Expanding the entrepreneur’s emotional intelligence…

Business Black Belt


Foundation elements of Conscious Business in practice

70+ good, bad, crazy real-world lessons all worth learning…

Now. While it’s easy.


Burke Franklin

Creator of BizPlanBuilder® and founder of Business Power Tools®

Add 37-years of “personal development” training to inform your business ideas and decisions for dramatically improved outcomes in every area

business black belt management best practices book conscious

Real-life business lessons for the inner entrepreneur…

M any people can teach you funding metrics, KPIs, how to avoid taxes, increase ‘likes’ or improve your SEO…

But, I’m here to talk about YOU!
You are the spiritual leader of your business.
You are the driving force making it go…

“It’s not personal, it’s just business!” 🙁 So we’ve been told. But wait…
What if… It’s not just business, it’s personal? And maybe more personal than you think?

As far as I know, I’m one of the few who has studied personal development (some call it “awareness & consciousness”) for more than 37 years, applied it directly to building and running a business, and then wrote a book to share what I learned!

A deeper look into conscious business and personal strategies and how to apply them to your business

Much of what we do, how we do it,
and why we do it is unconscious.

Reading this book and others like it will help us to avoid
doing those things unconsciously, make better decisions
and take appropriate action for everyone’s good.

Here’s your 20-year headstart!

Nominated to “Forbes’ Top 20 Most Influential Business Books of the Past 20 Years

I hate it when good products, companies or people fail! And I wanted to share what I’ve learned from building my own business over 30 years compounded by creating software to help others build theirs.

⇐ Click on this brief video and I’ll tell you about it.


True stories of successful business-building…

Some 37 years ago I attended my first “awareness & consciousness” workshop. Magic occurred and I’ve been studying and practicing it ever since! (I’ve been through the “woo woo” and the “magical thinking” stages and here I teach what I think of as a “pragmatic consciousness.”) And, for what it’s worth, I started my own martial arts training about the same time I started Business Power Tools (originally known as JIAN) and immediately noticed many parallels.

Your business is a reflection of your own ethos — look within and fix(?) your thinking before you try to fix everything and everyone else!

I’ve been infusing this perspective, knowledge, and wisdom into Business Power Tools products and blogs in order to educate and influence people through business. I like to think of Business Black Belt as an action manual of higher awareness and applied intuition!

Picks up where most business schools, consultants, and gurus leave off…

There are more than 100 insights, tricks, tips, hacks and ideas to help you to see danger before it gets you, not “step in something,” as well as make better decisions faster.

  • Business Black Belt is real, raw and relevant
  • It’s a fast, informative read
  • 70 brief stories clearly make each point in one sitting
  • Business Black Belt makes a great gift for the entrepreneurs in your life!

Download and read the ebook version FREE

“Mr. Franklin is coming from a place of ensuring competitive advantage by assuming that he cannot rest on his laurels and stop marketing or valuing customers. I appreciate this very much. I agree that even that even the invoices and phone contacts with clients are sales components; they represent your company’s tone and values.

The final chapter discusses business plans, which is appropriate. His book leads us from the big idea state of building a business to formal plans to work from and sell to investors. His tips on writing effective copy are no less practical and clear than the rest of the book. I certainly find his writing style to be compelling, pragmatic yet it informed by esoteric/spiritual values which ring true for me. I look forward to using my his [BizPlanBuilder business plan software] program to work with my capstone project and other business interests.” ~ Antioch College MBA student

What other successful business thought leaders say about Business Black Belt

Scott Degarmo recommends reading business black belt
Scott DeGarmo
former Editor-in-Chief & Publisher
SUCCESS Magazine

“I loved Business Black Belt! This book is a uniquely powerful success manual. It is jam-packed with useful insights that will enable you to win in business and in life. Author Burke Franklin has total credibility thanks to his accomplishments in the martial arts combined with his brilliant career in business. Compared to this tour de force, most other business books I read spend lots of pages hitting and missing and groping and fumbling when it comes to delivering practical information. This one flies to the mark over and over again, on page after enlightening page. Most unusual of all, and most gratifying, is that Franklin genuinely succeeds in applying lessons from the martial arts-and from other forms of physical endeavor-to the world of business. The typical book that promises benefits from a field of endeavor outside of business, be it sports, war, or whatever, never actually succeeds in importing the mastery of one field into another. I suspect that the reason the attempt so often fails is that it was never intended to be much more than a gimmick for a clever title. In the case of Business Black Belt, the different disciplines are truly merged. There is also a rare sense of thoughtfulness. The ideas Franklin presents are not off-the-cuff notions slammed down on the page to meet a publishing deadline; they are hard-won insights culled with honesty and integrity from his own experience and set down with clarity so that the reader can profit from them. Wherever you are in your career, whatever the stage or situation of your present business, reading Business Black Belt will energize and stimulate you with wisdom that is at once hard-hitting, subtle, and profound.”
~ Scott DeGarmo, former Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine

“Business Black Belt is a fascinating account of hundreds of business situations and how one might approach them. I found nuggets on every page. The chapters are short and filled with poignant examples.”
~ Roger McManus, Publisher, North Carolina Entrepreneur Magazine

