I am a voracious reader. Especially when it comes to books that can make me better. Although I am totally guilty of reading a book about three-quarters of the way and being like “ok, I get it!” and moving on! :) Does anybody else out there do this?? But there are a few that I just haven’t been able to put down and have read cover to cover a few times now.
As entrepreneurs, there isn’t assigned homework for getting better at running a business. No one is going to check up on us with a progress report to see how we’re doing. It’s all in our hands how much we educate ourselves. It’s up to us how much time we dedicate to become better business owners. And that can be kind of scary, can’t it? Because it’s tough to know where to even start.
So that’s why Justin & I wanted to put together a list of our top business book recommendations for people to read (or re-read!) to kick off 2015 right! These are the books that we come back to time after time. The books that have taught us SO much about marketing, systems, money and so much more. If we were teaching our own college course on running a business (how fun would that be? I would totally wear a tweed jacket with elbow patches. And carry around a pipe!), this would be the required reading…the books you would have to go to the bookstore for. We would have tons & tons of “supplemental reading” that we would recommend, but this would be required! So if you are looking for a good, core place to start, then look no further than just a scroll down! Read on to see what our top 2015 picks are!
*E Myth: We think this is a MUST read for every small business entrepreneur out there! In the book Gerber argues that the number one reason 80% of businesses fail in the first five years is actually not because of money but because of burnout. He says entrepreneurs start a business thinking they will get to do only this thing that they love. But pretty soon they find themselves wearing a ton of other hats: doing the books, creating the marketing plan, sweeping the proverbial floors. And it’s in all of that mundane stuff- the too much work & not enough time- that people start to hate what they once loved. This book has the solution!
*Purple Cow : this is an oldie, but a goodie and one of our all time favorite business books. It’s basic premise is this: in a sea of 10,000 brown cows, you stop paying attention when you see yet another new brown cow. But see a purple one on the side of the road? You’re going to pull the car over, take a picture, and tell all your friends about it. In every industry, the tendency is to just follow what all the brown cows are doing (what am I supposed to do? what is everyone else doing?), but in doing so we seal our fate to be ordinary. The basic summary of this book could come down to two words: be remarkable. In other words, don’t just do what’s been done before….do something WORTH remarking about.
*Selling the Invisible: this book is just phenomenal! I don’t know if I’ve ever underlined so many passages before! It’s basically all about this idea of how do you sell something that you can’t see (like service based businesses for example!) There are so many gems all through out this book and Beckwith’s understanding of how people buy and the thought process they go through will change your perspective forever. One of my favorite quotes: “Don’t give them what they need, don’t give them what they want, give them what they would LOVE to have but don’t even know is possible yet.”
*Talent is Never Enough: John Maxwell is one of my all time favorite authors and Talent is Never Enough is one of my all time favorite books from him. This book is so powerful for beating the “talent trap” We have heard something similar from countless people that we’ve mentored. They’ll all say something along the lines of “I just don’t get it. This person is newer than I am and their work just isn’t as good…and yet they’re killing it!” That’s the talent trap. That’s the belief that the way businesses succeed and the way people buy is based on talent alone (Beckwith dispels this myth a lot in Selling the Invisible too). Now please don’t get me wrong, talent is HUGE. Commitment to the craft should be a number one priority. But the premise of this book (and it has proven true so much in our lives and in the lives of our friends) is that talent alone is not enough. To become truly successful you have to have a BUNCH of other qualities (Maxwell identifies 13 in fact) that if they are missing, they will hold even the most talented people back. Talent is the starting place. But talent alone is never enough.
*Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover: This of course isn’t a business book per se, it’s a personal money book. But it has everything to do with running a successful business. This book has rocked our world and it’s all about living debt free, building up financial momentum, and leaving a legacy of true wealth and radical giving. And if that stuff isn’t in place, the business will be poisoned every time. So they go hand in hand! I think everybody should read this book!
*And finally, The Guide. Now I know that this is totally biased because we wrote The Guide. :) But the truth is that this ebook contains everything that it took us 8 long years to learn the hard way. Everything that it took us reading all these books and many, many, MANY others, and being out there in the trenches to figure out. And it all right there in those pages for you to shortcut through. I truly believe that sitting down for a day and reading through the Guide could save you months (maybe years) of setbacks and standing still, and thousands of dollars spent on the wrong stuff trying to market yourself. We hear from so many people how these pages have rocked their businesses (and their bookings!) right away. And sometimes all you need is someone who has been there to point you in the right direction and steer you away from the pitfalls. That’s the heart of The Guide right there, and we would love for every single person reading this to be able to get a copy.
**So that’s why we’re doing a New Years’s special of 50% off! Just click on the button below and you can grab your own copy of The Guide for half off! (reg. $150) Here’s to making 2015 the year that changes everything!
As always, we hope these recommendations helped & that you’re able to pick up some of these books! So tell us, what is YOUR favorite business book of all time?