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The Most Common Misconception About Digital Marketing

Running a business in the digital age has its perks. It also can be incredibly difficult. Retail stores need to rethink their sales channels and social media networks get you sucked into a deep abyss if you aren’t careful. Over and over again, however, we see business owners make the same mistake. It is based off a misconception that can not only hurt the long term success of your business, but can also keep you from ever getting off the ground in the first place.

The most common misconception about digital marketing is that digital marketing replaces the need to make personal relationships.

When we first create social media accounts for clients, we have to consistently change our client’s mindset about what their networks will do for them. Our clients want to see their networks boom, which can be a great goal, but to what end? Would you rather have a small network of devoted customers who trust you and help sell for you or a large network of individuals who don’t even recognize your name, let alone buy from you?

Many times the client who wants and expects the large network then stops their in person networking and relationship building thinking that one post per day is actually going to lead to new sales. Though, again, if your network is active and trusts you, this may do the trick, but for businesses, you can and should never stop your personal relationship building.

The digital age has made many business owners lazy when it comes to getting their word out. They sit online wondering why nobody has come knocking on their door. Those who hustle, however, reap the benefits.

You now have access to millions of people, if you only reach out. My recommendation for clients is to find the individuals who are are your level or a step above you that you admire and wish to connect with. Start following their social media accounts and commenting on their posts. As you do this, share their posts, too, and tag them so they can a notification that you are publishing their content.

From here… reach out! Write an email or direct message the individual. Let them know how much you’ve enjoyed their articles on X, Y, Z and then get straight to the point. What are your goals for reaching out for them? Do you want to run a joint webinar? Do you have an article that you think their audience would enjoy or benefit from?

The more clear you are, the more likely you will receive a reply. Of course, leading up to this point you’ve been interacting with them on their social media and blogs, so you should already have some name recognition.

In addition to digital networking, keep up your local networking.

Meeting with people and groups keeps us on our toes and from moving away from what the market needs. It helps us refine our message and get real time feedback from individuals we know and trust. This blog post  goes into more detail about why networking groups can transform your business and how to get involved.

To make sure that you aren’t making the biggest mistake in the digital age, continually get out of your comfort zone and form actual relationships with people you admire who are one step ahead of you. Even if the relationships start online, you are still treating the account handle or email as a person, and that individual respond accordingly.

Do you still network in person? Have you succeeded at reaching out to an individual you now partner with online?

Be sure to share your success stories!

The Most Common Misconception About Digital Marketing. Running a business in the digital age has its perks. It also can be incredibly difficult. Retail stores need to rethink their sales channels and social media networks get you sucked into a deep abyss if you aren't careful. Over and over again, however, we see business owners make the same mistake. It is based off a misconception that can not only hurt the long term success of your business, but can also keep you from ever getting off the ground in the first place.

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Top Mistakes You Can Make as a New Business

Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

Mistake #1: Striving for Perfection

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

– Salvador Dali

As a type A perfectionist, I struggled with this. It also is the number one thing I see people starting a business struggle with, as well. Your business is your baby and you are pouring your heart and sole into making it a success, but being too wrapped up in the little things can keep your from actually going out and finding clients. If you find yourself:

  • Stressing over your logo
  • Tweaking every aspect of your website
  • Rereading your introduction email over and over to make it just right (but still not hitting send)
  • Working on perfecting your elevator speech before you attend your first networking group

then you may be focusing too much on being a perfectionist. Trust me, though thoughtful branding can help you land more clients, if you are receiving personal referrals, it isn’t going to stop you from getting paying clients. People choose who they are going to work with based on your personal connection not because of what your logo looks like. Then there is your website… Perfection for every site is a moving target. Your products and services will change. You will notice contacts respond more to one aspect of your business rather than another. As for the next two points, you are procrastinating! It is okay to want to define your messaging, but just getting out there and putting yourself out to prospects is far more important. Sure you want to make sure your messaging is just right when you reach out to that dream prospect or mentor, but these shouldn’t be your first contact. The best part about putting yourself out there before you think you are ready is that you get to understand what the market actually wants and needs! When I first started Boundless Marketing, I had my dream service offerings in mind. Turned out that nobody even understood what I was talking about! There wasn’t a market. I drastically shifted my messaging and began signing contracts almost immediately.

Mistake #2: Thinking you can get clients just by posting things online.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. Marinate on that for a minute.”

