Powills applies a simple formula to challenge readers to unpack their personal story to accomplish their goals.
Nick Powills, Publisher of 1851 Franchise and CEO of No Limit Agency, has written his debut book, “Sticks & Stones: Building Entrepreneurial Success from Life's Struggles.” The book is published by Inc. Magazine and will be released March 5, 2019. “Sticks & Stones” is currently available for pre-order from Amazon and will be available at 200 airports and Barnes & Noble stores.
Powills’ debut work disrupts traditional genre categorization in unique ways. Part memoir, part personal development book, “Sticks & Stones” blends personal experience and earned business acumen to empower readers to connect their story with their vision. The book opens with what Powills later comes to regard as his first “fuel” moment: the painful experience of being called “fat” by a fellow student on the first day of kindergarten.
From there, the work traces Powills’ lifelong struggle with his weight to bullying from his peers and rejection from coaches, professors, bosses and a professional baseball player he admired. Instead of staying down after enduring these knocks, Powills transforms these moments into fuel, powering himself forward in pursuit of the realization of his personal and professional goals. In so doing, he unlocks accessible formulas that allow readers to apply his insight to their own lives.
“Stick & Stones” ultimately showcases Powills’ trajectory from aspiring journalist to content marketing innovator. Readers encounter Powills’ formulas for success utilized at each stage of his journey, and the framework culminates in the moment when Powills finds his ‘velocity’: at his point of departure from a major public relations agency.
After his proposal for a social media-driven model to amplify brand stories was summarily dismissed by leadership, Powills ventured forth on his own, determined to create a social media agency that also provided PR services to clients. While colleagues, friends and family echoed his former boss's contention that social media was a flash in the pan, Powills created MySpace pages for brands and added a dimension to their digital presence. His vision was validated after early success, and Powills grew No Limit Agency into a 5-time Inc. 5000 honoree, while also growing NLA and sister marketing company, 1851 Franchise, into multi-million dollar businesses that now operate out of the historic Prudential Plaza in downtown Chicago.
Building from the opening formula, “Foundation + Momentum = Velocity,” the book breaks down each component and showcases both its manifestation in Powills’ own life and how it subsequently led to his entrepreneurial success. Powills’ “Sticks & Stones” blends his own experiences with guided writing exercises that challenge readers to reflect on their own struggles, or ‘fuel,’ and reframe their pain points into an adaptive plan to achieve their ‘velocity,’ or passion.
“In a given moment, especially painful ones, I often couldn’t see how my struggles could possibly help me in the long run,” Powills said. “It’s only been over time, as I’ve realized the power of my support system, or ‘foundation,’ and gained the confidence that’s propelled my ‘momentum’ that I’ve realized that each stage was a building block moving me toward something special. Hearing ‘no’ happened early and often, but eventually made complete sense to me: I needed to hear ‘no’ so I could engineer a plan to execute my vision on my terms.”
“Sticks & Stones”’ adaptive framework notably departs from oft-repeated platitudes about success and failure: instead of finding a “unicorn” idea, Powills encourages entrepreneurs and goal setters to embrace their ‘one inch of difference’; instead of writing off ideas when the data shows they’re not viable, Powills advises readers to revise by adding to their ‘foundation’ or strengthening their ‘momentum’. Embracing the truism that everyone who has achieved something great has battled through adversity, “Sticks and Stones” offers readers the tools to unpack their stories in the service of their potential.
Powills’ ability to “connect the silos”—to see how childhood bullying equipped him to carve out a unique career path and become an industry innovator—makes “Sticks & Stones: Building Entrepreneurial Success from Life’s Struggles” a useful guide to anyone looking to define their purpose and connect their story to their vision.