The Official Website of “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare: A Cautionary Tale for Would-Be Entrepreneurs”

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Welcome to the official website for my book, “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare: A Cautionary Tale for Would-Be Entrepreneurs”.

My name is Alan Stransman.

Whether you have found your way to this website because you are thinking of starting your own small business or because you are a teacher or professor of  business or entrepreneurship, I am delighted that you are here.

My book is a “business memoir”.

It chronicles my personal experiences in founding one of the first day spas in the world for men – which was called “The Men’s PowerSpa” – located in downtown Toronto.

If you are thinking about starting a small business – and, especially, if you are thinking about starting a business with someone else’s money – I humbly suggest that you now do anything until you have read my book. It might save you a whole lot of grief, not to mention time and money.

If you are a teacher or professor of business or entrepreneurship at the college, university or graduate school level, my book could be a very valuable – and certainly a very different - work to include in your course.

My book was adapted into a case study by the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario – one of the top business schools in the world – and has been taught in university entrepreneurship programs.

If you would like to see what professors, college instructors, students and entrepreneurs have said about my book, you will find a number of comments listed below. Bear in mind that these are all real comments from real readers of my book – including Professor Ron Close of the Ivey School of Business, who was the first to champion my book and to recognize the value of teaching it in an entrepreneurship program.


Praise for “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare”

The following are real comments from Professors of Entrepreneurship, students and business people who have read my book:

(Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare) describes the challenges faced by entrepreneur Alan Stransman as he starts up a men’s-only spa with no money, no business experience and no team. It provides students a real-life opportunity to discuss the needed ingredients for business success: an attractive idea; a qualified team; a compelling plan and adequart funding. Stransman arguably encounters challenges on each of these four fronts. This case is valuable reading and extremely useful for facilitating real-world discussion of all of these critical issues.

Ron Close

Executive Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The Richard Ivey School of Business

University of Western Ontario


Want to provide a book to your students that is engaging, entertaining, and useful? Then you must require Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare in your Entrepreneurship or Management Courses. The book contains a plethora of information that will help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the ropes of starting and maintaining a successful business. This is one book that students will not want to sell back when the semester is over.

Christopher P. Neck

Associate Professor of Management

University Master Teacher

Arizona State University

Alan Stransman’s book provides an entertaining cautionary tale for all those with dreams of turning an entrepreneurial idea into reality some day. The huge surge of interest in entrepreneurship that accompanied the dot-com boom in the late 1990′s produced a whole generation of mainly young people , who wanted to drop whatever it was they were doing in order to launch a start-up. The equally huge rate of dot-com failures should have been enough to demonstrate that starting a new business is fraught with pitfalls, but somehow, that message didn’t seem to get through as well as it might have done. Alan’s book is, thus, a timely reminder to all would-be entrepreneurs that the road to realizing entrepreneurial dreams is by no means an easy one.

Patrick Turner

Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship

INSEAD Asia Campus

Alan’s book is a true “hands-on” account of a real business experience. The reader is in Alan’s shoes to get an experiential trip, warts and all. If you are thinking of starting your own business and want to get a feel for another side of the coin, be sure to include Alan’s book in your research.

Donald Prescott

Director, The Eric Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies

Faculty of Management

Royal Roads University


The students truly enjoyed the experience of having you come to the classroom, the exercise, analyzing your book and creating the feasibility study. What was most enjoyable, and what I appreciate the most, was the time and effort you took to attend the night of presentations. The students so appreciated the fact that you were there for questions and input. These students are in their 3rd and 4th year, so the ability to bring the “real” world to their studies was a great experience….It was your personal touch, the pressure of having the author in attendance that added such a thrill and challenge and made the assignment such a great experience.

Professor Cammie Jaquays

Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare is an engaging document of Alan Stransman’s experiences in creating Canada’s first spa for men. Stransman takes the reader along for the roller-coaster ride of a new start-up, from opportunity identification to planning and financing, start-up and ongoing mangement of the venture, cleverly exposing the underbelly of the world of entrepreneurship and the realities faced by novices. It is engaging and suspenseful because the reader suspects that a train wreck is coming – he or she just doesn’t know when, how or how much damage will be caused. Stransman is an artful storyteller and the messages delivered are important ones for prospective entrepreneurs; not simply as a warning to be wary, but as a foil for learning how to avoid his mistakes.

