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Articles

04

Mar

Entrepreneurship in Large Organisations

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 Big organisations can’t rely on being just big anymore. They need to behave much more like entrepreneurs: more agile, more curious, more iterative, less set in their ways, less complacent. Yet the two worlds, that of big organisations and that of entrepreneurs, couldn’t be further apart. Why is that?
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04

Mar

How to be your Own Customer

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I was brought up with the advert featuring Victor Kiam, head of Remington Products, in which he said, “I loved the shavers so much I bought the company.” Some things haven’t changed since the 80s. A decade or two later, Will King created King of Shaves because he was allergic to foam shaving products. The moral of the story: many entrepreneurs start companies out of the frustration of not finding what they want for themselves and create products they love or need as customers. Approaching a business this way, customer service becomes the essence of what you do rather than a nice extra. The customer is your core compass in making decisions.
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04

Mar

What’s Love Got to do with Leadership?

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When you love something, you notice the details. In a relationship, that might be a partner’s laugh or particular way of moving. For Howard Schultz, who grew Starbucks from a local Seattle coffee shop into a globe-spanning giant, love was in the details of the coffee-making process — the hiss of the machines and the smell of the beans.
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04

Mar

How to Press Delete on Our Fears

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I don’t consider myself someone held back by fear. As a former lawyer who threw it all in to start a coffee chain with my brother, I know my career path personifies life outside the comfort zone. My first book is titled Anyone Can Do It and is all about overcoming the fear of starting a business. My motto is “leap and the net will appear”.
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04

Mar

Act Like a Big Kid: The Importance of Being Clueless

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My brother and I started a business we were completely clueless about. It was a coffee business—the UK’s first coffee bar chain, an answer to Starbucks before it hit our shores. Our idea was good, but it wasn’t a market we really knew. I had been a lawyer all my working life and my brother a banker. We knew zero about coffee, about retail, about catering. It didn’t run in our family either. We were complete outsiders.
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04

Mar

Entrepreneurship: Can Anyone Do It?

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Writing a book about our journey of starting Coffee Republic taught me one thing: yes, anyone can be an entrepreneur. Really.
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04

Mar

Best Advice: The Only Question You Need to Ask Yourself Every Day

The best advice I was ever given wasn’t from any of the CEOs or successful entrepreneurs I’ve met. Nor was it from any business book. It was from my dad. I was doing my Law Society Finals, which is basically the final exam you have to take to qualify as a lawyer in the UK. It was a difficult year, lots of hard graft, and when all my friends had already started working, I had gone back to studying.
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01

Mar

Margaret Thatcher Taught me Self-Reliance

Often, we only realise the value of things when they’re gone, which is exactly what happened to me when I heard of Baroness Thatcher’s death.

The news made me suddenly aware of the huge impact she has had on my life and how, although I had never consciously acknowledged it before, I am one of Thatcher’s children and her values are deeply entrenched in my psyche.

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