– Robert T. Kiyosaki

The internet and social media has shifted many of our mindsets about how you can get clients. Even through online channels you need to create a personal relationship with your network. Just posting your blog posts online isn’t going to cut it. I recently signed up for a program to Gain 100 Followers in 3 Days, just to see how other professionals where growing and starting their email lists. Guess what, these influential bloggers and business owners all start int the same place – asking friends, colleagues, clients, and prospects individually if they wanted to join their email list! If you find yourself:

  • Wondering why your networks haven’t converted into paying clients
  • Haven’t asked your mom, sibling, aunt, and grandparent if they want to join your list
  • Are frustrated seeing all these other people succeed

Then you may just be making this mistake. Start going to networking groups and collecting business cards. Take the email address you collect and shoot out a quick note following the template below :

“Hi NAME, I recently met you at EVENT NAME and loved learning about your business. I am in the process of starting an email list focusing on 3 TOPICS YOU WILL BE WRITING ABOUT, and was wondering if you would be interested in receiving the emails. My goal with list is to LIST BENEFITS. Are you interested in learning more?”

Not everyone will say they are interested, but the ones who do will help you grow your contacts quickly! We work with a lot of businesses who see varying amount of success through their social media marketing. The ones who see a return quickly are the clients who are complementing our marketing management services with their own outreach and networking. To see the best results from your marketing, you need to treat social media as you do in person networking. Create personal relationships and treat handles and usernames as individual people not just another account.

Mistake #3: Not Understanding Your Own Values

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”

– Roy E. Disney

Okay, so this one does tie into the branding of your business, but it really is getting out being your authentic self. Knowing your values helps you to better manage your time, set priorities, and work with clients you enjoy. If you find yourself:

  • Wishing there were more hours in the day
  • Being drained after meetings with prospects
  • Continually wishing you had done X, Y, or Z

Then you may be making this mistake. One of my first clients taught me this lesson the hard way. My values are Relationships (family), Creativity, Challenges, Health, Experiences, and Knowledge. Shortly after I began my business full time, I traveled to my brother’s wedding. I was ecstatic to see him tie the knot and spend time with my family. Unfortunately, a new client nearly ruined my weekend. As a people pleaser, I started bending over backwards for the client and found myself anxiously checking email during the rehearsal dinner. I wasn’t being present. Finally, I recognized I would resent my actions if I didn’t shut off all devices to be there for my family. Sure there was a nasty email from my client, but we worked through our differences once the owner understood my boundaries. If you find yourself stressed about client conversations, I urge you to lay out boundaries, guidelines, and a list of responsibilities. You may loose some clients, but they are the people who take up 80% of your time. Think of all the other things you could do to grow your business if you had 80% of your time back!

What mistakes have you made in your own business that kept you from success?

3 Mistakes that can Ruin Your Business and What to do About Them. Working with businesses owners we see a lot of mistakes and successes. Especially for the new business or freelancer, the mistakes below can completely destroy your business before it has the chance to succeed.

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No Plan B – 4 Tips to Jumping into Business Ownership

“The best fights are those fought by those without a Plan B.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Jumping into business ownership is daunting. How do you know when it is time to let go of your previous life? How can you be sure that your new endeavor will lead to success? The truth is, there is no end-all, be-all advice regarding the right time to jump all in or whether or not you will be successful. There are things you can do, however, that can increase the odds of fulfilling your dreams.

Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan

Creating a road map for your business is integral to your success. Not only do you need to know where you are starting from, but you also need to know what your goals are for month 1, month 6, 1 year, and 5 years. Working through these goals can help you to understand what you need to do to reach them. From here, write a list of the top activities that in the end will lead to you reaching your goals. For example, in my business, we need clients. Most of our clients come from personal relationships, referrals, and outbound marketing. In order to be successful, each week I need to reach more prospects or referral partners. Even if I’m swamped with current projects, I need to make sure I am continually touching new businesses.

In addition to planning for how you will get your first clients, you also need to plan your offerings. Create a list of all the services you can provide and create sample bundles or packages. What if someone only needs help with one aspect of what you provide, how will you charge? What if they want something you haven’t thought of, but have the skills to tackle, will you create a custom service offering for that client?

When I started out, I thought I would only be offering data analysis for marketing efforts. I thought I would be helping clients to understand what works and what doesn’t work as a way to tailor their marketing efforts. Though this is something I do, I was able to listen to my tribe and completely shift my messaging and packages to align with what the market actually needed.

