Being an entrepreneur can be scary, it can be frustrating, the hours can seem never-ending, the stress can be overwhelming, the sacrifices can be huge, and many times you will ask yourself, What was I thinking?

Gil Oved, Lebo Gunguluza, Polo Leteka, Vinny Lingham and Vusi Thembekwayo, all of them entrepreneurs, took on the role of the dragons in the first South African season of the hugely popular television reality show Dragons’ Den. They were once in the same position in which all entrepreneurs find themselves before they take that deep breath and dive in. They know how it feels – the excitement, the passion, the sense of making a difference through offering something original, complex or simple. They know the disappointments when things don’t go according to plan, when funding is not forthcoming, and when a business fails dismally despite every best effort. They have walked the road and fallen into the potholes. They took the knocks and learnt from the lessons.

Key is that they learnt from their mistakes and were undeterred. They tried again. And again. And, sometimes, yet again. They persevered until they did it. And they’re still doing it.

I’M IN isn’t a how-to-build-your-business book, but rather one that offers insights into the thinking and experiences of people who have built businesses, have seen them fail, and have seen them shoot the lights out. If you are a budding entrepreneur, or a newly launched entrepreneur, or even a seasoned entrepreneur, then this book is for you.

1. The DNA of an entrepreneur
2. Ideas
3. Planning
4. Pitch and presentation
5. Networking
6. The language of business and understanding the numbers
7. What’s it worth? Understanding value
8. Funding myths, truths and options
9. The art of negotiation
10. Words of wisdom on mistakes and failure
11. The magic words: ‘I’M IN!’ What happens next?
12. No Brand = No Business
13. Eliminate the guess work – Systems and processes
14. People and company culture