Launching a startup can be a challenging endeavour for any entrepreneur.
There is so much to consider, so many small, and big, details to get right, and it can consume all your waking hours and then some.
And frankly no matter how talented or capable you may be, you can always use some extra insight on the best way to move your business forward.
When we talked recently for a profile I did on him for my Enterprise blog – you can see the full post here – it became clear that he was a man willing to take the lessons learnt along the way and apply them to future endeavours.
That is certainly borne out by his selections for the ongoing series “3 Business Books That Changed My Life” where he discusses how three pivotal books changed the way he does business to overwhelmingly positive results.
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
Firstly – I never used to be a business/personal development book guy. Justin, my partner in vino, put this book in front of me, knowing I would be the one presenting our business, since I did the talking, and he was the ideas guy.
Naff title, but amazing book. Wish I’d read it five years ago! This man doesn’t just write about it, he DOES it, and it delves into the workings of the human brain (concept of reptile brain, or lizard brain, etc.); teaches you to think about presentations from an audience perspective. Simple stuff, but so rarely used.
I used this book to put together our business plan pitch for Vinomofo – 100% success rate. Very empowering to see the room reacting in the way you’ve planned. Better than any sales guide, VC “how to”, etc.
Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson
Again, sounds like a bad infomercial, but this book is awesome.
It’s like somebody gave you a rule book for this “game” of negotiating, and suddenly it’s all so clear. Let it be known – I was a very soft negotiator. The worst kind – thought I was good, but I wasn’t.
Applied the simple philosophies and “gambits” during Vinomofo negotiations, and there it all was. Suddenly I understood what was going on, and let go of the fear, and had fun with it.
Everyone in business needs to read this book. Hell – everyone in marriage or with kids should read this book – life is a negotiation, or at least it certainly feels that way!
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton
This was life-changing stuff for me. These guys are from leading HR consulting firm the Gallup Institute, and I’ve adopted a lot of their management philosophies.
This book transformed my whole people management (and personal!) philosophy. We are so conditioned to work on our weaknesses, so raised on the belief that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. I used to think that if we just hire someone smart, they’ll be able to do anything. I was wrong.
This celebrates our individuality. It’s all about positive psychology, and focusing on strengths, and hiring and managing based on strengths, and tailoring those strengths to a role.
It’s been transformational for our whole team. Awesome stuff. We had a team day where we all focused on each person’s strengths, and people were in tears. We’re such a self-effacing society, thank goodness, but it’s so nice to acknowledge what you’re good at, what comes naturally to you, every now and then!
If you’d like to learn how to write your own business book, our course How To Write a Business Book is the perfect place to start.Posted on 21 September 2012