Regardless of how much planning you do, your business plan is going to change.

“We should always have a plan B, but at the same time, treat plan A like it were our only option.”
― Izey Victoria Odiase

Tip 2: Surround yourself with positivity, but not naivety

We all have cheerleaders. Often in business, however, these cheerleaders are wrong to not give push back. Your idea may not actually be all that great. This isn’t to say that you can’t make it in business, it’s just that someone who always agrees with you isn’t going to get you to the place where you will find the most successes.

Though you need to remove negative energy of people pulling you back and second guessing your move to entrepreneurship, you need to also make sure that the positive energy you are surround yourself in is made of people who have been through your same journey and can help give push back when you are approaching a common pitfall. The people you surround yourself with will have a direct effect on your ability to succeed. Find mentors and other business owners who can talk you through marketing, technology, hiring and firing, taxes, etc.

blogging your business

Tip 3: Don’t have a Plan B

Here I mean don’t plan on needing your plan b. Jump head first into your business and don’t get distracted. Though your offerings may change, you need to stay course that you are now a business owner. The most successful businesses take shifts in the market in stride, but never second guess their decision to be in business.

“I don’t believe we should carry backup
plans in life’s suitcase—

they’re too easy to unpack
like living a life in yoga pants,
so comfortable our hips spread
into new timezones…”
― Kelli Russell Agodon, Hourglass Museum

Tip 4: Have backup funds to support you as you jump in

Try not to jump ship unless you have some residual income, clients, or savings already in place. As a new business, you don’t want to feel as though you need to work with every prospect you meet and you don’t want to come across as though you are begging for the next gig. Though being on the verge of bankruptcy can motivate some, most of us will become distracted from our daily activities if you need to constantly worry about money.  Additionally, make sure you have truthful discussions with your spouse about how spending and budgeting will need to change and be realistic about startup expenses. Things always take longer and cost more than you initially estimate.

Tip 5: Throw all this advice away (except the part about listening to your market)

If you know it is time to jump into your own business, just do it. You only live life once, why not make it the most fulfilling life you can. I think the number one reason why people decide to be a business owner is that they are worried about security, health insurance, managing their time, but when you just jump into it, you learn to make things work.

I didn’t set out to be a business owner, but somehow freelancing turned into a full time income. Now I can’t get enough. I encourage all of you with a business idea to give it a shot. Start taking on clients on the side or developing your MVP (minimum viable product). Keep your salary, but work towards being self sufficient. In the end you will thank your employer for funding your budding business.

Best of Luck!

NO PLAN B - “The best fights are those fought by those without a Plan B.”  ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana  Jumping into business ownership is daunting. How do you know when it is time to let go of your previous life? How can you be sure that your new endeavor will lead to success? The truth is, there is no end-all, be-all advice regarding the right time to jump all in or whether or not you will be successful. There are things you can do, however, that can increase the odds of fulfilling your dreams.

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Are You Unemployable?

One phrase that always comes up when I’m chatting with my friends and colleagues whom own their own businesses is “I am just so unemployable.” Why do so many business owners and freelancers believe they are unemployable? Let’s dissect this below:

  • We recognize the value in knocking off top priorities and checking out for the day.
  • We are comfortable going for a run, walk, hike, lunch date in the middle of the day as a way to clear our heads for fresh perspective.
  • Even though we’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico, and across the US, we haven’t taken a REAL vacation in years.
  • We don’t understand why people bog themselves down in minute tasks that should be outsourced.
  • 98% of the time we don’t set an alarm in the morning (if you are a morning person) or go to bed at a decent time (if you are a night owl) because we know when we get the best work done in our daily schedule.
  • We choose only to work with clients who understand that sometimes little Suzie or Johnny needs to come to our meetings.
  • We cut out time every week to further our own education.
  • When we feel the most successful, our values are aligned with the work on our plate.

I don’t know, if I had an employee like this, I think I’d jump for joy! The problem is that so many businesses require 8 hours a day. It is a way to build a strong culture and often those who are first into the office and last to leave make a lasting impression on management about how committed they are to the organization. Surely as an employee, you can’t outsource those small repetitive tasks – or can you?

Running your own business takes perseverance. Every day you need to make a choice about how you will spend your time. It’s easy to get side-tracked by “shiny object syndrome” or those small tasks that don’t actually result in return. But if you jump all in, you may in fact find that you will never be employable again.

Do you find yourself thinking that you are unemployable even though you work harder than anyone else you know?

