July 31

Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Lessons to Plan, Run, and Grow Your New Business From the Ground Up

Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Lessons to Plan, Run, and Grow Your New Business From the Ground Up

It’s out! Get your copy of Rock Your Business

If you’re a freelancer, independent professional, small business owner, or entrepreneur, this book will change your life.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction: 

“We’ve been there, done that. We know how to plan, run and grow a small business, or an independent entrepreneurial endeavour. We’ve also thrived as freelancers. And because we’ve done something dramatic with our experience, we wrote this book to share what we know.

“We found ourselves at a point between businesses, between gigs, and we realized we had an opportunity to do something completely different. Something we’d always wanted. For Boni, that was to be utterly self-sufficient and geographically independent. For John, it was to own and live aboard a sailboat. So, we did it. We sold our stuff (like, all of it), packed up a few bags and our two cats and bade adieu to our home, friends and family in Canada. We headed south to a warmer climate and a huge unknown. We bought a 40-foot sailboat, named her Ingenium, and have been living aboard somewhere off the Pacific coast of Mexico for a few years.

“When we made the move, we had a few freelance clients that followed us, thankfully, but otherwise we had no guaranteed source of income. Our pensions hadn’t kicked in yet because we were still too young. (ARE still too young!) But we knew it was right. We knew that following our hearts and trusting our instincts meant a rare opportunity to create a life, an experience, that many people only dream of.

“We didn’t know then that our next big thing would be Ingenium Books, our new indie publishing company. But we did create the space for it to present itself to us, when the time was right. And it is. Right, that is. It is a creative endeavour that leverages our business experience and our drive to help others. And it led to this book, which does the same thing. We visualize success before it happens and we don’t fret when we encounter a failure. We keep our eyes on what we want and aren’t surprised when it pretty much happens.

The Daring and the Drive

Being an entrepreneur and in business for yourself is an exhilarating ride. Whether you’re starting up with a unique business idea, developing a new technological solution to an everyday problem, or buying and operating a franchise, there’s a lot to juggle in the planning, execution and measurement. It takes a bit of science, a lot of instinct, and some tried and true steps and approaches to follow on the pathway to success.

“Those of us with the daring and the drive to go solo are kicking up kudos in the global economy. In a 2016 global job creation survey of survey of entrepreneurs by EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young), 59 per cent said they planned to expand their workforces and hire, while only 28 per cent of large corporations planned to grow.

“That means entrepreneur-led companies are twice as likely to grow as their big business counterparts.

The Value of Self-education

“Education is important in entrepreneurial endeavours, as it is for any other career pursuit. There is a correlation between education level and salary, for example. But education systems are still playing catchup to the mindsets of millennials. The generation that values autonomy and freedom above almost all else is more entrepreneurial than any generation before.

“According to a 2014 U.S. survey, conducted jointly by Buzz Marketing Group and the Young Entrepreneurship Council, 93 per cent of the respondents believe entrepreneurial education is important, but only 38 per cent had ever been given a chance at one. Yes, you can go to college or university and obtain your MBA (Master of Business Administration); however, three thoughts emerge for us here:

• Book learning is only one part of a business education.

• Not everyone has the opportunity or desire to pursue a business degree.

• Entrepreneurship, self-employment and freelancing tend to be solitary endeavours.

“It helps to talk to other people, hear how others have handled a similar challenge or situation, and to read about the successes of others. That’s what Rock Your Business is for. Read a chapter or two at bedtime. Read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting. The information is easy to absorb. We provide real stories from our own experience as well as from real people in the real world. Rock Your Business is not too heavy, and not too light… a great accompaniment to your experience and education.

Oh, Those Entrepreneurs!

There’s a catch 22 when you’re running your own business. The catch is this: no one knows better than you what needs to be done and how to do it best. After all, this business is your idea. It began with your urge to create or accomplish something. You’re probably the best with the clients, the best at putting together sales proposals, and the best one to deal with your international manufacturing partners or your tax accountant.

“While you’re busy doing some or all of the above, what’s happening? Two things: you do not have a high level strategic view of what’s going on in your business, and your team isn’t fulfilled. In order to lift the ceiling on your growth and success potential, you must stop doing everything yourself.

“We’re talking about working on your business instead of working in your business. You’ve likely heard the phrase before. The truth of the matter is that you will not be able to grow and thrive until you step back and let others do what they do best, while you focus on what you need to do as the leader of the business.

