Good company - Issue 76 - Magazine | Monocle

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If you are a regular reader of monocle you may find yourself, from time to time, scanning our masthead: that ever-expanding list of people who work for us here in the London HQ and our bureaux around the world. It’s our cast list. And sometimes you may spot that a name changes and wonder whatever happened to, say, an editor whose views you’d followed. So where do they go? Well, they are almost never off to another magazine or media business.

Many of them say goodbye (and a monocle goodbye is rarely final – staff have been known to come back and many help us from afar) because they have been excited about what they report on again and again: how to be an entrepreneur. You see, this magazine is so effective at explaining why it’s rewarding (if a little terrifying) to create a company from scratch that our own staff often succumb to the lure. One member of our radio team recently headed off to do his mba; another departee has started her own fragrance business and yet another is now to be found running his own café with a board-games theme in London’s Hackney. It makes you rather proud.

And this story is repeated across not just London but the globe. There has been a seismic shift that sees young people thinking that they need to at least have a go at being their own boss and a slightly older generation deciding that they should to finally do the thing that they love. Yes, years of recession gave people in some countries few options but to dive in; yet the shift is more deep-rooted than that.

This change is reflected in the very fabric of our cities with the rise of shared workspaces, the boom in nice coffee houses where you are encouraged to use the wi-fi all day and “third places” that host numerous meetings for fledgling firms on the move (in every sense).

That’s why entrepreneurship is such a monocle subject: to thrive you need everything from A to E, from good leaders with red-tape slashing skills sitting in City Hall to well-designed places to begin your journey. And that’s why this issue hosts our annual Entrepreneurs Guide; the moment each year that we tend to unsettle a few of our loyal readers who, after putting down the issue, find themselves finally finishing off that long-pondered business plan and deciding that this is the moment to call their bank manager.

This year there is something else to tell you about. Our new book, published in partnership with Gestalten, is arriving in late August and it’s called The Monocle Guide to Good Business. It is a book that introduces you to people who have started their own companies, whether that’s to escape life in the city and make cheese in the mountains or begin a hotel company from scratch that has become a benchmark for fresh luxury. It is a book that will also take you through the stages from start-up to success, show you great cities to base your business in and even how to furnish your office. It is a book to be used and which encompasses some surprises, too. You can, as they say, buy your copy from all good bookshops or order now online at We are also going to be heading off on a book tour this autumn, taking in stops from Sydney to New York, and we’ll be inviting subscribers whenever we are in your town.

If you need more inspiration listen to our weekly one-hour radio show, The Entrepreneurs, on Monocle 24. It’s a show for would-be business leaders and people already running their own companies. Magazine, book, radio: after all that you are going to be out of excuses. So read on to discover how to be part of the changing world of the new entrepreneurs. Oh, and good luck.

The new entrepreneur

  1. Wants to make something: but also wants to make a difference beyond the walls of their business. This issue is packed with people who saw a failing town or factory and knew they had what it takes to turn the situation around.
  2. Has stamina: sure, there are some West Coast tech entrepreneurs obsessed with exit strategies but lots of people behind start-ups are also thinking that this is the business that could see them through their lives – and employ a generation or two after that.
  3. Wants to be a good manager: and usually discovers that that comes from on-the-job experience and making a few mistakes. There is no rule book that fits every company.
  4. Thinks global: that doesn’t mean you have to trade with the world but a good entrepreneur takes the best ideas that they can see around the globe and is always looking for benchmarks of excellence. 05. Values experience: income is not always an indicator of success, let alone personal contentment. Being an entrepreneur is about the life you lead.

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