As a small business owner one area you should be constantly practising is learning. Learning from others, learning from case studies, learning from books. In this month’s book club I want to bring attention to not one but two great books. Both telling the stories of amazing businesswomen, how they got the where they are now, sharing their experiences and wisdom.
My Fight to the top by Michelle Mone
I found this book really fascinating. Michelle’s journey to the top is extraordinary with events which are unexpected, in terms of setbacks but also success of Ultimo as a brand.
Why is it must-read?
This book gives you the insight into how Michelle launched Ultimo and how in particular she used clever marketing campaigns and famous models for her photoshoots to get the brand on the map. The photoshoots were financially very risky but she put her foot down and went ahead with it. There are many lessons learnt and to take a note of.
My biggest takeaways:
Lesson one: Make a list of clear goals which you want to achieve to give you focus and clarity.
Lesson two: Ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Lesson three: Take calculated risks. It’s hard to be sure for 100% but if your gut is saying yes, go for it.
Lesson four: Believe in yourself and your own capabilities. In her own words, Michelle says: “If you can control your mind, you can control anything.” The road to success is hard but rewarding. Self-believe will help you cope with setbacks and disappointments.
Strong woman by Karren Brady
This book is very interesting. It’s not written in a traditional biographical way. Instead, Karren dedicates each chapter to a topic such as mindset, learning to lead and so on. Her story is fascinating especially because of the fact that she works in a predominantly male dominated industry, where, at the beginning, she had to overcome the stereotypical assumptions and problems associated with that kind of working environment. I found the chapter where she describes how she turned the Birmingham City Club around, sharing her strategies which helped to improve the club tremendously – very fascinating! Some of them can be used as case studies and inspiration for your own business.
My biggest takeaways:
Lesson one: Learning to delegate and communicate clearly your ideas. As she says; “Communication goes two ways.”
Lesson two: Work with what you’ve got and be creative.
Lesson three: The concept of building a business successfully through planning, process and structure.
Want to be part of a group of like-minded creatives who are going through what you’re going through? We have an amazing community of emerging designers, interior designers, stylists, fashion accessory brands, artists and photographers, where we help each other to grow. This is where I encourage sharing knowledge and brand collaborations. No fakes, self-centred liars and backstabbers are allowed. Please join us here. And, feel free to share if you found this useful!