Personal brand building and career success require more than charisma, confidence and passion; you need to know the fundamentals of business and financial management.

Regardless whether you’re planning to continue working for others until you have saved enough to start your own business, or you want to start your own business as soon as possible, your career will benefit from increased familiarity with the basic terms and concepts of sound business techniques.

Passion is not enough to succeed in business

To succeed in business on your own, you need to know the vocabulary and the basic strategies. You also need to know where to turn for help.

That’s where Thomas H. Gray’s Business Techniques for Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success comes in; it provides a readable and practical introduction to what you need to know when going out on your own.

Thus, Business Techniques for Troubled Times provides the missing link between your abilities, expertise, and passions, and the career or entrepreneurial success you’re capable of achieving.

 Business Techniques for Troubled Times offers an MBA for liberal arts graduates; it’s the perfect book for liberal arts graduates who wish they had a business degree, but don’t have time to go back to college for more study.

In today’s unsettled economy, it’s more important than ever that you make career decisions on sound business and branding principles. The stakes are too high to start a business and hope for the best.

What you’ll learn

Obviously, no one book can cover everything you need about business fundamentals for personal branding success. But,  a solid, readable book can provide the groundwork for making the right decisions, and point the way for further study (or consultations with appropriate professionals).

Among the topics covered in Business Techniques in Troubled Times:

  • Business plans and target markets. You’ll learn how to describe your ideal client, or reader of your book, and how to prepare a business plan for profitably addressing their needs.
  • Competition. You’ll learn how to analyze the competition for you personal brand and how to differentiate your business and your brand.
  • Financing options. How will you fund your business? You’ll learn the pros and cons of the major financing options, including banks, investors, and family resources.
  • Marketing and pricing. Although you may be familiar with the basics of marketing, you’ll discover techniques you can use to support your personal brand at every step of the customer experience. You’ll also gain fresh insights into bundling and pricing your service options.

Additional topics include preparing marketing communications and managing your finances to maximize cashflow, and managing your business for continuous improvement.

Specialized topics include the dynamics of involving family members in your business and creating an exit strategy for your business.

What running a business has in common with traffic court

If you’ve ever appeared in traffic court and tried to explain that you weren’t aware of the speed limit, or the rules of the road in a strange town, you’re probably familiar with the comment, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse!”

Likewise, when running your own business, you have to know the rules and the fundamentals–the best practices–required for safe passage.

If you’re looking for one book that provides enough of a introduction to the fundamentals of business success to guide you as you attempt to profit from your personal brand, Business Techniques in Troubled Times is an excellent choice. Whether you read it from cover to cover before starting out, or keep it by your desk for reference, it will serve you well.

What book did you depend on when starting your business?

Where did you turn to get your “business smarts” before (or after) starting your business? After graduating with a liberal arts degree, was there a single book that you depended on to introduce you to the fundamentals of business success? Share your experiences and recommends, below!


Roger C. Parker offers advice, counsel, checklists, and worksheets to help you build your personal brand. Download his  99 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write  workbook and ask him a writing question.