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Six books every entrepreneur should read

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One things for sure - starting your own business is an enormous learning curve.

On my journey over the last 18 months, I've read all kinds of business books - some good, some not so good, and some amazing. Here are my top picks - these are the books that I end up recommending over again to my clients.

Not a big reader? All of these have audio versions as well, perfect for squeezing in an extra few minutes of learning during your day!

Building a Story Brand - Donald Miller

It's hard to read anything about marketing in 2019 without hearing that storytelling is the next big thing. But what makes up the elements of a good story, and more importantly, how can you use the storytelling idea to connect with your ideal customer?

Donald Miller is a former screenwriter who has created a 7 part framework for telling your business' story. Not only that, the book has practical advice on how to use this story across all elements of your marketing, from your website to your email signature. I'm a huge fan of this book, and I'm yet to find anyone who hasn't benefitted from his story brand formula.

Read this book if:

- You are struggling to connect with your ideal customer

- You aren't sure if your message is as clear as it could be.

- You want practical tips on making your message clearer.

The E-Myth Revisited - Michael E. Gerber

This book is a real classic in the small business category.

It is an updated version of the original E-Myth, which was published over 30 years ago in 1986.

In all honesty, I sometimes hesitate to recommend this book because it is very dated, and the example he mainly uses to illustrate his points (a woman running an apple pie company) will hardly resonate with today's entrepreneur.

However, I do think that it's a valuable book because it encourages us all to think about how well our businesses could run without us, and in fact, how to get a little bit of separation between us as people as us as our businesses. And for many entrepreneurs, that's a really useful skill to gain.

Read this book if:

- You want to think about the structure of your business

- You are beginning to think about processes to help your business run more smoothly.

Profit First - Mike Michalowicz

Another disclaimer - in my opinion, this book doesn't work perfectly for product businesses because it doesn't really go into enough detail about how much money to put aside for stock. There is a version for Ecommerce businesses but it's a bit dry and I think overly complicated.

BUT - this book has a really important message which is that you need to be paying yourself from your business. It can also show you how to put systems into place that can get you there.

Personally, I run my business on a profit first basis and it's made a big difference to how I manage my business finances. It also made me really re-evaluate this idea that you should not be paying yourself and instead re-investing everything into the business to make it grow.

Michalowicz makes the point that by paying yourself first, you are forcing your business to run in a leaner way, which is a really important lesson to learn.

Read this book if:

- You want to figure out how to pay yourself.

- You are comfortable getting to grips with the numbers in your business.

You Are A Badass and You Are A Badass At Making Money - Jen Sincero

I love Jen Sincero. Both of these books are the best pick me up/kick up the bum that I've found. I definitely suggest listening to these on audio - Jen reads them, and she is funny and foul-mouthed and VERY motivational!

I love all the focus on positive mindset today, but I find some of it a little wishy washy, which is why I love Jen's books. She doesn't mince her words, and she puts across her ideas in a really accessible, no-nonsense way.

These are also two of the rare books that I will listen to repeatedly. I'm probably on about my 4th or 5th time through both of them. They are the perfect antidote to an attack of the wobbles. If you're having a bad day, put them on, get out for a walk and you'll immediately feel better.

Read this book if:

- You need a boost.

- You're feeling self-doubt creep in.

- You are quite interested in law of attraction type ideas, but find some of it a bit overly fluffy

This is Marketing - Seth Godin

Seth Godin has a knack of saying things are both really obvious, but also things that you've not thought of before.

All of this books are really good - a bit like a pep talk more than really in-depth practical guides, but quite inspirational too.

This is Marketing is like a bit of each of his books rolled into one, and it's basically his theory on marketing effectively for today's customer. Again, it's a set of ideas rather than a methodology, but it's very thought provoking and will make you think about how you build trust and communicate with your customer.

It's quite an easy listen on audio too - although be warned, Seth has quite odd intonation which takes a bit of getting used to!

Read this book if:

- You are looking to increase the effectiveness of your marketing

- You want to hear the latest theories from a master in his field

- You want some inspiration and to breathe new life into your marketing efforts.

The One Thing - Gary Keller

As I've probably mentioned before, I'm a bit of an organisation and productivity nerd. I'm always interested in new techniques and approaches, which is why I was intruiged by Gary Keller's book.

The premise is very simple. You pick one thing to focus on - whether that's for the year, the month or the week. Of course, there's more to the approach than that, but in a nutshell it's about narrowing your focus to improve your productivity.

I quite often use this approach in my own business, and it certainly helps when I feel like every action I am taking is building towards one bigger goal.

Read this book if:

- You want to plan more effectively

- You struggle with overwhelm

- You want to try a different approach to goal setting

What do you think of my top picks? Have you read any of these books? What else do you think I'm missing? Send me an email and let me know.

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