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Ovidiu Drugan, Set Sail Nautic School founder, shares his favourite books

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In 2009, Ovidiu Drugan put an end to his career as a lawyer and completely changed course. He decided to focus only on his family business, that first started as a hobby. Together with his sister and his father, he founded a nautical school named “Set Sail Nautic School” (both Ovidiu and his sister inherited the passion for sailing from their father).

A few years later, Ovidiu expanded the business and opened a new complementary project: SetSail Charters, a service that allows people to rent boats.

We had the chance to talk to Ovidiu about his favourite books – you’ll see he mentions many fiction and adventure titles, but also business books.

Read on to find out more!

Estimated reading time for this interview is 9 minutes. If you'd rather listen to it, you can do it on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

My favorite non-business book is by far “Dune” saga, by Frank Herbert. The books transpose you in a vast universe that is build with tremendous talent containing a detailed future fictional society with guilds, families, feudal organisations, politics, social typos, economic drive, conflicts and intrigues. By putting you in the middle, the book is a real-life school of politics, economics, social and personal, good (if not best) practices. Also treats themes like loyalty, fear, treason, bravery, dictatorship, revolts, knowledge of the future, destiny etc. I have read it first time when I was 14 then I have re-read it several times, last time recently, 2 years ago (37 yo).

As for business books, my main profession is attorney-at-law, so i studied mainly juridical books. If we consider personal-developing books also in the business area my favorite book would have to be “Write It Down, Make It Happen” – Henriette Anne Klauser. It literally changed my life from the moment I have read it. The main idea from the book is to reflect well upon a desire/goal and if it suits you, and you really want it, write it down. After this you will make steps conscious or sub-conscious towards your target and it will happen. I did write a lot down and I did happen! Also in the recent years, after I changed my field of activity from law to yachting, every time I have a project – let’s say buying few boats – I print an image with the boats and eventually we manage to get them.


Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

I really cannot, as it happened all the time. A lot of things read in a book helped me all the time, in personal life and in business. I remember one time I was in the office of an important possible client for my law office. He was Turkish and I saw in his library one picture that I recognized from one history book. I point it out and it figured that was the original picture that this person, passionate about history, bought it in an auction. We start discussing about that moment in history, which also involved a war between Ottoman Empire and Moldova (Romanian medieval state). That person and his company became one of our best clients.

They are three main gains after you read consistently:

1. General knowledge – I don’t think you can get this only from TV or Internet.

2. Fluency in speech and in writing – without reading and the vocabulary gained from it, you will have difficult times to express yourself in writing or in a speech.

3. Useful information/practice – both for personal life and business.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)


What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)

I recommend four types of books:

A. Related to their field of activity – so called compulsory reading books.

B. Personal development books – see titles above – but also with themes: time management, project management, public speaking, negotiations/sales.

C. Recommended books (especially from friends but also from lists like “100 books to read before you die”).

D. Personal preferred books – ex. sci-fi, romance, detective novels, poetry etc.


I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

I read daily form hard copy books. Sometimes when I download a captivating e-book I change completely from hard copy to e-reader.


How do you make time for reading?

I have 3 books started at once. One in the bedroom, one in the bathroom and one for trips. This way I have a reading opportunity wherever I go. I there is only one book, for sure you will be in a place without it and give the reading for the smartphone internet or facebook.


Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

I use to Google search for unclear words or concepts from the books. Also I take notes if it is a technical book.


How do you choose what books to read next?

It depends of my mood. I must be very careful because I will read it even if it is a bad book, only to know I have finished it.


Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

I pay attention to Facebook posts where people recommend books. I even note them down on my smartphone for future lecture.


Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

The Void Trilogy – Peter F. Hamilton (fascinating space opera, this is the second saga from him. I became fan of Peter Hamilton) – relaxation after work.

Steve Jobs Biography – business best practice.

The Fur Country – Jules Verne – re-reading a classic 🙂

Links where you can follow Ovidiu Drugan or find out more about his projects:

Books mentioned by Ovidiu in this interview:


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