Making It: How to Be a Successful Online Entrepreneur
No One Is Self-Made—It Takes a Village (Matthew Kimberley)
October 8, 2021
According to Matthew Kimberley, “making it” means you get to decide where you spend your time, your money, your energy and your attention. But it takes a village to get there; no one is self-made. In this episode, Matthew, CEO of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide shares his path to success and a great life.
Welcome to Making It. This weekly show explores the lives and stories of entrepreneurs as they share their unique perspectives on their success and the path to making it. 

Episode summary: Matthew Kimberley is the CEO of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide, and according to him, “making it” means you get to decide where you spend your time, your money, your energy, and your attention. Matthew is “rad” and easy going. He doesn't go for conventional marketing tactics, and he's not hardcore competitive. Matthew says that if people work together and understand each other, we will all be better off. 

He believes that it’s an absolute fallacy to be self-made. It takes a village to make it, and investing in relationships brings the greatest returns. 

“Making it means you get to decide where you spend your time, and where you spend your money, and where you spend your energy, and your attention.” 
– Matthew Kimberley

Guest bio: Matthew Kimberley is the CEO of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide, the founder of The School for Selling, and the creator of Delightful Emails. Through their books, programs, and a network of licensed business coaches, Book Yourself Solid Worldwide supports hundreds of thousands of small businesses in growing their businesses.

This multi-faceted business owner is a host of Marketing for Coaches, a show that supports top-tier business coaches in growing their own businesses and their clients' businesses.

His bestselling self-help book, How To Get A Grip (re-released after 9 years with the title Get A F*cking Grip) has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people the world over. His clients’ reviews are a testament to his success. As one of his raving clients says, “Matthew understands people, why we buy, what we want to read, how to make us laugh, how to help us get out of our own way.”

Matthew was born in the UK. He lived there until he left, aged 18, and moved around the world. After stints in Malaysia, Belgium, and Italy, he settled in Malta. Matthew can't discuss the most interesting thing that ever happened to him, on account of signing the British Official Secrets Act.

• Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
  1. Mirasee
  2. Matthew’s podcast Marketing for Coaches
  3. Matthew’s website 
  4. Matthew’s books
  5. Matthew’s LinkedIn 
  6. Matthew’s Twitter
  7. Matthew’s Instagram
  8. Matthew’s YouTube


If you don't want to miss future episodes of Making It, please subscribe to Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever you're listening right now. And if you liked the show, please leave us a starred review. It's the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

If you have a question for Making It, put the show title in the subject line and send it to

Music and SFX credits: 

• Track Title: Time Swirls By
Artist Name(s): Matteo Galesi
Writer Name: Matteo Galesi

•Track Title: The Sunniest Kids
Artist Name(s): Rhythm Scott
Writer Name: Scott Roush

•Track Title: Only The Brave
Artist Name(s): Joshua Spacht
Writer Name: Joshua Spacht

•Track Title: Dancing at Ocean Crest
Artist Name(s): Cody Martin
Writer Name: Cody Kurtz Martin

Episode transcript:

     I'm Matthew Kimberly and you're listening to Making It! I run a business called Book Yourself Solid and we help small business owners like you get more clients than you can handle. Even if you hate marketing and selling. 

     One of the greatest compliments I have ever received was recently when I was talking to my yoga teacher and he said I always assumed that (and I'm the poorest practitioner of yoga you've ever met. You know, I get cramp tie my shoelaces.) He said I always assumed Matthew that you were a yogi because you seemed very light and un incumbent and I found that to be a true compliment because I try to want for nothing other than making sure that my kids and health and happiness are looked after. 

     We choose to get into entrepreneurship and if you choose to go down that path remember their alternatives are open to you. You can go and get a job or maybe you think that you can't. But the very fact that you, as a Westerner, who is listening to this, who has made the choice to become self employed, you can either treat this as the most serious game of life or death in the world, which is the wrong type of game or you can treat it as a fun game, a theme park ride which is going to have ups and downs that you have, yourself, decided to ride and that puts everything into perspective for me.

     Boarding school wasn't for everybody. I had a fantastic time there. I elected to go. I told my parents, age nine, that I wanted to go to this school, which I had been to visit. It was a beautiful school setting, acres and acres of the British countryside. It was 500 years old, there were scholarships available. So it was within my parents reached providing I was able to pass muster, which luckily I did. And it suited me very well. It taught me a sense of community. It was almost militaristic. Back in the 90s, we were up before 7, everything was incredibly regimented and, it was also at the same time, a little bit Lord of the Flies-esque because there were 50 boys living in under one roof... under the supervision of one absent and often alcoholic housemaster. And it taught the importance of friendships, it taught the importance of independent, critical thinking. But also I was very, very lucky that it also taught creativity. The school I was at stressed music and theater and creative writing very strongly and it set me up with a kind of infallible sense of confidence, which is a privilege for which I'm very grateful.
     People say that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I've always been very keen to mitigate my risks no matter where I am and I think it's more about responsibility. So if you are going to take off when you're still wet behind the ears and travel to a part of the world that you don't know, you've got to take responsibility for yourself. And that has allowed me, I believe, to take slightly bigger risks because I always understand the flip side of risk is responsibility. The more responsible you are for your health, the greater the rewards will be, the more responsible you are for your parenting skills the greater the rewards will be. And I think travel is a good idea. I think a good motto that I live by is what's the worst that can happen. And can I live with it? And if nobody gets hurt and nobody gets killed and if you get released after you're arrested, then often you can live with the results of the decisions that you take. 

