What’s on your entrepreneurial bookshelf?

What's on your entrepreneurial bookshelf? POST
This week I popped into the Lululemon store in Balmain. Now, if you're familiar with Lululemon you'll know that it's the sort of place that sells workout gear, sports bras and yoga clothes. As I'm currently on a health kick, I picked out some pieces to inspire me and headed to the checkout.

An odd collection of books
When I got there I spied a row of books that looked like they were for sale. I was expecting to find books on meditation, health, fitness and mung beans. But instead (as you can see from the picture), the books included:

From bricks-and-mortar failure to online success

From bricks and mortar failure to online success
I love stories about entrepreneurs. I've sure you've figured that out by now. It always amazes me how much some entrepreneurs will put it all on the line to turn their business dreams into reality. It's not just the financial commitment, it's the stress and sleepless nights that go with it. So when I heard John Allen and Mitch Fraser's story, I wanted to share it.

John Allen and Mitch Fraser know what it's like to fail. Three years ago, their entrepreneurial dreams were dashed and they almost walked away from what has now become successful home loan comparison site, Tomorrow Finance.

Allen, 28 and Fraser, 29, learnt a hard lesson after investing a combined $80,000 into a business that they thought would disrupt the home loan industry.

Tomorrow Finance works in a similar way to a mortgage broker. But while mortgage brokers often receive trailing commissions (which they receive for the life of the loan), Fraser and Allen negotiate one-off fees with the banks. Because the banks don't have to pay ongoing fees for the life of the loan, Allen says this results in a cheaper home loan for consumers.

Taking the plunge
The pair had so much faith in their new idea, they plunged headfirst into the business at the end of 2009 and spent the next four months negotiating arrangements with banks. Allen quit a job at professional services firm PwC and moved back home with his mum. Fraser scaled back his own web development business in order to focus on the new venture.

My life in a minute: Foamy peas, fancy limos and a great bulk order book deal.

Life in a minute 16 No 2012 POST
So many wonderful things going on - bulk orders of my book, foamy peas, limos, articles and reviews ... and a partridge in a pear tree. No, wait ... not just yet.

Do you need an advisory board?

Do you need an advisory board POST
Two heads are better than one. Even better when there are three heads or more. I’m talking about tapping into a brains trust of people who can give you advice about your business. That’s where an advisory board can help, particularly if you are a small to medium sized business. That inspired this week’s Enterprise post.

Last week, an up-and-coming entrepreneur asked me to be on her board of advisers. As she’s just starting out in business, it’s a smart move. She wants to tap into the brains of people who have had more experience than she has, and soak up their advice.

When I first started my business, I didn’t seek advice, mentoring or coaching of any kind. But I wish I had. It took me a few years before I had my first mentor and it transformed the way I approached my business.

Members of an advisory board to a small business often participate on a voluntary basis. However, depending on their level of involvement, payment (or an equity stake) may be involved. There are few formalised rules over how a board of advisers should be run, so it’s up to you to determine what will work for your business and what you need to do to get the right people on board (pardon the pun).

Podcast: My “Power Stories” chat with Timbo Reid (“Small Business, Big Marketing”)

Timbo-Reid-interview-POST
You may remember that a few months ago I did a crazy thing. I drove from Melbourne to Sydney (that's not the crazy bit) with my three furry babies in the car (that's not the crazy bit either). Apart from my two fluffy white cats and one fluffy white dog, the only other thing accompanying me on that v-e-ee-e-r-r-ry l-o-o-o-o-o-o-g trip was 11 hours of Tim Reid's fabulous "Small Business, Big Marketing" podcast.

Yes, my iPod did not have a single song on it. But I had many hours of Tim Reid (more famously known as Timbo Reid) in my ears. He kept me sane on that long journey. Well, initially. After 11 hours … well, I was going a little bit nuts.

Sex, lies and Silicon Valley

Sex lies Silicon Valley POST
Entrepreneurs beware: it's not just what you do, it's who you do it with

We met online. Then we fell in love.

Rambo FEATURE
I have Monika's Doggie Rescue to thank for bringing sweet adorable Rambo into my life ... wouldn't you like to fall in love too?

My life in a minute: Radio segments, fluff balls – and still getting cosy with Richard Branson

Life in a minute 2 Nov 2012 FEATURE
"Power Stories" keeps powering on ... on the radio, on a podcast and right next to Richard Branson on the bestseller lists ... all the while I'm inspired by Kelly Exeter and exhausted shepherding the furries to the vet ...

Anatomy of an app

Anatomy of an app FEATURE
Games are no longer just for children. Thanks to a burgeoning app market, they're now big business for adults too.

This is war: when all is not well in your world

This is war FEATURE
Getting angry may feel like the right thing to do but it is rarely as effective as staying calm and talking the issue through.

It’s party time for schoolies entrepreneur

Enterprise post 25 Oct 2012 FEATURE
Three weeks. Six million dollars. Multiple parties. One very successful business.

How to write a business bestseller: I reveal all

How to write a business bestseller POST
Want to write a buzz-generating business book? There's just one place to find out everything you need to know!

Meet The Shrink for Entrepreneurs

Peter Shallard POST
Peter Shallard is known as The Shrink For Entrepreneurs and his amazing new video illustrates the profound effect he is having on the lives of many people. Check it out!

3 business books that changed my life: Andrew Birt, co-founder of Angelcube and LIFX Labs

Andrew Birt POST FINAL
Andrew Birt, co-founder of Angelcube, and LIFX Labs has been inspired by the lives of many entrepreneurs. But I asked him to narrow it down to just the “3 business books that changed my life” and here are his choices.

My life in a minute: 19 October 2012

DWEN-Valerie Khoo-Kylie-Emma
My life in a minute: Lots of wonderful activity with DWEN and Problogger ... but also the calmness of hugs from my furry babies ... and yes Calm.com itself.

Turning a blog into a business

Turning a blog into a business FEATURE
Blogging is no longer just a part-time hobby for over-sharers - it is now big business ... and getting bigger all the time.

The perils of business travel … and why I have skin like J-Lo

Perils of business travel POST
Disaster! Flew back to Sydney without ANY of my make up and had to buy all of it again ... the upside? I am now glowing like J-Lo.

“Power Stories” debuts at number 2 – and what you can learn from this

"Power Stories" debuts at number 2 - and what you can learn from this
Always remember to celebrate your milestones. You earned them so shout it from the rooftops.

3 business books that changed my life: Heidi Holmes, owner and manager of adage.com.au

Heidi Holmes
Heidi Holmes, who owns and manages jobs site adage.com.au, firmly believes you need a passion for what you do. And one way to keep enthusiasm alive is to read inspiring writers like the ones she has chosen for "3 business books that changed my life".

My life in a minute: On the cover of “Working Women” magazine; and the secret to saving relationships

My life in a Minute 5 Oct 2012 WNA cover
Loving life! Interviews, a night at the opera, "Power Stories" charges ahead, a catch up with our wonderful graduates ... and I found sponges with the power to save relationships. Yes really ...