Freedom from Bosses Forever by Tony Robinson OBE
|Freedom from Bosses Forever by Tony Robinson OBE|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A biting satire wrapped around some sage business advice and provoking thoughts about the state of small businesses in the UK. Tony Robinson OBE popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 174||Date: January 2010|
|Publisher: Enterprise Rockers|
|External links: Author's website|
When we first meet Canadian businesswoman Leonora Soculitherz (don't struggle - it's pronounced 'so cool it hurts') she's on her way from Manchester Airport to Scarborough, the home of her agent, Tony Robinson OBE. You get the measure of the woman straight away as she lets her irritation show about the problems you find in the First Class carriage on the train. (She is so right - I was once grateful to spend the journey perched on a luggage rack.) Her mission is a piece of investigative journalism that's going to introduce her to some very superior people as she searches for information about why people in small businesses don't get the help they need.
Now you can be forgiven for feeling a little confused as you start to read the book. You've probably been hooked by the title - Freedom from Bosses Forever - and completely convinced by the subtitle - Taking Control Of Your Own Destiny by Going It Alone. It's what most wage slaves would love - but then we discover that our author answers to Soculitherz and she doesn't even seem to have a particularly high opinion of him. Relax. Settle into the book. Meander round the tourist attractions in Scarborough because soon you'll need to do some serious thinking. What you're going to be presented with is some very sharp satire, excellent business advice and a few pointers to make you wonder about why small businesses are not cherished in the UK.
Soculitherz wants you to learn from people who are not famous, simply because they're authentic. She points out that Tony Blair regards himself as a small business owner these days. Apparently he's loving it. She's no great fan of gurus, explaining that the essentials of what makes a successful business haven't changed in hundreds of years - but imparting this isn't what makes money for the guru. I was particularly taken by her insistence that you have to understand and do pricing, get the right margin, minimise costs, maximise sales revenue and estimate/manage your cashflow. In terms of actually running a business it's difficult to think that you should stray far from this. To train she recommends that the best way to learn what to do to be successful in your own enterprise is by doing things and learning from them. Simple when you think about it.
Entrepreneurs have a different approach to life in Soculitherz' experience. Discussing one young woman of her acquaintance she points out that an entrepreneur is interested in what customers will pay for but this young woman is interested in what her ego demands and her employer will pay for. Self-employment means being exposed because all your status and profile from when you were in employment will be stripped away
And it's not just on business that Soculitherz has excellent advice: looking good is about how well you tuck your bits in. So true that. But what I really loved were Leonora's bite-sized pieces of business advice - sprinkled liberally throughout and her definitions at the end of the book. (Colleagues: Adversaries and Evaluation: Can somebody tell me what we've done and why we did it? or the excellent Time Management: How to get a Rolex out of business expenses.) I laughed my way through the book, but at the end I'd found rather a lot to think about, both in terms of my own business and the state of small businesses in the UK.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
It's nowhere near as funny but for more sage business advice we can recommend Managing Yourself (The Checklist Series: Step by step guides to getting it right) by The Chartered Management Institute.
You can read more about Tony Robinson OBE here.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Freedom from Bosses Forever by Tony Robinson OBE at Amazon.com.
Tony Robinson OBE was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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