“Which option will you choose? Stay at ground zero to master all the tasks? Or let go of the tasks – which others can do – to free yourself up to focus on the strategic direction of your independent empire?

“There’s a tipping point beyond which it no longer makes sense for you to ‘save money’ by continuing to bury your head in the books, or the back end of the website, by doing all your hiring yourself and by serving your customers directly. Continuing on this path means you’ll grow only to the limits of your personal abilities.

“If, instead, you set the tone, you create the culture and hire the team to do all those things, and you let them loose, then you’re free to leverage the abilities of the whole team for growth well beyond what you’re capable of alone.

“Even if you are the whole team, this should serve as a reminder that you, too, need to step back and take a long view of where you’re going. Keeping an eye on the business from 30,000 feet lets you ensure all the moving parts are working in harmony. It means you’re pulling the strings from above instead of getting bounced around at the bottom of someone else’s strings. You be the puppet master, not the puppet.

The Roots of Rock Your Business

Rock Your Business is born out of our own experience (co-authors Boni and John) running small businesses, working freelance, contributing to leadership teams in the startup and growth phases of small businesses as well as in public and private sector corporations.

“Throughout our careers, independently and together, we’ve been through the set up, the learning curve, the systems, the website building, the blog writing, the social media marketing (and, yes, you will get clients from your social media activities), the legal, the planning, the prospecting, the selling, the visioning and purpose, the technical requirements… and more.

“We’ve learned, succeeded, and failed. We understand how much we can still learn from the experience of others – and how much we learn and benefit from failures.

“We’ve experienced a common thread. Whether you call us freelancers, self-employed, or entrepreneurs doesn’t matter. From the geographical freedom of our 40’ sailboat, Ingenium, we do the kind of work we love for clients we enjoy. We have no one but ourselves to report to, call to task, praise, discipline, or collaborate with on decision making.

“Which is something we sometimes want. And that’s what we’re doing with Rock Your Business. We are providing a way for you to connect with the real life stories of other people in the same situation as you.”

What’s in Rock Your Business

If you’ve recently started a new business, or you’re planning on it, everything you need to know in order to Rock Your Business is right here. It’s like an MBA-in-a-box, without the tuition, school hours, or homework.

Yes! In Rock Your Business, award-winning journalist Boni Wagner-Stafford and serial entrepreneur John Wagner-Stafford offer 26 essential lessons you would otherwise have to spend thousands of dollars to learn about in business school.

  • How to find your new business idea and identify your customers.
  • Why your purpose sets you apart from your competitors.
  • Which legal matters you don’t want to take shortcuts on, and how to choose the right business structure.
  • Ways to protect your intellectual property (yes, you have some!).
  • When to hire help and when it’s okay to DIY.
  • How to create a business culture that works for you, not against.
  • How to avoid cash flow disasters that can ruin you, fast.
  • How to leverage technology in everyday administration.
  • When it’s right to grow your business, and how to do it.
  • How to ditch the clients that drag you down.
  • Tips for creating brand content that connects, drawing customers in.
  • Marketing strategy versus tactics, and when writing a book might be right for your business.
  • How to build in downtime to ensure you can keep giving your best.
  • ​Why writing a book may be the best way to launch a landslide of new business.

Your business drives your income, your livelihood, and your experience of life. Follow the guidelines in this book and you will have what it takes to “Rock Your Business”.

… written in a bright, accessible fashion and delivers information that small business people will run with. They provide clear advice on how to improve the way you do business.” –Troy Media

Get your copy of the book HERE!

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About the Author

Boni is co-founder of Ingenium Books. She's author of One Million Readers: The Definitive Guide to a Nonfiction Book Marketing Strategy that Saves Time, Money, and Sells More Books.Boni is an author coach, editor, and ghostwriter. As an award-winning former Canadian television reporter, news anchor, producer, and talk show host, working under the names Boni Fox and Boni Fox Gray (it's a long story), Boni covered politics, government, the economy, health, First Nations, and crime. She won several Canadian Association of Broadcaster (CAB) awards and a Jack Webster Award for best documentary. Boni also held senior management roles in government, leading teams responsible for editorial, issues management, media relations, and strategic communications planning. Boni is co-author of Rock Your Business: 26 Essential Lessons to Start, Run, and Grow Your New Business From the Ground Up and, like any good author, has several books in progress.

Boni Wagner-Stafford

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