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The Ugly Truth about Small Business – 50 Never Saw It Coming Things That Can Go Wrong…and What You Can Do About It

Ruth King

Ruth King Bio

Ruth King is a seasoned entrepreneur. In the past 30 years she owns or has owned 7 businesses. Her first business, Business Ventures Corporation (BVC), began operations in 1981. Through BVC she coaches, trains, and helps businesses achieve the business goals they want to achieve.

After twelve years on the road, doing 200 flights per year, she knew there had to be a better way to reach business people who wanted to build their businesses and train their employees. As a result, began broadcasting in March, 2002. Other channels quickly followed. Ribbon, the first Internet Broadcasting Network, was born.

Ruth is passionate about helping adults learn to read, photography, and marathon races. She helped start an adult literacy organization in 1986 that serves over 1,000 adults per year and ran the Boston Marathon in April, 2004 and April, 2005.

Ruth holds an MBA in finance from Georgia State University.

She was the 2006 USA Best Books Winner for Entrepreneurship and a finalist for the Independent Publisher Awards (IPPY) for her first book, The Ugly Truth About Small Business (Sourcebooks). Her second book, The Ugly Truth about Managing People, was published in 2007.

Book Synopsis

The Ugly Truth About Small Business reveals real-world situations that are never taught in business schools. Fifty entrepreneurs including me, have made mistakes, weathered disasters, and share our personal stories; including a “lessons learned the hard way” list.

Unlike most books about starting and operating small businesses, The Ugly Truth deals with reality, not theory. It focuses on the day-to-day grind that all business owners face, not the few glamorous success stories that “make it look easy.” Instead of empty promises, the book presents usable information, making it a must-read for all entrepreneurs, and for those dreaming about entrepreneurship.

Why You Should Read this Book and What You Will Get Out of It

Disaster-proof your business:

Learn from the mistakes that other business owners have made. When applying the lessons learned in this book budding and experienced entrepreneurs have less financial nightmares and a better chance of business success.

Why I wrote this book

I am a serial entrepreneur. I own or have owned 7 businesses in the past 30 years. The start up of my sixth business, in 2001 and 2002 was the most terrifying: I lost a $1.5 million dollar project, $800,000 of additional investment, and a partner the same day.

I also lost faith in myself. Had I not had a great husband who supported me, fought with me, and believed in me more than I believed in myself at that point, the Internet Broadcasting Network that is operating today would never have happened.

Once the company was up and operating and I had some time to put perspective on the situation, I knew that if I had gone through that horrific experience and survived others would have too. I began searching for other survivors of business crises. I found 50 others who were willing to share their stories. We all want readers of this book to not make the mistakes we did and not suffer the stress, sleepless nights, and more that we experienced.

In the research I did for The Ugly Truth about Small Business, I found that most of the 27 million small business owners in the United States think they are alone. They don’t know who they can turn to…who they can trust. In fact, they are probably facing the same situations that hundreds of thousands of business owners have already faced and survived.

This book gives these owners experiencing sleepless nights, stress, and worry… comfort that they are not alone. The book is stories of hope, inspiration, and ideas that will help them get through those dark days and succeed. Or, the knowledge that others have closed businesses and survived if the money runs out, the stress gets too great, or the products aren’t selling. The Ugly Truth about Small Business tells the stories of business success and life after business from a business owner’s perspective.

So what has happened in the past 9 years? That first Internet TV channel,, has spawned other successful and not so successful channels. Our team created Ribbon, the Internet Broadcasting Network, as the “Ribbon” that ties all of the different channels and productions we produce, together.

I realized over the years that one of my passions is helping small business owners truly understand the financial side of their businesses. I have a gift for explaining profit and loss statements, balance sheets, pricing, and cash flow in English rather than accountingese:

  • A manual, Keeping Score: Financial Management for Entrepreneurs, which I email free ([email protected]) to any small business owner who wants it.
  • iPhone and Android apps: Getting Started with a 3 Page Business Plan, Getting Started with Cash Flow, and more. These can be found on
  • This passion also spawned the latest Ribbon channel, Small Business Self-Help financial coaching.

I am absolutely passionate about small business and helping small business owners succeed. The Ugly Truth about Small Business ( is one way I do this. My second book, The Ugly Truth about Managing People ( which tells the stories of small business owners’ management issues, is another. Finally, my passion is shown in a third way, through

Email me at rking at or call me at 770-729-8000. Take my classes. Read my books. Take comfort from the stories. You are not alone.

Ruth King

The Ugly Truth about Small Business


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