J. Brock Smith, Ph.D.

Professor, Marketing & Entrepreneurship,

Winspear Scholar & Entrepreneurship Area Champion,

Faculty of Business, University of Victoria

Victoria, British Columbia

I have used Alan Stransman’s book Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn into a Nightmare in my business and law classes with great success. The book challenges students to analyze the reasons for the business failure and measure those reasons against traditional business model concepts, especially the notion of using Other People’s Money. It stimulates great discussion amongst the students.

Alan Franklin, JD LLB LLM

Canadian Business College

If you have ever thought of starting your own business, Alan Stransman’s book Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare is a MUST read. A cautionary tale, indeed.

Anne Dimon



Just read your book cover-to-cover. I’ve got a small venture running in my basement – it’s a REALLY GREAT IDEA. There’s an angel-finance guy pushing me to accept some investors and build a company. He’s got $500 K lined up for me, ready to go. I drafted and redrafted a business plan 7 times before he was happy enough with it to present it to them – and each time it got better looking. Of course, we are still figuring out who our market is and what our product is, but that’s okay, everyone does that. But now that I’ve read your book, Hmmm, I realize that I have a REALLY GREAT IDEA and a really wrong business plan. Add money and investors looking for fast results, that’s a recipe for disaster. I’ve put the finance on hold, will keep running on a shoestring until I learn the business. Thanks for a really great book. It probably SAVED MY LIFE.

Tom Berend

Software Developer/Entrepreneur


I couldn’t put it down! From the first page I wanted to know what happened and how it turned out. It’s been a long time since a book has captured my attention to this degree. Alan has put the reader’s feet in his shoes and allowed us the privilege of feeling his pain. I was just as exhausted as he was as I read the daily challenges he faced and seemed to suffer the same arrows when learning his tragedies.

Skip Williams

Author of “The Reluctant Spa Director and the Mission Dream” and Vice-President Spa Development, Resources and Development


I read a lot of business books, but no author has written a more compelling business book. This is entertaining, funny – even at the author’s expense but hey, he’s the one telling the story and he is a pure entertainer AND educator in one – and it is packed with life and business lessons that you must know.

I knew this one before reading the book but now, thanks to Alan Stransman and his personal experience with the Men’s Power Spa, I have full conviction it is the bitter truth:

****Don’t go into your dream business with other people’s money.*****

I don’t believe in borrowing money at all. In fact, I could not stand the thought of getting a loan from the bank for my house and I’ve been paying it back at three times the speed. That’s why I don’t like the start-up model. I started my own business with my own money because I can’t stand anyone telling me what to do or what not to do, and when you use other people’s money, you are at their disposal, no matter what title or “freedom” they give you for your business …. never forget that.

Borrowing money takes away your power and that’s exactly what Alan Stransman shows us in incredible detail as he tells us how his dream business turned into an absolute nightmare, because the people who invested in that business were never really his partners, and it was always their money and his dream.

The book is brilliant. I LOVE Alan Stransman’s writing voice. I love his sense of humor, his sarcasm, his delivery, his telling of the truth. And I cannot recommend this book enough to you, whether you want to start a business or just read great writing.

Farnoosh Brock, Author of “The Healthy Juicer’s Bible”


Whew! I just finished your book….and I must say that I am impressed! Although it did not have a happy ending as I was hoping it would.¬†

You are a great writer. It was a very compelling story line and I really didn’t want to put it down until I came to the end.¬†

Jessica Swanson, The Shoestring Marketer


Readers Love My Book and So Will You

As you can see from the above comments – all of which are from real readers - people love my book. As I stated earlier, if you found your way to this website because you are thinking of starting your own small business, reading my book could save you a lot of time, money and heartache. I made a lot of mistakes, so why not learn from them as opposed to making them yourself?

If you teach business or entrepreneurship, you may certainly wish to include my book in your program. Students love it and find it very fresh and accessible.


My Book is Available in Multiple Formats

On the top right-hand side of the screen you are on right now, you will see graphics for three different formats of my book, “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare: A cautionary Tale for Would-Be Entrepreneurs”.

If you would like to purchase a print version of the book, click on the graphic that says, “Buy Physical Book”.

If you would like to purchase the Kindle version, click on the graphic that says, “Buy the Kindle version”.

And, if you would prefer a PDF of the book, click the graphic that says, “Buy PDF “.


Send Your Comments To Me Any Time

As you can see, I love to receive feedback from my readers, and to share my readers’ comments with visitors to this website.

If you buy the book and wish to provide feedback, I invite you to contact me via email at:


Three Ways to Buy My Book

Once again, there are three ways to buy my book, in the print version, as a PDF and in the Kindle version. Below are the links for all three versions:


Add to CartPDF version: $6.97 USD

Add to Cart

Physical Book: $14.95 USD





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