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Be Your Own Boss
- By Bill McGowan

Be Your Own Boss Book
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“Be Your Own Boss”” has also been nominated for the following Book Awards:

  • Best Book Awards – Business, Careers

  • Goody Business Book Awards – Entrepreneur

  • BookFest Book Awards – Business, Entrepreneurship

  • Royal Dragonfly Book Award – Newbie Awards

  • Best Book Awards – Entrepreneurship & Small Business

    And fantastic news: the book “Be Your Own Boss” by Bill McGowan has now won its first award in the Firebird Book Awards- Business - Motivational.

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Bill McGowan was born and grew up in New Zealand and currently resides in Sydney, Australia with his family.


Bill has been self-employed in various businesses since the early 70s and is now retired. He started and sold many businesses over the past 50 years. In early 1983, he established the franchised business known as Fastway Couriers. Fastway became a household name in Australia and New Zealand in the transport and franchising sectors. The business was also developed internationally. When he started Fastway, he was shocked at how many potential franchises had no idea about running their own business, so he developed many franchisee training programmes and manuals to assist them in understanding how to operate their own business. When he retired, he decided to put the knowledge he had learnt over the years into this book.


 “Be Your Own Boss” is an information source for people thinking of starting or buying a business based on Bill’s 50 years of business experience.

The book has been designed as a guide to help people organise their thoughts and to decide whether being their own boss is really for them.

Bill has tried to use everyday language and tried to make the book easy to understand.  Starting a new business is complex at the best of times and his aim has been to make this process as manageable as possible.

Bill’s personable writing style and extensive knowledge in starting a business from scratch, make this book the most intriguing, absorbing, informative and must-read.

The book is available from bookstores or:

Australia & New Zealand : Shop Now





I loved Bill’s Fastway story. It’s very comprehensive but I enjoyed it so much that I wanted more. Not everyone who reads Bill McGowan’s book “Be Your Own Boss,” will build a business as large and prominent, and successful as the franchised courier business that the author developed internationally, however, every person who aspires to be their own boss will benefit greatly from the business wisdom that Bill shares - wisdom which is practical and accessible and which has been forged from his own hands-on experience in identifying a business opportunity and developing, managing and growing it.


- Professor Andrew Terry, LLB Hons (Cant. NZ); LLM Hons (Cant. NZ) Professor of Business Regulation, The University of Sydney - Business School

"Bill McGowan gave me the manuscript to read prior to the book being published and I can confidently state that “Be Your Own Boss” is a most intriguing, absorbing, and informative read, very well-written and well-researched throughout. It is immersive and comprehensive with the ability to fascinate even the less experienced reader on starting a new business. The sustained analysis and the variety of topics discussed relating to being your own boss and business strategy make the work compelling and it shows the author’s deep knowledge and understanding. This book is also very well organized into sections, allowing for a cohesive read. The personable writing style throughout makes this work accessible to a wide audience and it will fascinate those with interests in starting or buying a business, or in business-related endeavours more widely. 'Be Your Own Boss' will succeed within its market."


- James Blakeman

"Be Your Own Boss is a comprehensive and practical outline and guide for anyone setting up and/or buying a new business. It is an excellent tool for any wannabe purchaser or setter-upper of a business. This book is very well done."

- Jim McCracken - Melbourne, Victoria

"Thank you for sharing your story on your business journey and the wealth of knowledge gained in 50 years of business.

"Be Your Own Boss" is a must-read for anyone who is looking to venture out in starting their own business. The author provides practical advice and tips on how to start and grow a successful business. What sets this book apart from other business books are the author's focus on entrepreneurship as a mindset, taking risk and being open to new opportunities.

The book provides a step-to-step guide on how to start a business, from identifying what type of business is right for you to completing comprehensive research on the business you are interested in, the type of business models that are most suited to you along with how to write an effective business plan and much more!

The author's writing style is engaging throughout the book and I found myself motivated and inspired to take action after reading each chapter.

Overall, I highly recommend "Be Your Own Boss" to anyone who wants to start a business or take an existing business to the next level. This book provides practical advice, real-world examples, and an entrepreneurial mindset that is essential for success in today's business world.

- David Tran, Operations Manager, National Facilities Management, Sydney, Australia

"I really enjoyed reading "Be Your Own Boss", it was very personal, engaging, and informative. This is the sort of content that is sadly missing these days in franchising."

