Book Review: 'Built to sell: Creating a business that can thrive without you', by John Warrillow

If you run your own business and are looking for a way to structure and grow it to sell, this is the book for you. Written as a story it is simple and clear, but with a powerful message.  It tangibly changed the way I was running my business for the better. I highly recommend you get a copy if you are serious about exiting your business one day. Click on the below image or here to buy via Amazon*. 


Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You


By John Warrillow

Like all good products, I was referred to this book by a friend. I hadn't been reading much because I was writing my book 'Creating a Powerful Brand' and didn't want to be influenced by other writers. But now it's finished I wanted to catch up on some other books and like some things in life it came to me at a the perfect time. I was in a conundrum with my business as to the best way to scale and it really gave me some useful food for thought.

I bought my version on Kindle as I find it easier to read on my commute to the office and on planes. I am loving this format as it has amazing battery life, it so light and there is no email or social media to distract me! Thus, I can't tell you what the paper version was like or if they had great pictures or diagrams, but the writing was top notch . I'm glad I took action immediately to buy it and also read it as usually if I wait or think about it I forget! I have loads of books on my bookshelf, bedside table and office that I bought with good intention, but haven't read yet.  

But back to the book at hand. Why do I think this book is a valuable use of your time? Here are my top five reasons:

It is written in a super easy to read style. It is a story not a how to book, so you become engaged with the characters and want to know what happens to them

They have useful tips at the end of each chapter, reinforcing the key points. Then at the end of the story they repeat each key point with even more details - you can't not 'get' the content!

It is written by John Warrillow who has successfully exited three businesses so he knows what he is talking about. The last one forms the basis for the book

It is great for service based businesses, particularly in the marketing or digital space, but this means it isn't applicable to everyone

It is not a long book at 176 pages so you can read it in a week or two. I read War and Peace as a challenge once and it too me a whole year! 

There you have it, a quick review of Built to Sell. Perfect for starting the process of how to productise your business for sale if you are in a service and particularly marketing area.  If you have read the book I would love to hear your thoughts and any other similar books I could read.   As always love to hear your comments on here or social media.



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(the link is

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.