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The Truth About Repurposing Content

70% of small businesses in the US are owned and operated by a single person.*

As a solopreneur, how on earth are you supposed to create enough content to fill 365 days in a year? As a small business where you wear multiple hats everyday, how are you supposed to create enough content? No matter what systems you have in place there simply isn’t enough time in the day to create a new piece of content every single day of the year.

So, what should you do as a small business to make sure your followers remain educated and in tune with your brand?

The number one thing you can do to streamline your posting is to repurpose your content.

Wait, what? This is an incredible time-saving tip that often is overlooked! Your Twitter followers aren’t necessarily the same as you LinkedIn connections and your newsletter list may not include your Facebook fans. Though you don’t want to publish duplicate articles in such a way that Google will penalize you, repurposing is much more than copying and pasting a blog post on multiple article websites.

Brochures and Traditional Media

We all still have some sort of ‘traditional’ marketing. For some this is in the form of flyers, brochures, presentations, newspaper articles, and even commercials in networking groups. Each of these present an opportunity to reuse content.

Flyers & Brochures

Grab the headers and images from these to create social media posts. You can additionally create a quick blog post with the content from the brochure.

Presentations & Interviews

What an incredible source for content. Create videos from your presentations and audio from your podcasts. You can then create a blog post that features these, as well as the transcription of the piece (hint use an app for this). Slides from your presentation can be turned into standalone social media posts and the videos can also be turned into lead-generating freebies.

You may even find that some aspects of the presentation or interview provide prompts for more in depth articles. Run with it!

Blog posts and articles are meant to be reused! Think of a typical blog you write, is there a list or bullets? Do you break the content up into multiple segments? Are there different ways to phrase the blog title? Your blog post can be recycled as social media posts and shared to other networks in its entirety.

Commercials from Networking Groups

If you really want to take control of your content calendar, you should plan out your networking group introductions. Typically these 45 second elevator pitches end up being last minute decisions, but if you plan ahead, not only will you see results within your networking group, but you also will create a new social media post for your business each week! Just as with interview questions providing prompts for longer blog posts, you may find people are especially drawn to one elevator pitch, pay attention and it may turn into a great article!

Blog Posts

Blog posts and articles are meant to  be reused! Think of a typical blog you write, is there a list or bullets? Do you break the content up into multiple segments? Are there different ways to phrase the blog title? Your blog post can be recycled as social media posts and shared to other networks in its entirety.

Using Blogs for Social Media

The first week you publish a blog post, you should also share it to your social media channels (e.g. Facebook Business Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc). Did you know that there are numerous services that can do this for you? We automatically share published blogs to our social media accounts utilizing wordpress plugins and Zapier or IFTTT. Using these plugins, you can decide which pieces of your content should be shared and how it should be structured.

After the posts are automatically shared, re-share the post the following week. The featured image can be shared on Pinterest and Instagram, whereas the blog title or a quote from a blog can be used on the other social media networks. But, that’s not it … If your blog contains the ‘Top 7 Ways to …’ SHARE each of the points as a post and link back to the blog. If your blog contains easily identified sections (as in you are using header tags as discussed in a recent blog on SEO and your blog) take each of the headings and share it as a social media post.

THEN, after a month or two, cycle back through your blogs and reshare them.

Blogs in Newsletters

Have you ever sat down to write a newsletter and found that after 45 minutes you still had a white screen? Newsletters can be difficult to put together because they are a personal communication with your tribe. Rather than trying to create fresh content for your entire newsletter, use your recent blog posts to provide valuable and educational content to your recipients.

A typical newsletter could include a brief (2-3 sentence) introductory greeting from the owner followed by top articles that you’ve published since the last blog.

Blog posts and articles are meant to be reused! Think of a typical blog you write, is there a list or bullets? Do you break the content up into multiple segments? Are there different ways to phrase the blog title? Your blog post can be recycled as social media posts and shared to other networks in its entirety.

Publishing Blogs on External Sites

On LinkedIn Pulse (Articles) and Medium.com, you can also copy and paste the content from your blog in its entirety as a way to share the information with your networks and position yourself as an expert in the field. LinkedIn currently doesn’t allow this through apps, but Medium.com has an API that allows numerous apps to automate this process.

Rewrite Old Blogs

The last step here is to actually rewrite and update old blog posts to keep them relevant and then start the sharing-cycle all over. When you rewrite an article, you can expand on ideas or just make the article more relevant to the current industry landscape. You can also combine older, shorter blog posts to create longer ones that tend to rank higher in organic listings.