- Stephen Giles, Franchise Lawyer & Senior Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright. Australia

"Bill McGowan is a retired businessman who has mentored and is still mentoring newbies in business; he has been in the business world for over fifty years with a lot of experience. He is peculiarly fond of the franchise business. He has won many awards over the years and has earned his place in the business world. He has travelled the world while expanding his business.

In the book Be Your Own Boss, he leads us through his business story. He endears us to him with details of his struggles as a young business owner, and he doesn't stop there. He lets us know his struggles before the business started and the risks he took. Also, he lets us know how draining expanding a business can be when it comes to management in connection with the different cultures of people. He doesn't lie or make running a business easy. He tells us of the work we have to put in to enjoy financial safety and freedom. Bill encourages us and takes us through a step-by-step procedure to make this journey easier.

Be Your Own Boss is more than a good read; I loved every page of it. To start with, the pictures and caricatures were amazing. The images served as evidence and made for easier understanding. The author related all that was written easier with illustrations while, on the other hand, the caricature was fun, and this is one of the reasons I kept reading the book. I was never bored, and this enhanced my reading experience. Another positive aspect I must not forget to mention is the details. Bill couldn't have done a better job. He used subchapters or subheadings to explain every term more. I never got confused, and understanding was not stressful.

Furthermore, This book was truly eye-opening; it was a three-in-one course on economics, accountancy, and (business) management. I had my jotter next to me, taking in all I read, which made me keep reading, and the feeling I had was that of curiosity and close to the suspense. As I stated earlier above, Bill didn't in any way make us feel that starting and running a business was a piece of cake but instead, he made us fully aware of the hurdles along the way in and he was realistic in his explanation. I am grateful for that.

Last but not least is the question and answer sections/survey. I didn't just learn about economics, accountancy, business, and management. I also learned about myself, discovering my weaknesses and strengths. I learned what life will suit me presently in the business world and what I should do to achieve a particular state. With the help of this book, I was able to complete surveys like Personal Strengths and Weaknesses Form, Personal Questionnaire, Business Suitability Form, and Personal Wheel of Fortune.

Amidst all the positive aspects explained above, it saddened me to have found a negative aspect which is the number of grammatical and typographical errors in this book. This negatively brought down the level of satisfaction I got from this book. I was sometimes confused by what the author was trying to say. It sometimes reduced my zeal to read this book, and of the opinion that this book needs a professional editor. Therefore, my rating of this book is 4 out of 5 stars because of the number of grammatical errors I found in this book.

If you have dreams of owning your business and being your own boss, this book is for you. If you are not certain if you want to be an employee for life or if you are at a crossroads on which path to take, this book is a must-read for you. If you want financial freedom and want to retire and not worry about finances while your mates are still employees, you can't miss out on this one because this book is definitely for you. If you want to examine yourself, learn about your weaknesses and strengths, and if you want a step-by-step procedure on how to maximize your strengths and work on your weaknesses, then this book is also for you."

- Review by Chiwelite Obioma Mgbeoji -

"Be Your Own Boss by Bill McGowan is a great read and is full of tips for potential business owners drawn from Bill's 50 years of business experience and his successes in franchised business."

- Review by Brem Ellingham

"Be Your Own Boss Author Bill McGowan. The Author of this book sold me his story as early as 1989, and I hung on every word then, to better my life and be my own Boss. Well I can safely say that Bill’s book published this year was, “wow” what a great read, and the facts have refined themselves greatly over the years, and are undeniably factual and true if one wants to embark on his/her own business and have a better than average chance of Succeeding. The book is also a great personal story of how Bill’s determination to succeed won the day regardless of how much sleep he had or not, or what day of the week it was, to build a major force in the Franchising World. The book sets out clear objectives for motivated individuals, with the desire to better themselves, so Bill’s advice in this book to work hard and follow your goals gives us all a clear message that ‘aggression plus goal setting = motivation’."

- Review by Kevin Hoare, Queensland.

"I have enormous respect for Bill McGowan and what he has achieved in business. This book is packed with practical tips and checklists, delivered in Bill's straight-shooting style. I particularly liked the first chapter where Bill shares his real-life journey in establishing from scratch one of the world's leading courier franchises. And I loved the last chapter titled "Your Personal Wheel of Fortune" which provides an invaluable personal assessment for anyone in business. Thank you Bill McGowan for sharing your practical business experience in such a comprehensive manner."

Greg Nathan, Founder, Franchise Relationships Institute.

