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Every customer A Fan

This is the story of Jim’s Group, as told by the founder. An account of how a $24 business became one of the world’s largest franchise chains, with over 3800 Franchisees (and rising). It is an unusually frank and honest account, showing the human weaknesses and mistakes as well as the successes.

This is a very different guide to business success, drawn not only from Jim’s experience but the lessons he has drawn from contact with thousands of successful (and less successful) Franchisees. It is a business story that says little or nothing about business plans and corporate structure, but a great deal about character and attitude. And always, about the need to put the customer first..

Jim’s Book

We all know Jim’s. Maybe you just passed a Jim’s Mowing trailer on the road; or maybe there’s a jims Cleaning van parked across the street each Tuesday morning; or maybe your best mate is laughing all the way to the bank after quitting the city and starting his new Jim’s Fencing franchise, but do you know the real story behind the Jim’s Group and its founder, Jim Penman?

Brutally efficient, socially awkward, and a tireless perfectionist, Jim is as complex and fascinating as the Jim’s Group. This book is a warts-an-all look at his colourful life that delves deep into how he ignored conventional thinking to turn few mowing rounds into a corporate juggernaut built on always putting the customer first. In this authorised biography, author Catherine Moolenschot sat down with Jim and over one hundred people who know him – from franchisees and franchisors, to family, friends and adversaries – to get up close and personal with the surprising story of Australia’s biggest brands and the man who made it all happen.

Epigenetics & Character

In ‘Epigenetics and Character’, Dr Jim Penman details a revolutionary new theory about why societies prosper and why they decline. He shows how history is driven by changes in the character of ordinary people, rather than by economic and political forces or by the actions of leaders. The key to all this is epigenetics, the study of how the environment affects our genes. Dr Penman draws on history, biology, anthropology and economics to explain the real drivers of social change, and how evolutionary mechanisms designed to adapt animal social behaviour to changing food conditions shape human history. He shows that both China and the West are facing a danger more potent than global warming. But also, how use of epigenetics could radically change lives and societies for the better.
Epigenetics and Character is a rewritten version of ‘Biohistory: Decline of the West’, containing updates on Dr Penman’s research project which have led to important changes in the theory.


Biohistory is a revolutionary new theory that explores the biological and behavioural underpinnings of social change, including the rise and fall of civilisations. Informed by significant research into the physiological basis of behaviour conducted by author Dr Jim Penman and a team of scientists at RMIT University and the Florey Institute in Melbourne, Australia, Biohistory examines how a complex interplay between culture and biology has shaped civilisations from the Roman Empire to the modern West. Penman proposes that historical changes are driven by changes in the prevailing temperament of populations, based on physiological mechanisms that adapt animal behaviour to changing food conditions. It details the history of human society by mapping the effects of these epigenetic changes on cultures, and on historical tipping points including wars and revolutions. It shows how laboratory studies can be used to explain broad social and economic changes, including the fortunes of entire civilizations. The authors shocking conclusion is that the West is in terminal and inevitable decline, and that its only hope may lie with the biological sciences. Drawing on the disciplines of history, biology, anthropology and economics, Biohistory is the first theory of society that can be tested with some rigour in the laboratory. It explains how environment, cultural values and childrearing patterns determine whether societies prosper or collapse, and how social change can be both predicted and potentially modified through biochemistry.

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