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The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way Hardcover – Mar 9 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 9 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470449977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470449974
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #770,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The Ride of a Lifetime is a smart, tough-as-nails guide to business success that every entrepreneur should read." (International Lifestyle Magazine, 2009)

From the Inside Flap

If you think ripping down the highway on a badass custom chopper is the ultimate thrill ride, try running your own business. The same outlaw spirit that drives some people to strap on a helmet and hit the road drives other people to risk it all and build a business from the ground up. Bikers and entrepreneurs share at least one trait—they do it their way, without compromise.

The Ride of a Lifetime takes you inside the head of Paul Teutul, Sr., and shows you how he runs the world's most famous bike-building business, Orange County Choppers. This isn't some Wall Street guy in a fancy suit and a $200 haircut telling you how to do business. This is full-throttle, hardcore business wisdom from a true hardworking entrepreneur.

Starting a business is about taking risks and believing in yourself. After working on bikes as a hobby for almost two decades, Paul Teutul, Sr., decided to take that risk and invested his retirement money to start OCC with his son Paulie. If you watch American Chopper, you know that the OCC team quickly became one of the world's best bike fabricators. But if you've only watched the show, you don't know the business values upon which Paul Teutul, Sr., built the business, the risks he took to get there, or how he manages the ups and downs of life as an entrepreneur.

The Ride of a Lifetime takes you beyond the television show to show you the real nuts and bolts of running a successful business. Paul Teutul, Sr., is loud, brash, and in your face. But he's got the kind of real-world business insight you can't get from a seminar or a business degree. So put on your boots and tighten up your chinstrap, because building a business isn't some joyride. It takes hard work, then more hard work. It means taking punches and hitting back, doing it your way, and believing in what you're doing every second of every day.

Do what you love. Work hard at it. And never give up. Running a business isn't easy, but it IS The Ride of a Lifetime.

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By Phil Curtis on Nov. 28 2009
Format: Hardcover
Not at all what I was expecting. This is more of a business success story, rather than the life of Paul. Most of the information in this book, I have already heard about from his TV series. What he keeps hinting about on the show, that I was curious about, was his addictions with drugs and alcohol. I wanted to hear more about that part of him, since he isn't allowed to talk about it much on his show. He admits to alot of drinking in his early years.....who hasn't!!?? Not the baddass biker I thought he was!!! But congrats to him for achieving fame and fortune, from a poor and troubled kid.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is well written not what I expected. If you watch the show Paul Senior has a different way about him. You do learn a little about him and his way of doing things. Worth the purchase if you like the OCC clan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 58 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Good, quick read with a great story to tell March 30 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I first learned about Paul Teutel, his family, and his business several years ago through my son's fascination with everything motorized and "cool." We wached the reality TV series "American Chopper" together. My son liked the bikes and the characters, and I liked the characters and the bikes (some a lot more than others).

For the uininitiated, Orange County Choppers is a behemoth of a brand built by a unique man who has worked for himself almost his entire adult life. In fact, his biography is so fascinating that I found myself wishing to read more about him and his family; I had to remind myself that this book is a business philosophy book, not a biography.

Mr. Teutel credits his mega-success to relentless hard work and a passion for perfection. Most of his business principles are as well-known and as they are difficult to live by daily. Surround yourself with good people and reward them well, treat everyone with integrity, and embrace change while adhering to core values. The book is peppered with vignettes fo business decisions made, partners acquired and replaced, and descriptions fo situatinos that illustrate the points well. The book also includes a set of glossy photos of Teutel history and motorcycles.

Teutel posits that "everyone" expecte dhim to end up dead or in jail from an early age. His childhood in a very dysfunctional family included an addiction to alcohol and drugs at the age of 15 than lasted 20 years. His father and grandfather demanded relentless labor from young Paul. His father demanded, and Teutel paid, rent to his family during his adolescence. Merchant marine boot camp (at age 18) gave him his first opportunity to set a goal and achieve it.

Goal-orientedness coupled with hard work is a powerful combination which Teutel weakened with alcohol and drugs until he was 35. He credits Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) with helping him achieve abstinence from drugs and alcohol for 24 years.. Demanding sobriety of hs partners and employees changed his iron works business and positioned it for growth. He turned over the iron works business and set to building motorcycles as a hobby in the early 1990s.

Ultimately, he invested his $120,000 retirement in the business that became Orange County Choppers (OCC). OCC is now an international brand operated from a 100,000+ square foot headquarters in suburban New York.

