Book Review

"...real-life examples make the concepts Morrison presents easy to understand and interesting to read about because the examples consist of everyday people who are trying to make a living pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship."

Book Review by MarisaRose » 26 Apr 2021, 13:46

4 out of 4 stars

As the title suggests, Living By Your Wits: A Guide for the Small Business Owner, by Don Morrison, is a book about how to improve one’s small business. However, the book does not focus solely on the financial aspects of a business. Instead, Morrison’s guide seeks to present innovative strategies for increasing profit by enhancing one’s mindset, better understanding strengths and weaknesses, and honing in on customers’ needs. Moreover, this book focuses on enhancing personal creativity and living in a happier state instead of “living by your wits” and hoping your business will turn a profit month after month. These ideas are organized into twelve chapters that provide bits of advice that make up Morrison’s “The Profit Process”.

Living By Your Wits presents interesting concepts about how to create value in one’s business, how to better understand customers’ needs, and, most importantly, how to create a better mindset to harness intuitive ideas. Morrison writes honestly, presenting information about failures as well as successes. Moreover, the book is full of examples from Morrison’s clients. These real-life examples make the concepts Morrison presents easy to understand and interesting to read about because the examples consist of everyday people who are trying to make a living pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. There are no mega CEOs in this book, which makes Morrison’s ideas for increasing profits seem attainable.

Further, Living By Your Wits is a successful how-to book because of how the author utilizes his personal experiences as the sole owner of an accounting practice. However, prospective readers with limited knowledge of complicated business practices should not be discouraged by Morrison’s accountant title. This guide doesn’t focus on terms and ideas found in any accounting textbook. Rather, Morrison seeks to connect with small business owners using plain English and everyday scenarios to help improve their mindset and, hopefully, their profit margins. Morrison’s use of language is what makes this guide stand out from others on the market: instead of feeling overwhelmed by business jargon or unrelatable experiences, Living By Your Wits reads like the advice given by a savvy friend over a casual cup of coffee.

In addition to the engaging examples and easy-to-read language presented in the book, each of the twelve chapters ends with a discussion guide that includes a wealth of questions and exercises for the reader to reflect upon. The depth of the discussion guides is impressive, and the exercises are thought provoking. Coupled with Morrison’s ideas for developing a better mindset about one’s business, the discussion guides will help take any reader’s business endeavor to the next level. The discussion guides can also be used as important references that can be revisited time and time again. The only aspect of the guide I found wanting was the lack of an index. There were a few times when I wanted to refer back to a section but couldn’t recall the exact location. An index of terms at the back of the book would have been helpful in these instances.

Living By Your Wits is the perfect read for small business owners of any kind, whether they be long-time owners or just getting their endeavor off the ground. Even those who feel their businesses are running well are sure to find useful advice in Morrison’s words. Further, this book may prove insightful for anyone who has always wanted to try their hand at entrepreneurship but has yet to take the first step. Morrison’s guide is easy to understand, and the concepts presented seem like genuinely good advice. Additionally, there were very few grammatical errors in the text. Living By Your Wits earns an easy 4 out of 4 stars. Readers will be hardpressed to find a business guide that is as enjoyable and informative as Morrison’s work.

[Above is an official review of "Living by your wits" by Don Morrison.]