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What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography Hardcover – 30 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1st edition (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023074933X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230749337
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 5.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Brash and bold are two adjectives used to describe this ruthless businessman turned TV personality. But Lord Sugar is a self-made man and one of Britain's finest business brains. His story so far is inspirational to the end.' --The Sun

'Sugar is unusual among celebrity memoirists in that he's a clever man who has done a lot with his life, and the tale of his rise from nothing, and nowhere is genuinely revealing.' --Private Eye

'He tells the story with characteristic wit and honesty, adding enough juicy bits of gossip to keep non-business readers onside. Having set the task of writing and marketing a bestselling book there's little doubt he'll be on the winning team.' --Director Magazine

'I'm addicted to autobiographies and What You See Is What You Get is one of the best i've read. Love him or loathe him, Baron Sugar of Clapton is the walking, snarling embodiment of all the values he espouses on The Apprentice. He believes in loyalty, hard work, looking after your family and enjoying your success. His rise to success from a tiny council house in East London is extraordinary and he tells it in the kind of blunt, no-nonsense way that has made him such a hit on television.' --Piers Morgan, Mail on Sunday

'Anyone reading an autobiography of Alan Sugar will want to glean some of his business savvy. And he delivers. Even his section on running Tottenham Hotspur FC provides insights into his attitudes and working methods.' --Sunday Herald

'Aspiring entrepreneurs will welcome the business advice that is ladled out liberally.' --Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Today Lord Sugar is chairman of Amshold Group Ltd. In 2009 he was appointed by PM Gordon Brown as Enterprise Champion to advise the government on small business and enterprise, and was also awarded a life peerage, becoming Alan, Baron Sugar of Clapton in the London Borough of Hackney. He continues to appear in The Apprentice.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By holidaytommy on 11 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished this book and what a surprise! It is not what I expected I did not really like Alan Sugar before I read this book, but I found this book absolutely fascinating I could not put it down Its one of the best autobiographies that I have read it just shows you there are 2 sides to every story especially regarding Terry Venables what sly and corrupt person he was.The press have certainly only portrayed one side to this story but at last Alan Sugar has the chance to put his side.I would recommend this book to everyone it just shows with a lot of hard work even someone from the poorest backgrounds can achieve brilliant results.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Clapham on 17 Nov. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book from Alan Sugar. I'm not sure if he wrote it personally, and I see there is some debate about whether or not he did, but I'd be shocked if he didn't at least write MOST of it, purely because there was just so many details and the fact that it 'sounded' like him - i could hear him almost talking to me through the book as it is written in very much 'his style' and manner of speaking. This is not a quick 'feelgood' type of book, it really gets down to the nitty gritty of what it is like building a huge business from scratch and includes relentless details about exactly how this all happened. This may put some people off and makes the book rather long, but for me I thought it was the best part. This book will really appeal to you if you have even the slightest inkling of the spirit of doing business inside you (I hesitate to say the word 'entrepreneur' because Lord Sugar mentions both on the telly and in his book about how he doesn't like people using this term to refer to themselves, and I quite agree!).

A fairly big chunk of this book dealt with Lord Sugar's time with Tottenham Football Club. Not being a football fan at all, I let out a big moan when I came to this part expecting to be thoroughly bored by it. However what transpired was very interesting indeed even though I know nothing about either football or Lord Sugar's prior involvement in it. There were a lot of valuable lessons that can be taken from this section in particular, as it represented what was obviously the most challenging time of his entire career and a lot of very difficult decisions that had to be made. I tend to be prone to 'giving up' when the going gets tough, when I enter times in my business where I have to deal with difficult situations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Collins on 5 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
It may seem odd but I have watched 'The Appentice' only once, for some reason I just did not relate to the programme. Having said that I have always had great admiration for Alan Sugars and his ability to see the wood for the trees. The insight into the life and the growing up of a young boy of a not too wealthy Jewish family was fascinating. Even at an early age Alan's brain was tuned to spot opportunities and how to use them to best advantage. That should be a lesson to us all, although I think entrepreneurs are born and cannot trained.

I was in my teens and twenties at the same time as Alan was having his ideas and turning them into items to sell in vast numbers at the expense of his rivals. It was an exciting era when technology was entering our homes and offices in a way that had never happend before, and all at affordable prices.

Alan's excellent book reflects his way of saying, doing, planning and marketing things and how to cope with business adversity. His obvious love of his family is a credit to him, the world would be a better place if there was more of that.

The reason I awarded four stars rather than five was because of my total lack of interest in the game of football and its politics.

Once started, I could not put the book down, it is compulsive reading and a fantastic bargain at Amazon's price.
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124 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Aegeanjan on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alan Sugar was a born opportunist. From a very early age he could see an opportunity to make money where other people saw a pile of junk. Couple this with a fierce desire to do well and we learn - from his autobiography What You See Is What You Get - how he transforms from a young and naive lad to the supremely successful businessman that Lord Sugar is today.

The book takes you on his journey in his own blunt way of speaking, from when he was a poor, young loner to becoming a multi-millionaire in his thirties; a football club chairman in his forties; a Knight of the Realm and a television phenomenon in his fifties; and Lord Sugar, Baron Sugar of Clapton in his sixties.

The first half of the book is mainly about the rise of the company he created - Amstrad. It goes into great detail about how Alan Sugar built it into a multi million pound industry from scratch, using nothing more than common sense, an eye for an opportunity and a self taught ability to negotiate and hustle. There is not much mention of his family in this section, other than briefly covering the main events such as marriage to his wife, Ann, the birth of their children, moving house etc.

The second half covers the period as Tottenham Hotspur's Chairman; how he became a television personality, a Knight and a Lord; and the dignified demise of his beloved company Amstrad.

The book doesn't go into any detail on how the pressures of building up the Sugar Empire impacted his family or friends. It only touches on some points in this area. It does, however, give an insight into how Alan Sugar felt whenever his loyalty was betrayed and in particular, when he became victim to negative media coverage - especially during his time as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club chairman.
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