Teutel is ambivalent about his family's involvement in his business. One son took over the iron works and is apparently doing well. Two sons, Paul, Jr. and Michael, work with Dad at OCC. "American Chopper" viewers know the stormy relationship they have. While Dad always wanted his business to be a family business, he observes that things come too easily to Paul, Jr., making him casual if not lazy about deadlines and organization. "Mikey" is a lovable youngest brother with multiple interests and a good sense of humor but little ambition. Dad says that family businesses are the backbone of the economy, but that family can't be managed in the workplace like other employees, and that hurts the family members. He acknowledges the connundrum and apparently sees it as one of the few design problems he was unable to resolve.

One of the book's key messages is that it's never too late to resolve to be better - to become focused, passionate, and goal-oriented to pursue success. now-teenage son might read this book before a lot of other self-help/business success books. That's a good thing.
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Waste Of Time and Money Sept. 15 2009
By Gary John - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book in great anticipation hoping to learn more about the success of this "family" business. This book is no more than a basic high school business study. There is no magic revelation as to the real reason this "family" business succeeded. The book makes NO mention of the relationship he has with the Discovery Channel and now TLC. Had it not been for the TV series I doubt most of us would know anything about OCC. He makes maybe a 3 paragraph mention of each Paulie and Mickey and gave no credit to either one for the success of OCC. Those two added personality to the show and the business and it now appears they are expendable. This man takes full credit for his masterful business plan and business acumen. He saw the bright white guiding light after he sobered up which he makes mention of in the book. But dumb luck played a major role for OCC success and again had it not been for the TV shows I am sure he would still be in his garage. I would have liked to have know how Discovery and OCC got together. I want to know what happened to Vince, Nubs and others. I am especially not happy with how little (if any) credit he gave to Pauli who is a class A fabricator and built some of most creative choppers in the world. About half way into this stupid book I really wanted to just can it. But I had the flu and nothing else to do but suffer through it. But I did leave it in the hotel trash bin. Don't waste your money on this self centered self proclaimed business expert. He did not write this, he can't even speak a complete sentence.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not very good read July 10 2009
By E. Stivers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Glad I checked this out at the library instead of buying...not a book I would care to have in my collection...I like the show and the family but I was happy when I finished this was all about how great Senior thinks he is...yes he has done well and overcome many obstacles but he owes a great deal more to Junior than he is willing to admit...seems like the show and Seniors relationship with Junior and Mikey are taking a turn south...sad.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The facts don't add up to reality May 17 2013
By Frank Forrest - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any OCC fan that has followed the exploits of the Teutel clan, it was pretty obvious that the friction between Paul Senior and Paul Junior would finally come to a head with both parties coming out more damaged than they could have possibly guessed. Paul Senior's book is an attempt to revise the Teutel family business history and put him in a place where he evidently always wanted to be--the guy totally in charge.

The book is written to help other business people in achieving their goals of success with Teutel's many anecdotes, personal philosophy, and honesty in talking about his personal demons while growing up. But the book doesn't ring true when it comes to the success of OCC as he tries to take credit for everything that made OCC a success. His obvious agenda is to rewrite history and take all the glory for himself, while marginalizing the contributions of his son, Paul Jr.

Paul Senior didn't mean this book to be a personal insight into his character, but that's what you get when you finish reading his book. You can't help but feel sorry for the man that had everything but couldn't share his fame and success with anyone else.

The book is an exercise in bragging, but more than this, it shows who Paul Senior really is and has little to do with business philosophy as much it is about what makes this man tick.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Worth A Read For Fans, But Disappointing Sept. 24 2009
By William Reardon - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I read business books, I read biographies, and I'm a big fan of the Tuttles & American Chopper.

What perplexes me is how short the book can be, yet be so repetitive. And why so is much left out? Senior aims to write a book to help the small business owner, akin to Jack Welch's "Winning." He's certainly qualified, having grown first Orange County Ironworks and then OCC, but oddly absent from the book is perhaps the most pivotal moment in the shop's history -- getting on Discovery & the creation of American Chopper. The growth through the period, the expansion of bringing things in-house, expanding into a production line, what's involved in a custom bike... none of it's there.

Likewise the discussion about employees relations. He talks about a few cases, good & bad. He talks about Rick & how employees are like family & need to be treated as such. But no mention of one of one of the employees that was there for most of the beginning, Vinnie. I'd like to hear Paul's take on it, for better or worse, etc.

I think a much interesting book would have been one that simply chronicled the rise of OCC, and the Tuttles in conjunction with it. Hopefully they write that one day.

All said, it's a short book. If you're a fan & interested in business, it's probably still worth reading, just be ready for disappointment.