Sporty Business Women: A Winning Combination?


A recent article from the BBC Do sporty women make better entrepreneurs? caught our eye here at Portfolio Penguin.

Sport has been credited for the skills and personality traits it creates within people from confidence to resilience, to a healthy competitive nature and the ability to aim for goals. (Pun intended)

So not exclusively for our female audience here are 3 top books Portfolio Penguin recommends for going that extra mile to achieve success and ambitions.

Firstly, if you are intrigued by this article then perhaps you are now motivated to start playing a new sport to see if you too can become a more confident and ambitious business person or maybe just try something new to meet people. The time and effort though may be a daunting thought though, but here at Portfolio Penguin we have the perfect book for you:

The First 20 Hours: How to learn anything FAST…, Josh Kaufmann
Josh Kaufman’s The First 20 Hours is a systematic approach for acquiring new skills quickly with a small amount of practice each day. Kaufman outlines a practical process to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers, creating a realistic and achievable approach. No longer do you have to devote 10,000 hours to master a skill that Malcolm Gladwell claims you need. If you aren’t looking to be a professional sports person but just try something new, this book is the perfect guide to achieving this concisely and efficiently.

Kaufman invites the reader to join him as he field tests his approach in his own personal ventures. Check out his chapters on learning yoga and wind surfing to see how you too can pick up a new sport.

Read more at,,9780670921911,00.html#HoXVKdPUSToMgXxW.99

…But alas as nice as this all sounds perhaps you just aren’t a massive sports fan or perhaps you really do have too hectic of a life to fit more in your day. Well never fear, we still have a literary guide that can teach you to be a more confident and out going person:

The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane 
Charisma Myth

In her new book, The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane dispels the myth that charisma is inherent and provides you with practical skills to master the hitherto elusive trait. Charisma CAN be taught, and this book is your guide.

Charisma can be a huge asset if you’re applying for a job, improving your relationships, or leading other people. The Charisma Myth shows you how to become more influential, more persuasive, and more inspiring. Soon you’ll be able to move through a room and have people say: ‘Wow, who’s that?’

Olivia Fox Cabane helps some of the world’s best-known people become more charismatic. Here she breaks charisma down into its fundamental components, revealing the secrets to how it works. Improving your charisma doesn’t mean transforming your personality: it’s about adopting a series of practices that suit you. So what are you waiting for?

Find out more:,,9780670922871,00.html

…AND last but not least, this one is more for the female reader (though still contains some useful life skills and tips for ALL) looking to advance her career in general:

Mrs Moneypenny’s Career Advice for Ambitious Women, Mrs Moneypenny

In this incisive, hilariously frank book, Mrs Moneypenny tells you everything you need to know, from nurturing your network to the art of outsourcing. Whether you’re just starting out or a rung from the top, let Mrs Moneypenny be your ultimate mentor.

‘Ambitious or not this book will amuse you, provoke you, challenge you, help you and cheer you up’ Jeanette Winterson’ The Times

‘A masterclass in how to succeed and stay sane… incisive, self-deprecating and hilarious’ Management Today

‘This wisdom-filled guide obliterates the myth that women can “have it all”… and redefines success and happiness for everyone’ Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in- Chief of The Huffington Post

Find out more at,,9780670920846,00.html#i1DcOZLOo0gA8Guy.99


Recipe for Success: The Stories Behind the Best in Business


It was Aldous Huxley who said:

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” 

Huxley seems right on the ball with this piece of wisdom. Sometimes the best experience a person can get is from experiencing it firsthand and whether it is a success or failure there is always a lesson to be learnt. This is no less true for the rise of Google, Amazon, Apple and other business giants who have had their own colorful journeys to business glory.

So whether you are a budding entrepreneur or just looking for some inspiration, Portfolio Penguin bring you the captivating stories of some of business’ best. Read about their experiences, successes and failures, which drove them to be business leaders.

The Google Boys, Richard L. Brandt
The Google Guys skips past the general Google story and focuses on what really drives the company’s founders. Richard L.

Brandt shows the company as the brainchild of two brilliant individuals and looks at Google’s business decisions in light of its founders’ ambition and beliefs. Larry is the main strategist, with business acumen and practical drive, while Sergey is the primary technologist and idealist, with brilliant ideas and strong moral positions. But they work closely together, almost like complementary halves of a single brain.

Through interviews with current and former employees, competitors, partners, and senior Google management, plus conversations with the founders themselves, Brandt demystifies the company while clarifying a number of misconceptions.

Find out more at,,9781591844129,00.html#KhJxxJ1YHRrJJjW7

One Click, Richard L. Brandt
Buy now with one-click. Amazon’s business model is deceptively simple: make online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won’t think twice. Yet Amazon’s success is largely down to CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, a man described as both a ‘happy-go-lucky mogul’ and a ‘notorious micromanager’. His high energy, passionate approach to retailing has driven Amazon to the top.

