Q&A with Colm O'Brien, author of Feeding Johnny

Author and MD of Carambola Kidz, Colm O'Brien, sat down to answer some questions about his newly published book, Feeding Johnny: How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks. 

The book tells the inspirational tale of Colm; how he sweated his way up the career ladder, endured a failed business and persevered to set up the very successful Carambola Kidz. 

Infused with with good humour, honesty and sound advice, this books is an essential for the entrepreneur, the business owner, the self employed individual, or anybody who enjoys a good story...


  1. Have you gotten much feedback from the friends and colleagues that you have included in your book? How have they responded? 

Not much so far although I have had some amazing feedback from people I don’t know or who don’t feature. Any who are featured have commented they are delighted to be included.

 2. Which job/career do you miss most? 

I don’t. I am still in my career as a Business Owner and Entrepreneur. Writing the book was the cherry on the top of a very enjoyable chapter in my life (no pun intended).

3. Looking back, did you ever imagine that you would end up writing a book like this? 

No. I believed I would write a book ‘someday’ so when the opportunity presented itself I decided to tick it off the bucket list.

4. Did you find it difficult to write out of chronological order, or was it easy because of the way you divided the story into sections? 

I found it easy to be honest. The sections guided the story, not the chronology.

5. Out of all the stories you’ve told in this book, which is your favorite? 

Hard to say, however I think The Feckin’ Celtic Tiger as part of The Perfect Storm thread.

6. At the end of this book you share 10 lessons. Which of these lessons is most important to you today? 

Number 1, Defining the Big Picture for my Life. Quickly followed by Read & Study. We need a direction which guides our decisions and because it is our thinking that has us where we are today, to progress we must learn new stuff – where better than in books?

7. You’ve accomplished so much. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?

 I’m very proud of the book to honest, however the creation of Carambola Kidz out of the ashes of our failed café business and the bringing it to the level we have achieved has provided both the lessons and the story itself, I take tremendous pride in seeing that brand, created from less than nothing, slowly enter the vernacular.

8. Who are your inspirations in the business world? And why?

Richard Branson is probably my quintessential business role model. He has attracted legions of people to the Virgin Group as team members to allow the brand touch millions of lives through hundreds of disparate businesses. And he appears to have fun doing it. The island helps of course!

9.  Can you recommend any further reading for budding entrepreneurs? (Besides Feeding Johnny of course!)

I absolutely can recommend some books.

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson - all about change.

Row, Row, Row your Boat by Steven Lane Taylor - all about taking just the next step.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey 

The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki 

 Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson. 


You can find Feeding Johnny in all good book shops or you can buy it from us online here