Book Review: The social entrepreneurs A-Z On anxiety, leadership and getting enough sleep

Former CEO of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Liam Black reveals the naked truth of leadership in his latest book “The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z”.

When we were first sent Liam Black’s latest book “The Social Entrepreneur’s A-Z on Anxiety, Leadership and Getting Enough Sleep”, we were immediately struck by how different this business book looked and felt in comparison to the traditional entrepreneurial advice book.

The A-Z quite literally takes you through the A-Z of social entrepreneurship from common anxieties such as ‘will my ideas succeed?’ right through to the Zzzz of getting enough sleep to be able to deal with whatever life throws at you. Many of the elements discussed in the book are not necessarily ‘new’, but they are, however, extremely relevant to anyone starting out on a new business venture.

Written in response to a speech Liam Black gave to 150 young aspiring social entrepreneurs last year, the A-Z offers a very candid and witty insight into his own personal experiences as a social entrepreneur. I’d recommend this book for anyone looking to start out in the entrepreneurial world looking for a quick and easy read without getting bogged down by the information-ridden world of entrepreneurship advice.

The A-Z offers a new take on the traditional business book, perhaps emphasising the more contemporary importance of the social entrepreneur. Where the social entrepreneur aims to come up with innovative solutions for society’s more pressing social problems, the A-Z offers a more human take on the day-to-day problems facing entrepreneurs.

The illustrations provided for each letter have a tendency to give the book the feeling of bringing the entrepreneur back to basics, with an almost childish spin. Along with these, the witty quotes used for each piece of advice are well chosen and bring out a more comical side to the world of social entrepreneurship.

Liam Black’s warts and all admittance of his previous commercial struggles, and even failures, alongside a very thought-provoking foreword from Professor Muhammad Yunus (the founder of Grameen Bank) leaves the reader with a sense of genuine honesty gained from an experienced social entrepreneur.

The A-Z does not try to offer one ground-breaking theory to succeed in the world of business. Instead, it offers top tips and advice on the more human elements of actually being an entrepreneur on a day to day basis – from truly understanding your customers, through to hiring the right people in order to ‘create world class teams’.

This fun, quick and easy read aimed at social entrepreneurs of all ages is a must read for anyone. The compilation of short stories from Liam Black’s successes, but perhaps more importantly his trials and tribulations, provide us with a very honest and open look into the struggles faced by entrepreneurs worldwide.


One Response

  • Jan 9, 2015

    Well done Liam. Really looking forward reading your book and thank you for putting it down into words for us all. I bet it’s been a heck of a roller coaster ride!

    Dan Snell Jan 9, 2015

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