Attention, class: your business reading assignments for anyone starting a business!
The e-Myth by Michael Gerber
Why do businesses fail? Ask a thousand experts, and get a thousand answers. Michael Gerber’s business classic attempted to reach a definitive answer. Over and over again, Gerber found businesses owned primarily by people with technical skills but few business skills, and no place to go to get meaningful help. If you’re like most small business owners, you’re too busy running your business to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you can’t leave your business for a couple of days, then you haven’t got a business, you’ve got a job!
The E-Myth Point of View is the perspective that your business should work for you, rather than you working for it. It’s a perspective that has been used by tens of thousands of successful small business owners all over the world.
All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
Perception trumps reality. You’ve heard this before, but nowhere is this maxim more true than in the world of marketing. Journalist and marketing whiz Godin makes the case that presenting solid, bare-bones facts about a product is a losing strategy.
Consumers are motivated by irrational wants instead of objective needs, says Godin: “there is almost no connection between what is actually there and what we believe.”
Godin shares how to tell a compelling story that inspires consumers to spend money – without crossing the line from fib to fraud.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
In the foreword, fellow author Robert Scoble says “You’re not supposed to be able to do what David Meerman Scott is about to tell you in this book.” Scott is one of the heralds of the new direct-marketing age, where mainstream media and expensive advertising are becoming less relevant. The Internet brought a seismic shift in marketing and PR; Scott surveys the new landscape with refreshing honesty and aplomb.
Don’t obsess about being “on message,” don’t beg mainstream media for coverage, and don’t spend yourself to oblivion on advertising firms. That’s the old model, says Scott.
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Yi and Josh Bernoff
You know about the social media boom. If you’re reading this list, chances are you even understand it a little. Authors Yi and Bernoff take that to the next level and beyond. Relying on a massive study of social media patterns and behaviours compiled by Forrester Research, they’ve developed a four-step process for formulating a social media strategy. Why agonize over why your company blog goes unread, when you can learn why, and how to improve the hit count?
You do have a social media strategy…right?
You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith
If you don’t know who Harry Beckwith is, learn. He’s a bestselling business author for a reason. Beckwith has a gift for explaining business truisms that make sense on a common sense level, yet somehow elude even the smartest captains of industry. In You, Inc., Beckwith explains that selling your product, company or service is never enough. You have to sell you.
Don’t worry, Beckwith doesn’t stop there, but provides literally thousands of tips, examples, insights, and anecdotes. A must-read for beginner saleswomen and seasoned marketing pros alike.
Excuses Begone! By Wayne Dyer
The first and most serious obstacle entrepreneurs have to overcome is themselves. This is particularly true of women, who tend to be more susceptible to self-doubt and insecurity than men. Dyer explains that it’s not enough to simply “know what to think.” Anyone can try and say, “I think I can,” but the real trick is not having to remind yourself.
Dyer explains how to change the thinking patterns that lead to neuroses and self-defeating patterns. These are usually formed in childhood, so you probably don’t even recognize them for what they are. Dyer presents a “compendium of conscious and subconscious crutches” that almost everyone falls prey to. He also describes in great detail ways to cast them aside once and for all.