Whether you’re lounging by the pool, waiting for your daughter’s dance class to end, or flying the friendly skies, my summer book selections will help you maximize every available reading time slot for your business. I didn’t select these books because they are now. I selected them because they are recognized classics or they contain classic information.
You can get a lot of new books on things like using Pinterest or setting up your Twitter account, and I may share a list on things like that in an upcoming post. I want to use this opportunity to share books that help you focus on basic fundamentals. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur, you cannot go wrong by saturating your mind with information like what you’ll find in these books.
1. The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor
While this book is not geared toward entrepreneurs, it is geared toward life — and every entrepreneur has to deal with that, right? Building on in-depth research of whether and how happiness either leads to success or is the result of success (guess which one is more true), Shawn shares more than just psycho mumbo jumbo. There are solid examples of people and enterprises around the world who have embraced the notion that success does not make you happy. Instead, happiness leads to success. Whether you’re a natural happy camper or naturally more melancholy than most, this book will help you make very specific mindset shifts that will empower you to embrace more happiness in your life, which will lead to more happiness in your business, which leads to — you guessed — more success in both.
2. The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield
I had the privilege of interviewing Jack on Indie Business Podcast when this book was released in 2006. What a privilege to have my own personal coaching session from one of the best. This book captures 64 specific action steps that you can take to build on your past successes and create new ones. Each chapter encompasses a specific bite-sized principle, making this book super for taking small steps at a time. This book is like having your own personal life coach. I have the dog-eared hard copy and the audio version. I need to figure out how to save each chapter as an individually searchable principle in my iTunes Success Library!
3. Tribes by Seth Godin
It’s a fundamental principle of business that you need customers, but it’s a fairly new notion that these customers can be collectively treated like a tribe. While I don’t like the idea of actually calling customers “a tribe” as a group, I wholeheartedly endorse the notion of treating your customers with the respect and admiration that they deserve for opening up their wallets and their lives and letting you in. This book is filled with golden common sense nuggets that will encourage you to gently influence your customers and create pockets of community around your business. These communities lead to increased organic sharing of what you have to offer and increased community around the fun your customers have doing business with you. It’s a quick read too.
4. Six Steps To Creating Profit, by Patricia Sigmon
If you love your business, have a steady stream of sales, and are making money, you’ll love this book — because it will help you go from making money to making a profit. Big difference, indeed. Patricia says there are six steps, and while that may be a bit of an understatement in practical terms, it’s not in terms of the overall picture you need to embrace to create profit day after day, month after month, year after year. While fairly new, this book is chock full of classic profit building principles every entrepreneur needs. It’s aimed specifically at service related businesses, but many of the principles apply to any type of company. Of particular use to Indies is Chapter 5: Raising The Marketing Bar. Start there.
5. Platform: Getting Noticed In A Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt
This is the newest book on my list. While it can hardly be called a “classic” (it was just published last month), the author is a class act. You can tweak every single suggestion in this book and apply it to your business, period. No matter what kind of business you have — from selling soap to selling ebooks to coaching programs — a platform with room to grow is an increasingly important requirement for success. This book not only makes that point, but it tells you how to build and grow a platform that will support your current business and any future endeavors that are currently unforeseeable.
Questions: Have you read any of these books? What do you think of my selections? What are you reading this summer?