Interviews with entrepreneurs turned authors

Interview with a bestselling author who failed high school English!

In Episode 1 of Entrepreneur to Author I speak to author, speaker and entrepreneur Darren Finkelstein.

Darren has been messing about in boats for most of his life. His father introduced him to fishing and his first boating experience was learning to water ski in Melbourne. He bought his first boat at age 18 in partnership with a friend and eventually followed his father-in-law’s advice and bought a small half-cabin to go fishing and cruising with his young family.

In fact he felt so strongly about boating that he underwent the full “SEA-CHANGE” promising to never to return to a “real job” with corporate Australia and made boating his profession.

Today he is the co-owner of the industry accredited boat dealer/broker St Kilda Boat Sales and Service Centre. Located right on the water’s edge at St Kilda Marina they buy, sell, service, repair, fuel and wash boats for their discerning owners and have sold hundreds of new and used power boats of all shapes and sizes.

The result is “Honey, let’s buy a BOAT!”, a straightforward guide through the maze of power boat purchasing.

In this interview, Darren, who candidly admits to not being a writer, shares his experience of writing and self-publishing his book, and how becoming a published author transformed his business.

​Interview with author, clanmaker and blogging expert, Sandy McDonald

In Episode 2 of Entrepreneur to Author I speak to Sandy McDonald, founder of The Clan Makers, WhyYouMustBlog.com and KasCare, and author of Clans – Supercharge Your Business.After 22 years running a marketing communications company, she used passionate blogging to build an online community to help the children orphaned in southern Africa as a result of HIV AIDS and poverty.

Now numbering more than 12,000 from 54 countries, they have sent over half a million items to warm and comfort the children. They’ve touched an estimated 250,000 people world-wide, raising awareness of the plight of these children.

Her marketing experience and the knowledge gained from this experience forms the backbone of her book, Clans Supercharge Your Business which details her 7C Plan to Clan for building an advocating community.

Sandy believes there has never been a better time to build a clan, and that the intersect of head, heart and the web is a collective power that grows equity in business while uplifting the lives of others.

Sandy is known for converting a complex online world into exciting opportunities for business owners which supercharge their lives.

She works with business owners and enterprises to build community as a best- practice, business building strategy.

Interview with Anneka Manning, author of Bake, Eat, Love

In episode 3 of Entrepreneur to Author we speak with Anneka Manning, an author, presenter, cooking teacher, home economist, mother of two and founder of BakeClub.

Over the past 23 years Anneka has worked for an impressive list of leading food publications – including Australian Gourmet Traveller, Australian Good Taste, The Australian Women’s Weekly and The Sydney Morning Herald – as well as having a significant television and radio profile as an expert. Anneka has also compiled, written and contributed to a number of successful, award-winning books, including good food and more good food and The Low GI Family Cookbook and Mastering the Art of Baking.

She is passionate about bringing real baking into Australian homes – to inspire home cooks with deliciously simple recipes that are relevant to their lives. Through her writing, presenting and Sydney-based cooking school, BakeClub, Anneka teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable, yet inspiring ways, giving them the know-how and skill to bake with confidence and success.

Anneka’s latest book, Bake, Eat, Love, is a simple, unique and practical guide, based on Anneka’s distinctive way of teaching people to bake. Her simple, yet effective, 3-step process will connect home cooks with lost baking skills and this book will become the reliable companion and reference guide they’ve always wanted in the kitchen. As well as this, Bake, Eat, Love will show them how baking can enrich their lives on so many levels and connect them with the people they love.

​Interview with author of The Payroll Revolution, Tracy Angwin

In episode 4 of Entrepreneur to Author, I speak to Tracy Angwin, founder of Australian Payroll Association, author of The Payroll Revolution and the authority on payroll in Australia.

Tracy’s company offers advisory services, education and specialist payroll recruitment services. While her business started strongly, she struggled to find new clients after picking the low-hanging fruit.However, everything changed once she wrote and published The Payroll Revolution.

In her first week as an author, the Kindle version of her book became a best seller, she was featured in two of Australia’s leading HR publications, and then she got a call from the producer of a leading radio news program in New Zealand wanting to interview her, as she was now considered to the “the authority in payroll in Australia”.

She suddenly had opportunities to work with large global payroll suppliers that she had struggled to engage previously, and also made the 2013 BRW Fast Starters list.

She was later featured in News Ltd, and is now regularly quoted in BRW and the Australian Financial Review.

Learn more about Tracy’s self-publishing journey, and the impact that becoming an author had on her business in the interview below.

Interview with Jenny Vandyke, author of The Innovation Recipe

Author of The Innovation Recipe: Key Ingredients for World-class Results in Big Business, Jenny Vandyke believes that innovation and cooking have a lot in common.

Having worked with senior leaders at Australia’s biggest organisations for over ten years, including National Australia Bank, BHP Billiton, ANZ Bank and KMPG, Jenny knows that, unfortunately, owning a shiny European oven doesn’t automatically turn you in to a world-class chef. The reality is, if you are serious about innovation, you need to equip your team with the right recipe for success.

Rather than leaving companies to assume that a great idea or new technology will lead to breakthrough innovations, her Innovation Recipe helps business leaders turn great ideas into great results every time.

In this interview Jenny shares her experience of drafting a 54,000 word manuscript in just six weeks, the self-publishing process that followed, and the immediate results being a published author had on her business.

Interview with Jacquie Sharples, author of If Your Body Could Talk

As a corporate escapee, Jacquie Sharples knows a thing or two about not listening to her body.

