The Editor’s reviews of:
Books, Guides and things to read for inspiration and pleasure
Author of the Month: Mike Greene
Failure Breeds Success****
This is the book to read if you have lost hope, dwell on a failure or lack faith in yourself. It inspires courage and entices you to persevere through self-belief.
Mike Greene uses his own experience of “from-grass-to-grace-to-grace-to-grass-and-finally-to-super grace” as an example of the “I can factor”. He encourages readers to step out of their doubts and set success goals while learning lessons from their past failures. The exercises in the book allow you to examine yourself and help you to put your life into perspective. It helps you to achieve your ultimate goal within a time frame.
Austerity Business: 39 Tips for Doing More with Less *****
I never thought that I would praise a business book but Alex Pratt has managed to kick every entrepreneur in the shin in the most reflective way as possible and the result can only lead to success. Divided into four key sections, Attitude, People, Customers and Strategy, Pratt compels the entrepreneur to reflect on the past habits, dust themselves up to face the new challenges that can make or break their businesses. Onward entrepreneurs go – match your businesses into a new light. It makes a good read for everyone, start-ups, entrepreneurs and managers alike. I cannot think of anything that justifies François de la Rochefoucauld when he says that “the only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us”. Pratt has surprised me with his style of writing because this is certainly not a textbook.
The great thing about the book is that it is packed with witty anecdotes, inspirational quotes and common sense advice.
Alex Pratt himself started trading bankrupt stock at the age of 16, has built his own business and helped others along the way. He emphasises that there are tough times ahead for every business and indeed every person since people and businesses interact. The tips he offers are mundane, relevant and simple. Alex challenges every entrepreneur to prove that they can survive the age of austerity that has descended on most economies. He says “We all know that we are facing difficult times, but with the right attitude and the right approach, businesses can learn from the mistakes of the past and make the most of the conditions. The age of austerity really can be about thriving, not just surviving.” It is timely, necessary food for thought after the summer break, I would say. Above all, it makes compelling reading – this is what everyone needs to face the TRUTH in Tip One to knowing how to KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) by Tip 39..
More about Alex Pratt
Austerity Business is published by Wiley and is available from Amazon.co.uk priced £12.99
Sahar Hashemi, Founder of Coffee Republic and best-selling author
The review is a comparative analysis of the joint collaboration between her best-selling “Anyone can do it”; the joint collaboration between Sahar and her brother Bobby and Sahar’s sole effort on “Switched On”.
For “Anyone can do it” it is obvious that the hunger to succeed and the joy for success that Sahar and Bobby experienced in creating a successful coffee shop business is reflected in the way the book is written. The book is carefully written account of the birth of Coffee Republic, all the hurdles that they faced, how they overcame then together with useful advice to anyone who wants to set up a business. They have not held back on anything that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to know before taking the plunge. What is really remarkable about this book is the inspiration it gives. It makes you want to try to achieve something.
With “Switched On”, Sahar has moved on from Coffee Republic as well as her second successful business “Skinny Candy” and is reflecting on her whole journey. She is now a keynote on innovation mindset and a realisation that the inspiration in her first best-selling book can also be enjoyed by people working in large businesses. This, together with a combination of a few regrets and the ability to succeed a second time round alone in business, inspired Sahar to write “Switched On” for the good old employee in corporate environments, especially large corporations to move on from simply turning up at work to receive a salary, to honing their skills and walk on the path of being indispensable.
One lesson, I learned from this book is that inspiring the dreamy entrepreneur is much easier than inspiring the employee. The book is well written but I hope that Sahar would come out with another book which inspires the employer to make his working environment pleasurable enough for the employee to get “Switched On” especially as some of her examples are from employers who had created businesses because they were disappointed with the quality of service they received from similar businesses. Nature has it that employees will always remain inspired so long as the employer remembers to let them know how valuable they are to the business.
The Editor’s grading of “Anyone can do it”****
The Editor’s grading of “Switched On”***
Luxe City Guides:
I do not know about you, but when I pick up a city guide, I expect it to be just that; to guide me around that the city that I have arrived in. I expect to help me to get around. Luxe City Guide seems to do none of that. If luxury city guides are created to simply list selected luxury accommodation, eateries, car rental companies, spa destinations and a few activities to do around the city of your choices that is exactly what these mini guides do. They give you the address with a few posh words to introduce the place and you are on your own. I would change the name because I think the luxury world deserves more than that.
The Editor’s grading*