What Are You Reading?
Reading - there are those that can curl up and read a book in a day and then there are those that haven’t picked one up since high school. Books can take us to new worlds and introduce us to all kinds of different ideas and ways of thinking.
So, when it comes to business we’re pretty glad that there are experts out there who have written amazing books to guide us through all of those major questions about entrepreneurship. Thanks so much for, yah know, becoming experts so we can pick up a book and absorb all of that knowledge in a month or less! We appreciate it.
Here are some books that Amanda finds herself recommending all the time for both personal and professional development:
1. All in Startup by Diana Kander
This book is perfect for: Anyone that is looking to start a business - or - those that have already started and are feeling like they are not making enough sales/getting enough traffic/etc. Available for purchase in both hardcover and audiobook here.
This book stopped me in my tracks when starting my business. It was recommended to me by a lender and I am grateful every day that he did. Diana has created a story about how to make sure your business is solving a migraine problem as opposed to a headache problem. The best part? It keeps you engaged because it’s a non-fiction story with some excellent entrepreneurial advice all rolled into one.
Diana works through the importance of research before you even start your business. She provides you with an interview formula for potential prospects that helps you make sure you’re getting their real answers as opposed to the answers you want.
Example: I could have asked people, “What’s it like working from home alone or working at home with kids?” But I had to ask, “Where do you work? What are the pros? What are the cons?”
See the difference? Seems super easy, but it’s actually pretty hard to not lead people towards your bias. Diana draws you to some tough but important pills to swallow: your business is not about you, it’s about your customers - the only way to get people to buy is to give them exactly what they actually need.
2. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
This book is perfect for: Those looking to improve and streamline processes within their business -or- looking to set a framework for them from the very beginning. Available for purchase in both paperback and audiobook here.
I was encouraged to read this book in the very beginning to make sure I was setting myself and my team up for success - and sanity! The author wants to help reduce the percentage of small business failures and he asserts that this is done by creating tried and true processes and running your business like a franchise.
No, McDonald's doesn’t scream sexy and yummy, but you can bet anyone off the street can be hired for the burger line and they will succeed. That’s because McDonald's knows down to the minute when to flip the burgers and exactly where to place the pickles. And, you know when you order a hamburger in Texas and a hamburger in New York it’ll taste the exact same way - and there is something to be learned from that.
Imagine a day at your office where you aren’t there and a brand new hire is starting their first day. Could that person get their job done? Without processes and a specific problem, the answer to that question is probably no. I recommend the E-Myth because from the get-go it helped us create clear, repeatable steps to continually get our day-to-day tasks done and we are so thankful for that. The E-myth is for anyone looking to find more efficiency in their work.
3. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This book is perfect for: Those who are needing a pep talk and want to end their self-doubt or negative self-talk. Available for purchase in both hardcover + audiobook here.
Okay, this isn’t necessarily your normal “business book”, but as a mom who is running a business it 100% is. It’s real, it’s to the point, and it has helped my mindset in so many ways. The author lived in a small town, moved out to LA to become an event planner for celebrities, and now runs a lifestyle company and marketing company.
Each chapter expresses a lie that she once told herself; “Something else will make us happy” and another chapter, “I’m not good enough”. She offers strategies and takeaways that have helped her push past these lies and leads the reader to implement them in their own lives.
Feeling like you need someone to pump you up and cheer you on 4 out of 7 days of the week? Feeling stuck and like you’re just not measuring up? Go get this book NOW because it was written just for you. Her wit, dry humor, and brutal honesty are refreshing to hear. She even talks about her sex life - I’m not kidding when I say she gets real! I know that I have to continuously work on being a wife, mom, and business owner at the same time (without going crazy) and it was wonderful to relate to a lot of her stories!