Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by @garyvee

Book publishing and social media are not always good bedfellows. When I’m teaching I specifically choose not to have a textbook for my course. The main reason for this is because it’s a challenge to find a book that’s actually up-to-date. Even if it’s super current by the time it goes to print, in the ensuing 6 months or so until it hits the shelves, the world of social media can change so dramatically.

That’s why I do a lot of my online research by subscribing to thought leaders on Twitter, and blogs.
However, I do like to read, and I like to recommend further reading to my students, so I enjoy checking out the latest by fave social media peeps online.

If you aren’t familiar with Gary Vaynerchuck, it’s probably because you don’t do a lot of work in the social media space. Gary Vee is one of the big leaders right now in social media, and he has an interesting back story.

He started out selling wine. He had a family wine business, and in an effort to market it, he started making vlogs. He became so successful at what he did that he changed careers entirely, and now owns one of the most successful digital agencies in the world.

To know Gary is to love him. Or not. You might actually hate him. But he’s that kind of guy–he’s real. He has that effect on people–you ether love him or hate him.

Either way, he has some good advice, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World is his fourth book. Both Crush It! and The Thank You Economy
have done very well, and I’m sure he hopes to see similar success for this new book.

The whole idea of JJJRH hinges on a boxing metaphor. The idea is to lull your opponent into a false sense of calm–that they are in control–before you land the big knock-out punch.

Gary Vee uses a similar analogy for social media: give value, give value, give value, then hit your clients with your ask. Your call to action will be much more successful if

  • your followers trust you and see that you are trying to add value (and are not talking about yourself all the time …zzzz…)
  • you try to get to know your clients, and post what they are interested in
  • you create posts on Facebook that are engaging, and therefore will be seen by more people.

I love this! I wish more people would advocate this! It feels to me that there are so many businesses out there that are doing nothing but talking about themselves… without attempting to care about their audiences, or find out more about them.

The greatest right hooks have to have three things to make them really successful:

  1. they make the CTA simple and easy to understand
  2. they are crafted to look good on mobile
  3. they respect the etiquette of the social network for which you are making the post for.

In the second part of the book, he breaks down each of the major social media, and gives some best practices for them.

The real value of this book, however, is at the end of each section, when Gary Vee randomly chooses a bunch of posts and critiques them (it’s called Colour Commentary). This is where you can really learn something. It’s a bit like hiring him to look at your facebook page, and the advice in these sections is invaluable.

It’s worth picking up.

Have you read any of Gary Vee’s books? Let me know what your favourite was in the comments section below.


Using Inspiration to Grow Your Following With @FarzanaJJ

I met this beautiful girl a few years back, and I’m proud to count her, today, among my circle of closest friends.

She’s one of those people, who, despite being pretty much good at everything, and being successful at a young age, is still ridiculously down to earth and super real. We have a lot of fun together, working, yoga-ing, and having foodie adventures.

farzana jaffer jeraj

I remember giving her some coaching a few years back on Twitter, and how to use it. I remember the day she walked into the coffee shop where worked and said “I got 1,000 followers!”

Since then, her following has surpassed mine. She went from 2,000 Twitter followers to 100,000 in just a year,  and she’s done it by inspiring people. She began tweeting out “Farzana-isms” as she calls them, little inspirational tidbits during the day.

I asked her to share her secrets with us, and of course she did. Because she’s like that.

Most people create a twitter account to promote their businesses. I was no different. I did it because everyone said that this was what I was, “…supposed to do in my line of work.” “You can’t be an entrepreneur without being on twitter…” You know, the usual hop-on-the-social-media-badwagon.


Admittedly, being on twitter hasn’t hurt business one bit, but things didn’t start out that way. Initially, growing a ‘following’ was very challenging. Everything was a struggle and nothing seemed to work. I had all these things I wanted to share, but I wasn’t connecting with people.


I believe that it was my mindset that held me back from growing a ‘following’. It’s the mindset of ‘having a following’ that holds many people back. It’s this idea of celebrity and a need to have more ‘followers’ than people you ‘follow’.
farzana jaffer jeraj

If you’re wondering why I keep putting the word ‘following’ in quotes, it’s because I really prefer to use the word community. Community has always been at the crux of what inspires and feeds me. My community is the reason I do what I do and they are often the source of my inspiration. It is has been said that the 5 people you spend the most time with are a direct reflection of your success and happiness. It is the people who accept me as I am, unfiltered, and see my greatest potential that encourage me to be my very best self.


Being able to share my personal insights and positive approach with others in a way that inspires growth in them is the only thing that matters to me. I approach every interaction as an opportunity leave every person better off than when I first met them. It is this desire to connect with a community and more importantly to be a contributing member of the community that has made all the difference.


