By @SimonCocking review of Built to Grow by Royston Guest , CEO of and is a renowned Conference Speaker, Facilitator, Business Strategist, Success Coach. For details about how to buy the book and to read a free chapter see here.

Play to your strengths, Recruit the best and Outsource the rest! …Tips to build and grow your business

This is a timely book as all the projections suggest that looking forwards five years and beyond more and more of us will become self employed or running our own companies. This book aims to cover, in a thorough way, the things you need to keep in mind when launching and growing your own business. There are some good tips about building up the right habbits. A lot of success in business is about doing the right things, consistently, time and time again. It will rarely be about the one moment of inspiration, or pitching to the right person at the right time. Instead success is more likely to come from the more prosaic attributes of being persistent, committed, and able to problem solve, and not be dispirited by setbacks along the way.

There are good insights along the way, such as that ‘HR’ is a problematic way of looking at your key resource, namely your team, as a ‘resource’ rather than as the humans that they are. As was recently mentioned by Brent Hoberman when we recently interviewed him, it is vital when you hire the first few people for your company that you get it right. “These people will be the DNA of your company, and the subsequent people that they hire, get that wrong and it will be difficult to correct it”. Royston Guest’s book aims to take you through many of the less sexy areas of starting and succesfully running a business, looking at P&L (profit and loss) and how important it is that you are aware of where your figures are in relation to this criteria.

At times these topics have the potential to become a little dry, so it was with pleasant surprise that we read about the value of the Israeli strategy in World War Z, when the rest of the world is overrun with zombies. Guest explains the value of having the tenth man to be a contrarian to the wisdom of everyone else in the room, and the value that this can bring to your business (and potentially dealing with a zombie invasion if you are unfortunate enough to experience that also).

It’s a useful book, and one to keep in mind as you strive to deal with the daily challenges and mini upheavals that come along in all businesses.


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