Jeff Bezos is smart. Originally a computer geek, he had the vision to capitalise on the untapped online market for books. He’s also a calculating machine who creates ‘deal-flow’ charts for every major decision, from what business to create to how to chose a spouse. One Click explores what makes Bezos Bezos. Through detailed research and interviews with Amazon employees, competitors and observers, Richard Brandt has deciphered how Bezos thinks, what drives his actions and how he makes his business decisions. was waiting to be discovered. It took Bezos’s unqiue character and strategy to make it happen. Anyone in the business world can learn from his reinvention of the retail landscape.

“Richard Brandt compellingly profiles one of the greatest Internet executives of the era.”
Stephen Leeb, author of The Oil Factor and Red Alert

“Brandt is an award-winning magazine writer and he has the classic U.S. journalist’s approach—meticulously researched and with breathless, pithy commentary . . . a good story well told. If you want to understand the Bezos phenomenon, this is an easy and efficient way to do it—just like shopping on Amazon.”
Management Today

Find out more at,,9780670920662,00.html#UcRzQIqxtMtOyy0u.99

Insanely Simple, Ken Segall
Apple’s love of simplicity enables it to revolutionize-and, more importantly, to revolutionize repeatedly. It starts in Steve Jobs’ head and cascades throughout the entire global organization. It can be seen in the way that Apple is structured, the way it innovates and the way it speaks to its customers. Simplicity serves as a guideline, a work style, a goal and a measuring stick.

Ken Segall played a key role in Apple’s resurrection, and now he breaks simplicity down to its core elements. He brings the principles of simplicity to life in context of milestone moments in Apple history., exploring how Apple’s core obsession allows them to create products that people fall in love with and then communicate and market them with spectacular success.

Insanely Simple explains how the religion of simplicity led Apple to enter new markets and humble competitors many times its size. And it provides principles that readers can use in their own careers and organizations. They will understand how the power of simplicity can help anyone can stand out in a complicated world.

“A blueprint for running a company the Steve Jobs way . . . should be required reading for anyone interested in management and marketing.” The Times (London)

“Gets inside Apple’s branding and marketing to explain its directness and power.” Financial Times

Find out more at,,9780670921188,00.html?strSrchSql=insanely+simple%2A/Insanely_Simple_Ken_Segall 

Tap Dancing to Work, Carol Loomis
Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, has long had a unique relationship with Fortune magazine, thanks to his deep personal friendship with the acclaimed writer Carol Loomis. She first mentioned Buffett in print in 1966. By the mid 1970s he trusted Loomis enough that he asked her to edit his famous annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. She has been filling that role ever since, without spilling his secrets in Fortune or anywhere else.

Tapdancing to Work is the definitive history of Buffett’s business and investing career. It collects and updates the best articles Fortune has ever published about Buffett, based on extensive interviews with him from the 1960s through the 2010s. Loomis adds fresh commentary and insights that will help Buffett’s fans see his triumphs (and occasional missteps) in a new light.

On a crowded shelf of books about Buffett, this one offers unprecedented access, unique information, and deep understanding.

Find out more at,,9780670922369,00.html#f7qEiwwYc1XJHMCP.99

Nicholas Lovell, author of the The Curve discusses ‘How do you make money when everything is going free?’

Nicholas’ latest post on The Bookseller Blog is a must read for all those interested in the future of business:

Stop worrying about the price of books, or music, or art, going to zero. It’s happening. It’s happened. There is no going back.

So now that we’ve accepted that, how do we answer the really interesting question of the twenty-first century: how do we take advantage of the unique, amazing features of a connected society to finance the profitable creation of art and culture?

To discover what Nicholas’ solution is read the full article here:

Portfolio Penguin is really excited about the release of The Curve book in October. To learn more about the ideas behind The Curve head over to Nicholas’ site: the video link on his page is definitely worth 15 minutes of your time!!!


To get your hands on a copy of The Curve, watch this space for details of how to pre-order!

Portfolio Penguin Competition – Your chance to win a bundle of our business and self-development books


From budding entrepreneurs to people curious to read more about the world of business and self-development, we have an exciting competition that is not to be missed.

Portfolio Penguin are giving one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a fantastic bundle of 30+ books from our current and past catalogue of Penguin Portfolio Books, including Josh Kaufman’s The Personal MBA, James Caan’s Start Your Business in 7 Days, Michael Woodford’s Exposure and MANY more. All you have to do is click on the link below and complete the short survey (it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes) to be in with a chance of winning.

Terms and Conditions apply.


How do you compete when everything is tending to free?

The Curve, A new business model for the 21st Century.


Portfolio Penguin are very excited about Nicholas Lovell’s forthcoming book The Curve, which in a nutshell is a business thinking revolution for how to compete with the world of free and cheap consumption.

