Now is the perfect time for any want-to-be or established entrepreneurs to grab a copy of Authentic, A Memoir by the founder of Vans, Paul “Van” Doren. 

Like a conversation with a friend who has certainly “been there and done that,” — because he has!— Van Doren, who is entering his 9th decade, shares a plenty of advice worth reading.  

By defining what “authentic” really means as it relates to success— from ideas, team building to inevitable concessions that entrepreneurs will encounter, Van Doren offers valuable advice.  

His entrepreneurial education began early, thanks to a father who demanded order, discipline and working in the family business from a young age.  Van Doren tells us how not only was his Dad one of the hardest workers he’s ever known — but that his Dad also saw no reason that kids couldn’t be trained to work equally hard as adults and in the process learn respect and values. While Van Doren might not have always appreciated such lessons in his youth, he appreciates that they taught him well. He shares his lessons about the demands of running a shoe business, and a variety of ancillary businesses as well, while, understanding how to get the best returns from teamwork along with the importance of respect for all workers within the company-wide systems that he credits with contributing to his successes.

Additional lessons include when to take the reins to when to turn them over to others for the sake of sanity. All this plus profound insights on utilizing input from customers; selling what you believe in; inevitable changes, trends and cycles; creating a viable work culture and more.  

Paul Van Doren has truly surfed the waves of business, while creating an iconic brand that has at 50+ is cooler than ever.  Beyond sneakers, Vans has skateparks and skate teams; been featured in films; sponsored mega concert tours while building a die-hard fan club. 

This must-read book can help anyone with a passion to become more successful thanks to insights generously shared by Van Doren, who graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks.