Killing It

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart

Sheryl O’Loughlin; Foreword by Steven Blank


Sheryl O’Loughlin, the former CEO of Clif Bar, offers the ultimate life and business course. Killing It gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to start their enterprise and thrive—both in the office and at home.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are told that to launch a business, you must go all in, devoting every resource and moment to making it work. But the dirty, not-so-little secret among entrepreneurs is that whether they fail or succeed, they often pay a very high personal cost—divorce, addiction or missed opportunities—for the risks they take. The all-consuming lifestyle means sacrificing the intangibles that make life worth living.

Sheryl O’Loughlin knows there is a better way. In Killing It, she shares the wisdom she’s gained from her successful experiences launching a company from the ground up (Plum), running two fast-growing businesses (Clif Bar and REBBL), and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs (at the Stanford Graduate School of Business). In detailing her journey—from massive growth at hip companies to near bankruptcy and a serious eating disorder—Sheryl tells it like it is: if you don’t invest in your well-being, your business will not succeed, nor will you.

Filled with real-life examples and anecdotes, Killing It addresses common questions and concerns, including

• How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture? And how can you continue to support each other along the way?

•  How do you immerse yourself in a startup while staying committed to family and meaningful friendships?

•  How do you choose partners and investors who align with your core beliefs?

•  How do you find joy in the day-to-day?

•  How do you walk away and start again?

This is necessary reading for entrepreneurs at every stage.


Sheryl O’Loughlin earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages, and she previously served as the CEO of Clif Bar, where she led the concept development and introduction of Luna Bars, and was the cofounder and CEO of Plum Organics. She is the former executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in Santa Rosa, California, with her husband, Patrick, and her two sons.