Book Review – 101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life by Andrew Griffiths

Title: 101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life
Author: Andrew Griffiths
Format: Paperback
Written & Published: 2007

This book comes from the 101 Ways series of business books by Andrew Griffiths, and focuses on ways to bring balance, harmony and fulfilment to your business life. It is targeted at people who either have a small business or are in the process of building one. The tips are grouped into themes, such as fun and relationships, and there are 20 bonus tips in the back of the book.

Some of the tips in this book offer sound advice, such as #7 (Develop your plan of attack and put it where you can see it) and #71 (Get rid of unfinished business). They are clearly written, concise and actionable. By completing these suggested actions, which are simple to understand and implement, the reader should either feel an immediate improvement or see how the improvement will occur over time.

Small business is the focus of the book, but there are a lot of tips that I cannot work out how to adapt as a sole trader. I can see how #29 (Fun uses every sense – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste) could work in an office, but I really can’t see myself developing a Fun Committee where I am the only member, having a pin-up board with baby pictures of myself, or having a ‘something you didn’t know about me’ day. My main problem with fun is that I work alone most of the day, and following through on that tip would make me feel so alone that I’d probably take up drinking, regardless of #62.

Many of the tips in this book are repetitive. They either build off previous tips, so cannot be completed in isolation, or they are a previous tip rewritten to fit into the next section. Initially I forgave the book for this, assuming that 101 tips would be a big ask but, once I realised there were 20 bonus tips at the back, it is very easy to see where the book could have been easily improved. I appreciate that all of the books in the series contain 20 bonus tips, but that just annoys me more.

Several classic tips are absent from this book, which surprised me. It has been written for a general audience, which means there is not a specific type of small business in mind, but tips to streamline efficiency are almost absent. Some strategies are universal, such as batching, but they are missing. I would expect that learning how to work more efficiently would be a necessary counterpoint to some of the tips in this book that require a greater outlay of time.

While this book would offer valuable insights to the small business owner who has never read this type of book before, I struggle to imagine that this book would be the first one they would pick up. For this reason, I am rating the book 2 out of 5 pages.

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