There are so many competing demands for our attention these days that it can be difficult to find the time to kick back and read. However, books can take you further in your mindset, learning and planning then almost anything else.
How else can you assemble some of the best business minds around you for advice without paying millions of pounds?
This little list is by no means complete but it offers an overview to what I think of as 12 essential titles.
KEY LEARNING: People filter information from the earliest, primal part of the brain first then up to the frontal, logical parts of the brain last. If you pitch doesn’t grab their attention up-front with good framing then it doesn’t matter what else you say.
KEY LEARNING: Don’t ask how ‘big’ the business is from a revenue perspective, ask how healthy it is from a profit perspective for a more accurate reading and work with your natural human instinct by extracting the profit first and segmenting it where it needs to go before you spend a penny on expenses.
KEY LEARNING: Understand how your business makes money so you can operate it better and start funding your dream lifestyle. You need a mixture of positive cash flow, adequate ROI and positive net profit to be truly succesful.
KEY LEARNING: “There are no dull products, only dull writers.”- David Ogilvy. Products get sold by big ideas. Ideas that make you stop and read and gasp. Don’t get seduced by creativity or design, focus on what sells above and beyond anything else.
KEY LEARNING: Focus on generating specific results more than general results, don’t rely on one or two big customers for your revenue and make sure that your company can run without you.
KEY LEARNING: You make a commission on a sale but a fortune on a relationship. The sale is made in your head first. Ask better questions than anyone else and find the customers ‘hot button.’
KEY LEARNING: Growing a business is like climbing Everest. You need to have the right people doing the right things at the right time in order to drive growth. Continually work on scaling your people, your strategy, your execution and your cash.
KEY LEARNING: The secret to a healthy business is continual, predictable cash flow. Put a subscription based model into your business structure to harness a reoccurring revenue engine.
KEY LEARNING: Don’t try and do everything yourself! Hiring virtual help is often a cost effective, time effective way of freeing you up to do better strategic work. Don’t just hire someone willy-nilly. Create a specific, task-based job advert and follow it up with a well thought through training program.
KEY LEARNING: Pigheaded discipline and determination make all the difference in business. “Building a sales machine is not going to be about doing 4,000 things. It’s going to be about doing 12 things 4,000 times each.”- Chet Holmes
All companies that jump the chasm from good to great are headed by leaders who combine a paradoxical mix of personal humility with a strong professional will. They make sure they get the right people on the bus before deciding where to drive it and they’re never afraid to confront the brutal truths of their reality.
To get from half a million to 10 million in revenue requires business owners to learn different thinking skill-sets and act on different principles. You need to think critically, find people to mastermind with who have already solved the problems you’re seeking to solve and make sure you’re tracking your financial scoreboards so you know if you’re winning or losing and can strategically adjust.
What titles did I miss? Let me know in the comments and I might add it in 🙂