199 – How to benefit from a business setback.

199 – How to benefit from a business setback.

When you setback in business you have two choices. Get back on your horse, or give up. The good ones get right back on.

My guest today, Chris Taylor of Actionable Books, has had the odd business setback. And each time he’s been thankful for it and kept on riding. In fact, his latest business venture is a direct result of a business failing. To get back on his horse, Chris committed to reading 52 business books in 52 weeks, applying one lesson from each.

Alas, Actionable Books was founded. And is now a thriving online business, that up until three months ago, was being run out of a cave in Spain!

Chris’ story is a great example of the power that following your dreams and passions can have on your business life. Chris embarked on a mission to read through as many business books as possible while taking learnings from them and posting book summaries on his website – and all to help himself in the small biz learning process.

But he soon found that he could transform these business summaries into a working business model, and he now supplies downloadable business workshops based on a huge range of business books to team leaders all around the world.

If you’ve ever had that fire to leave the corporate world behind and turn your passion into a money making enterprise – this episode is full of marketing GOLD I know you’re gonna love.

Let’s get stuck into Episode 199 of Australia’s #1 marketing podcast!


In this session of Small Business Big Marketing, you’ll discover:

  • All about the surprisingly decent wifi connections in secluded caves.
  • Why it’s so important to be prepared for the worst case scenario and not to let events overwhelm you.
  • How, yet again, creating and publishing content on a regular basis is the best way to win the hearts of Google and customers.
  • Why content curation might be just as important as content creation.
  • How it is possible to have a completely location independent lifestyle with an online business.
  • How Actionable Books attracts people to its website in the first place.
  • Which business book has had the biggest influence on Chris Taylor.
  • How Chris managed to secure interviews with Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuck right at the beginning of Actionable Books’ business life.
  • Why Chris is deciding to make the leap from video interviews and joining me in the world of podcasting.
  • Why you should be reading more business books!

Episode Timeline

  • 2.45 Can’t catch a break with online marketing? Get it SORTED with Netregistry.
  • 3.30 I talk tech problems and dealing with the worst case scenario.
  • 10.30 Introducing Chris Taylor from Actionable Books who was working from a secluded cave in Spain until just three months ago!
  • 15.40 Chris describes the content that is the backbone of his business – summaries of business books.
  • 18.30  The content is great – but how does Actionable Books actually make money?
  • 19.45 Chris describes his former life in corporate marketing – and his skills at making his team feel valued.
  • 22.00 Chris talks product – the digital downloads of workshops that he sells to team leaders all over the world via the internet.
  • 23.00 Me and Chris talk SEO and what Chris has done right with his digital footprint over the years.
  • 27.30 Chris introduces his “army of volunteers” who now curate content on his behalf.
  • 41.30  We chat over a topic dear to my heart – the great power of podcasting!
  • 43.00 Chris gives us the inside scoop on the insides of Seth Godin’s and Gary Vaynerchuck’s offices.
  • 48.45 Sort out your business’ small design fixes with Swiftly.com.
  • 49.30 My top three learnings from chewing the fat with Chris

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode


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Over to you!

Let us know YOUR key takeaways from this episode by leaving a comment below. I personally read and respond to every comment!

26 thoughts on “199 – How to benefit from a business setback.”

  1. Tolita Dukes

    So awesome! I can hear the ‘sparkle in his eyes!’ So motivating and love the concept of derivative based business!

  2. Diana Barnett

    Agree Tolita – a derivative based business is a great concept – a great interview.

  3. No takeaways but I love the “Car Studio”. Sounds so much more, intimate. 😉

    As for the lack of commenting, I never do it while listening, there is no easy way on a mobile, and I think that may be the problem. I always stop pruning, pull out the phone and open Evernote, make the comment there, and then when I sit at my computer later it is there waiting for me to cut and paste to your website.

    For interest sakes, Chris Taylor’s Number one book was A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, and here is his Actionable Books summary: http://www.actionablebooks.com/summaries/a-whole-new-mind/.

    I am reading/listening to a book at the moment, not really a business book, but there is a learning. Do the reps, over and over and over. The book: http://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoirs/Total-Recall-Audiobook/B009GLC5ES.

    Vineyard Paul

  4. I liked the discussion on getting engagement in the show notes. As I look back at some of the old ones, Melissa’s show stands out. She did a great job of engaging with the comments. 19 comments as of now.

    Timbo, you do a good job of commenting regularly, but I think asking the guest to check in after a few days to answer questions and engage might be helpful. The more personal attention, the more engagement.

    I go to show notes a lot of times to see links to products or sites that are talked about in a podcast. Often there are no notes, and many times, the links that are mentioned, don’t show up in the notes (this goes for SBBM, and other podcasts).

    As always, another great conversation.

  5. Hi Timbo,

    I agree with Paul, I liked the car studio, sound quality was awesome. Can I ask what microphone you were using for this one?

  6. Thanks Paul. The mic I used in the car was a Zoom H2 – had it for about 4-years. I do travel with my Blue yeti as well, although always interesting taking her through security at the airport!

  7. Thanks Diana – yes, the idea of selling one thing well is quite appealing. Although I have heard that one is a dangerous number in business!

  8. Danny Thompson

    Great episode… “put the experience into your marketing” So important to remember….

  9. Something that is often missed as we race forward marketing our businesses, Danny. Experiences emotionally engage people, and we both know how important that is.

  10. Thanks Nick. Yeah, I do ask guests to check in post the interview. Only some get around to doing it. I really admire those that do. Re the show notes, yes, I realise the odd link doesn’t make it, please let me know whenever this happens and I’ll be sure to add it.

  11. Aww Timbo, I had to pour some comment love over you after hearing you sob about us neglecting you here.

    Great show, enjoyed it – and have that Dan Pink book mentioned by your man on my reading list.

  12. Thanks Dave. I feel ever so slightly better having been quenched by your comment love. So, what took you so long? Lemme guess, you were walking the dog, or at the gym, or drining the car whilst listening and then forgot to comment when you got back online? ;0) P.S. I’d rather you listen and not comment, than not listen at all!

  13. David Fletcher

    Hi Timbo,

    What I heard from Chris was that he Gave Gave Gave his summaries of Seth’s books to Seth. then when the planets aligned at the time Chris made the ask he got what he wanted.

    Two leassons you have shared often.
    1. give give give
    2. ask and thou shalt receive.

    Thanks for another great interview Chis and Timbo.

    Good luck Tim on your misson to interview Seth.

  14. Nice summary, David. Now I just need to figure out what to give to Seth. I’ve given him no shortage of mentions throughout the first 200 episodes of my show. Is that enough?

  15. Chris, thanks so much for your engagement. Love that! Sounds like you are killing it. Thanks for sharing the marketing love. Do you guys only do corporate stuff, or do you do events for individuals too? Just curious.

  16. David Patterson

    Great interview Tim. Been listening to your podcasts for a few months now. Each time I try to work out how I can implement the great ideas into my accounting business.

  17. Thanks David. Remember, there’s magic intaking action. Start implementing now! And if you want a helping hand then enter the inner circle – //smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/smallbusinessbigmarketingforumold/

  18. Tracy Hooper

    Hi Timbo. I love your podcasts. This is another excellent one. Today, I found myself listening to it and then playing it again. (Thanks for making me power walk longer!) So much marketing G-O-L-D. My business, the Confidence Project is fairly new. I was inspired by you & Chris to find someone to help research content.
    Stay tuned. Thanks for your enthusiasm for small businesses.

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