Repurposing Images

Images drive digital engagement. Don’t shy away from reusing product images, event photos, or other pictures that relate to your business. The same image can be used multiple times with different captions, text overlays, and in blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. The repetitiveness of the images, provided you aren’t posting the same image every single day, can increase your brand awareness.

Time Savers for Repurposing Content

Time savers for repurposing content. The best time to repurpose content, believe it or not, is actually when you first click "Publish" on your blog. How so, you might ask. When you publish a blog, you already know how many subtopics or bullet points are in the post. Additionally, you've just created images to enter into the blog.

The best time to repurpose content, believe it or not, is actually when you first click “Publish” on your blog. How so, you might ask. When you publish a blog, you already know how many subtopics or bullet points are in the post. Additionally, you’ve just created images to enter into the blog.

Using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you should create the various iterations of the the social media posts that link back to the blog. Schedule these to be posted at different times during the day and different days of the week. Then move forward a month or two and create copy and paste a handful of the posts to be republished. On Twitter specifically, it is absolutely okay to publish the same post multiple times. On your other networks, consider the number of followers or fans before scheduling the same post or similar posts multiple times in a row.

Reusing and repurposing content is the number one thing your business can do to ensure you have enough content to fill 365 days of the year. By following the ideas laid out above, you can ensure your brand remains on point and that you still have time to focus on the aspects of your business that require daily attention.

How else have you repurposed content for your brand?
The Truth About Repurposing Content: 70% of small businesses in the US are owned and operated by a single person.* As a solopreneur, how on earth are you supposed to create enough content to fill 365 days in a year? As a small business where you wear multiple hats everyday, how are you supposed to create enough content? No matter what systems you have in place there simply isn't enough time in the day to create a new piece of content every single day of the year. So, what should you do as a small business to make sure your followers remain educated and in tune with your brand?

(eCapital: 20 Small Business Facts Your Might Not Know)

The Truth About Repurposing Content: 70% of small businesses in the US are owned and operated by a single person.* As a solopreneur, how on earth are you supposed to create enough content to fill 365 days in a year? As a small business where you wear multiple hats everyday, how are you supposed to create enough content? No matter what systems you have in place there simply isn't enough time in the day to create a new piece of content every single day of the year. So, what should you do as a small business to make sure your followers remain educated and in tune with your brand?

The Truth About Repurposing Content: Your complete guide to recycling and reusing blog posts as marketing collateral

 

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Asana vs. Trello: Project Management Application Comparison

Choosing a project management tool as a small business can be quite challenging. The tool should be able to grow with you and integrate into other systems. Especially with remote team members, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page and that you have the ability to take a snapshot quickly of the progress of each project. For a long time, we used Google Spreadsheets to keep track of contractor activities, but soon found this to be too much of a nightmare as we grew. We’ve discovered Asana and Trello to be incredible resources for us and our client teams with whom we are working.

Though we all wish Salesforce was within our budget, Trello and Asana both have free platforms that you can utilize as you are just starting out. This blog compares the free versions of Asana and Trello to help make your project management app selection process easier as you are starting out with your business. 

A little background on Asana

Asana is a popular task management app that strives to manage team’s internal coordination. It has a simplistic UI design with the following features:

Asana for Task List and Project Management

Tasks: Tasks are the items that you need to complete or remember. They are organized into three groups: Today, Upcoming, and later. Each task can:

  • be assigned to one individual, but the task can be saved to multiple Projects. So, if two projects rely on the completion of a single task, you would include this on each.
  • have subtasks that relate to the main task
  • include tags for each sorting and organization
  • have set due dates including recurring due dates
  • have comments and descriptions making it easy to specifically communicate regarding one item.

Projects: Projects are made of all the tasks within one project. You can separate the tasks out into different Sections within the Project. The free version of Asana allows you to create 3 Projects. You can either view the tasks within a project as a Bullet Point checklist or using the Kanban system, which utilizes board to display the information.

Organizations or Teams: These are the divisions within Asana. An organization is everyone with a set business email address and then they can be broken out into teams. Within the free platform, you belong to one team, but can also have a personal workspace.

