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Great Reads

These are a selection of my favorite books and articles on business, marketing, branding, and personal growth.

Branding

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

This is THE book that pivoted my career into branding and marketing, and the one that I recommend to anyone who wants to understand how branding can be used in building relationships with your customers. The lessons I learned in this book more than a decade ago have been foundational to how I work to build brands, marketing systems, and customer-centric businesses.

Written in 2003, some of the references are dated but the lessons continue to be relevant. In branding and marketing, it’s vitally important to understanding your best kind of customer and be seen as the only answer. To focus on who they are – what desires and needs drive them. Purple Cow is an afternoon read that will be transformative to your mindset about what a great brand can do.

Buy on Amazon ⟶
Business

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini’s original book is a must-read if your goal is understanding how people make decisions and build relationships with others. His methods have helped me in everything from sales and marketing, to managing employees, to ultimately getting to a yes in my professional life when I need it the most.

Cialdini has written several books that expand on the six methods. Start with Influence, and if you like this one, read Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive and Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Buy on Amazon ⟶
Marketing

This is Marketing

Seth Godin summarizes several of his systems from previous books (including nods to Purple Cow, All Marketers are Liars, The Dip, and Tribes) into a an overall vision for what great marketing looks like. He sees marketing as an aspirational exercise, and this book is a great primer for how to understand the its role and implementation in your business.

Be authentic. Be in service. Embrace your customer and build strategies around them. This is Godin’s message in This is Marketing, and serves as a summative overview of many of Seth’s core systems and theses.

Buy on Amazon ⟶
Business

The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth (Article)

Let’s be honest. Starting, growing, and succeeding with a small business is brutally hard. Most don’t make it past the first five years, and even fewer make it to ten.

The Five Stages of Small Business Growth (free read/article limit) is an accurate look at journey from an operational standpoint – and from my work with hundreds of different small businesses over the years, the patterns Churchill and Lewis reveal are accurate and persistent.

I’ve leaned on this framework more times than I can count – and it’s the closest thing you’ll find to a roadmap for what’s ahead in your small business’s development.

If you want to know what’s ahead for your small business, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you read this article, print it out, and refer to it regularly.

Read Free on HBR ⟶
Marketing

The 1-Page Marketing Plan

If you’ve been doing your homework on your sales funnel and ascension pyramid, you know there’s a lot of ways to plan and build out a system for your business. Allan Dib’s The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a great overview and workbook to help you start planning out that process.

One of my favorite takeaways from Dib’s book is that he helps you understand the business you’re actually in. You’re not selling what you think you are:

  • People don’t want drill bits. They want to make holes.
  • But actually… people don’t want holes either. They want…
    • The shelf put up on the wall.
    • The satisfaction of having gotten something off their to do list.
    • The pride and status of the cool thing they built.
    • and on and on…

These, and other big takeaways, will help you take your marketing from just passable to great.

Buy on Amazon ⟶
Business

The 4-Hour Work Week

Productivity and business geeks already know and follow Tim Ferriss, and you should too. I finally gave this one a read years after reading Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited, and this was the perfect companion. Using the lessons here helped me restructure my first business so that I could follow the path and find the freedom I’d always wanted.

Starting a business takes a lot of time, energy, passion, and commitment. The 4-Hour Work Week should be your endgame.

Feeling trapped in a job instead of like you’re running a business? The promised land of the entrepreneur is in these pages.

Buy on Amazon ⟶

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