100 RULES FOR ENTREPRENEURS – Real-Life Business Lessons – Neil Lewis, reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™, and other enterprises

For this and reviews for entrepreneurs, coaching, business development, marketing, pr go to http://www.mywonderfullifecoach.co.uk/bookreviews.aspx 
 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs – Real-Life Business Lessons focuses on core ‘first principles’ in business from which the rules then flow. Neil Lewis’s entrepreneurial pedigree cannot be denied. Here are lessons of incalculable value from an entrepreneur who built a $12 million business from a £2,000 back bedroom start-up, survived ten years with the last two years of decline delivering the most entrepreneurial lessons, then walked away with nothing. But then he picked himself up and started all over again!


    As a serial entrepreneur who has been head hunted to turn businesses around I would like to see this book as a reference in every business library. Wondering what you can learn and pitfalls to avoid? Better get your hands on a copy, read now and apply your rules!

    100 Rules kicks off with a version of Tennyson’s classic In Memoriam “It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried’. The important thing is to learn from experience. These insights into what can go wrong when an entrepreneur’s first business booms then busts? Priceless! As is conviction, knowledge that it needn’t break anyone, true entrepreneurs just get over it! Start again! 

     ‘Just do it’ is Neil’s call to learn but importantly, to action. All journeys begin with the first step, you can think about things forever but it is action that makes things happen. Armed with these lessons affecting all areas of business you have sound advice on your side that will help you in many ways from cutting costs to employing right to improving profits and much more besides.

       ‘Boom times’ can be a load of ‘hot air’, a time to learn from your mistakes. ‘Bust times’ (recessions), (as I know from personal experience) can be times of greatest innovation and opportunity. Through it all though there’s an emphasis to know and take care of yourself. You’re the captain of your own ship and it’s sensible to think about alternative measures of success than purely money.  You’re encouraged to ‘Sharpen the Saw’ as in Stephen Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’.

        Sound advice to know your strengths and weaknesses; have a boost every now and again; go on holiday, you’re NOT indispensible (or shouldn’t be). (I remember being told quite frankly that people were capable and everything was under control during my very first vacation when I rang the office to see how things were. Felt strange, but very satisfying, not to be needed in my own business)!

       I’d like to have seen more substance in Rule 64 about the power of Vision, especially Shared Vision with wider company input, ownership and delivery of the Values, Mission and Strategic Action Plans that flow from these. After all though, company failed, and lack of these may be one reason why?

      ‘To Stop’ list, great idea; win/win negotiation; power of 3 in KPI’s; Business Angels; Freelancers; Interim Senior Managers and, importantly, avoiding the ‘diversify’ trap; warning to not too speedily dilute your own holding in the business (those desperately seeking finance may) plus Business Exit Strategies. The latter doesn’t mean you’ll definitely action; advantage to think through even if the solution is a big money buyout!

       There’s fundamental truth in Neil’s quote ‘Business comes and business goes – but you’ll always be an entrepreneur (someone who starts businesses)!’ I’ve never met a true entrepreneur yet who either found satisfaction working for someone else, or who gave up completely after their first failure.

      His postscript expresses hope that 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs will add three years to learning and maturing process for every entrepreneur/would be entrepreneur reader. An additional resource, one outcome from all this learning, is the new MediaModo entrepreneurial accreditation scheme to revolutionise the way investors and entrepreneurs work together. Look out for it!

      Start up, student or seasoned entrepreneur, there’s valuable advice in 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs! Highly Recommended 

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2 Responses to “100 RULES FOR ENTREPRENEURS – Real-Life Business Lessons – Neil Lewis, reviewed by Valerie Dwyer – Serial Entrepreneur, Coach, Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, founder of My Wonderful Life Coach™, Everything is Possible™, and other enterprises”

  1. Neil Lewis - author of 100 Rules for Entrepreneurs Says:

    Hi Valerie

    As the author of the book, I just wanted to say thanks very much for your review and comments.

    As you suggest I think a shared vision is a great idea – and could make rule 101!

    The lesson I learnt – and keep learning – is that success as an entrepreneur it is not just about people – but also, how you put teams together and where you direct them.

    Shared vision, as you suggest, is key to this.

    I find that as I seek to raise my team from simply doers and followers of instruction to take responsibility for outcomes and results, the key is to ensure that they buy into the outcome and the results they are aiming for.

    This is true on a very practical and everyday level.

    However, there is also something that happens in startups when the business is focused on doing something very different. I get the sense that this can create a real sense of togetherness and willingness to go the extra mile.

    You could call this a shared value – because, typically, the people agree that something doesn’t work well – and they want to make it better.

    When I look at startup investment proposals they often contain a paragraph on the ‘pain’ they are attempting to remove.

    So, for instance, the pain we are attempting to remove with our accreditation service is the cost and effort of Business Angels and Entrepreneurs doing due dilligence on each other (as people).

    It is that awareness of a ‘pain’ and the desire to remove it, that I’ve found to be one of the most powerful shared visions that a business can make.

    So the best shared visions are rarely ‘to be the best, most ethical …’ but rather ‘to remove the pain of xyz and so to make life better’.



    • valeriedwyer1 Says:

      Hi Neil, Thanks for your comments. You’ve got it in a nutshell. The shared vision isn’t always ‘materialised’ though and it helps to go through this process, something which I major on having developed my White Table Visioning(tm) process from years of experience in this arena, including business turnarounds and also right at startup – so invaluable when growth begins and new joiners come on board – and when plateaus are reached or a complete change of direction is necessary. . Process also works (surprised?) with individuals – as the Coach/Mentor delivering the process becomes part of the shared vision and helps the individual that way to ground and go for what it is they really want. Please do emphasise more the importance of shared vision – you clearly have the opportunity.


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