Drawbacks of Asana

Though Asana is a simplistic, it can be difficult to sort through which tasks are due when, specifically with recurring tasks. The future iterations of a task do not appear on your list or calendar until the current iteration is complete. Additionally, the integrations with other applications typically only works with the paid version. Lastly, sub-tasks can be difficult to work with as they can lose their connection to the parent task. For many projects, we’ve moved these subtasks to parent tasks and just named them to make it clear they belong grouped together.

A little background on Trello

Unlike Asana, Trello is a task management app that only uses the Kanban system to organize projects. It is much like using sticky notes on a white board to create a visual display of upcoming, in process, and completed tasks.

Trello for Kanban Project Management

Some features of Trello:

Board: A board is a process in development or a project underway. It is made up of Lists and Cards.

List: A list is a way to divide a board into different categories. These appear as a vertical stream of cards. We typically use each list as a step in the development process including lists for work in progress, needing approval, and complete.

Cards: Cards divide a list into the specific items that need to be completed. These can be made of checklists, uploads, descriptions, notes, and comments, and can link to documents and images. For each card you can:

  • add members
  • use labels for organization
  • create checklists
  • assign due dates (not recurring)
  • subscribe, copy, and archive.
  • move the card from one list to another until it reaches completion.

Drawbacks of Trello

Though I love the simplistic feel of Trello and how easy it is to visualize your progress, it does become a little messy once you have multiple cards, lists, and boards. When multiple people are assigned to numerous cards, you may lose track of an item that is your responsibility to complete. Lastly, our team has a lot of recurring tasks, making Trello inefficient for us to use as a management system.

Final Thoughts

I personally like both Asana and Trello, however we do utilize Asana for managing our own tasks and those for our contractors. This is because you can view items as a list, as calendar due dates, and as boards. Trello really only allows you to view the items through the boards (the Kanban system). Yes it’s great that you can move items between boards easily, but at the same time having that calendar functionality to see when a project is coming up and the ability to see a chart of the progression of a task is a great asset to have for your team. Also, we utilize the recurring due date function within Asana. 

Either free platform will work for a small team to manage their tasks and I highly recommend checking them both out. Be sure to let us know which you decide to use for your business!

Asana vs Trello | Business management with Asana | Business management with Trello | How to use Trello for business | Use Asana for business | Project management tools | how to manage projects | Free software project management | Tools to make business easy | Project management tools for small business - Trello vs Asana

Asana vs Trello | Business management with Asana | Business management with Trello | How to use Trello for business | Use Asana for business | Project management tools | how to manage projects | Free software project management | Tools to make business easy
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Must Read Books for Business Owners

What books have you read recently?

Business owners benefit from reading great business books, here is my list of business books to be sure to read. (Please note, this blog contains affiliate links).

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author: Stephen R. Covey

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.

4.5 of 5 Stars (4,534 Reviews)

Read more about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook

2. From Good to Great

Author: Jim Collins

The Challenge:

Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice.

The Study:

For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

4.5 of 5 Stars (2,128 Reviews)

Read more about Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

3. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

4.5 of 5 Stars (6,013 Reviews)

Read more about Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

4. Raving Fans

Author: Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

This, in a nutshell, is the advice given to a new Area Manager on his first day–in an extraordinary business book that will help everyone, in every kind of organization or business, deliver stunning customer service and achieve miraculous bottom-line results.

4.5 of 5 Stars (368 Reviews)

Read more about Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service

5. Built to Last

Author: Jim Collins & Jerry Porras

Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day — as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: “What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?”

4.5 of 5 Stars (359 Reviews)

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6. The 4-Hour Workweek

Author: Timothy Ferriss

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:

  • How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
  • How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
  • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

4.5 of 5 Stars (4,818 Reviews)

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7. Speak and Get Results

Author: Sandy Linver

We’ve all known the “naturals”– people who can get up to speak in any business situation and make something happen. They get the budget approved, win the big account, get the group’s support at the weekly staff meeting. When the “naturals” finish speaking people believe– and act.

Now fully revised and updated, “Speak and Get Results” helps you to be a natural– helps you to get the results you want, by teaching you how to:

  • motivate your listeners to reach your result
  • choose an opening that targets your ideas
  • design visuals that support you, not sabotage you
  • use your body and your voice to express your energy, authority, and commitment
  • handle tough Q & A sessions, audience resistance, and even surprise media encounters

4.7 of 5 Stars (6 Reviews)

Read more about Speak and Get Results: Complete Guide to Speeches & Presentations Work Bus

Must Read Business Book - What books have you read recently? Business owners benefit from reading great business books, here is my list of business books to be sure to read.

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