The Real Deal

  • by James Caan
  • Narrated by James Caan
  • 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

James Caan is one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs. Dropping out of school at just 16, he started his business life with no qualifications and two pieces of advice: 'Observe the masses and do the opposite' and 'Always look for opportunities where both parties benefit'. Armed with just his father's wisdom, his own unique charm and the Yellow Pages, James Caan built a market-leading business with a turnover of more than #130 million from a broom cupboard. The Real Deal is the incredible story of James Caan's remarkable life. From his childhood as a Pakistani immigrant in Brick Lane in the 1960s and his decision not to go into the family business, to the phenomenal success of his first company, this book traces James's journey to both financial and personal maturity. It deals with his disappointment upon realising his goals too early, and offers a frank account of what success at 30 really means.The Real Deal brings us bang up to the present day, including the truth about his role on Dragons' Den, what his charity work in Lahore, Kashmir, and Kosovo means to him, and how he has come to completely re-evaluate the true value of money. This rag-trade-to-riches story is an intimate account of an exceptional journey. It is a searingly honest exploration of James's path to success and a source of inspiration for anyone looking to emulate his extraordinary business skills.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A business bio from a back seat perspective

Although this book follows the typical business biography format (e.g. I was born here, I did this, I accomplished that) it stands above many others in that Caan comes across as a sincere, grounded, like-able guy and offers some insight into his motivations, hopes and worries. His willingness explore the conflict between his own aspirations and those of his father is refreshing and make his story personal. For much of the book the story is not rushed and you gain some real perspective on his experience but the exceptions to that are significant. The most notable examples are the lack of detail dedicated to his two most break-through and career changing events. Sure, once somebody has achieved success and wealth it is interesting to learn how they think and what they do when they are on top of their game, but more focus on the defining moments that lead to the success would have taken this book from pretty good to a must read. He could have chosen to let the reader experience the leap of faith that every first time entrepreneur takes while sharing the set backs as well the first taste of success. Instead of doing that Caan goes from a 19 year old high school drop out who stumbles into a recruiting job to the manager in charge at the flag ship location of one of Brittans most renown recruiting companies in about 1 page. He repeats this mistake in the section about opening his first business. Here, the time between using a personal credit card to fund the start up of his clothing store and realizing enough profit to purchase an outrageous home and open a second location seem to pass with just a brief mention about learning the difference between capital and cash flow. All said, this is a good read especially for entrepreneurs hoping to find motivation in the story of a self-made gazillonaire.
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- Jason

self promotion

I really liked how James Caan protrayed himself on the Dragon's Den but in this book I got really sick listening to his continual repetition of the fantastic brilliant mind of James Caan ......
He has made a lot of money ,this is great but he has not made a scientific breakthrough which saved lives or anything......Boring Self Promotion
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- Denis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-14-2009
  • Publisher: James Caan