Farzana’s rules for inspired community:


1. If a real, respectful and kind spirited person shakes your hand, shake theirs back. Translation: follow back real people.
2. Stop caring about having more followers then you follow. Community isn’t about stature or ego.
3. There is no such thing as competition. Those you perceive as your competition are usually your best connections. These are the people you share community with.
4. Be real and be yourself always.
5. Commit to adding value.
6. Stay consistently positive.
7. Support your community. Translation: retweet and favourite others.


Farzana Jaffer Jeraj is a hypnotherapist, keynote speaker, coach, and yoga instructor. She will be publishing her first book soon, entitled, I Cheat at Meditation. You can learn more about her via her website, or by following her on Twitter.


Win Sage 50 Pro Accounting 2016 (worth $250)

I am incredibly proud to say that I am a small business owner. Since launching my business in December of 2007, my life has changed dramatically, and I can honestly say I don’t know if I could ever go back to a 9-to-5 job! I love what I do. Some days I miss the stability of a regular job, and some days I work 15 hours. But it’s all worth it in the end, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

October is  Small Business Month in Canada, and to celebrate, I’m sharing with you some facts and stats about how small business in Canada helps drive our economy.

Additionally, I’m giving away a copy of Sage’s brand-new, 2016 version of Pro Accounting. I got introduced to this software at their annual global conference, Sage Summit in New Orleans, and was pretty impressed. It does way more than just accounting–you can track inventory and do project management, as well. And think how much easier your life is going to be come tax time! The best part? It’s mobile-friendly, so you can do all this on the go. If you’re anything like me, you’re on the go a lot.

Read on, and enter the contest at the bottom of the page. And cheers to all you out there that are making it work with your own small business. October is the month to celebrate us!


Celebrate Small Business Month in Canada

October is Small Business Month in Canada, a celebration highlighting entrepreneurs, their companies and the positive impact these enterprises have on the country. According to Industry Canada, a small business is a firm with fewer than 100 employees. As of December 2012, there were 1.2 million small businesses in Canada, which drive growth, create jobs, sustain markets and build the economy.

Job creation
The rise of small businesses in Canada has quite the effect on the number of jobs in the country. Industry Canada reported 100,000 new businesses were developed each year between 2002 and 2008. The growth in these companies created 77.7 percent of all private-sector jobs between 2002 and 2012.  Small businesses account for a large chunk of Canada’s workforce. In fact, 5.1 million people, nearly 50 percent of the country’s employable citizens, work for small businesses, according to Startup Canada. While many of these established companies have had an effect on Canada’s workforce, so have startups.

Startup entrepreneurs forge their own path
Taking a look at some statistics, it’s easy to see that new small businesses are succeeding in Canada. According to the 2015 “State of the Startup” survey by Sage, startups are usually created by a single founder and only have five employees or fewer upon their initiation. About 80 percent of these entrepreneurs were first-timers, meaning they had no prior experience in the field. While 41 percent of business owners said creating their enterprise was somewhat or extremely difficult, these entrepreneurs also decided to handle some business responsibilities on their own. More than half did not create a business plan and 68 percent funded their startup with no outside investors. With the rise of small businesses in Canada, it’s important to ask: What are the reasons for starting your own company?

Small business intentions
Starting a company is not an easy task, but the rise of so many small businesses means entrepreneurs must have their reasons for doing so. Many want to be a leader at every step of the operation, others want to create a more personal company for customers, according to The Houston Chronicle. Entrepreneurial endeavors give business owners a sense of accomplishment, along with a tool for creating financial stability. Although some company leaders only started their own company for reasons relating to money, others created a business out of passion and a strong idea for a good or service.

Why Canada?
The country seems to be a hospitable ground for small businesses to flourish for several reasons. As of December 2014, Forbes found Canada to be in the top ten countries to start a business, coming in at No. 6 behind Denmark, Hong Kong and Ireland, among others. But that ranking isn’t the only reason to begin an endeavor in the country. Along with a large pool of skilled workers, Canada also offers lower business costs than countries like the U.S., according to KPMG. Additionally, due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada has access to business with both Mexico and the United States.

With Sage 50, you decide how to manage your business accounting and bookkeeping tasks with a solution that gives you an awesome amount of freedom and flexibility to manage expenses, create invoices, track inventory and stay on top of your financials. Maintain full control of your data on the desktop while managing invoicing, banking and expenses from your mobile device. Collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper online and do it all on your terms with one complete solution.

  • Full accounting solution including advanced features like inventory and projects
  • Mobile task management of invoicing and payments
  • Cloud data access to collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper
  • Includes unlimited customer support


Enter now for a chance to win Sage 50 Pro Accounting 2016, a $250CDN value.

Contest rules:

The contest is set to run from October 1-31 and is open to all Canadian residents over the age of minority, excluding Quebec. The prize package is valued at $250CDN. The winner will be randomly selected on Monday, November 2, and the email announcement will go out on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. I’ll have the prize package mailed to the winner that same week.