A true rags-to-riches story…

Opening Doors explores the highs and lows of Jim Swenson's remarkable life.

Jim Swenson started life on the wrong side of the tracks. But he didn’t stay there. With guts and the right person’s helping hand—at precisely the right time—he proved nothing’s impossible.

In Opening Doors, you’ll find Swenson’s hard-learned wisdom about his hard-earned success in business, technology and philanthropy…and at home.


The eldest of five brothers, Swenson helped his widowed father raise his siblings. He quickly learned to appreciate the value of a dollar, the world-broadening experience of university life, and the rewards of a job well done.

With a degree in chemistry, he became a pioneer in creating “inner layer details” for printed circuit boards. His goal was to bring hi-tech printed circuit boards out of research and into the 1970s marketplace. Starting with four employees and a $15,000 second mortgage on the family’s house, his company—Details Inc.—became the fastest quick-turn-around engineering prototype circuit board shop in the United States, with 500 employees and a client list that included Apple, IBM, Motorola and Compaq.


Before Swenson knew it, he’d gone from small-town bored to big-city board of directors.

The sale of Details Inc. was the catalyst for the Swenson Family Foundation. The prudent investment of those assets now power ambitious students, treat the sick, and bring hope to those who need it most.

“I’ve been blessed with more than I ever thought possible,” said Swenson, a man who was equally comfortable stirring up a board-room discussion or boiling a batch of his renowned peanut brittle. “It gives me tremendous pleasure to share those blessings and help others make their dreams—and things they haven’t even dreamed about yet—come true.”

This is his story, along with 13 tried-and-true tips for opening new doors that Swenson wished he’d known back when he faced far too many closed doors.

Because of Swenson’s love of reading, education and children, your purchase of Opening Doors supports Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book-gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.

Please note the printed edition contains 134 photos, while the digital edition features 18 photos.

Available on Amazon! (Kindle and print)


Read more about Jim Swenson’s life.