Recently, my kids and I were at Barnes and Noble and I saw the bookseller setting up a display of summer reading, and so many memories came flooding back to me. I remember being in school and as the summer break grew closer, our teachers would always hand out the summer reading list. While a lot of my classmates would groan over the idea of having homework over the summer, I loved it! And, a little secret between you and me: I usually read more than just one of the recommended books on the list! I thought I’d compile my own list of recommended summer reading for business owners this year.
Recommended by Friends
We all understand that feeling when you see the notification light up on social media when someone has tagged you in a post and you find out a friend or colleague has tagged you in a post around your services. It’s amazing to be referred!
John Jantsch takes the idea of Know, Like, Trust a step or two further and adds “try, buy, repeat, and refer” into the process. He explains adding a system for getting people to refer you after being your client or customer is a sure-fire way to keep your funnel running smoothly.
I’d say The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself is a must-read for the summer reading list!
The saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. This quote has been attributed to everyone from Warren Buffet, Hillary Clinton, and others. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi expands on this idea of the need to build relationships within business in order to be successful. It’s through these collaborative relationships we build our referrals, connections, and partnerships which help us grow our empires.
I’ll add this to my summer reading for business owners list, and maybe I won’t eat alone, but I still won’t share my cheesecake!
Sales are an inevitable part of business, no matter how much we try to avoid it! I’ve found there are some people who absolutely love the art of selling and others who will do anything conduct business without actually selling it seems.
In The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes talks about creating easy-to-follow systems (sign me up!) for sales within your business so that you and your staff can repeat them on autopilot in as little as an hour a week.
Oldies, but Worth the Re-Read
If you’ve followed me on social media for any length of time, you know I love to quote from James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. This is one I’m likely to read over and over!
One of the reasons I like this book so much is because it talks about the idea of changing our habits by changing our systems. We’re all able to identify things in our life we’d like to change whether exercising more, getting up earlier, or being more disciplined when it comes to finishing projects around the house (side eyeing my husband on this one!). It’s not lack of motivation, willpower, time, or knowledge, but the systems, and Atomic Habits is life-changing in explaining the why and the how.
After I first read this book, I was an instant fan of Rachel Rodgers. I am pretty sure I joined her Facebook group and sent copies of her book to my team members too!
I loved how down to earth Rachel is as she shared her story and her series of BAD, Broke Ass Decisions, that were keeping her stuck and the shifts she began making that lead her to become a powerful, multi-million dollar earner (hint: it’s not skipping the Starbucks). We Should All Be Millionaires is filled with memorable anecdotes and solid advice anyone can begin following to change the trajectory of their wealth path. Definitely add this one to you own summer reading list for business owners. I liked it so much I had my picture taken with it!
On my bookshelf; waiting to be read
I solidly in the camp of practical over woo, but I really did like Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. As someone who is maybe sometimes too practical and grounded, I feel a little blocked creatively. I’m not looking to run out and make great art, but it might be in the form of creating new programs for my clients or new ways to deliver services. Or, maybe it is art just as a way to unwind after a tech-heavy day for me.
Big Magic is freeing because it’s almost like a permission slip that we are already creative because we are alive. We don’t need creativity to float down from the clouds and find us if we are worthy. For that I was really grateful. Even my practical, techy, self 😉
If you were to ask entrepreneurs what the most critical element was in their success, they would most likely say “mindset.” So when I saw Carol Dweck had a book about this topic, I had to add it to my summer reading for business owners.
Mindset contrasts the difference between fixed and growth mindset, and demonstrates how a growth mindset can allow individuals to flourish in whatever they set out to do. The growth mindset concept can also be applied to groups and organizations including families, teachers, athletes, and managers.
We’ve probably all heard the term be a “go-getter” in life and business, and know we need to go after what we want. So when I first heard about the book, The Go Giver, and the unique concept behind it, I needed to add it to my collection.
In The Go Giver, authors Bob Burg and John David Mann tell the story of a young man eager to succeed in business. His mentor introduces him to five entrepreneurs who share their stories not about getting success, but how they gave in order to get where they are in life and business.
I was really intrigued by The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, so I was excited to add it to my library. Many of us women in business have long been aware of the gender gap either in traditional workplaces or in the online space. We already know how amazing we women are!
In The Confidence Code, the authors address how women can lean into their strengths, raise our confidence, and be serious contenders in the workplace and business spaces.
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why Ted Talk and book has been referenced by of my mentors, I cannot believe this is still on my to-be-read list. I have to check this one off my summer reading list this year!
Sinek talks about the idea that people – from team members to customers – don’t buy into what you do or how you do it; instead, they care about why you do what you do. Your vision and your mission are central to them buying into your brand so it’s key that you are clear on those points.
I first learned about Michael Hyatt from one of my business colleagues when she was talking about her Full Focus Planner and how it’s changed her life. I started researching more about it, and became intrigued by the concept behind it and added Living Forward to my reading library.
While we all understand the idea of ‘beginning with the end in mind’ and ‘creating SMART goals,’ I’m interested to learn more about breaking down my goals into the next right steps so I take measurable action every day. If you have some goals you are still striving to meet, I’d say definitely add this one to your summer reading for business owners!
I’ll admit, I did hesitate a little in picking this one up at the bookstore. I mean, we are all taught not to brag about ourselves and that being humble is a virtue, aren’t we? So “bragging better” seems like something we just shouldn’t be doing.
I read the dust jacket and realized that by believing this – that I am supposed to stay quiet about my abilities – I am not marketing myself (therefore not helping others or making the revenue I deserve). So I added Brag Better by Meredith Fineman to my cart and my reading list hoping to learn how to share my accomplishments to gain “respect and recognition.”
I was so intrigued by the concept behind Louder Than Words, and I’m actually really looking forward to reading this one. Author Andy Stanley explores the idea of character development as the driving force of what you’ll accomplish in life more than anything (education, socioeconomic status, etc).
I’m curious, too, because I always believed character was something that was formed when we were pretty young; I am not sure you can change your character too much as an adult. So it will be interesting to see where my destiny might fall in this book and whether or not I have any chance of altering my fate. . .
How many of us signed up to be entrepreneurs because we wanted more time flexibility in our business, but find we are actually working MORE hours than ever before? I know I sometimes feel that way!
Free Time by Jenny Blake is on my to-read list because she talks about creating systems within your business and sharing those systems with your team and delegating within your organization so you can free yourself from those repeatable tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done by you.
So after you’ve read a few books on the list (or maybe a few favorites of your own) and set some goals for yourself and your business, if you need support with tech VIP days, launch VIP days, or website set ups to help you brag better, live forward, or just have more free time in your business, check out my Services page so we can create some big magic together and turn your business into the ultimate sales machine!