     I was getting to the very limit of running my recruitment company. I had a fractious relationship with my business partner who was the investor. He had the money, I had the time and the energy. @e paired up and I felt sorry beholden to him, which wasn't a problem in and of itself. But on top of that, our relationship was, was rapidly deteriorating. My first son had just been born, I wasn't spending much time. I was working seven days a week. I was stressed about the sheer financing requirements that are involved in running a temporary recruitment business. The amount of borrowing that we had to do weekly to keep the business running, which was part of the original business plan, but it was completely new to me... was causing me ulcers and sleepless nights and health conditions. And I made the decision that it was time to make a change for my own sanity. And so I looked at the parts of the business that I enjoyed and two of them are very obvious. The first time was selling, I always enjoyed selling. The second one was training other people how to sell. So I thought I'm going to become a freelance sales trainer. 

     The very first coaching client I got on board I said I can help you get more clients. And they said to me well how many clients do you have? I said "you'd be my first." His eyebrows almost you know took him off into the stratosphere and I said but let me show you what we're gonna do together. And I was able to walk him through this systematic process for addressing every aspect of the business. He said okay I'm sold let's let's do it. And so it was almost like wanting to open a restaurant but guaranteeing it being as successful as Mcdonald's, how do you do that? Well you get a Mcdonald's franchise. So I borrowed somebody else's IP, I rented somebody else's intellectual property and took it to market. And that really allowed me to hit the ground running rather than wing it or create new IP, see what works, see what didn't work. Because at this time I had a son to feed, I had a baby and the mortgage, bills to pay and my exit from my recruitment company was not, you know, nobody was writing about that in the newspapers. The money from that didn't leave me going for a long time. So that was what started it. And I really never looked back and now I run that licensing organization myself and help other coaches do exactly the same thing that I did.
     When my second son was born I was working with Michael Port, the founder of Book Yourself Solid. And he represented pretty much 80% of my income and a good 70-80% of my time. And my youngest son was born with a heart condition and the heart condition meant that he had to go to hospital. He had to have seven hour open heart surgery when he was four months old and his recovery was very tough. And so I said to Michael, I said look I'm not gonna be able to show up for the next, I don't know how long, hopefully two weeks... ended up being four months. And every month without question or concern or favor requested, Michael would send me a chunk of change and he said we'll be here when you're here. And that to be the recipient of that kind of help certainly informed the way that I now treat my staff or the way I try to treat my contractors and my clients and my customers and my suppliers. It's a virtuous cycle. And unfortunately for many of us, we have to experience it to recognize the true importance of it. 

     There is an unhealthy obsession with being self made, particularly in our industry. I think it's an absolute fallacy that anybody is self made. Everybody as a result of their environment, everybody as a result of their circumstance, everybody as a result of the help and support that they've had along the way. Also, I don't know whether this is true, but I'm no student of gender politics or psychology, but I certainly know plenty of men who have less healthy relationships holistically than women, less inclined to talk about their emotions, less inclined to cry, less inclined to tell people that they're suffering and they need some kind of intervention even if that's just a beer and a friendly ear. So I think the peer networks that I have, sometimes resistingly, immersed myself in over the years. It's very easy for something like me just to seek my own company, a newspaper and a cup of coffee. But investing in relationships enables you to ask for help because you normalize the sharing of fears. Hollywood and TV shows like Shark Tank and Dragon's Den (as we have in the UK) favor the Alpha. But really very few of us, even us entrepreneurs are "true alphas" or "true hunters." We really need the village around us. 

     If you're going to try and fit yourself into a shoe that doesn't fit as an entrepreneur either by compromising on your values or on your ethics or even the things that give you energy versus the things that sap your energy... you're gonna find ii exhausting and you're gonna find after a while that you can no longer pilot the ship. If that's something that pilots do. The answer is to find the fit, and it might take trial and error. You show me a billionaire who has not been bankrupt and I'll show you 50 who have. Because if you're going to compromise, you're going to find that your energy is not where it needs to be in order to sustain the business long term. So sometimes you have to be stubborn and sometimes you have to be persistent and sometimes you have to be consistent. But if it gets to the stage where you're going to need an orthopedic or a surgical intervention to fix the fact that this shoe is completely wrong rather than just waiting to break it in, then maybe it's time to reconsider.
     Making it for me is when you have large parts of your diary available for you to fill with the people and the projects that you choose and that you enjoy. Making it means you get to decide where you spend your time and where you spend your money and where you spend your energy and your attention. And I think when we have that freedom, all the others are kind of moot. 

     This too shall pass. We we are all buoyed and supported by luck, opportunity, and circumstance. We're all one bad decision away from deconstructing it, from unmaking it. So I would say never take it for granted. Make sure you have a good insurance policy, both literally and figuratively and remember that this too shall pass. 

     I'm Matthew Kimberly and you've been listening to Making It! You can find me at