Reading Roundup – Business Books for a Solid Foundation/ September 15, 2014
The blogging world is changing.
Those of us who have chosen to make blogging our career need to raise the bar…because as reader expectations rise, only the best of us are going to keep making money.
Here’s the truth:
If you want your blog to produce a steady income, you’re not just blogging; you’re running a business.
Of course there are some specialized techniques, some nuances of the industry that differentiate blogging from other entrepreneurial outlets, but the bottom line is that your blog is a real business and it won’t produce income if you don’t treat it like one.
And if you’re going to run a business…
You need to think like a business owner.
There are a few ways to to develop that entrepreneur mindset:
You can participate in good networking groups to make connections (and friends) as a way to associate with others. Doing so will naturally start to change your perspective just by osmosis.
You can start a multilevel marketing business and join a good training system to start learning some of the basics of business systems and duplicability.
You might even have the opportunity to run a franchise business at a high level, and therefore learn a few business principles along the way.
But perhaps the quickest, easiest, and most reliable way to start developing your business skills is to immerse yourself regularly in great business books.
Reading might have an intellectual reputation, but reading the wrong books is actually worse than spending hours in front of the television. Don’t put junk in your brain!
Here’s the thing about reading:
When you read a book that gives you some kind of advice, it doesn’t feel like that author is giving you advice. It feels like the little voice inside your head is giving you advice, as if you’re actually telling yourself what to do.
If that book is junk, you’re giving yourself negative messages.
If that book is packed with good stuff, you’re literally exercising and strengthening your brain.
The most successful people read great books every day, and you should, too.
You don’t have to read an entire book every evening…in fact, that would be counterproductive, because if you cover too much information all at once, it won’t stick.
Don’t think of it as just reading a book.
Think of it as studying, and take your time to learn.
What Business Books Should I Read?
The world of self-help is full of good and bad advice, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference.
As you grow personally and expand your business, you’ll find it much easier to recognize fluff, questionable advice, and downright quackery, but for now, start with the classics:
Note: The links provided here are affiliate links, so if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll make a few cents. If you find my miniscule profit potential offensive, feel free to purchase from another source.
Napoleon Hill’s landmark business book is almost 100 years old (originally published in 1937) and is still one of the most poignant and relevant “self-help” books in print.
Think and Grow Rich wasn’t written like the personal development books of today.
It was a feat of investigative journalism, and the lessons and ideas taught within its pages are the result of exhaustive study and keen insights into the lives and businesses of some of the most successful people who ever lived.
Few books have had such an impact in the lives of real people.
There’s a reason that Think and Grow Rich has been popular for so many years.
The original people skill book, How to Win Friends and Influence People is a requirement on any entrepreneur’s bookshelf.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re going to be successful in business, you’re going to have to deal with people.
People are your customers, your readers, your partners, and your mentors. All of us can stand some improvement in our interpersonal relationship skills…
But for bloggers, this book is like a magic talisman.
You can take all the copywriting training in the world, and you can be the best writer the internet has ever seen, but if you can’t make a connection with another human being, you’re doomed to fail.
I re-read How to Win Friends and Influence People at least once every year, and despite my massive improvements over the years, I’ve still got plenty of room to grow.
Trust me, you do, too.
Don’t let the name intimidate you – Psycho-Cybernetics is not about psychic robots or complicated scientific processes.
A former plastic surgeon, he noticed that changing a person’s appearance sometimes drastically changed their personality, too, and thus Psycho-Cybernetics was born.
Dr. Maltz explains how our self images, the way we think of ourselves, has a profound impact on our entire reality.
He then goes into detail about the aspects of our self images that might be holding us back, and teaches readers how to overcome those deeply held beliefs that are causing us to fail.
If you’re even slightly nerdy, you’ll love this book.
If you’re not nerdy at all and you just want results, you’ll still love this book.
When you turn the last page and return Psycho-Cybernetics to your shelf, you’ll feel like a new person…because you will be.
Challenging “conventional wisdom” (by the way, conventional wisdom is rarely ever wise) is one of the most obvious entrepreneur character traits.
For online entrepreneurs, especially, it’s wise to focus a little less on things like web design and start thinking about what matters to you: lifestyle design.
And in case you didn’t know, Ferris managed to launch one of the top 1000 blogs in the world in association with The 4-Hour Workweek. How’s that for a good example?
You need to learn about passive income.
You need to learn how to delegate responsibility and use your time correctly.
And you need to believe you can accomplish your goals.
The 4-Hour Workweek will point you in the right direction.
This might not be the book you read over and over again to glean just a little more wisdom…
But this is the book to read if you’ve never considered running a business before and you’re a little intimidated by the idea.
The Magic of Thinking Big is referred to as a PMA (positive mental attitude) book.
Sometimes, you just need to reset your perspective, and MoTB is a quick read that will leave you feeling great about your future and your personal potential.
Of course there’s great, useful information in there.
And, yes, it is worth reading more than once.
If you feel a little daunted by 411 pages of Tim Ferris, can’t wrap your brain around the language in Think and Grow Rich, or you just hate reading in general, start with The Magic of Thinking Big.
If you love reading and can’t wait to get into the books on this list…still read The Magic of Thinking Big.