Category Archives: Business

Cooking up a storm with Booko: Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ

Rodney Scott cooked his first whole hog when he was just eleven years old. Now, four decades later, he owns one of the country’s most awarded and talked-about barbecue joints and shares his story in Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ.


Learning from Australian Businesses: inspiring business books on the market

There are so many fascinating and inspiring stories that sit behind brand names and company banners. Today’s pick of Australian businesses offer us an insight into the world of fashion, food waste, landscaping and going out on your own. Each business took courage, determination and a leap of faith.

There’s a renegade in all of us, sometimes it’s just a matter of letting that voice be heard. Make yourself a cuppa and get ready to be inspired. 

A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn & Jessica Chapnik Kahn

Life throws us mysterious ingredients. If we are brave enough to put the recipe aside and experiment, it’s right there that things get interesting. As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.

Jim’s Book:The Surprising Story of Jim Penman Australia’s Backyard Millionaire by Catherine Moolenschot

We all know Jim’s. Maybe you just passed a Jim’s Mowing trailer on the road; or maybe there’s a Jim’s Cleaning van parked across the street each Tuesday morning; or maybe your best mate is laughing all the way to the bank after quitting the city and starting his new Jim’s Fencing franchise, but do you know the real story behind the Jim’s Group and its founder, Jim Penman? Brutally efficient, socially awkward, and a tireless perfectionist, Jim is as complex and fascinating as the Jim’s Group. This book is a warts-and-all look at his colourful life that delves deep into how he ignored conventional thinking to turn a few mowing rounds into a corporate juggernaut built on always putting the customer first. Jim’s unique approach revolutionised Australia’s business landscape, providing thousands of people the opportunity to create and grow their own businesses. Most Australians know very little about the man who created one of the nation’s most famous companies. For all of his success, Jim is remarkably unassuming and approachable. In this authorised biography, author Catherine Moolenschot sat down with Jim and over one hundred people who know him, from franchisees and franchisors, to family, friends, and adversaries, to get up close and personal with the surprising story of one of Australia’s biggest brands and the man who made it all happen. Jim’s Book tells the fascinating story of the man and the business that bears his name. Equal parts biography, history and philosophy, this book takes readers on a journey through one man’s remarkable life.

Kiwi: The Australian Brand that Brought a Shine to the World by Keith Dunstan

You probably have a tin of shoe polish tucked under the laundry sink bearing the little bird logo that has been in homes around the globe for over a century. Founded in Melbourne by William Ramsay in 1906, Kiwi is one of the most iconic and enduring international brands ever to have come out of Australia. One of Australia’s best-loved journalists, Keith Dunstan tells the remarkable story of the Ramsay family and how they created and nurtured the Kiwi brand. Always quick to seize a marketing opportunity, the Ramsays sent Kiwi to England with the Anzacs in World War I, putting a brilliant shine on belts, bridles and leggings as well as boots. Soon there was a Kiwi factory in London, and in time Kiwi ran 24 factories worldwide, selling more than 250 million cans of shoe polish annually.In his inimitable warm and chatty style, Dunstan follows the fortunes of the Ramsay family as they built the Kiwi brand over the decades: business decisions good and bad, grand houses, the latest cars, constant travel, and their marriages, quarrels and friendships. He also tracks the clever advertising strategies that kept Kiwi in the public mind, including the notorious sign that caused traffic accidents in Richmond in the 1960s. Richly illustrated in full colour, Kiwi is the fascinating inside story of one of Australia’s great families, as well as one of its great brands.

Chapter One by Daniel Flynn

The world probably doesn’t need another book. However, Chapter One is more than a book. It’s an invitation. And it’s addressed to you. To inspire you to challenge everything, to remind you that you can turn ideas into reality and to present you the opportunity to be part of bold idea that could change the course of history. Chapter One is the story of three kids from Melbourne, Australia with zero experience in business who had an idea and the crazy belief that we all have the power to change stuff. It started with the World Water Crisis (and how to end it) but has developed into an award-winning consumer goods brand that empowers millions of people to fight poverty with every munch of muesli, sip of water or pump of hand wash. And that’s just the beginning. This is the story of epic proportions by Thankyou co-founder Daniel Flynn about Thankyou’s gut-wrenching decisions, wild mistakes and daring moves in business, marketing and social enterprise so far. You’ll laugh at their boldness, cry at their failings and be inspired by their determination. But more than that, you’ll understand that, no matter your walk of life, you too have the power to change stuff.

