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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2005
The thrill of being an entrepreneur and giving shape to your own business model is unparalleled but the harsh reality is that more than half of all start-up businesses in the UK fail within the first year. Each year thousands of hopefuls try their hand and each year thousands fail. So what is this fine line between success and failure one wonders? Rachel Bridge, the Enterprise Editor of The Sunday Times, sets about finding the answer each week from those who have made it. Her column 'How I Made It' appears in the Business section of The Sunday Times and attracts a huge amount of interest and comment from readers.
Drawing on the success of her weekly column, comes 'How I Made It : 40 successful entrepreneurs reveal'. The adapted book, 'How I Made It' is a snapshot of entrepreneurial success by 40 of today's successful business owners in the UK. Each piece takes the form of an interview with a successful entrepreneur. The entrepreneurs have been chosen by the author from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds, but in each case the focus of the interviews is on ordinary people that readers can relate to and learn from. They are individuals who started their business from scratch and managed to turn it into a success without the help of influential friends or access to large funds.
In profile format, Bridge probes into the mind of these entrepreneurs detailing their backgrounds, early careers, aspirations and motivation. The interviews chart each of the so- called 'maverick's' rise to success and their current financial worth at the top of their game. But its not all ranting and raving about their success. The entrepreneurs also reveal where they stumbled, what mistakes they made and how they learnt from the experience. The interviewees share with the reader their own business philosophy. One can follow their ups and downs via this book and look to the future of one's own venture with renewed enthusiasm! It covers a wide range of companies from all sectors to give a well balanced overview of today's entrepreneurs and the challenges they have faced in an ever changing business climate.
Some of the 40 entrepreneurs featured in the book include: Lizzie Van (founder of Organix brands), Darren Richards (founder of, Maria Kempinska, (founder of Jongleurs), Rosemary Conley (founder of theHip & Thigh Diet), Zahid Kasim (founder of Café Lazeez), Charlie Bigham (founder of Bighams), Harry Cragoe (founder of PJ Smoothies) Heather Gilchrist (founder of Happitots) and Ted Smart (founder of The Book People). The author acknowledges that there is no blueprint towards becoming a successful entrepreneur and no right or wrong way to go about it. What is needed is the right attitude and determination. In this book you hear how those who have made it struck the right chord. If you are a budding entrepreneur and currently run your own business, then Bridge's book is of immense inspirational value which sort of supersedes the fact that it is a thoroughly good read.
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on 5 November 2004
It's a great read - lively and informative and tells you exactly how top enterpreneurs such as Rosemary Conley and Mark Ellingham - the guy behind Rough Guides - made it, including the times they made mistakes or the times they got a lucky break, which is often the good bit that other books and profiles leave out. There's a whole range of people covered in the book so it is really interesting and I think it would make a really good present for anyone stuck in a boring job who is thinking about setting out on their own. It is also a great nosy look into the minds of self-made millionaires! And any book recommended by Richard Branson has to be worth a look...
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on 15 October 2008
I'm not an entrepreneur and have no intention of becoming one (at least not yet!), however I found this a fascinating and inspiring read. You don't have to be in business to benefit from the advice dispensed in this book, it can be applied to people's day to day lives as well, which is what makes it really great.

It's an eye opening read and makes you think about the world, and yourself, differently. After all, entrepreneurs see opportunities where you and I see everyday things and the more you read about them, the more their mannerisms and philosophies begin to rub off on you. So if you're looking for an injection of inspiration and motivation in your life, look no further.
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This is not a new book, but not at all dated and with a lot of value to those who read it and seek ideas, knowledge, indeed inspiration from the short accounts and advice these entrepreneurs and business people provide. There are warnings, too and accounts of what happens when the inevitable downturn occurs and the things you need to do to keep going. In this respect, all of the people are survivors and this is worth the price of the book in terms of showing how innovation and creative thinking, important at the best of times, essential in the worst, helps business survive and prosper. If you want to start a business, it will be encouraging and informative; if you are in business it will inspire and educate, so there is something for everyone here. Overall, the book is helpful in getting you to engage or re-engage in the process of thinking about business and what you are in business for and how to create value. I'm glad I read it, and have found it one of the more useful books on business and entrepreneurship than much of what I have read up to now.
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on 2 July 2009
I've read a couple similar to this book, but this is the best.
The profiles are written well,are up to date with the credit crunch etc, explain their differing situations and inspirations and are just the right length to make this book a must for anyone interested in how ideas were borne, and how to make your ideas become a reality.
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on 8 December 2007
With phrases such as "failure cannot live with persistance" and / or ideas like "invent the rules", Rachel Bridge presents a brilliant short stories' collection of people who one day woke up and decided that was it, that was the day they were paying a fair (or unfair) price for taking control of their own destinies. That's just the way you will learn how 40 successful brit companies, among those Bighams, Daily Bread, The Ice Box, Dating Direct, Green Baby, PJ Smothies, Reef One, The People Book, etc.were born and came to be... inspiring book, brilliantly written (summed up) and easily asimilated... get it and read it, satisfaction guaranteed! Actually, I cannot wait to receive her second book "My Big Idea"...
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on 16 April 2007
40 Chapters on successful entrepreneurs, 2/3 pages on each of their stories and what they do/how they did it/and some advice. Not a bad read, lacks depth, but then it says that when you buy the book. Very honest. Worth a read if you are interested in a lot of different areas of business. Many of the entreprenueurs covered are fairly unknown, which is also a positive as not much else is written about them.
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on 7 April 2011


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on 22 October 2011
This book is very easy to read and gives the views of 40 successful, although not necessarily well known, entrepreneurs. It promotes that fact that anybody could be successful with the right idea and some hard work.
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on 27 November 2010
The book does not go into deep detail on the subjects but does a wonderful job of keeping the reader interested. Quite inspirational really and I would recommend this book to anybody with an interest in business.
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