The last century has been dominated by companies striving to sell more and more products at uniform prices. But the future of business is all about variation: tailoring products for customers of all stripes, and letting your biggest fans spend as much as they like on things they value. The Curve shows how businesses should not be afraid of giving some things away for free. The internet helps them forge direct relationships with a vast global audience, and take them on a journey from freeloaders into superfans.

Value lies in how businesses make people feel, by building communities, bespoke products and experiences. Small numbers of high spenders are enough to fuel a profitable business. Free or very cheap consumption at the other end of The Curve should then be embraced as a useful marketing mechanism to raise awareness of a brand and create the foundations for a successful business.

The Curve is transforming both the digital world of music, books and film, and it will rapidly spread to the physical world as 3D printing becomes commonplace. It will redefine how businesses devise future pricing and product strategy! With stories drawn from artists, toymakers, sports, food, manufacturing and more, The Curve is nothing short of a business thinking revolution.

If you are now sufficiently curious to learn more, then you should definitely check out Nicholas’ fifteen-minute video presentation, which is a further intriguing insight into The Curve’s relevance to the 21st Century.

Also check out Nicholas’ website for The Curve which has further information – there are some interesting articles based around the idea of The Curve on the site including discussion around piracy in the physical production industry, 3D printing of an AK47 and how The Bodyguard Musical fits into The Curve.

If you are dying to get your hands on a copy of The Curve watch this blog for how you can pre-order your copy for this October.

FUTURE RELEASE: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life
WTMSPD Before Breakfast

Laura Vanderkam is the reknowned author of the successful and inspiring, All the Money in the World, a definitive guide to money management to improve your life and 168 Hours, an essential time managment guide to getting the most of your day. Due for release in September 2013, Laura Vanderkam’s lastest book, What the most successful people do before breakfast collates three of her recent small-guides into one concise life-management book. In her latest read, Laura will teach you how to redefine your morning morning routine and jump-start your day, rethink your weekends and start your workweek on track and finally she will challenge you to make the most of your time spent at work to ultimately ensure you are being as productive and efficient as you potentially can be in all aspects of your life.

Find out more about Laura’s efficient morning regime and ideas when she put into practice her own philosophy and documented it on her blog:


Red Magazine is bringing you the opportunity to meet Laura Vanderkam in person this September! CHECK OUT THE EVENT HERE. This is an opportunity not to be missed to meet Laura in person and learn more from this brilliant writer who will most likely help you to redfine and make the most of your life to find a healthy balance between work, sport, free time and everything else you wanted to make time for.

Event Information
Price: £10
Date: Thursday 5th September; 8.00am – 8.45am
At: Waterstones, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
Price includes tea, coffee and pastries, a goody bag worth £40.

To book call 020 7312 4190

Terms and conditions:
Separate transaction needed for each ticket.
Bring email confirmation to gain entry.
Tickets subject to availability.
Sorry, no refunds.

Got any questions for Laura? Then tweet Red @redmagdaily using the #BeforeBreakfast hashtag.

Why the Bank of England is paving the way for small businesses and why today is a good time to start-up.


The recent announcement by The Bank of England’s new Canadian governor, Mark Carney has been causing quite a stir since yesterday. ‘Forward guidance’ is the new mantra for the BoE, with a pledge to keep interest fixed until at least 2016.

So what does this mean for start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs? Well on paper, it all seems very promising; Carney’s plans generally seem to propose that now is the time to go ahead with any projects you may have in starting or growing your business as assuming everything goes to plan until 2016 there will be no surprises in investing or taking out a small business loan. HOORAH you may say; so what next? (

Well here at Portfolio Penguin, we would like to help you decide, which business book can help you realise your dreams of starting or growing your own business:


Now if you are one of these people who always like to say I have a brilliant business idea or think you have spotted a gap in the market but unsure if and how your idea could become a business then James Caan’s Start Your Business in 7 Days is the book for you. This is a comprehensive 7 day guide to establishing if your idea is a viable business opportunity and will help you put into motion the necessary steps that can help you to determine if you can get your idea off the ground. If you are really thinking of making a dream a reality then find yourself 7 days and see if you can’t be the next big thing.  (

If you already have a definitive idea and you know your market and audience, then Luke Johnson’s Start It Up will be your all round guide from getting your business off the ground to the general running and day to day tasks involved, providing the ins and outs and high and lows of being your own boss. In a nutshell Management Today says ‘Just buy this book.’ ( )

Finally, for all you techies, digital innovators and inventors our final recommendation is Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. This international bestseller is a new approach to running an adaptable and innovative business in the competitive world of digital and product development. Ries advocates the need to streamline your production process from day one to minimise your costs and failures from the outset. How is this achieved? By focusing on your customers wants and needs rather than be engrossed in your products and their launch.  (