6 Business Books that have produced real results for our business…

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“The average millionaire reads at least one nonfiction book per month. How many books have you read this year?”-Dave Ramsey

As a business owner, I’ve always tried to read business books. I feel like this is the area where I’m always behind. Creative entrepreneurs usually get into business because they love their work and not because of their great business knowledge. This year, I signed up for audible.com and a whole new world opened up for me. I could finally get through a book in about a month while I’m driving or working out. I found that with every new book, I would come up with a new way to apply the concepts to my business. Here are 6 examples that have affected me the most…

#1 Mike MichaloWicz – Profit First – I found this book originally through Dave Ramsey who’s people talked about it a good bit. The main point we applied from this book was to determine what you need out of the business first. Set aside for profit, taxes, and CODB and then everything else has to be run out of what’s left. This makes a huge mental shift. The way he describes it in the book, you get to see exactly what your financial snapshot is at a glance. It’s a revolutionary way of looking at it. In addition, the author reads the book and he’s a nut. He’s really interesting to listen to.

#2 Donald Miller – Building a StoryBrand – I listened to this one twice. This book spoke to me so directly because it was the way we were already working with our clients. It’s all about their journey. It’s all about your client as the hero of the story, not you. Of all of these books, this was probably the most enjoyable. It’s great sometimes to just have validation that your ideas are good ones. This book lays out a very clear blueprint for finding that story and how to tell

#3 Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People  – A classic is a classic for a reason. This book, written in 1936, is still so relevant today. Everyone in your life feels justification for their actions. No one wants to be told they’re wrong. It’s amazing when you learn these ideas how clear it is how to interact with people. For instance, a simple thing like learning people’s names can make you more likable. And of course, listening more than you talk. It all came from Dale Carnegie.

#4 Simon Sinek – Start With Why – I found out about this guy through his super popular TED talk. This book is another validation of the work we’re already doing. It’s so much more important to know why someone does what they do than anything else. When you start with why, everything else in the story naturally falls into place.

#5 Jim Collins – Good to Great – This is one of those books that I’ve heard Dave Ramsey talking about for years. I finally got through it this year with Audible. The key concept from this book is that greatness is all about the people. Your success is directly attributable to the people that you surround yourself with. They give you a method for determining who those people are and how to get the best people. There are also a ton of really detailed case studies.

#6 W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne – Blue Ocean Strategy Blue Ocean Strategy is the idea that you should differentiate yourself to the point that you don’t have any competition in the marketplace. What is it you do that’s completely unique compared to the competition. They use many  examples in the book like Cirque Du Soleil. They changed the circus industry completely by making theirs a circus that’s like a show and eliminating the most costly unnecessary elements like animals which need to be fed and require trainers. There’s a blue ocean in every industry and it’s important that you find it.  We’ve tried to create a Blue Ocean in our market that is starting to get crowded. My takeaway from this book is to always be thinking about the next Blue Ocean.

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” –  Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

These aren’t the only books I’ve read over the last year, but these are probably the most transformative. There are other great ones like The Power of Habit. The fact that all of this fantastic info is there for you on audible is a game changer. What really makes the difference is how you apply it. It’s so important when you read these books to look for even one thing that you can apply to you business and then DO IT!