"Be Your Own Boss by Bill McGowan delivers advice to anyone who wants to start a business. It is a guide to help. The author shares how he started the business and also writes about his family. He has more than 50 years of experience. The writer presents his entire business journey. He tells about the difficult beginnings, the struggle, and the risks. It shows that the business world is not easy at all and encourages you to achieve your goals step by step. The book contains a lot of useful information. Bill shares a lot of details about his life, which makes the ready more personal. The writer’s knowledge and life experience help the reader. He covers several topics, such as marketing and organisation. What I really liked about the book were the illustrations; they made reading more interesting for me. The caricatures were entertaining. The structure of the entire book is demanding. As I read the lines, I felt that the writer takes his message seriously and that passing on knowledge is important to him. The book is a quick read with collected information. It provides practical advice, such as how to write an effective business plan. What makes it stand out from other books is the author’s personality and his focus on mindset and open-mindedness. While reading, I learned not only about economics and accounting but also about myself. It is a positive experience for me, which helps me grow and get to know my personality better. Bill did almost everything to get his point across. He also showed the difficulties, so it was realistic; he didn’t want to present false hopes. How’s “Your Personal Wheel of fortune?” was my favourite part. I learned from the questionnaire what kind of place I would have in the business world. What detracted from my enjoyment of reading were the spelling mistakes. So, my rating is 4 out of 5. Despite the grammatical errors, it is a well-constructed book with a valuable message. I was motivated after reading the chapters. I recommend the book to people who would like to know themselves better and are interested in the world of business. If you want financial independence, to learn about your strengths and weaknesses, and to organize your thoughts, this book is definitely for you. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to start a business from scratch. The book gives practical tips to those who want to be their own boss."

- Noemi Toth -

"Shamans the world over will tell you that the remedy for many tropical poisons and plants is often found within inches of the offending agent. Or, that opportunity, money, and success are, like air and water, super abundant: they are all around. The art and magic is knowing how to catch ‘them.’


Look around you. Franchises are everywhere. McDonald’s, and Burger King being the most obvious and blatant examples of the same. Bill McGowan, a forward thinker and entrepreneur-extraordinaire from Australia, takes us on a delightful and supremely informative tour of his Wanderjahres, his formative business years in which he saw the writing on the wall, saw the remedial and facilitative agents of change everywhere — and did something about it.


McGowan became the founding father of Fastway Couriers, an international company based on reliable, expert handling of courier mail, business mail, and packages. McGowan, a self-starter, and impressive autodidact did his homework. He went out and did market surveys. He pored over the literature. Wherever he saw a need, he approached it. When he encountered an opportunity — more power to him! So much groundwork, so little time…


But so much ambition! With humour, and a heart of gold, Bill McGowan generously and sumptuously provides readers with sketches, theory, working plans, questionnaires and bullet pointed To Do lists. Like-minded readers can stand on McGowan’s shoulders and strategize their very own onslaughts.


Be Your Own Boss is organized into two major sections. First there is the backstory of the company, of McGowan’s self-propelled rise to business and personal success; then there is the very useful workbook which follows, comprising the second half of the book. Readers setting out upon, or dreaming of, businesses of their own will be heartened by McGowan’s unselfconscious and mostly modest account of his own rise. The take-home lessons in this book are extremely valuable — not only to business-minded readers, but to any reader seeking personal, career, and financial liberation.


The illustrations by collaborator/cartoonist Steve Panozzo provide a suitable and breezy accompaniment to the text.  Hold on: there’s more. Readers will also cheer McGowan’s uncanny ability, time and again, to align corporate goals with societal and personal ones. Franchises can contribute to Green! A business — and hopefully this book — will be on your event horizon."

- David Allen – Pacific Book Review

"In Be Your Own Boss by Bill McGowan, readers are taken on a journey through the eyes of a young entrepreneur who took a remarkable leap of faith by giving up his current lifestyle to embark on establishing a courier transportation company. This book offers a unique perspective on entrepreneurship, as Bill McGowan recounts how he relinquished everything in his life to pursue his dream. His focus is on catering to small businesses, offering cost-effective solutions, and solving the challenges clients face when dealing with courier companies.

Bill McGowan doesn’t sugarcoat the process; he provides a candid and detailed account of his entrepreneurial journey. He shares not only his successes but also his struggles and the creative problem-solving required to overcome obstacles. From the initial stages when he had to feign being an established company to attract new clients, to eventually growing the business into a global franchise company, Bill McGowan’s story is testament to dedication and resilience.

