When I started my very first business, I soon learnt that I had no idea how to run a business. I was pretty good at delivering the right outcome for a customer, but that isn’t enough to sustain a successful business.
Over time, mostly when things went wrong, I had to learn all the aspects of how to run a successful business. The sales and marketing, business planning, staff management – the list were endless. I went to seminars and training courses to learn all those ‘technical’ aspects, but I also had to convince myself that ‘if other people can do this, so can I’. These are some of the books that helped me convince myself that I could.
If you are new to running your business or struggle a bit with having the confidence, I recommend these books to you.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success
Deepak Chopra is a prominent figure in the New Age movement. He has written many best-selling books and has a huge following.
Some of his ‘Laws’ have helped me through some tough parts of my life and business. Here’s two:
Cause & Effect: When I learnt to take responsibility for everything that happened to me, it was liberating and powerful. I knew my life was under my own control. Deepak says: “if you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past.”
Dharma: I think one of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to help them to be confident in their own ability. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
I’ve included Deepak’s book in my best books for business list because I found his lessons so powerful, including this one: “you have a talent that is unique…so unique that there’s no one else alive on this planet that has that talent, or that expression of that talent”
JAMES ALLEN: As A Man Thinketh
As A Man Thinketh is included in my list of best books for business because it’s considered by many people to be one of the most inspirational books of all time. Personally, I found it quite life-changing.
This book provides compelling information that had helped me understand that I can be the master my life and that consequently, I can control my destiny: “Man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up their thoughts. Man can only remain weak and miserable by refusing to lift up their thoughts.”
When so much is going on around you, especially as a small business owner, it’s easy to lose focus. What I learned from this book was that I could control my thoughts and my mind and focus on the most important task at hand and so it’s worthy of inclusion in my best books for business list.
James says, “As man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. The sum of a person’s thoughts is their character. Their character influences the conditions and circumstances of their life.
JOSEPH MURPHY: The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Joseph Murphy says that “Your subconscious has the answer to all problems” and I believe that. Having said that, I often find it challenging to quiet my mind enough to seek the answers there.
I’ve included this in my best books for business list because he advocates that “the suggestions and statements of others have no power to hurt you. You can choose to reject the thoughts or statements of others and affirm the good.”
He also advises that “You have the power to choose how you will react” which is true. We can all choose.
Also, I took this piece of his advice when I had my small business (and it worked!): Increase your sales by repeating this statement over and over again, “My sales are improving every day; I am advancing, progressing and getting wealthier every day.”
I also solved problems taking his advice here: “If no answer [to your problem] comes, turn it over to your subconscious mind prior to sleep, and the answer always comes. It never fails”.
Another author who writes compellingly that we are masters of our own destinies.
KEN BLANCHARD and SPENCER JOHNSON: Who Moved My Cheese?
This is a valuable inclusion in my best books for business list because it targets those of us who find it challenging to cope with change. But change is inevitable, so if we can find a way to cope with it, it’s much more comfortable.
This book uses ‘cheese’ as a metaphor for happiness and success. Moving the cheese is all about changes to what we’ve come to expect. I found the book reassuring. Among other things, it encourages us to:
- Anticipate change, adapt quickly and enjoy it.
- Be ready to change quickly, again and again (or become extinct).
- Be aware that ‘the quicker you let go of old cheese (the norm which is changing), the sooner you find ‘new cheese’ (new opportunities).
- Be aware that there will always be change, and be ready for it.
- Notice small changes early. It’ll help you adapt to the inevitable bigger changes.
- Old beliefs do not lead you to New Cheese (be prepared to adapt your view)
- Change happens. They keep moving the Cheese. Move with the Cheese and enjoy it!
NAPOLEAN HILL: Think and Grow Rich
This book was written in 1937 as a personal development and self-help book, apparently after studying many people who had made personal fortunes.
What the book says is that desire, faith, and persistence can ‘propel one to great heights’ if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals. These are my top 5 of his 13 steps:
DESIRE: The Starting Point of All Achievement. Desire makes you take action.
IMAGINATION: Picture your desires as a reality in your mind. They soon take form and become reality
ORGANIZED PLANNING: In order to succeed, you need a concrete plan.
PERSISTENCE: To succeed, you must have a desire that you will spend as long as it takes to make a reality.
AUTOSUGGESTION: Influence the Subconscious Mind with what you want via the conscious mind. The subconscious makes habit. Make good habits.
This one makes it into my best books for business list because I found all those philosophies to be true and with that knowledge I was able to build a successful small business.
STEPHEN C. LUNDIN and HARRY PAUL: Fish: A Proven way to boost morale and improve results.
What business owner doesn’t want to boost morale and improve their results? This book is invaluable for those that do. I certainly wanted to improve my results (and still do), which is why it’s included in my best books for business list. These secrets are the key points:
The Way You Do the Work is Everything (quality in, quality out)
Secret: Make Their Day
Customers should feel good about working with you as a supplier. The way to get customers to feel good is to engage them. Make your customers’ day – it’ll make your day too.
Secret: Be Present
Employees should always be present, engaged in the work they do and pay attention to the customers. The customer is KING. Without them, there is no business.
TONY ROBBINS: Awaken The Giant Within
I couldn’t compile a list of best books for business to make dreams come true without including this one. Tony is a ‘dream maker’
He says that there are three decisions that control our destiny:
- Our decisions about what to focus on (what is it that I want?)
- Our decisions about what things mean to us (what are my values?)
- Our decisions about what to do to create the results we desire (what actions will I take?).
By changing any one of these 3,and it could be around a belief or rule, a question, or an emotional state, we can quickly produce a powerful, measurable change in our life.
He also says that everything we chose to do is out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure, and it’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.
As usual, powerful stuff from Tony.
To your business success!