Butterfly on a Pin: A memoir of love, despair and reinvention by Alannah Hill

Unflinching, funny, shocking, inspiring and tender: this is a story like no other. Alannah Hill, one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, created an international fashion brand that defied trends with ornamental, sophisticated elegance, beads, bows and vintage florals. But growing up in a milk bar in Tasmania, Alannah’s childhood was one of hardship, fear and abuse. At an early age she ran away from home with eight suitcases of costumes and a fierce determination to succeed, haunted by her mother’s refrain of ‘You’ll never amount to anything, you can’t sew, nobody likes you and you’re going to end up in a shallow grave, dear!’ At the height of her success, Alannah walked the razor’s edge between two identities; ‘the good’ Alannah and the `mongrel bastard’ Alannah. Who was the real Alannah Hill? Reprieve came in the form of a baby boy and the realisation that becoming a mother not only changes your life, but completely refurbishes it, forever. Yet ‘having it all’ turned out to be another illusion. In 2013 Alannah walked away from her eponymous brand, a departure that left her coming apart at the seams. She slowly came to understand the only way she could move forward was to go back. At the heart of it all was her mother, whose loveless marriage and disappointment in life had a powerful and long-lasting effect on her daughter. It was finally time to call a truce with the past. This extraordinary book is the fierce and intelligent account of how a freckle-faced teenage runaway metamorphosed into a trailblazer and true original.

Winging It: Stop Thinking, Start Doing: Why Action Beats Planning Every Time by Emma Isaacs

CEO and entrepreneur Emma Isaacs forgot to draw up her life plan, and she doesn’t have a list of five-year goals. She doesn’t believe in work/life balance – after all she has five children and heads up Business Chicks, Australia’s largest community for women. Like Sheryl Sandberg, who told us to ‘lean in’ to find success, Emma wants to show us that you can’t plan every detail and wait for the confidence to kick in before you begin; instead, take action now, do what feels right and figure the rest out as you go along. In other words, you’ve got to learn how to ‘wing it’ rather than wait. Drawing on her own life and the stories of the many men and women she has met and interviewed – from Sir Richard Branson to Bill Gates to Girlboss Sophia Amoruso – Emma tells us how to: * Turn a dream into a job * Turn a job into a business * Network like a champion * Protect your time for the things that matter * Get fired up not ground down by the kids/career juggle, and * Understand that sometimes failure is part of the brief. Emma shows us that often the only thing holding us back is ourselves; that you can follow your dreams; and that there’s no reason not to start doing so right now.

Enjoy!

Celebrating the Australian Book Industry with Booko: A Repurposed Life

A Repurposed Life is an inspiring story of a woman with a big heart who dared to make a difference. It’s the story of Ronni Kahn and OzHarvest.

Books that help you prepare great CVs and impressive interviews

New year, new job?  Have recent events encouraged you to (or made you) reassess and change your career plans? Or do you know someone who is starting out in the workforce? Team Booko knows that the job application process can be daunting, whether it’s your first time, or first time in a while. So we have gathered some resources to help you write that high-impact CV and nail that interview. Good luck!

Write a Brilliant CV by Lucinda Becker
Write a Brilliant CV is a great beginner’s guide to résumé writing, perfect for students and young people applying for their first jobs.  It offers focussed tips and  strategies that shows you how to write a persuasive CV, how to target your CV to particular roles and careers, and how best to showcase your skills and experience.  Write a Brilliant CV is part of the Super Quick Skills series of pocket-sized guides, which offers practical, positive advice on a range of core academic and life skills.

