26 April 2022

'All things joyful': new book empowering women to create their own business

| Claire Fenwicke
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The Joyful Frugalista Serina Bird smiling at the kitchen bench

The Joyful Frugalista herself, Serina Bird, hopes her book will inspire more women on their startup journeys. Photo: Serina Bird.

Despite being struck down with COVID on the day of her new book’s launch, Canberra’s Joyful Frugalista remains suitably upbeat.

“These things happen, we’ll just reschedule,” author Serina Bird said.

Her new venture The Joyful Startup Guide was written with women in mind, equipping them with the tools to venture into the business world.

“Most business literature out there is aimed at men, but one in three Australian businesses are owned by women; it’s the fastest growing demographic,” Ms Bird said.

“Women have also been disproportionately impacted by COVID, so I’m expecting to see more women starting up their own businesses.”

The Joyful Startup Guide is a publication born from the pandemic, when Ms Bird had to re-examine her own business practices.

“A key issue for me was my business model was focused a lot around freelancing, then COVID hit,” she said.

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster and the book details the mistakes I made throughout my journey, along with wisdom and guidance from a lot of people who helped me on my way.”

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She hoped women in particular would find inspiration from her journey, especially aiming her message at those looking to make a change in their own lives.

“The whole book is about creating a heart-centred business,” she said.

“Of course you can’t then just sit back and hope the money will flow in, but when you’re doing what you feel soul-called to do you light up and customers sense that, too.

“Increasingly people have side hustles, have ideas to make the world a better place and I’m hoping this will help empower women financially through their own businesses.”

The Joyful Startup Guide book

The Joyful Startup Guide aims to help people make their startup dreams come true. Photo: Serina Bird.

The book is also filled with affirmations to encourage and inspire readers on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Ms Bird had her own ‘jump the ship’ moment on Halloween of 2019, when she quit her public service job of 20 years.

“I wanted to make a radical change,” she said.

“So I want this book to really speak to women aged 40 to 60 who are looking for financial empowerment and sustainability – and of course men can read it as well!”

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She already has one book under her belt, The Joyful Frugalista: Grow Your Cash, Be Savvy with Your Money and Live Abundantly, along with Facebook group The Joyful Business Club and podcast The Joyful Frugalista.

Support from the Canberra Innovation Network has also been invaluable to help her brand grow.

Ms Bird received an ICON grant last year to build a marketplace for buying and selling quality, second-hand corporate clothing and she started recording her Joyful Business Club Facebook Live sessions from its offices.

A number of her mentors were found through the network and are also featured in her book.

“Although it’s about my story, I’ve shared the wisdom from the gurus who have guided me,” she said.

Despite her book only just launching, another project is already in the works, this time focused on how to make e-commerce more accessible to women.

“It’s very much in the early stages, I only have about 3000 words at the moment, so I need to get onto it!”

The book launch has been rescheduled for 11 May, another event will be held at The Book Cow in Kingston on 30 April.

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