Roger McManus endorses Business Black Belt book

ceo and entrepreneur bill hayes business black belt recommended reading for entrepreneurs

“Finally, some great business ideas that are much more than just what to do, he actually explains how to do them.”
~ Bill Hayes, President, Automatic Rain, Menlo Park, CA

“If you’re looking for practical tips and tricks you should know and use on a day-to-day basis, they’re in here!”
~ Larry Moore, Larry’s Auto Works, Mountain View, CA

Larry Moore recommends reading business black belt

Joe Kolezynski raves about Business Black Belt

“Once I started reading Business Black Belt, I couldn’t put this unique book down. It is a compendium of information, anecdotes and lessons that can be easily and immediately, applied to transform effort into success.
A one of a kind book by a businessman who has been there and can show you how to get there.”
~ Dr. Joe Kolezynski, Executive Director, Professional Golfers Career College, Windermere, FL

What makes up this unusual business book…

and why you want to read it now

I never expected to expect to write another business book because there are so many good ones out there. Nevertheless, instead of giving you a pitch for buying and reading it, let me give you some background of what went into Business Black Belt:

I took my very first self-improvement workshop in the winter of 1980, it was called “Playground” written by Paul Larsen of Summit Workshops.
I went because I had just read Winning at Office Politics and I wanted to ingratiate myself at Texas Instruments with our Operations Manager.
I was blown away by what I experienced and learned!
It was a workshop actually designed for actors to enable them to more fully get in touch with their emotions and to truly express themselves in the parts they played.
It felt great, my mind quieted, I felt connected — and learned to recreate these states, when things got jangly.
I was never the same. (That’s what people mean by “transformation.” Remember to be discerning when you take a course promising to transform you.)

The other workshops were more like experiential (meaning you do things like write, make lists, Play A/B with partners, share… vs. sit & listen) group therapy with aspects of what is now sometimes called “Timeline Therapy.” (Looking back at your childhood and the thinking you used to make sense of everything — it usually requires an update to fit your current situation and the patterns are broken. You can tell when there seems to be pattern in your life and it’s like Groundhog Day every day.)

My favorite story to tell to illustrate the bizarre-ness of these workshops is about the one where they played sounds while we listened and wrote in stream-of-consciousness, then discussed the reactions we had. It was really about developing an awareness of what random things can trigger us unconsciously into another emotional state. And how to catch that and consciously change our state back or to a better state. One night they played the sound of ice cubes being dropped into a glass… I envisioned my grandfather and I having a 7-Up, while all around me the children of alcoholic parents were going crazy! Just hearing the sound of ice cubes can send someone over the edge! They got over it then and there.

Over the next 15 years I took every one of their workshops — and a few of them several times!

Since the beginning I knew I wanted to have my own company and I wanted to learn as much as possible about human nature, including myself, as applied to starting, building and managing a successful business.

It never ceased to amaze me what would change in my world after I would reconcile some issue blocking me from being effective — first, I realized that most ‘realities’ were merely a point-of-view.
When I changed my point-of-view — things changed.
Sometimes everything changed….
Even the telephone would ring from someone I hadn’t spoken to in years…
A customer would call in an order…
Stuff like that.

We did workshops using horses in the Arizona desert.
We learned scuba diving as well as many metaphors useful to everyday life gleaned from that training.

I’ve taken workshops given by former EST trainers

I took all of Anthony Robbins’ courses…
walked on fire (several times), climbed to the top of poles, dropped into a city for a 24-hour period with nothing, but a quarter in apple (I ate it right away)

I started taking karate lessons about the same time I started JIAN (now rebranded as Business Power Tools) in 1988. I have a 2nd degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo.

I learned to fly.
Today, I have 780+ hours and I’m instrument-rated.
I even owned a 1980 Beech V-tail Bonanza (V35B).
There are many things one can learn about business from flying an airplane!

I can’t tell you how many self-help, psychology, and business books I’ve read.
Every one of them had at least several gems.

I sold electronic components for Texas Instruments.
I was the Electronics Buyer for The Sharper Image catalog.
I was in promotional videos for Apple, HP, Tandem Computers, Xerox, …
I even acted in TV commercials for Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Yuban, and SuperCuts!
I worked with former summit trainers and former EST trainers who consulted with me for my company for many years.

I belonged to TEC (now Vistage) — 12-15 company CEOs meet once a month, learn something profound from an expert, have lunch, then spend the afternoon solving each others’ problems.
I could turn every session into a Business Power Tools software product!

Believe me, I would never have undertaken to write this book if there wasn’t something more to say.

Everything I learned, I applied to my own business.
Everything I learned from the workshops I participated in…
from the consultants I worked with…
from my experiences working for large and small companies…
as well as for the 27 years invested in developing business-building software tools…
Most of that worked, and some of it needed some tweaking to make it work…

This is what Business Black Belt is about.
I have a lot to say, but I say it all for a reason!
I share many anecdotes that will help you keep your head on straight.
I think every chapter could be an entire book on its own,
but you can get the point immediately — enough to take the right action.

Really, read Business Black Belt!

Ask for it at your favorite bookstore
You can ask for Business Black Belt by name at your bookstore — they may have it in stock or can get it for you very quickly.

(ISBN # 1-56811-016-2) 356 pages. Hard cover.