WHOOMPH. On The Capitalist’s desk lands a blood-red copy of the latest money-getting guide from eccentric publishing magnate Felix Dennis, “88: The Narrow Road”.

Many readers will be familiar with the book’s predecessor, “How to Get Rich”, which flew off the shelves after its release a couple of years ago. Dennis – who, as co-editor of “Oz” magazine, was once famously acquitted following the longest conspiracy trial in English history – begins by castigating those who dubbed the original tome “inspirational”, claiming it was “designed as an anti-self-help manual, written to dissuade the majority of readers from making the attempt to acquire real wealth”.

Still, he goes on to describe in detail how one should achieve great riches, and the character traits required to go the distance.

“Tunnel vision helps,” Dennis muses. “Being a bit of a sh*t helps. A thick skin helps. Stamina is crucial, as is the capacity to work so hard that your best friends mock you, your lovers despair and your rivals and acquaintances watch furtively from the sidelines, half in awe and half in contempt.

“Self-confidence helps, but can be simulated or acquired along the way. Tenacity is an absolute requirement. Luck helps – but only if you do not waste time seeking it…”

Sounds as if entrepreneurialism would be a doddle for most hardened City folk out there, doesn’t it?

Spare a thought for John McCormick, managing director of financial printing firm Sterling, who’s planning quite the trip of a lifetime in April.

McCormick, not content with the usual marathon/skydive/bike ride round of charity fundraisings, is going to embark on a running trip from John O’Groats to Lands End, lasting a total of 12 weeks of painful wheezing, chafing and blisters.

Luckily for his lazy followers reclining in their comfy chairs back at work, the nutty chap is going to be documenting his exploits on a no-holds barred website – including input from his personal nutritionist, beautician (yes, really) and an X-rated part of the site where he’ll post regular naked photos of himself from a variety of angles to document the changes in his physical form (oo-er).

Incidentally, The Capitalist is reminded of another incident involving McCormick from many years ago, when he completed the exact same route on a bicycle and did one of the legs of the trip in the nude after a dare from one of his sponsors.

The man’s clearly got a penchant for exercising in the buff.

Old habits obviously die hard. Proud Cabaret – which opened in the City last year as the sister club to hip venue Proud Galleries in Camden – has decided that lunchtimes in the Square Mile need a bit of jazzing up, to mark our tentative emergence from the crisis with a dollop of old-school extravagance.

That’s right: Proud is now offering a business lunch with a difference, with raunchy live burlesque performances available Wednesday to Friday over your bottle of Barolo.

That should keep the clients happy as Larry.

Budget hotel chain Travelodge’s love affair with pet pooches has been well documented; just last year, it emerged that the group, based on the lowest pre-booked prices available, was sometimes charging double the amount to put up a dog for the night than to give a bed to its owner.

Fast forward to this years’s Crufts dog show, and it appears that Travelodge has been keen to push its extensive canine policies even further – reporting hundreds of bookings across its Birmingham hotels for dog show starlets worth a combined £1m.

That’s what you call one hell of a furry liability.

Regular readers may recall the case of one Sara Lilly, who bravely quit her job as a mergers and acquisitions banker at Royal Bank of Scotland at the beginning of the year.

Lilly has now released her album, Butterfly, on Amazon, iTunes, Emusic, Napster and Rhapsody – and, without so much as the backing of a record label, made the top 20 most downloaded country songs on Amazon last week, alongside albums from the likes of Taylor Swift and legend Jonny Cash.

I hear the ex-City girl is also in talks with a company over the pond in the States, which is pushing to use one of her songs, Strawberry Girl, as the opening soundtrack to a film set for release later this year, so something tells me we haven’t heard the last of her.

Grab an earful of her music at www.myspace.com/saralillyuk.