A former corporate engineer, Jacquie couldn’t ignore her passion for health and fitness. Having formerly trained at the highest levels in athletics since high school, becoming Victoria champion in the triple jump and in the top 8 at the Commonwealth Games trials in the 400m hurdles in 2009, her body didn’t want to be chained to a desk. She was ready to get moving again, and started gaining a range of certifications to make a living doing just that.

As she juggled multiple enterprises, worked with clients and delved into deeper research, Jacquie gained a deep understanding of the impact the corporate life (and the stress of juggling that life with family, friends and other commitments) has on our bodies. However, most of us don’t listen to the signs that something might be wrong, instead pushing ourselves to breaking point.

As a result, Jacquie developed a framework and unique perspective on how to help women get on top of their struggle with their bodies and their lives, created the coaching and education program ‘bodylove’ in 2012, and later publishing her first book ‘If Your Body Could Talk’.

Interview with Robert Bihar, author of Don't Eat the Marshmallow

If you’ve ever complained “I just don’t know how to talk to my kids about money,” then this interview’s for you.

In episode 7 of Entrepreneur to Author, I speak with Robert Bihar, author of Don’t Eat the Marshmallow.

With over 15 years’ experience as a Finance Analyst teaching financial and budgeting skills to the managers of large corporations, Rob realised that many of their money habits were related to what they were taught about money as children. Consequently, the easiest way to set your kids up for financial success is to teach them good money habits now.

Rob believes that kids are never too young to learn about money (and what to do with it), and his book teaches parents how to do just that.

How one entrepreneur got a $25,000 contract 'just because you're a published author'

How often do you see your potential clients trying to do it all themselves? With the accessibility of online technologies today, any entrepreneur can create their own website, do their own copywriting, design their own brochures and manage their own social media campaigns.

Unfortunately, even though they can achieve all of this themselves, it’s a challenge to do it well and to get the results they want.

Having worked in video production for 20 years, Geoff Anderson was all too familiar with this scenario – while more and more people have started recording, editing and uploading their own videos, he frequently saw them making the same fundamental mistakes. Rather than helping them build their credibility and bring in more clients, these videos were actually causing more harm than good.

So he wrote a book to help – Shoot Me Now: Making Videos to Boost Business, which teaches entrepreneurs how to make videos that engage their audiences.

Since he launched his book has helped build his profile through social and traditional media, with appearances on national and state radio shows, articles in print and online magazines and speaking engagements in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs.

However, one of the most tangible results was getting a $25,000 contract​ to produce a government video. The kicker? At the sales meeting, the executive told Geoff, ‘I know you can do the job because you’re published,’ even though he admitted to not having read the book!

To learn about this experience, along with Geoff’s other adventures as a published entrepreneur, listen to his interview below.

Interview with the Happy Family Lawyer

In this episode of Entrepreneur to Author I speak with Clarissa Rayward, a family lawyer who has leveraged her book to lead to media appearances, speaking opportunities and more clients engaging her firm than ever before.

It all began in 2008, when Clarissa established Brisbane Family Law Centre. At BFLC her team of lawyers work alongside counsellors and financial planners to ensure the separating families have the support they need to recreate their lives after divorce.

While she knew her practice was different, she struggled to reach people with her message that it is possible for families to stay out of court and stay friends, and for a divorce to be a positive end to a marriage.

After writing her book Splitsville: How to separate, stay out of court and stay friends, she defined her point of difference, built her profile and grew her business.

Today her blog has had over 25,000 views, she has been featured on national TV and has a regular spot on ABC radio. She has also had a 50% increase in the number of clients engaging her firm, most of whom reach out to her after reading her book or her blog, The Happy Family Lawyer.

This success didn’t happen on its own, however, and in this interview Clarissa shares:

  • Her publishing journey, including redesigning her book after it went to print
  • How she pitched 30 journalists to land appearances on TV, radio, print and more
  • How she used her book launch to encourage other lawyers to promote her book

For all of this and more:

Interview with time management expert Kate Christie on how she leveraged a book to boost her business

You’ve spent six months, almost $10,000 dollars and who knows how much blood, sweat and tears writing and publishing your book. Now it’s here – you have a pyramid of boxes in front of you and you’ve just posted a photo of you holding up your book with a grin on Facebook.

But what happens next?

One of the most common issues facing published entrepreneurs is how they can effectively leverage their books to see a real business return. They hand them out at networking events and give them to potential clients, but never know if the book has actually made a real difference.

Enter Kate Christie, a published entrepreneur who has successfully leveraged her book to build her business.

Kate is a time management expert and the founder Time Stylers, which helps successful, time-poor female professionals and entrepreneurs manage their time more effectively so they can do what they love, shake the guilt over their work and life choices, and experience success at work and at home.
In November 2014 she launched her first book, Me Time: The professional woman’s guide to finding 30 guilt-free hours a month, which has contributed to 300% business growth in 12 months.

Since then, she has leveraged her book to secure appearances in international media, including New Zealand breakfast television, the Huffington Post, the Sunday Herald Sun, Kochie’s Small Business Builders and Women’s Agenda Magazines. She has also used it to secure paid speaking and workshop engagements retail, finance, banking, legal and recruitment industries across Australia, which regularly put her in front of hundreds of her ideal clients.

In this interview, Kate shares her experience of writing, publishing and leveraging a book, and how becoming a bestselling author has transformed her business.