Mark Zweig of Fayetteville has a new book out with advice that he hopes combats some misconceptions and misinformation about starting and running a business.
In the book, “Confessions of an Entrepreneur: Simple Wisdom for Starting, Building and Running a New Business,” Zweig pays forward the life lessons he’s gained from nearly 50 years of professional experience as a successful entrepreneur and small business owner.
“You don’t need to be a genius or anything close to it to do this stuff,” he said. “The great thing about entrepreneurship is that it’s open to anyone, anywhere. I feel like it’s been such an important part of my life that’s allowed me to live a quality life, and I want other people to experience that.
“And honestly, I have been critical of most of what I read. There are so many ‘coaches’ and ‘thought leaders’ out there who have never done it. They just read everybody else’s book and tell you what everybody else says. They propagate a lot of misinformation about business ownership and entrepreneurship.”
Zweig is the founder of two Fayetteville-based Inc. 500/5000 companies. In October 2018, he sold his interests in Zweig Group, a media, publishing and consulting company for the architecture and engineering industries. Zweig started the company as Mark Zweig & Associates in Boston in 1988. It later became ZweigWhite in 1994 and then Zweig Group in 2014.
He founded Mark Zweig Inc., a design/construction/development firm. He has authored over a dozen management books and is the former publisher of The Zweig Letter and Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine.
Zweig is also entrepreneur-in-residence, teaching entrepreneurship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, and a frequent Northwest Arkansas Business Journal contributor.
The University of Arkansas Press published the book with a foreword from Walton College Dean Matt Waller.
“I regularly interact with students, alumni, and business owners who have learned from Mark’s wisdom,” Waller writes. “He helps them network, introduces them to service providers they will need, and pushes them to do things he knows will make a positive difference in their business.”
Waller underscored the impact of Zweig’s advice with a personal example.
“Not long after we met, Mark challenged me — in his very direct but non-offensive style — to consider several ways the Walton College was too narrowly focused in our approach to teaching entrepreneurship,” Waller wrote. “For instance, he felt we put too much emphasis in our entrepreneurship-oriented courses on starting a new business and not enough emphasis on buying existing businesses. As he pointed out, entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting companies that have a product or service that doesn’t currently exist. There is nothing wrong with teaching and encouraging that kind of entrepreneurship, he told me, but it needs to be just one part of the curriculum portfolio.
“I knew he was right because I know many alumni of the Walton College who are doing quite well in businesses in mature markets.”
Zweig said it was Waller who encouraged him to publish the book. He also credited the “encouragement and collaboration” with his editorial team — Stephen Caldwell and Ryan Sheets — to make the job easy.
“[Waller is] a rare individual who can manage the intricacies and subtleties of leading a business college inside a state-governed institution while at the same time running it like a high-growth business,” Zweig wrote in his acknowledgments. “Stephen, in particular, has done so much to get this book actually done. I can honestly say it would not be done without his efforts. And Ryan has provided an overall direction that has been invaluable.”
The book is available through the UA Press website, Amazon.com or wherever books are sold.