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Anyone Can Do It: My Story Paperback – 3 Sep 2007
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From an ice cream van to Dragons' Den - the autobiography of self-made multi-millionaire Duncan Bannatyne
At 30, Duncan Bannatyne had no money and was enjoying life on the beaches of Jersey. He saw a story of someone who had made himself a millionaire, and decided to do the same. Five years later he had done it, and now he is worth 168 million. In this remarkable book, Bannatyne relives his colourful path to riches, from ice cream salesman to multi-millionaire, explaining how anyone could take the same route as he did - if they really want to. Hugely articulate, and with numerous fascinating and revealing stories to tell, this is an autobiography and a business book unlike any other - but then Bannatyne isn't like any other businessman, either.See all Product description
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Not everyone is able to create the story that he did. Times and opportunities have changed. These days, building property investments, the bedrock of his growth after selling ice creams is now not so simple. The book is well worth a read without being spectacular and riveting. It has a load of nice to know anecdotes and old school theories in it. Much of which are still relevant.
His achievements are impressive and his appearances on Dragons Den, no less solid. If you have some spare time and want a light commercial read, this book is advised.
I didn't know much about Mr Bannatyne before reading this book. I was looking for insight and inspiration into starting up in business. Instead, what I learned is how he looks down on his sibblings (who, he is perplexed to add, are satisfied with what he calls an 'ordinary' life), owns a villa in Cannes, rents a private jet and has helped with charitable work in Romania. But the book lost all credibility at this line: "It was there and then that God said hello."
Yes this man has made a fantastic success of himself, having amassed a fortune from humble beginnings. But it has made him big-headed and, quite frankly, dull.
Don't turn to this book for inspiration.
In this book, Bannatyne - who was made famous through the BBC's Dragon's Den -charts the course of his career, talking openly about the good and the bad, the highs and the lows.
After a dishonourable discharge from the navy, and various jobs, he bought an ice cream van and started to work for himself. One van became two, then three...
Seeing an opportunity in the care home industry he went into business with someone else and once it became clear that would work he started a series of care homes himself, scaling the business and eventually floating it.
He set up a chain of children's nurseries, applying the skills learned from his care home business. He rapidly grew the business and then sold it a few years later.
Other than Dragon's Den, he's perhaps best known for his chain of gyms, and we read about how it developed from an idea to a single gym and then rapidly scaled to become a large chain.
Hotels, a spell running (turning around) a radio station, and many other ventures are narrated.
As you'd expect, the book also talks about the Dragon's Den show relating lots of fascinating stories.
Bannatyne's passion for his charitable interests shines through. Between chapters on various business ventures he talks with much emotion of trips to Romaina and other places.
A fascinating book, well-written, and easy-to-read, charting Duncan Bannatyne's life and entrepreneurial ventures. Well worth reading!
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Duncan is a brilliant man.