Independently minded publishing

Create Special

Think and act like an entrepreneur to change your life

By Jim Duffy

Paperback £12.99 / $16.99
eBook £8.99 / $11.95
Audio £10.00
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Create Special

Think and act like an entrepreneur to change your life

By Jim Duffy

Jacket text

This book is for anyone who wants to leave a dent in the world.

Jim Duffy has helped thousands of people realise their dreams in business with his start-up accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark. In his first book, he’s here to help you do the same. Create Special reveals the secret sauce of successful entrepreneuring® – showing you exactly what it takes to train yourself for success as an entrepreneur and in life.

With wit and wisdom, and drawing on real-life case studies of people just like you, Jim sets out:

– What it really means to be an entrepreneur – and how so many get this fatally wrong
– How to be enabled – and overcome any obstacle that gets in your way
– The secret methods of unbelievable focus – and the incredible rewards that flow from it
– How entrepreneurs deal with risk, uncertainty and volatility – and you can too
– How to gain and maintain the right mindset as an entrepreneur – and be truly authentic
– What the right kind of entrepreneurial discipline looks like – and how to build it day by day
– Why you should shoot for the moon – and what happens when you get there.

This is a brilliantly no-nonsense and concise book that refuses to waste a second of your time – a companion to take with you and re-read again and again on your entrepreneurial journey. Even if you don’t want to start a business, Jim’s lessons on thinking and acting like an entrepreneur can change your life for the better. Get inspired and skilled up whatever stage you’re at in business or life – and go create special!


About the author

Jim Duffy MBE is the co-founder of Entrepreneurial Spark, the world's largest equity-free business accelerator for new-start businesses. Entrepreneurial Spark has 13 hubs in the UK and four in India, from where it enables over 1,000 entrepreneurs annually.

Starting in 2011, Jim built Entrepreneurial Spark from scratch to what has become a phenomenon in enabling early-stage entrepreneurs to create special by starting and growing new businesses. Jim believes that anyone can learn to be more entrepreneurial through a process of enablement that focuses on mindsets and behaviours. This leads to people becoming credible, backable and investable - in any walk of life.

Jim's work on enabling mindsets attracted big players to back Entrepreneurial Spark across the UK and India, including NatWest, KPMG, Viridian and Dell. He has also been recognised by Ernst & Young for his work with entrepreneurs, and has twice been included in the Sunday Times Maserati 100 list of game-changing entrepreneurs.

Jim was made an honorary professor at Glasgow Caledonian University and is a visiting professor at Edinburgh Napier University. He was awarded an MBE in 2017 for his services to entrepreneurship.

Jim lives in Edinburgh and travels extensively, enabling others to create special - and, of course, to think like a lobster.


I haven’t read such a positive and inspirational book in a while… reading this book is a fun and personal experience.

My Business Book Club

“The book is overwhelmingly positive.”

Bloomberg Radio

“Jim has helped more businesses than Yellow Pages and his passion is infectious. He is a tough-love, take-no-prisoners, not-here-to-be-your-friend kinda guy and this book remains true to this, served up with humility and a keen business mind and presented in a style that everyone can relate to. This is a must-read for anyone stuck in a rut in a business or unsure where to start a business or how to raise money and stay in business.”

Bill Morrow, Chairman and Founder,

“This book is about creating something awesome. It’s that simple. If you’re thinking about starting up a business that adds value to the world, read this book.”

John Harthorne, Founder and CEO, MassChallenge

“This book is an easy read and gets you to think a lot about yourself and the way you could change to create something very special. All you have to do is to change your mindset, believe in yourself and things will start to turn around. What can take you years and years of experience you can learn in a few hours reading this book.”

Steven Smith, Founder of Poundland and One Price Shopping

“Over the past five years I’ve watched Jim Duffy do magical things for entrepreneurs in helping them turn ideas into commercial realities. Through ‘Create Special’ Jim opens up enterprise potential to thousands more, with advice that’s succinct and spot-on. I look forward to seeing the impact of this book, with an economy powered by lots more lobsters!”

Emma Jones, Founder, Enterprise Nation

“A must-read, practical, down-to-earth and mindset-changing book. Everything it recommends works in practice and is backed up by experience not psychobabble. Anyone can learn how to develop new, more effective ways of thinking and acting as an entrepreneur as a result of this short, no-holds-barred book. I love the way Jim Duffy is brutally honest about himself, newbie entrepreneurs, peers, celebrity entrepreneurs and, of course, his favourite movies. It’s a page turner!”

Tony Robinson OBE, ‘Freedom from Bosses Forever’ Author & Speaker

“An engaging read, which stands out from the dozens of ‘how-to’ books out there. Jim Duffy does not offer an ‘entrepreneurial formula’, nor does he purport that building a business is the only reason to be entrepreneurial. He does (rather forcefully!) drive home the point that you can and should change to an entrepreneurial mindset by forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and begin to truly believe in yourself.”

Abhijeet Bhalla, Co-Founder, Viridian Group

Media coverage

From The Scotsman:

The term “payday loan” was never truly adopted as wholesome and positive. The whole point of a payday loan was a quick fix for folks who were a little short and needed to bridge a gap in their finances. At least that was the way it was spun by the marketing teams. Read more at:… Read more »

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From The Scotsman:

Predictions! Predictions! Predictions! … My prediction for 2018 is that cryptocurrency will explode. … It is indeed all the fun of the fair as one has to be willing to jump on the scary ride and see what happens, when one invests in cryptocurrency. I would urge our business readers to start educating themselves in… Read more »

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From Digit:

Too much focus on start-ups is not something you’d expect to hear coming from Jim Duffy, the founder of Entrepreneurial spark, author of Create Special: Think Like An Entrepreneur To Change Your Life. The man who, arguably, has done more than anyone to advance the idea of starting your own business in Scotland has come… Read more »

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From My Business Book Club:

Create Special, Jim Duffy (Harriman House, 2017). Duffy is co-founder of Entrepreneurial Spark, a company that helps early-stage entrepreneurs. He has also been included in the Sunday Times Maserati 100. Speaking from his own personal experience of starting-up, as well as those experiences of the entrepreneurs he has worked with, Duffy shares his knowledge of… Read more »

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From The Scotsman:

His new book, Create Special, about how to think and act like an entrepreneur, is published by Harriman House

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From Share Radio:

“There are many impressive tips for any potential entrepreneur.” Listen here:

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From Bloomberg Radio:

“The book is overwhelmingly positive.”

Read More…


About the Author

1. The Absolute Essence of an Entrepreneur
2. How to be Enabled
3. Focus, Focus, Focus
4. Comfortably Uncomfortable
5. Who You Are
6. Better Everyday
7. Your Moonshot


Published: 08/05/2017
Edition: 1st
Pages: 224
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857196132
ebook - ISBN 9780857196149
audio - ISBN 0000000000002
Media enquiries

If you’d like to get in touch with the author for interview or comment, or you’d like a review copy of this book, please contact us at or call +44 (0)1730 233870.


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