The Job-Ready Guide: How to Set Yourself Up for Career Success by Anastasia de Waal
Anastasia de Waal looks at the bigger-picture of job-readiness, with a guide that starts with researching different roles/employers, goes into CV and cover letter writing and interview skills, then moves onto further career development, including networking and developing professionalism.  This is a very practical guide, with interactive exercises to help you in your real life, and enlivened by insider advice from employers, and tips from professionals at different stages in their careers who reveal ‘what they wish they’d known’.  A must for anyone wanting to enter a professional career.

How to Write an Impressive CV and Cover Letter: A Comprehensive Guide for Jobseekers by Tracey Whitmore
In a competitive job market, making a great first impressions is critical. Let Tracey Whitmore show you how to grab a prospective employer’s attention by crafting a compelling CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. How to Write an Impressive CV and Cover Letter is a practical and accessible guide that highlights the Dos and Don’ts, with specific advice for both new graduates and mid-career jobhunters. It includes useful “CV Makeover” examples where common mistakes are identified then corrected. For a more personal touch, there are also real-life examples of CVs and covering letters, as well as employers’ perspectives from a number of senior HR and industry professionals.

It’s Who You Know: How to Make Networking Work for You by Janine Garner
Janine Garner is an acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor who has made networking her passion and expertise. It’s Who You Know is her guide on how to build or improve our networks so that it helps transforming our thinking, challenging our behaviours and push us to achieve more. Janine Garner’s approach is strategic, having identified 12 key roles that together will provide the strength, diversity and opportunities to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. She also offers advice on how to nurture relationships and make networking mutually beneficial. This latest edition is published as part of Wiley’s Be Your Best series, of bestselling personal development books by Australian authors.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
Not sure what career to pursue?  Worried you might have “missed your calling”?  Cal Newport – Computer Science Professor and successful author about work and study habits – turns conventional wisdom on its head to help us get more fulfilment out of work.  Cal argues that “follow your passion” is bad career advice  which can lead to anxiety and jobhopping; instead, he recommends we focus on acquiring “career capital”, such as mastery of job-specific skills and autonomy within our roles – which will help us grow our passion for our work over time.  Based on interviews with a variety of successful professionals, and established research on workplace motivation, So Good They Can’t Ignore You encourages us to radically rethink our career development strategy. 

Expert Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles for Managers and Executives by Wendy S. Enelow and Louise M. Kursmark
Expert Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles for Managers and Executives was written specifically to address the requirements for senior-level recruitment.   What’s more, this fourth edition includes extensive advice on how to build a compelling LinkedIn Profile – nowadays an essential tool for both recruiters and candidates.  Learn how to use LinkedIn to establish your personal brand, showcase your skills and experience, and offer a more comprehensive view of yourself than what resumes would allow. Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark each have over 30 years’ experience writing, teaching and speaking about resume writing, and this book can help all mid-career professionals (not just those in senior roles!) with tips on how best to write and present extensive career information for maximum impact.

Getting motivated with business leaders. The newest biographies on the market

February – it can be a hard month to get into the swing of work. It’s still summer and the sunny days can make sitting down to the laptop a little harder than usual. Maybe it’s returning from summer holidays with days spent at the beach or around the pool that make zoom meetings a little less enticing. Fear not, we have gathered six of the hottest titles on the market that will inspire you to dust off the brain cells and get back to work. A common thread in each of these books is that to live your dream life and have a career you really want, you have to work very hard for it. It’s not going to be the easiest of rides, nor will it be handed to you. It’s not a new concept, but these business leaders are proof that hard work pays off. 

This Is Me by Mrs Hinch

Have you met Mrs Hinch? Mrs Hinch took the UK by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever cleaning hacks and her passionate belief in the life-changing magic of tidying. Following Mrs Hinch’s huge success with her first two books Hinch Yourself Happy, the cleaning guide and The Activity Journal, this is the stand-alone memoir every hincher has been waiting for. Readers will discover the story of becoming Mrs Hinch- her journey to becoming the Instagram star she is today, overcoming anxiety, how cleaning has got her through her toughest moments, getting married to Jamie, her close friendships, her relationship with her dorgeous dog Henry Hinch, and becoming a mother to her beautiful son, Ronnie.