His firsthand account of the challenges and triumphs encountered along the way serves as a source of inspiration and valuable lessons foe those embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey. It offers a comprehensive breakdown of the entrepreneurial experience, shedding light on the harsh realities of starting a business versus being an employee.  Bill McGowan’s narrative is rich in practical insights and strategies that can be invaluable to anyone contemplating taking the same first steps of their own.

It is worth noting that the book does contain some spelling and grammatical errors. It also contains some mild foul language or swear words, which may not be suitable for all readers.  However, the overall reading experience is enjoyable as references were made that my own father used in his daily life too which was a wonderful moment of nostalgia for me, but it also provides a behind-the-scenes view of what it truly takes to launch and sustain a small business and what it can take to grow it."

- Jade Kuhnert

"Over the span of two decades, Bill McGowan has meticulously crafted a masterpiece with “Be Your Own Boss”, a valuable resource tailored for individuals contemplating business launches or acquisitions.  Drawing from five decades of personal business acumen, McGowan presents an encompassing guide for those seeking to crystallize their thoughts and evaluate the viability of the entrepreneurial journey.

First and foremost, acknowledging the necessity of substantial groundwork before embarking on any entrepreneurial endeavour is paramount. A deed understanding of the relevant industry serves as a foundational requirement, necessitating aligning skills with the chosen field.  Moreover, while self-employment offers autonomy and ownership, recognising its inherent risks is pivotal. “Be Your Own Boss” endeavours to offer insights poised to significantly enhance the likelihood of success.

In the realm of business, uncertainty is unavoidable, and this book earnestly aims to provide insights that tangibly elevate the odds of success. Its diverse topics range from business planning and dissecting startup failure causes to strategies for sidestepping pitfalls through meticulous research and planning. Furthermore, the guide offers a step-by-step framework for crafting both professional and personal objectives.  It delves deeply into securing financing and addresses a myriad of other mission-critical facets.

What sets this book apart is its seamless blend of business insights with humour and introspection. Amusing illustrations counterbalance weightier business content, while thought-provoking questions encourage readers to delve deeper into contemplation. Beyond business, the book aspires to make a positive impact on readers’ personal lives.

Throughout the text, the significance of research is consistently emphasised. Effective research, as underscored by the author’s investment anecdotes, forms the bedrock of any nascent business venture.  These narratives convey knowledge while also igniting the reader’s imagination and motivation.

Interwoven within the narrative are the author’s firsthand accounts of overcoming challenges, from navigating government regulations and obtaining operational licences to mastering cost management and facilitating growth.  These anecdotes deeply resonate with readers, captivating and inspiring them.  However, it’s essential to acknowledge that despite meticulous research, unforeseen challenges will inevitably arise, requiring astute Management.

Ultimately, the book underscores the reader’s agency in shaping their path.  It serves as a guide to align aspirations with actions.  Amidst numerous manuals tailored for aspiring entrepreneurs, Be Your Own Boss offers not only a panoramic view but also practical tools for embarking on the journey of self-employment. One of the standout features of the book is the personal survey that guides readers in evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations for entering the business arena.

McGowan’s writing style exudes professionalism and authority, reflecting his domain expertise.  He consistently emphasises the importance of independent research and counsel beyond the book’s scope, urging readers to seek guidance from seasoned practitioners.  Venting into entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a significant undertaking, and McGowan encourages readers to balance enthusiasm with objectivity and emphasises the necessity of using ‘reality checks’ from impartial sources to offer alternatives, discern risks, and hone plans.

Overall, I would rate the book 4 out of 5 stars.  This rating takes into account the minor errors encountered throughout the text.  However, it’s important to note that these minor issues do not detract from the author’s core message.  I highly recommend this book to all aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals contemplating the path of self-employment.

In the words of McGowan’s Dida, “Set your mind to something, focus on it and if you believe in it 100%, you will be able to do it and be anything or person that you want to be. You don’t have to limit yourself to anything, you are who you believe you are, and you can achieve anything that you believe 100% in.”

- Kgauhelo Chabalala

Be Your Own Boss Bill McGowan

- Simon Lord, Franchise Magazine New Zealand - Read More

The youngest ever reader of "Be Your Own Boss" at just 3 years old. This video shows she is preparing herself for her business future. By reading my book what a wonderful future she will have.

“Be Your Own Boss”” has been nominated for the following Book Awards:

  • Best Book Awards – Business, Careers

  • Goody Business Book Awards – Entrepreneur

  • BookFest Book Awards – Business, Entrepreneurship

  • Royal Dragonfly Book Award – Newbie Awards

  • Best Book Awards – Entrepreneurship & Small Business

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