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The Extraordinary Business Book Club

Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
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Now displaying: March, 2021
Mar 29, 2021

'The reason why I was able to write it in 12 weeks is that I mapped out my entire book, sticky note by sticky note... And then I was relentless. I just went one word per sticky note and built the whole thing.'

For someone who comes alive on the stage and accesses their flow speaking in front of an audience, the last year has been tough. But Frederique Murphy discovered that she could re-access that state of flow through writing her book, by delivering it as if to an audience, and the results were astonishing. 

Astonishing results are something of a speciality of Frederique's, and in this remarkable episode she shares something of the science behind her approach to helping leaders break free of their limitations and achieve their full potential. (Spoiler alert: this also involves writing...)

There's also powerfully honest insights into the process of publishing, and the vulnerability that involves. 

Mar 22, 2021

Instagram has had a massive impacting in shaping our culture over the last decade - it's redefined our measures of success and celebrity. It's easy now to see it as somehow inevitable, but in No Filter, winner of the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2020, Sarah Frier uncovers the backstory of the app - the philosophy of its founders and the complex relationship with new owner Facebook. 

Along the way she also takes us behind the scenes of her own writing practice - the journalistic imperative to find the new angle, the colour-coded index cards, the plot-shaping, the late nights, the long showers, and the rosé.

A masterclass in business book writing and a fascinating glimpse into one of the defining forces of our culture. 

Mar 15, 2021

'Everything is sales... the title should sell people on reading the subtitle, the subtitle should sell people on flipping it over to look at the blurb and the blurb should sell you on opening the book up and flicking through it. And if all those things occur in the right way, then the chances are you'll buy the book.'

John Williams is an ideas guy, and he helps other people make their ideas happen too. He's also a very experienced marketer and business book writer, and in this conversation he shares exactly how he knocked out a full first draft of his new book F*ck Work, Let's Play in just nine days... 

Packed with practical inspiration for entrepreneurs and writers, this is a fascinating under-the-hood glimpse into the mindset and methods of someone who's succeeded at both.

Mar 15, 2021

'Everything is sales... the title should sell people on reading the subtitle, the subtitle should sell people on flipping it over to look at the blurb and the blurb should sell you on opening the book up and flicking through it. And if all those things occur in the right way, then the chances are you'll buy the book.'

John Williams is an ideas guy, and he helps other people make their ideas happen too. He's also a very experienced marketer and business book writer, and in this conversation he shares exactly how he knocked out a full first draft of his new book F*ck Work, Let's Play in just nine days... 

Packed with practical inspiration for entrepreneurs and writers, this is a fascinating under-the-hood glimpse into the mindset and methods of someone who's succeeded at both.

Mar 8, 2021

Writing a business book is a particularly visible form of leadership - how do you find the courage for that? In this week's look back through my most recent Extraordinary Business Book Club conversations, I uncover the principles, tactics and Jedi mind tricks that enabled these authors to find the courage to make their voices heard. 

There'll be something here that you can use too, to make yourself a little bit braver and a little bit more likely to succeed. 

Learn from: 

  • Drew Ellis on taking risks in a manageable way
  • Stephen Van Bellegham on sharing your story early
  • Susanne Althoff on confidence for women
  • The $7 Millionaire on sneaking past your inner critic
  • Yetunde Hofmann on love-based research 
  • Rob Kerr on the power of involving other people
  • James Ashton on podcasting as a test bed
  • Sara McCorquodale on not taking rejection personally
  • Kathryn Bishop on focusing on the reader, not yourself.

If there's a recipe for courage, this is it. 

Mar 1, 2021

'If you can just get over the fear of failure and treat failure as a learning process, then... you're going to go on to do some great stuff.'

From designing the iconic 'Choose Life' t-shirts of the 1980s to launching one of the first lockdown festivals of 2020, Drew Ellis has been living by this mantra for years now. 

One result of his experimentation is Like Minds, a global thought leadership and events company, and in this conversation we explore how it happened, why events and books are such a perfect partnership, and the future of audio and particularly Drew's plans for Clubhouse.

And if you're playing small, there's a challenge here for you: be seen. There are so many options that there are no excuses any more.   

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