Book Review: Alan Sugar’s What You See Is What You Get

Book Review: What You See Is What You Get!


Title: What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography


Author: Alan Sugar


Synopsis: Lord Alan Sugar takes you on a detailed journey from his childhood in a council estate in Clapton, Hackney, to the multi-millionaire that most of us know from the TV show The Apprentice. Sugar had a drive to succeed from a very young age, always looking for new enterprises and innovations. He was skilled at turning other people’s junk into another person’s treasure. By 19 years of age, he had taken his entrepreneurism a huge step further with Amstrad – a ground-breaking venture in computers and hi-fi’s. Money seemed to follow Alan, or was it more that he seemed to have an innate zeal for sales and negotiation? Indeed, the no-nonsense stance that we see on The Apprentice has certainly helped get him where he is today. He can smell out a bargain just as well as he can smell out a “bull shitter” (his words!).

While I enjoyed reading Sugar’s rise in the business world, what I enjoyed more was the small glimpses of humanity he lets the reader see. Underneath his hard exterior is clearly a man who has built up a strong, solid wall that has allowed him to be a success in the harsh world of business. This wall was built to protect himself from being let down and being taken advantage of, as well as from media scrutiny and the bad press he received as the Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Indeed, just like his mother, Sugar has a softer side that he keeps deep inside. The negative publicity he has sometimes endured hasn’t left him unscathed – far from it – it has, in fact, contributed to the ‘hard nut’ we see today.

Sugar has taken to celebrity well, but at heart he is a business through and through. I sometimes wanted to hear more about the man himself, but business is what he knows best – perhaps better than he knows himself.


Key Messages:

  • When it comes to selling, always think of the margins.

  • Don’t waste your time on business transactions with small margins.

  • Wealth is in the loved ones you have around you.

Who Should Read It: Business men and women; Entrepreneurs; Anyone interested in rags to riches type stories.




Categories: Book Review, Business

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1 reply

  1. Really concise review. A pleasure to read.

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