Toughen Up – Michael Hill

I couldn’t resist this when I saw it on the shelves at the library.

It is a rare opportunity to read about the business philosophy of a New Zealand entrepreneur.  A very well-known one at that.

Hello.  Michael Hill Jeweller.

Who could forget those self-fronted television advertisements?
Well this book is partly the story behind the Michael Hill brand and partly a description of his business philosophy.  I was interested in both, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about his whole journey in business to date.

What I wasn’t expecting were the personal stories of employees of Michael Hill International.  That was a nice, and interesting, touch.
Much of what he writes here is good, old fashioned, common sense.  The rest of it is just good business practice.  I related to most of his ideas and attitudes, especially the view that business is a creative process and not a great big money grab.  Perhaps this is something that is specific to smaller or predominantly family-owned businesses?

I found the actual reading very easy.  It was engaging while not trying to be cerebral. Down to earth would be a good description.  It took me less than a week to make my way through the 260-odd pages with only an hour or so each night at my disposal.  And I did find it difficult to put down each time.

Even if you are not interested in business or the philosophy behind one, I would still recommend this as a Kiwi to other Kiwis.  We should be celebrating the success of people like Michael Hill and his family.   They are an inspiration for what can be achieved in terms of taking a New Zealand business into the wider world marketplace and surviving the process.  From a single store in Whangarei to around 240 stores throughout New Zealand, Australia, Canada and now the USA.  It’s something to be proud of and interested in learning about.

A highly recommended from me.  If you see it in your local library, take the time to read about one of our most successful business people.

2 thoughts on “Toughen Up – Michael Hill

  1. Good timing then.
    It won’t rock the foundations of business theory, but it is a very nice insight into one of our iconic brands – and personalities.
    And you have got to love the personal photographs throughout the book – they make it quite an intimate read too.
    I hope your DP enjoys it.


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