To day I thought I would share with you the seven business books (plus a few extras) which I have found most useful, inspirational or otherwise helpful with creating and running my businesses.
These books are not specifically aimed at craft sellers, but I have found them very useful in building my business, branding, marketing and generally improving my “entrepreneurial mindset”.
I have included links to the books on Amazon.co.uk and will get a small commission if you should buy from these links. The links are for the print version but most are also available in Kindle and other digital formats. I personally own all of these books in either traditional print or Kindle versions.
1 – Eat That Frog! – Brian Tracy
It sounds a bit dramatic (and cliched) to say it, but this book really did change my life. Yeah, honest. When I first read this it was a real wake up call. I was aware that I had a big problem with procrastination, but wasn’t doing anything about it (big shocker, eh?) Eat That Frog! explained why I procrastinate and how to stop it – well, maybe I haven’t totally stopped, but I sure do it a lot less now. I reread this book every 6 months or so as a refresher. It is an easy read, and entertaining. Highly recommended to everyone who is thinking “Well, I suppose I should do something about my procrastinating, but…”
2 – Key Person of Influence – Dan Priestley
This is another book that really got me thinking. If you can become a “key person of influence” in your niche then this is one of the most powerful boosts your business can have. Dan discusses what a key person is and how to work towards becoming one. I have gone back to this book many times for inspiration as I work towards becoming a key person of influence in my own business niches.
I also have “Oversubscribed” and “Entrepreneur Revolution” by the same author and found them very interesting and useful too.
3 – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
This is a very fascinating book. Cialdini discusses the psychology of why people choose what to buy, how salesmen make the most of this and how you yourself can use this knowledge to improve your business (and life in general.) This is a best selling book for a reason – it is a real eye opener. I found myself seeing many things in a new light after reading Influence.
If you sell things, anything, then this is a book that you will benefit from reading, simple as that.
4 – Why We Buy – Paco Underhill
I bought this book many years ago simply because it “looked interesting”. Well, indeed it was and I have since read it many times. Underhill talks about the way people shop and the tactics used by shops and marketers to encourage them to do so. You will suddenly see your local supermarket in a very different way after reading this book! Lots of useful information for anyone who is selling to the public.
5 – Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy
In many ways this is my “comforter blanket” book. Brian Tracy gives lots of tried-and-tested advice on many different elements of life, business and success. I often grab this book and read a bit to give my confidence a boost or to inspire me to push on with my goals. Lots of useful strategies that can be adapted for many different businesses and lifestyles. Including Brian’s clear and simple goal setting strategies – now a very important part of my life.
I would also recommend Brian Tracy’s book “Goals!” which tackles goal setting in more detail. It is a very inspiring book and one that I genuinely believe can help make a difference to one’s life.
6- Web Sites That Work – Jon Smith
This is a heavily illustrated, fun to read book and ideal for anyone who is trying to design their own website – or employing someone else to do it. Lots of guidelines on how to make your website clear and easy for visitors to navigate – plus plenty of examples of what not to do.
Much of the advice would also be relevant for other forms of online communication such as social networking, blogs and online shops.
7 – Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway- Susan Jeffers
This is a very famous best-selling book. Someone bought it for me, and at first I was rather sniffy about reading it. Eventually I started, and then felt rather silly because it turned out to be a really important book in my life. I first read this when my son was very little and I was spending far too much of my time fretting about all the dangers and problems he would face in his life. Susan’s book really helped me dispel those fears.
There are a lot of little stories, a lot of friendly little pep-talks and a lot of good ol’ common sense in this volume. The ideas make sense and have stuck in my head. I apply things I have learnt from “Feel the Fear” to my life every day, literally. There are not too many books that one can say that about, now is there?