Book of the Month: Strong Woman: Ambition, Grit and a Great Pair of Heels
The book is a sort of handbook. As well as talking about my experience of running a football club and being in a male-dominated world, it addresses questions like how to leave a job you don't like and get a better job or how to get promoted, or where to start after years bringing up a family.
It was a year overdue because I didn't find writing it an easy process. It's much harder than I would ever have imagined because I had to go back and think about things and I'm not used to talking about myself so much. People often ask me ‘Well, how did you do it? What is it that happened to you that made you driven?' But there isn't one thing. So it was quite hard thinking ‘Well, why am I so driven? Why am I still working so hard?' It was a real chance to reflect on growing up, going to boarding school - doors that I had closed and I had to go back and open them - I'm one of those people who, when I close the door I'm walking forward, rather than looking back thinking or reflecting.
I wanted it to be a motivational book; a real balance of honesty - when you're trying to manage a firm or run a business and you're pulled form pillar to post and sometimes you're so tired that you can't even think straight - I wanted that experience to come across. I think we live in a society now where people think everything comes easily and comes quickly but a career lasts a lifetime and it was a bit about explaining that it's a lot about hard work; you don't wake up in your forties and get to be doing a great show like The Apprentice and running a great business and having a stable family - it's a lot of hard work.
Read the full interview in the May issue of w&h, out now.
W&H says of Strong Woman: Ambition, Grit and a Great Pair of Heels: "As well as being w&h's fabulous columnist, Karren Brady, 42, is vice-chairman of West Ham United and Lord Sugar's assistant on the Apprentice. Her page-turningly fascinating book recalls her family life and school days as she reflects on what lies behind her drive and confidence. Especially compelling is her analysis of balancing her personal and professional life, her life as mother of two and wife - and how her priorities shifted after a routine scan revealed she had a brain aneurysm. But this must-read book by the first lady of football is also very inspiring - with lots of advice for women on how to get ahead in business and to make ideas become reality."