Tuesday 24 October 2017

How to get sh*t done

Niall Harbison
Niall Harbison

Entrepreneur Niall Harbison's new book is a guide to growing your own business. He's decided that he wants to share the tips and tricks that made him a millionaire in his early thirties. Yes, it sounds a bit silly to give the game away, but say nothing, smile politely, and read on ... If he wants to share his tools of the trade, who are we to stop him?

When I sold my company for a couple of million in 2012 and sat on the beach, I wondered what to do next. I was 32 and achieved my life's ambition. I'd been kicked out of two different schools at 17 with no qualifications and become a chef. I'd travelled the world cooking for billionaires and living life to the full.

I've started a few businesses. The first was called iFoods and it was a failure. The second was called Simply Zesty and we started it in my spare bedroom with just €10,000 in start up capital. We grew it to 55 people with offices in 3 countries and it was acquired by UTV. All of this happened at the height of the recession in Ireland and it is an experience that has shaped me and made me hungrier for more of the same.

With lots of options on the table after Simply Zesty, I decided to write a book. The first thing you'd probably think is that it was a vanity project. What better thing to do when you've sold your business than to write about it and make yourself sound deadly? The reality is that I wrote it for a mixture of very different reasons. Firstly, every single business book I've ever picked up has been rubbish in my opinion. Secondly, I wanted to show the teachers who said I was "stupid" that in fact, I wasn't. And lastly, I wanted to share the entrepreneurial tricks that could help people change their lives drastically for the better.

What I see when I walk around the streets of Dublin are people who are accepting the mundane, boring 9-5 life. They're living for the weekend and dreaming about holidays and getting the first foot on the property ladder, all while being stuck in jobs they hate. The simple fact is that very few people in life achieve their dreams and too often we settle for second best. Get Sh*t Done! isn't just a book but a set of principles and life hacks that helps you achieve the stuff that up until now has been unobtainable.

When Penguin agreed to publish the book I poured my heart and soul into it. It took ten months, and I held nothing back discussing hard topics like suffering from crippling bouts of depression and binge drinking for years. Every business book I've picked up makes out that business people are flawless. The reality with not just entrepreneurs, but every man and woman walking down the street, is that we have serious issues to overcome if we want to get shit done. Why sugar-coat those issues and pretend they aren't there?

Along with writing a book that I am proud of and that I think will help people, I had a second goal which was to get the book to number one in the charts. People laughed in my face when I said that. How would a first time author get to the top of the charts? Hardly anybody knows me and I've achieved very little in the grand scheme of things. Well, it all comes down to having huge motivation (revenge being one if I'm honest), having a full detailed online and offline sales and marketing plan to sell copies, and finally I'm just going to (as the title implies) get shit done. You can achieve anything in life, from marrying the dream girl to travelling the world to selling a company. I've been lucky enough to get a lot of cool shit done over the years, and if I can, anyone can.

Get Sh*t Done! by Niall Harbison is available to pre order now on Amazon for €9.99 and will be available nationally in all bookshops from 26th June

Irish Independent

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