I read fiction, I read non-fiction, I read mystery, I read adventure, I read history, I read biography and I read business.
And I remember what I read. Some of it’s bad and I wish I could forget it but most of it’s good. Every book makes an impact on my brain (if it doesn’t I probably won’t finish it. When I was younger I would, but now I’m getting older and I realize I don’t have enough time for useless books), some make an impact on my life. To see some of the books that changed me personally, read this post.
Today I’m sharing a few books that have impacted my business. I love business books. I love to see what makes people—and businesses—tick. I want know how I can do better and do it more creatively. I have a constant need to be learning something new and stretching myself.
These five books have done that for me.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
by Steven R. Covey
The first one. I can’t even remember how long ago I read this. Many years ago, I worked for a large insurance company and every week they had us listen to a chapter of this book on tape (it’s one of the few audio books I actually bought). At the time, I didn’t know who Steven Covey was but it all sounded so familiar, like I already knew these principles, but didn’t know how to put them into words. It really helped me to begin defining my direction and thinking about purpose. I refer back to it often, reading it usually once a year or so.
The Success Principles
by Jack Canfield
Another of my favorites. I found it at the library and liked it so much I went out and bought my own copy. Like most people, I first got to know Jack Canfield through “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” As a writer, the success of those books and the story of their initial publication was inspirational enough to get me hooked on finding out what else he had to say. Simple and step-by-step, but by no means easy, this book walks you through everything you need to know to set you firmly on the path to business success and personal satisfaction.
What Matters Most
by Hyrum W. Smith
The real key to success in life is to align your personal life and your professional life with the things that you really believe in. That’s what this book is all about. One of the reasons I left the corporate world was because I felt pressured to compromise my values. This book is a great resource for making sure your values and your goals are in alignment. It is not only possible, but most desirable to be professionally successful without losing your integrity.
by Jim Steffen
This book was a real game-chnager for me. I am was a compulsive goal setter and list maker. If it isn’t written down, it simply doesn’t exist in my world. Now I am a goal achiever and I have learned the power of MINs (MIN stands for Most Imporant Now) and prioritizing realistically. My productivity has gone up and my frustration has gone down. This is another book I found at the library and then bought to re-read and study. I’ll probably review this in more depth in a future post.
The Referral of a Lifetime
by Tim Templeton
When I first went into business both as a writer and a photographer three decades ago, my business was built solely on word-of-mouth. I got my first regular writing gig at a small monthly paper published by the mother of one of my college classmates. I built my photography business with a clientele made up of family friends and then friends of those friends. I did very little work for people with whom I didn’t already have some connection. I didn’t advertise (except in the little monthly paper I wrote and did photography for) and I was plenty busy.
And then I moved to another state. I had to start over in a place where I did not know a single person. No one knew what an amazing photographer I was and I had no client base. I began studying marketing in earnest. I learned how and where to advertise and I got out and started meeting other people in the wedding and event industry (photographing weddings and events is one of the quickest ways to build a people photography business) and learning to network, though I didn’t know that’s what it was called at the time. And then Tim Templeton published this little book and I began to understand why what I was doing worked and how to do it even better. And now I’ve moved again to another state where I didn’t know anyone, re-invented my business and jumped right in to my favorite type of business building: networking.
Which books have changed your business? Tell me what I should be adding to the reading pile—and why.