Reading books can help us business owners in so many ways, by educating and highlighting key areas for improvement and providing hints and tips, strategies and developing our skills.
We can also enhance and improve our knowledge, learn new ways of thinking and stimulate those ‘lightbulb’ moments. These can enhance & improve procedures and processes to make our business run smoothly and effectively.
I have read quite a few books on my business journey over the last few years and many of them I dip into and re-read certain sections. As I read, I highlight key areas and make copious notes to refer back to.
I will from time to time let you know about further books I think are useful and why, but here are my 1st 10 that I have read, enjoyed, found useful and used some of the techniques personally and also some that have helped me on my business journey so far.
- ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod
So, what’s the best way to start every morning and in my mind it’s with a clear structure to your day (except the weekend) ‘Every day has opportunities and even if yesterday was a bad day, today can only get better. Fundamentally you are in control of how you react to events and hence can influence the outcome to an extent. Dedicating time to every day to focus on you by attracting, creating and sustaining levels of success.’ SAVERS = Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing now play a huge role in my life.
I have had the pleasure of connecting with Bob Berg on LinkedIn and he is so engaging online and also in his podcasts which you should listen to. The Go-Giver is the first in a series of 3 books all of which are fantastic, but this one had the most effect on the way I run my business and interact with others. For me this book reiterates the fundamentals of giving not to receive but that the heart centre is the more you give the more pleasure you get, and it comes back to you in the end. Always giving, contributing, helping and serving is the key to success.
From learning to write essays at school, university, work and generally in life, some of us find this easy and others do not. I would put myself in the ‘do not’category, mainly because I was not very good at writing essays at school and therefore believe this has stayed with me. One thing I try to do is to write some words, carve out a skeleton for a document and then leave it for a day or so. I then revisit it, re read, change things if needs be and then continue to write. Sometimes a bank of information and ideas builds up in my head in the meantime or perhaps that ‘lightbulb’ moment that means I can innovatively add things. Sometimes I go back to documents and re do and re issue. This book helped me get clearer on messages, who I was writing for and why and what types of writing I should be doing and crucially when to outsource and how to enjoy it (it doesn’t have to be 100%, well the grammar does!)
I had the pleasure to listen to and meet Lindsay Maclean at a networking event which I thoroughly enjoyed. She got us all up doing some exercises to test out our ‘speaking up’ skills. I have always admired speakers who talk with ease and confidence especially TEDx speakers. I know they have practised hard, but they make it look SO easy! It is all about your positive spirited energy, in your delivery, stance and story that you weave. Bringing emotion happy or sad into it can always catch attention and ensure you connect with your listeners.
Again, I have had the pleasure of talking to Sally Hindmarch (over Zoom) and this book is about communication, a subject Sally is an expert in. Understanding the different ways we communicate and how others receive this helps to build relationships and enables you to adapt to differing personalities. Listening, Understanding, Clarifying, Interpreting and Discussing are the key areas to get to grips with and then presenting and storytelling help you to communicate with ease. Like everything, it will need reviewing and tweaking, but this is a great place to start.
I listened to Stefan Thomas talk about Networking in my early days in business and knew straight away how fundamental it was to get this right. Having done this many times in my corporate life I thought this would be easy, but when there is no backup and it’s just me then networking is a whole new ball game. I was pleased to learn I was doing all the things he suggested. So, for me it was about joining all the dots, enjoying networking, giving to others, making connections, being authentic and follow up on my promises. I have a system and it works and it works in business and my personal life, probably aided from the firm foundations of my family life too.
If you have ever been at a crossroads and feel ‘stuck’ in your next move or a pathway to take, then this is a good book for you. Mindset is a subject that is often talked about now and up until now I have been stuck on my path with no real reason to re-route. However there comes a time when we all hit a crossroad for whatever reason, and we need tools to get unstuck. This might be learning to say NO, asking for something, making a change that someone else advised us not to. This book helps to clarify aims and purpose, setting goals, looking at inner confidence, outsourcing, saying no, speaking out, overriding fears, focussing on positives and taking time out.
I love the title of this book as we all hate Mondays and with a different perspective, we can all make our Mondays matter and look forward to them. Jo is someone I have had chats with, and we follow each other on Instagram. There are too many wonderful aspects of this book, but Jo leads you through the key areas and exercises that make the sales, networking, mindset and your business year clear, powerful and successful.
So many people I meet have no idea how much profit they are making in their business or indeed how much is in their bank account. WOW! I do, because I know my numbers. This book by Zoe Whitman clearly explains what numbers you need to understand, why, what to think about, accounting systems, how to process receipts, accounting explanations, and why you need to understand what they bare and how they affect your business.
I left this book until the end and that is perhaps because it was the most fascinating for me. I met the author a few years ago and had not for some reason fully understood what ‘mindset priming’ was all about. Recently I listened to a talk he gave about his personal journey, bought the book and was fascinated and wanted to find out more about the ABC(D) model that he referred to. I was also curious about the Psychology and Kinesiology elements that interweave our mind games. He has helped many top athletes with his approach.
Interestingly after re-reading this blog 8/10 of the authors I have met in person or chatted to and I guess it was this connection that made me buy and read the books. The other 2 came highly recommended. I hope that just 1 book makes a difference to you and hopefully many more. I wanted to share them with you and wish you a happy READ.