Book


How to Ruin a Business



"MJ Gottlieb has written a successful book on how to fail--witty, engaging, on the money."

- Marvin E. Eisenstadt,

Chairman, Sweet'N Low

"I found MJ Gottlieb’s book to literally be a bible - a must read - for entrepreneurs. This should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking of starting a business, or has started a business."

- Ronn Torossian,

Chairman, 5W Public Relations

"A must read for any new or experienced entrepreneur. Full of valuable real life start-up miscues and insight from someone not afraid to divulge absolutely everything."

- Bret Mactavish, Former Senior Manager,

International Basketball Operations, NBA

"With wit, wisdom and tongue firmly in cheek, this book explores the dark side of Wall Street’s version of the American Dream. The truth is most businessesfail. It’s time someone took a clear eyed and fun look at why."

- Nelson George,

co-author of Life & Def- The business memoir of entertainment mogul Russell Simmons

"If I were crazy enough to start a business, I’d read this book first."

- David Gebler,

Executive Producer, CBS News,
Multi-Award Winning Producer, 60 Minutes

"MJ’s observations are as pertinent to a large global organization as they are to a fledgling entrepreneur."

- Kevin Hennessey, Managing Director Senior Advisor, Retired,,

Credit Suisse First Boston


MJ Gottlieb

My mission is to help aspiring entrepreneurs and companies learn from the mistakes of others…starting with the mistakes I have made.

How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying is the first book of The Lemon-Aide Guide, a series I created that focuses on stories of people and companies who have turned previous failures into current successes.

The Lemon-Aide Guide is the first series to concentrate on what ‘not’ to do as its method of teaching as I believe telling people what to do and how to run their businesses simply makes no sense. Every business is different with its own unique blueprint for success so telling people what to do is, in my opinion, completely impractical.

There are, however common-thread mistakes most businesses make which people can learn from so they don’t make those mistakes in their entrepreneurial journey. My goal is to identify those mistakes to help give entrepreneurs an infinitely greater chance to succeed.

What You Need to Know About the Book


How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying is a highly animated business book containing fifty-five painstaking, yet hysterical tales of an entrepreneur that, fortunately or unfortunately, are all one hundred percent mine. Each story is put in the form of a ‘case study’, explaining both the mistake made (‘The Wrong’) and the lesson learned (‘The Right’). The book is split into 2 parts...

PART 1: My Most Infamous Screw-ups…

Part 1 contains 39 case studies that reveal some of the most common, prevalent and destructive mistakes entrepreneurs make when going into business for the first time. Chapters include:

  • #1 Never Ever Ever Spend What You Do Not Have
  • #5 Never Ever Ever Make a Decision While Your Ego Is Involved
  • #9 Never Ever Teach the Market At Your Own Expense
  • #20 Never Feed the Hand That Can Bite You
  • #23 Don’t Be Confused Between Working Hard and Working Smart
  • #33 Don’t Introduce One Creditor to Another

PART 2: More Case Studies And Some Other Things I Learned Along The Way…

Contains 16 case-studies that focus specifically on the pursuit of capital.

  • Section One: More War Stories When Looking For An Investor (Case Studies 40-49)
  • Section Two The Many Faces of The Investor
  • Section Three:The “Play by Play” of the Deal

It continues with five additional chapters on:

  • The Art of Screwing Up the Deal: investor types and strategies for acquiring capital
  • When It’s Not About Money: how to increase your business without spending money
  • When Trust is a Four-Letter Word: problems entrepreneurs have with trust
  • Tricks of the Trade: how to protect your business from predators
How to Ruin a Business Without Trying