30 April 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Mindy Gibbins-Klein MBA FRSA FPSA is Managing Director of independent publishing house Panoma Press and founder of The Book Midwife®, a successful global book coaching brand. A native New Yorker, Mindy currently resides in the UK where she operates her two businesses and is also an International Speaker with 25 years experience, specialising in turning experts into thought leaders and promoting thoughtful leadership.
Mindy’s TEDx talk “Sometimes You Need to Change Yourself to Be Yourself” has nearly one million views and she has authored and co-authored 11 books, including 24 Carat BOLD about which Seth Godin said, “This is the first thoughtful book I’ve seen on what it means to become a thought leader. Practical and inspiring at the same time.”, and The Thoughtful Leader which challenges leaders to be more thoughtful in all senses of the word. Mindy has been featured over 100 times in national and specialist press, radio and television over the past 10 years.
Despite the challenges of 2020, Mindy guided Panoma Press to celebrate its best year ever with its highest gross and net profit on record, 40% more books published than forecast, the launch of a new children’s imprint, while at the same time hitting its inclusivity targets (80% of books from underrepresented groups) and celebrating 15 years in business.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I’m an entrepreneur who loves to help other entrepreneurs get the results and recognition they deserve. It took me 10 years to write and finally publish my first book, so I set up The Book Midwife® coaching company to help other aspiring authors do it better and faster than I did! I do a lot of speaking and training on thought/ful leadership because it is never just about the book, but rather the thoughts and thought processes that help people grow and evolve. I also have a deep passion for supporting people from under-represented groups to be heard.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
I had founded and was running a complementary business (The Book Midwife®) and helping those clients to plan and write great books fast. I was invited by a colleague to join his fledgling publishing company, so we could take those wonderful books into the market. And I’ve never looked back!
How did you achieve awareness?
I’ve been blessed to study with some amazing teachers, especially Tony Robbins. Personal development is the best gift we can give ourselves. It’s not always easy to look in the mirror, and it can be even harder to make the decision to change something about yourself and then do the work. So, it’s with immense gratitude that I recognise my own progress and I’m grateful for your recognition too.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I started all my businesses without any investment or debt. However, during the double-dip recession, we found it hard to grow and even got into a loss situation. A contact of a friend had a client who was looking for an EIS investment and we happened to have got EIS approval, so the investment came in at just the right time. That equity investment helped us to get out of the loss situation and we have grown by nearly 300% since then!
What are the key successes?
Of course, the biggest success is when someone fulfils their ambition to write and publish a great book! Panoma Press has sold books across the globe and has also had dozens of bestsellers, excellent media coverage and hundreds of license and translation deals.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
As discussed above, we had financial challenges which happened because I did not keep a close enough eye on expenses. It was hard to pull the company out of that situation, but with the investment mentioned above, as well as honest conversations with team members and partners, and some help from those folks, we did it together.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We are actively seeking more authors from under-represented groups! Despite reserving 80% of our list for authors from traditionally under-represented groups, people don’t always know about our initiative, or they don’t feel confident to step up. We will create more inclusive bookshelves together!
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Have a little financial cushion before you start, as things sometimes take a bit longer than you think (or would like). Be prepared to work even harder and longer hours to create your business. Be prepared to admit when you get something wrong, so you can adjust your approach.
Can you share your top 5-10 tips for entrepreneurial success?
1) Always tell the truth. It’s tempting to big yourself up or exaggerate but it’s simpler and more relaxing to simply state the truth; 2) Partner with good people. You cannot do it all yourself, or if you try, you may burn out; 3) Know your numbers. You will be asked about finances and you need to have a handle on exactly how you are doing, and you want to sound confident when you talk to others about your business; 4) Be prepared to apologise quickly when you get something wrong; 5) Celebrate good people and good work publicly. It’s wonderful, positive and inspirational and you will create goodwill.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“Only do what only you can do”
“The secret to living is giving”
“There is no path to happiness. Happiness IS the path”
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?
Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/mindy.gibbinsklein