Book Review: 101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life

By Shane Butler

This article appeared in Issue 3#2 (January/February 2009) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand

101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life
By Andrew Griffiths
Published:  Allen & Unwin 2007
RRP AUS$24.95
ISBN:  978-1-74114-787-2

Andrew Griffiths is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur whose past misdemeanours include having been a workaholic most of his adult life:  “I wrote 101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life because I really needed to read it and apply its simple messages.”

This book was created from Griffiths’ personal experiences of owning small businesses and allowing them to rule his life, often at the detriment of his health and family life.  At his most unbalanced stage, Griffiths was grossly overweight.  He did not exercise or eat properly; he had a failed marriage; and his friends were disappearing.

However, his major turning point was the sudden death of his sister from a heart attack at age 35.  Griffiths was just two years younger and clearly heading for destruction.

Today Griffiths is busier than ever, but has managed to create harmony and balance, that has resulted in him enjoying a very healthy, happy and successful lifestyle.

Although he was motivated into writing this book to improve the quality of his own life, Griffiths understands that life balance is a common struggle for many business owners.

As a regular keynote speaker, Griffiths has been able to draw on his discussions with tens of thousands of small business owners around the world and their daily challenges.

A questionnaire in the book’s introduction allows readers to comprehend where they register on the ‘out of balance’ scale.  Readers should be prepared to continually ask themselves, ‘What can I do today?’ while Griffiths offers tips to improve specific problem areas.

Just as reflection is important in maintaining a healthy balance, Griffiths explains that identifying how you want your life to be is just as critical – and the more specific, the better.  The book is also scattered with ‘action pages’ to continually remind the reader to identify how they can regain balance in their lives.

Sections include re-education by recognising and then changing unproductive behaviour; effective communication; the ‘f’ word (fun); balancing energy, people, relationships, family and business; physical and mental health; becoming more composed; and accomplishing work tasks.  

As Griffiths has consulted with several business owners of each sex, there are separate gender sections giving individual balancing tips for men and women.

The way the book is structured, it will suit two types of readers:  those who habitually scan for chapters on particular subject material, and those who prefer to read from start to finish.

And it will appeal to a selection of readers and people, whether they are just considering buying their first franchise or are juggling the demands of multi-unit franchising.  In fact, this is an excellent read for anyone – whether or not they actually own a business, as many aspects appeal to balancing life in general.

101 Ways to Have a Business and a Life provides simple, practical and achievable ideas to detect the main culprits of imbalance and to regain control.

Griffiths has also written 101 Ways to Market Your Business, 101 Ways to Advertise Your Business, 101 Ways to Really Satisfy Your Customers, 101 Ways to Boost your Business, Secrets to Building a Winning Business, and the soon to be released 101 Ways to Succeed at Network Marketing.