How To Succeed in Business and Your Career. What It Takes by Mark Bouris Book Summary

Mark Bouris

Mark Bouris

Mark Bouris is an Australian businessman who is best known as the CEO of Wizard Homelands. He founded the business in 1996 and sold it to GE Money for a cool $500 million a few years later.

So basically the guy’s a baller.

He is currently the chairman of Yellow Brick Road which involves financial planning, advice, wealth management and home loans. He also is the host of the Australian TV Show – The Apprentice and now the Mark Bouris Show.

He recently wrote a book titled “What It Takes – How To Work In Business” which provides timeless advice on achieving career and business success.

This book is very easy to read, understand and Mark’s advice are powerful and can be applied immediately into your life. I managed to read this book in a few days and I highly recommend this book to leaders, entrepreneurs and people who want to excel in their lives.

It’s also suited towards people who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve success.

Of course, the things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. So don’t just read this book, master it and you’ll find you’ll start achieving better results in your life.

In this video, I’ll share with you some key principles from what I’ve learned from reading this book.

Key principles

Success Is Hard Work

Mark begins the book by talking about the real nature of success. It’s simply hard work and there’s no way around it. You have to put in the hours, the time and energy into your career.

Mark also shared his schedule which is waking up at 5:30am and getting to the office at 8. He normally puts in 10-12 hour days but if something is happening, he would put in more hours.

He also works for a few hours on a saturday to get ahead. Mark also believes in taking time out to reflect and rejuvenate. He tends to go boxing or jogging to keep his energy levels up.

Lastly, success is all about hard work and being relentless.

Find Your Purpose

Mark tells the story of Kerry Packer how he was doing a deal with him. During the time when he was in the middle of selling his business to Kerry Packer, Mark underwent months of auditors to check his financials to ensure his business was fit for sale.

Finally he had to go see Kerry Packer in his office to finalise the deal.

Kerry Packer’s office was very intimidating where there were paintings of animals with heads being ripped off, his office table was elevated so he was looking down at people and his office room was massive.

As Mark sat there, Kerry looked at him in silence and finally Kerry asked him what his purpose was.

This is where Mark learnt the importance of knowing your purpose for your purpose will get you through the trials and tribulations of business challenges.

As you run your business for several years, it’s normal to think about giving up and losing your passion but by remembering why you’re in business will get you through the tough times.


Mark talks about the importance of leadership. He recommends making tough decisions that are right for the business.

He follows the 10% rule by he reviews the performance of employees at the end of the year and gets rid of 10%, namely the under performing ones.

This ensures that he continually makes room for the best. He also believes in being courageous and being a strong leader.

Start with an exit when building a business.

We all think about a goal then we make plans in order to achieve it. However Mark thinks differently, he thinks of the exit first then he works backwards.

The reason is because things change over the years. You may want to start another venture or simply get bored of your business. Therefore you need to be able to exit, that is to sell, merge, leave it, whatever.

It’s foolish to think long term for things always change. Therefore, when considering your business plans, always start with the exit in mind.

Be Detached

Fear and stress will always be there in business. It’s very easy for this fear to overtake you and you lose control.

Therefore Mark recommends a strategy in which you manage stress and fear.

Mark views problems as challenges and at the end of the day, that’s all it is on the table. At the end of the day, all you have really is a challenge on the table.

What you do is you need to look at this like you’re an actor in a movie. Looking from the outside and thinking about how you can break the problem into parts and solve it.

When you’re looking at it from an actors point of view, you get engrossed with all the emotion, fear and limitations it brings to you and you can’t think.

Another powerful point to remember is that that particular event that is happening in your business or career life doesn’t define you.

If something breaks, you don’t make it about you.

If something falls apart or fails, this doesn’t define you.

Finally I would like to leave you a great quote from the book.

“It’s easy to be a leader when times are good, it’s adversity that shows who the true leaders are.” – Mark Bouris.

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Author: Khoa Bui

Khoa Bui is an author, trainer and chief editor of YouBeRelentless. He enjoys reading books on self development, success, productivity, money, relationships and leadership. When he's not writing, he likes to enjoy a glass of red wine with a fine cuban cigar while watching the entire season of Entourage. You can check out Khoa's work at

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