In through the outfield blog

07 April 2009

Business tips from the experts spent a bit of time today exploring our collection of videos on the Business & IP Centre Inspiring Entrepreneurs YouTube Channel.

We now have 71 videos to choose from with ex-Dragon Doug Richard the most popular with over 9,000 views.


I decided to have a look at those videos which languish at the other end of the viewing spectrum and came across some pearls of wisdom from the late Anita Roddick.

Her talk was part of our Commerce with a Conscience event from January 2007, and although I was fortunate enough to be present that evening, I had forgotten what an amazing (and unpredictable) speaker she was.

Here are a few quotes to indicate what I mean:

“As entrepreneurs you are incredibly creative, you vomit ideas.”

“What you are lousy at is management, I couldn’t manage my way out of a paper bag.”

“Successful social entrepreneurs are pathologically optimistic.”

Here are just a few of her ideas from the evening:

1. You need to find people who can expedite your ideas, as you won’t have the skills.

Cover2. Set clear goals. Napoleon Hill author of Think and Grow Rich. interviewed some of the richest people in the world in the 1920’s, and distilled their views. The key point was to be so clear of your objective you can visualise it. My subsequent experience as a business advisor has reinforced this view. Only those entrepreneurs who really see where they are going with their business or their idea will succeed in the long run.

3. Learn what you need to know, then network with people who have expertise and knowledge and ask them questions. It seem women entrepreneurs a much better at this than their male counterparts.

4. Copy other people’s ideas if they are great ones. Anita learnt about using tours as a way of inspiring staff and customers from Ben & Jerry’s.

5. Enthusiasm can overcome almost all barriers.

6. Don’t borrow money from close friends or family, as it can lead to control issues.

7. Find your area of excellence.


Anita Roddick was a tremendous business woman and human being and leaves behind an incredible legacy. Thank you for sharing these words from her.

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