Summary of Killing It

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Killing It book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Analytical
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take


In this tell-all, personal account, serial entrepreneur Sheryl O’Loughlin – the former CEO of Clif Bar, co-founder of Plum Organics and now CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages – lays bare the joy and the agony of running a start-up. She blames the stress of entrepreneurship for sending her into anorexia and laments that long work hours made her a stranger to her two young sons. Yet O’Loughlin remains enthusiastic about the thrill of risky ventures. In a business world that reveres obsessive achievers like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, O’Loughlin offers a reality check: Running a company can be glamorous, grueling, rewarding and harmful to your health. getAbstract recommends her guide to entrepreneurs, to those who work for them and to those who live with them.

About the Author

Sheryl O’Loughlin is the former CEO of Clif Bar, co-founder and CEO of Plum Organics, and current CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages. She also served as executive director of Stanford University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.



The “Dark Side”

Entrepreneurs are the daredevils of the business world. They feel a rush of excitement when they see a customer walking down the street holding their product. Popular culture and glossy business magazines make entrepreneurship seem like a glamorous quest, but that’s only part of the story.

Start-up entrepreneurs often see business success as the highest high and business failure as the lowest low, yet the vast majority of start-ups fail. Entrepreneurs face constant stress and anxiety. The operator of a start-up can veer from healthy intensity to unhealthy obsession. Many people find themselves “deeply distressed,” both physically and emotionally. The maladies vary, but obesity, depression, addiction and divorce are common symptoms of entrepreneurial fallout.


For author Sheryl O’Loughlin – the former CEO of Clif Bar, co-founder and CEO of Plum Organics and current CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages – entrepreneurial stress manifested as anorexia. O’Loughlin seemed to be the picture of start-up success. Married, she had two kids and a growing food company. Plum Organics did so well that Campbell ...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Startup Life
The Stuff
The 5 AM Club
The Magic of Tiny Business
The Entrepreneurial Attitude
Girl, Wash Your Face

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    E. W. 2 years ago
    Really useful read
  • Avatar
    A. A. 2 years ago
    The summary is quiet revealing on common mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to avoid similar pit holes