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Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think Paperback – 7 Feb 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin; Reprint edition (7 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670920479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670920471
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Luke Johnson is one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs.

He is Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the Royal Society of Arts, and a former Chairman of Channel 4 Television. He writes columns for the Financial Times and Management Today. In the 1990s he was Chairman of PizzaExpress, which he grew from twelve restaurants to over 250; he also founded the Strada pizzeria chain and is an owner and Chairman of Giraffe and Patisserie Valerie.

He lives in London and is married with three children.

Product Description

Review

Just buy this book. A must-read for inspiring entrepreneurs, probably the best book available on the subject. (John McLaren Management Today)

A rare achievement: a business book that is both well-written and useful (Economist)

Part rant, part outpouring of useful knowledge gleaned from 20 very successful years in business. There is a great deal here that is good. (Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Financial Times)

Nine out of ten How-To books are a bore. This is the one out of ten. It's easy to read, with original ideas and useful advice for wannabe tycoons (Jeff Randall, Sky News presenter and Daily Telegraph columnist)

Brilliant. It's all here: the triumphs and disasters, the iron law of the business cycle and the timeless wisdom of those who've gone before him (Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com)

Independent, unorthodox, even bloody-minded - Johnson can be all of these and it's what makes him worth reading (Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, Endemol UK)

Luke Johnson knows a lot about an amazing range of business subjects and has thoughtful views about the controversial ones (Investors Chronicle)

A really refreshing guide by somebody who has made a fair amount of money following his own advice. An excellent book... Highly recommended (Irish Independent)

Very few people have had more impact than Luke Johnson (Peter Harden, founder, Harden's Restaurant Guides)

An engaging and useful read (Financial News)

Provocative and worth reading (Michael Spencer, founder and Chief Executive, ICAP)

From the Back Cover

`Nine out of ten how-to books are a bore. This is the one out of ten. It's easy to read, with original ideas and useful advice for wannabe tycoons'
Jeff Randall, Sky News presenter and Daily Telegraph columnist

Running your own business is nowhere near as tough as you might think. So what are you waiting for?

Luke Johnson is Britain's busiest tycoon, with a personal fortune estimated at £120 million. From PizzaExpress and Channel 4 to his incisive Financial Times Column, Johnson has spent two decades on the business frontline.

It Start It Up, Johnson sets out to inspire - and guide - every budding entrepreneur. He tackles the issues that really matter: finding the right idea, sourcing funds and getting the best from the people you meet on the way - chiefly yourself.

`Luke Johnson is independent, unorthodox, even bloody-minded - it's what makes him worth reading'
Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, Endemol

`It's all here: the triumphs the disasters, the iron law of the business cycle, and the timeless wisdom of those who've gone before him'
Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com

`Very few people have had more impact than Luke Johnson' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By NOGGIN on 21 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
As someone who eagerly awaits Luke Johnson's weekly column in the FT and more often than not find it contains very useful insight and advice, I found this book slightly disappointing. It is quite short for a start; nothing wrong with that but it's not cheap, and while the book looks thick the typeset is large and many pages are taken up with only 9 or 10 word quotations. But more significantly, it suffers from the same weakness that some of Johnson's columns in the FT do - when he sticks to the nitty-gritty of actually starting and running a business he is consistently interesting and worthwhile. But he regularly veers off to go on extended rants about how the world would be so much better a place of everyone was an entrepreneur like him, how businesspeople get such a rough ride, etc. At times his quasi-religious fanaticism about the need for everyone to be business people from the cradle to the grave and never relent or pause for reflection begins to grate. The last 10 pages or so in particular, where he trots out all the usual whinges of the business community, and tries to tie them into a existential lesson on existence, are embarassing. But it's worth reading for the bits where he sticks to his knitting on actual lessons from business.

It occurred to me that Johnson may have something to answer for in terms of the blandness of our High Streets; he seems to have been - or is still - in control of the majority of the restaurant chains in the country (or at least in the south-east).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gethin Darklord on 24 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frankly I was a little disappointed with this book. Exhortation isn't the same as entrepreneurial advice. In general I think the book rather shallow and I would have prefered yet another "How I built (Pizza Express)XYZ". Or even better an analysis of how a business failed from someone of this stature would have shown unusual humility as well as being more instructive.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Phil Galvin on 18 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this inspiring, thoughtful book to anyone interested in how the world works and the role that endeavour plays. Luke is grounded in History and is a realistic optimist. He understands how Business works and provides great tips re ingredients for success and how important attention to detail and the execution of a great idea is.
Luke has been around and shares his failures as well as his successes.
He would be a great mentor, and since we will not get this face to face opportunity, then this very readable book is the next best thing!!
You will get much more from this than by watching hours of the Apprentice and Dragons Den entertainment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By igorfazlyev on 5 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
A fairly decent inspirational read that once more confirms the old truism that in order to succeed in business you first have to go and do something and then pretty much keep doing one thing after another until you eventually make it.
In addition to that the book also contains some pretty good advice, imho, on where to look for money and about how it's always a bad idea to borrow money against your house. Another sensible piece of advice is that when you're just starting out perhaps the most sensible approach is to moonlight until your business starts making enough cash or at least until you're sure that it's already on the verge of generating steady cash flow.
I also liked the bit about the importance of execution. It's repeated throughout the book and for a good reason as there are probably hundreds of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs out there coming up with all sorts of ideas but never actually getting round to implementing those ideas.

If it's some sort of a revelation you're after this book is not for you, but truth be told there's probably nothing new in how to go about starting your own business, all the information has been known for centuries and this book just provides a good summary of it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Ross on 18 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback
Luke Johnson is one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs, with an estimated personal fortune of £120 million. He's a former chairman of Pizza Express and Channel 4 Television, and columnist for the Financial Times and Management Today.

Start It Up is written to inspire and encourage anyone who's ever considered becoming their own boss. It's entertaining, easy to read and full of personal experiences and advice. Johnson tackles practical issues like getting ideas, funding, managing people and trading in a downturn, but he also tackles the various reasons people give themselves for not starting their own business. There is plenty of useful stuff in the book, whether you are just starting out or already running your own business. We get practical examples of successful and failed business ventures both large and small, that can teach us much. The advice given in the book may not be new, but it has seldom been put more enthusiastically, or as well. The book is entertaining and easy to read.

Johnson's book has practical advice, but is also a wake-up call for anyone who wants to go out and live their dreams, build a business, and potentially get rich doing it. Luke Johnson believes "Running you own business is nowhere as tough as you might think. So what are you waiting for?"
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