Make Life Beautiful by Syd McGee, Shea McGee

Okay, so I have read this book twice already, and binged the Netflix special (both seasons). For the one million-plus followers who turn to Syd and Shea McGee for advice on building a beautiful home and life, Make Life Beautiful is a behind-the-scenes look into how the couple transformed Shea’s small room of fabric samples and big dream of becoming a designer into one of the most successful and fastest-growing interior design businesses in the US. Both long-time and new fans will not only gain insight into how the McGees built such a successful company but also be inspired to apply design principles to their lives.

The Rip Curl Story: 50 Years Of Perfect Surf, International Business, Wild Characters And The Search For The Ultimate Ride by Tim Baker

The Rip Curl Story is the remarkable tale of two young surfers Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick and Brian Singer who pursued an audacious dream to make a living in pursuit of the ultimate ride. The brand they built, Rip Curl, not only satisfied their own surf wanderlust, but also inspired countless others, riding the wave of the global youth revolution of the late ’60s. Rip Curl’s mantra became ‘the Search’: the pursuit of new waves on distant shores, new thrills – skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing – and better equipment to elevate the experience. Along the way they supported the careers of many of the world’s great surfers from Midget Farrelly to Michael Peterson, Tom Curren to Damien Hardman, Pam Burridge to Stephanie Gilmore, and of course Tyler Wright and Mick Fanning. Bestselling surf writer Tim Baker tells this implausible story in an irresistible series of ripping yarns, offering rich life lessons, a maverick business primer and a wild ride of adventure, good times and outlandish ambitions spectacularly realised. The Rip Curl Story will make you want to surf more, travel further, follow through on that great business idea and pursue your own search.

Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys And Other Tips from Navigating Life and Business by Ying Tan

Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys teaches readers ten crucial principles required to succeed in life and business. Written by Ying Tan, Founder and CEO of a multimillion pound financial services company, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys imparts sage advice suitable for anyone, at any stage of their life.

The author describes the attitudes, lessons, and traits that allowed him to become one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever at Goldman Sachs. He shows readers how he built a company from the ground up to create one of the most influential and powerful financial services companies in the UK. Full of concrete strategies and practical advice, this book provides a deeply personal and humble perspective on success in life and business with actionable advice that makes a real difference in the pursuit of happiness and wealth. Written for entrepreneurs, business people, financial professionals, and anyone else with an interest in improving their personal and professional life by taking full responsibility for their choices and actions, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys is an indispensable addition to the libraries of people across the world.

Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos by Jeff Bezos

Invent and Wander is the core principles and philosophy that have guided Jeff Bezos in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin. In this collection of writings including his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas, you’ll gain an insider’s view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us. Written in a direct, down-to-earth style, Invent and Wander offers readers a master class in business values, strategy, and execution. 

Each insight offers new ways of thinking through today’s challenges and more importantly, tomorrow’s.

Family Business Success Stories: How Australia’s iconic family brands have stood the test of time by Graeme Lofts

Family Business Success Stories tells the stories of eight of Australia’s oldest and best-known family-owned businesses in Australia, all of them more than one hundred years old. The stories illustrate the passion within each generation and demonstrate the influence of individuals in the families on the evolution of a successful business against a background of the social and economic history of Australia. Each chapter tells the story of how the business started, the hopes and dreams of the founders, the colourful characters, humour, setbacks and tragedies along the way. The author also shares the triumphs of the family business, including landmark products or services and awards. For fellow family-business owners there are lessons to learn about innovation, collaboration, conflict resolution, resilience and transfer of leadership. Family Business Success Stories is readable and engaging. It will appeal to both the business community and consumers of these eight iconic brands. This book will send a strong message to Australian consumers about the social, cultural and economic value of family owned businesses. Although not a ‘How to . . .’ book in name, it is a must-read for anyone contemplating starting a small business or any family business in its first or second generation.

Enjoy!

The anti-CEO playbook

Profit, money, shareholders: these are some of the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past and shares his vision for a new, “anti-CEO playbook” that prioritises people over profits. “This is the difference between profit and true wealth,” he says.