Running a business can be a million miles a minute.
Although it’s hard to switch off when sales are pinging and customers are calling, it’s important to protect yourself from burnout.
A group of entrepreneurs have shared their best book recommendations in this month’s Sage Book Club, which will help you with that challenge, alongside a few others…
1. Influence is your superpower: The science of winning hearts, sparking change, and making good things happen, by Zoe Chance
Noreen Burroughes Cesareo is an international trade, strategic marketing and communications specialist with an entrepreneurial background. She says everyone is born with influential power, but this book teaches how to harness it.
At a time when entrepreneurs are working with influencers to sell their business products or services (digitally or in real life), this book helps readers to understand how influence works, alongside the most effective strategies.
I am a fan of behavioural economics, and I’m constantly talking about the importance of understanding customers and building relationships.
This book sets out some common misconceptions—such as the idea that asking for more will make people dislike you—and helps unpack if your digital or in-person communication style is actually making you less influential.
Chance’s book is one I will keep delving into as an entrepreneur and a coach.
It’s a fun, easy read, with well-grounded concepts based on research and insights.
2. Why weren’t we taught this at school? The surprisingly simple secret to transforming life’s challenge, by Alice Sheldon
Grace Marshall is a coach, trainer, writer, and speaker on productivity. She helps people adopt new ways of working and thinking to replace stress. She says this book is a must read to improve your relationships and the behaviours that come with them.
This book will be your guide into building all the relationship skills you need, but perhaps currently don’t know how to access.
The key to successful relationships is understanding the blueprint of what drives our behaviour and that of others.
This is especially important when it comes to running a business.
Sheldon’s book explores the one simple idea that we are all on our own individual journeys to meet our underlying human needs.
This can be anything from feeling a sense of belonging, to knowing we matter, or just having fun.
I highly recommend this reads because it’s overflowing with useful insights that will transform any tricky relationship—whether that’s in business, at home, in the community, socially, or with yourself.
3. Finding me, by Viola Davis
Jenny Garrett is a career coach, author, and leadership trainer. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2021 for services to Entrepreneurship and Women in Business. She knows all business owners have to be resilient and this book will inspire you to keep persevering.
Finding Me is acclaimed actress Viola Davis’ story in her own words. It covers her incredibly inspiring life from her coming of age in Rhode Island to present day.
The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy. It’s an intense rollercoaster ride, full of highs, lows, and tummy-turning corners, much like Viola’s story.
I think this book will resonate with the perseverance and fearlessness that’s needed to run your own business and find success.
There is so much to learn from the journeys of other inspiring individuals, no matter their career, background, or age, and this story will empower you to be resilient, take risks and believe in yourself.
This is a story about grit and determination to succeed, which is something that all entrepreneurs need.
4. The 16 word sales letter, by Evaldo Albuquerque
Simon Barry is a consultant, small business owner, and public speaker. He has a 20-year track record at the highest levels of operations in fintech, finance, startups and more. He stresses the importance of writing good copy, and this book will give you the framework to get it right.
It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, or even your level of experience. This book uncovers the secret to help you not only dominate your market, but crush your competitors, and potentially add millions to your businesses bank account.
At just 93 pages long, this is a short but powerful book about using the right kind of ‘non-salesy’ copy in your emails, websites, and social media.
It will give you the framework to craft copy that should generate sales in your business and guarantee maximum emotional impact.
As an entrepreneur, knowing how these scripts and strategies work can be immeasurably helpful to you and your business.
5. The subtle art of not giving a f***, by Mark Manson
Jeremy Corner helps retailers to make a positive impact in the world with beautiful greeting cards and sustainable gifts. He recommends this book if you’re sick of sugar-coating and want someone to tell it to you as it is.
This book will teach you how to stop trying to be ‘positive’ all the time so that you can truly become a better, happier person.
For as long as we can remember, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy and fulfilled life.
But the truth this, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, so why pretend it is?
I would recommend this book to any entrepreneur looking for a light read that will have a real impact on their lives, relationships, and well-being.
The title put me off reading it for a while but don’t let that discourage you. The content is solid and powerful.
6. Factfulness, by Hans Rosling with Anna Rosling Ronnlund and Ola Rosling
Carl Reader is a small business champion, helping people understand that business isn’t difficult. He encourages business owners to look for the facts and statistics, rather than relying on emotion, which this book will give you the tools to do.
By reading this short yet essential book, you will build a stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions that you have strong supporting facts for.
It creates a relaxing peace of mind because you have a clearer view of how the world really is, and not how you might perceive it to be.
While it’s not a business book, it is an excellent reminder that anyone in business should be grounding themselves with data and statistics, rather than emotion and bias.
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