Talking Amish business

As luck would have it I am doing the above on two blogs this week.

First, Saloma Furlong is running a Q-and-A with me as well as a giveaway of my book Success Made Simple.  A snippet:

You have several overall messages in this book — I like the one that we do not need to become Amish to use their business principles. Do you think this is true in other aspects of life as well?

I think “Amish principles” for lack of a better term (those positive things outsiders admire about Amish) work–or rather, work to the degree that they do–to some extent by virtue of being in an Amish context.  In other words I think it helps to have a more-or-less uniform group having the same beliefs and same commitments to the group, and a unifying religious motivation…
Amish Outdoor Furniture Kentucky
KY Amish outdoor furniture seller

You can enter to win a copy of my book and read the interview at Saloma’s blog.  The contest runs til this Friday Feb 10.

Karen Vogel also has a few Amish business questions for me at her Amish Crossings site:

 Can you share one of your favorite Amish small business stories?

One of the most inspiring for me personally is one harness maker who is partially paralyzed.  He moves around with extreme difficulty, sort of a shuffle around his shop.  He just has a small business, but one that has reached customers across the country.  His attitude is about the best you will find. There is such a warm gratitude there when he speaks—for his customers, for the opportunity God has given him—that it really makes you take a look at your own situation and realize your blessings.

Thanks to both Karen and Saloma for the chance to talk a little more about Amish entrepreneurs.

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    1. Richard from Amish Stories

      A great topic and looks like a great book!

      I enjoy most anything that’s related to business Erik, and with your book that also involves the Amish I’m pretty sure that its going to be a very interesting read. What i really like about the Amish is that they include so many family members who either are partners or who are associates. That’s been most of my own experience with dealing with a Amish owned business, and I’m not saying that its all very easy working with family members because its not. But the Amish at least on the surface seem to be making it mostly work, and I’ve seen the very old and the very young working in the same shop with each one contributing in their own way. And for me that’s really nice to see as the Amish highly respect their older members and look at their years on earth as a learning and knowledge yard stick. A very good topic that I’m very happy to comment on. Richard

      1. Richard you do hear about family involved in business going both ways–good and bad. I do think the Amish mostly make it work, there is a respect for seniority and hierarchy in Amish society that probably helps. That said there are some very capable younger people as well.

        1. Mylinda

          Speaking of businesses.......

          I have heard the Amish metal roof craftsmanship cannot be matched but I have been unable to locate a store in Indiana (I am from Georgetown, IN). I would love to help business in this area. Would you mind sending contact information for me? I really do appreciate it and have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the many wonderful comments! 🙂

    2. Amish influence

      Yes Erik, I believe that being more like the Amish can benefit us in our business dealings and also in other aspects of our lives. I think my Amish friends have been a good influence on me in many ways: being more humble, judging others less, working harder, having more faith that God knows what is best for us, even when it is difficult for us to see.

      1. Don't forget the bad influence

        My Amish friends have been a good influence on me in similar ways Margie.

        But to balance the scale they’ve been a bad influence on me in weight gain and caffeine intake 😉

    3. Kim in NY

      Comment on Talking Amish Business

      I would love to read your book, Erik, I tried to post a comment to Saloma’s blog, I’ll check later to see if it was posted.
      Your subject sounds really interesting, if I don’t win I will want to read it….intriguing subject…!

      1. Thanks Kim! It was fun to revisit the book which I haven’t done here in awhile. Amish businesses are one of my favorite topics as you probably guess from the number of posts on that topic.

    4. Alice Aber

      Erik's book


      I was blessed to receive Erik’s book last year and it is wonderful. As a small business owner I found it very invaluable. Many things I already knew and practiced in my own business but I also learned a great deal. Anyone who wins the book will be blessed, but especially those who are either in business or looking to start their own small business.

      The values the Amish hold dear are those which should be found in any small business owner and even in every day working class people.

      Good luck on this latest contest!
      Blessings, Alice

      1. Thank you Alice, very kind 🙂 BTW you have some great ceramics from what I have seen on FB.

    5. Jane Reeves

      Erik's Book

      I read your blog everyday. I would love to win a copy of your book Success Made Simple.

      Thanks for the contest and all that you do!!!
      Jane Reeves

    6. Tom

      KY Amish update on bill

      Above is a link to the KY bill that would allow the SMV triangle requirements to also include reflective tape to satisfy the requirement, it seems to be doing well, and there are a few updates to the bill that can be seen at the above link.

      1. Tom

        Sorry to add this on this thread, but i just saw where the bill passed the KY state senate with a unanimous vote, now it moves to the house, and generally a unanimous passage is a good indicator that the bill will clear the house. It has also been amended to go into law immediately. It looks like the KY legislator has done the right thing and provided a solution that will allow all parties involved to be satisfied. Good Job

    7. George V


      I own and have read Erik’s book. Very educational.

      One topic I did not see covered is how Amish contractors deal with
      potential customers who require contractor’s insurance.

      A few days ago I found a 40 squares roofing job (removing the shingles on the roof and replacing them with new architectural shingles)for my Old Order Amish friends.
      A quote was submitted which the homeowner found acceptable.

      However, the homeowner wants proof of contractor’s insurance.

      Any suggestions?

      1. Amish contractors insurance

        Thank you George. There are liability plans self-organized within Amish communities and managed by Amish in cases of customers making claims. They do this in Lancaster for example. In some cases Amish may actually pick up commercial liability insurance however. I don’t know what community your friends are with, and if they’re more conservative it may be prove to be a roadblock.

      2. Old Order Amish Aid Will Not Return Calls

        Ripped gutter off, then further damaged gutter attempting repair, and damaged porch.

        Old Order Amish Aid Will Not Return Calls.

        Spiels about taking care of responsibility according to jesus, then won’t even return a call!
        Ezra 10:4 Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.”

        He is of the devil hiding behind jesus.

    8. Wm Justice

      Insurance issues

      Good question George V. I never let anyone step on my property to do work without proof of insurance.

      I bought two of Erik’s book, one to read and the other to donate the the library where my daughter works. I suggest all of you do the same. Read one and donate the other.

    9. Jane F Thompson

      Erik's next book

      Hey, Erik, any chance you’ll release your second book as an ebook on Amazon, so we don’t have to wait so long? I’m ready to read it!

      1. Hi Jane, Book #2 will be both an e-book and paperback. We are in progress, but thanks for the kick, never hurts 😉

    10. Brie B

      How do you enter into the drawing for your book, Erik? I’m very interested in it, I’m expanding my flock of chickens into a small business and live in an Amish and Mennonite area, and would covet reading your book! Thank you!

      1. Sure thing Brie, all you need to do is go over to Saloma’s blog (first link in the post above) and leave a comment on the interview post. And my best to the chickens~!

    11. Gerald

      I'd like to participate

      to enter to win a copy of Amish business book Success Made Simple
      I love Amish people. Thanks