I’ve just finished reading Sharon Wright’s book Mother of Invention. I wanted to read it after hearing Sharon speak at a networking event in Swindon.
Sharon wrote the book in four weeks detailing her experience of being part of the BBC series Dragon’s Den, her subsequent falling-out with then Dragon James Caan and the story of her product Magnamole. What is amazing about this book is that no publisher would touch it due to its content. So Sharon did it herself.
One thing which comes across loud and clear is that here is a woman who will let nothing stand in her way.
That has brought her great success but that success has come at some cost. Being passionate and committed in everything she does, it hits her hard when someone lets her down, especially someone that she has trusted.
If you read this book, don’t expect it to be a great work of art, or a literary marvel – you’ll be disappointed.
This is a gritty honest, down-to-earth description of a journey through business. It is a scattergun outpouring of many thoughts, feelings, trials, high points and low points.
There’s plenty of business advice which I found very useful and I took comfort from the fact that when I as a business woman feel I’ve been let down or have been stitched up by someone – my subsequent self-analysis and loss of confidence isn’t unusual.
As for James Caan, well, what struck me the most about this story (and I do have to be careful what I say) is the fact that a Dragon is apparently allowed to offer a successful entrepreneur a ‘loan’ and then allegedly try to charge ‘service fees’ – none of which is covered on the programme.
The BBC , the book claims, insists that when a business person successfully receives funds from a Dragon, the agreement subsequently drawn up has nothing to do with the Beeb.
Although I understand that proviso – I feel disappointed as a viewer that a Dragon can apparently offer a loan to someone when the impression on the show (at least all the shows that I’ve watched) is that Dragons offer investment, infrastructure, support and guidance. Money on which they might make a profit over time – but not a loan.
As a business person, I understand that some deals struck on air, might not make it in the real world.
There are all sorts of reasons for that. Checks might show that the entrepreneur who ‘secured’ funding has not got the necessary credentials.
But Sharon clearly did not fall into that category – her product has stood the test of time.
Any business person should read this experience and appreciate the passion that went into this book. It’s a good lesson in what to do – and what not to do – in establishing yourself in business.