Last week we shared some handy dandy small business tools to help you get your work on. Our gift guide continues this week with one of our favorite things, BOOKS!
You can never go wrong with gifting books and the books below will go far beyond the winter break. These are books that have taught Laura things that have changed her business.
Double Double By Cameron Herold
|Cameron Herold has personally taught Laura the principles that allowed her to double her business from 2009 to 2010, and then again in 2011. His book, Double Double is Laura’s business bible, in fact our entire team is currently going through it chapter-by-chapter to put Cameron’s guidance in place. This past year Laura was able to chat with Cameron about his book and biz. Click here to listen.|
The Art of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
|Watch the video below to hear…
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
|Watch below to find out…
Hey, I’m Laura Roeder, and today I want to do a book review for you. So this is actually not quite the book that I’m reviewing but it’s very similar.
So I’m holding up today “Beyond Book Solid” by Michael Port because I don’t own a copy of “Book Yourself Solid”. This is the follow-up book to “Book Yourself Solid”, but what I want to talk about today is the book that comes before this one, which is called “Book Yourself Solid” by Michael Port. As you can see, the follow-up is good as well because I got that one too.
“Book Yourself Solid” was an essential book to me when I was starting my business, and “Book Yourself Solid” is really a marketing plan for how to book yourself solid in the service business. Get your practice full so you can make money and be successful in your business.
I would highly recommend “Book Yourself Solid” to anyone especially when you’re first starting out because it’s the first book that really gave me a concrete understanding of how to market my business and how to get clients. Everything that I had read before was either very theoretical marketing or maybe was one specific marketing tactic, but before that book I never had the whole plan laid out in front of me, and Michael Port does a great job of giving you a very clear, very step-by-step plan for how to get clients and it works. I promise you that if you do what he lays out in the book, you will get clients.
One idea that I learned from him in “Book Yourself Solid”, which really changed how I looked at my business, was the idea of the “red velvet rope.” So Michael talks about how you really want to set up a red velvet rope for who you’re going to work with, and you’re not going to work with just anyone; you’re going to work with your ideal clients.
Now, I don’t know about you but when I was starting my business, I was so desperate to work with anyone. I would take on all sorts of projects. I would really, really try to get any sort of business that was remotely thrown my way. So this was a very new idea for me to only work with the best people who I could best serve; but I found that once I embraced that, it really helped me take off my business, it really helped me book myself solid because I was only working with people that were the highest use of my talents and where the engagements can go really, really well.
Because I’ve found that with people who weren’t red velvet rope clients, it usually didn’t work out right anyway, like I wasn’t happy with them or they weren’t happy with me. The project just didn’t go well or didn’t go as well as it could in some way. So only working with people where you really enjoy what you’re doing, it gets you the most referrals. Also, it puts out that good energy of that like you are really looking for people who you can really help instead of you are just looking for anyone that will help you.
So it was a game-changing book for me. If you’re just starting out, you have to read it. Even if you’re not just starting out, well one, maybe you want to readthis follow-up book, Beyond Book Solid. Or even if you’re a little farther in your business, I think it’s just a great reminder of what those basics are for getting yourself booked solid.
So again, this is “Beyond Book Solid” by Michael Port. I highly, highly recommend this book and “Book Yourself Solid”.
Screw Business as Usual by Sir Richard Branson
|Watch below to find out…
Hey, I’m Laura Roeder, and in early 2011, I was lucky enough to go on a trip to South Africa with Sir Richard Branson with Virgin Unite. Virgin Unite is the Virgin Group’s nonprofit arm. It’s personally funded by Richard and they have a strong focus on entrepreneurship as a way of social change.
When I was in South Africa, I actually got to visit the Branson Center for Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg. I got to meet a ton of innovative entrepreneurs in South Africa that have built their business through the help of the Branson Center. And then that’s why I’m so excited to tell you about Richard Branson’s newest book. It’s called Screw Business as Usual, and Screw Business as Usual is all about what he calls “Capitalism 24902” and Capitalism 24902 refers to the circumference of the earth and it’s the idea that capitalism should not just involve money but involve the earth itself and all the people in the earth in making your decisions in what you do to grow your business. That’s what Virgin has done and that’s what this book is all about.
This tells the story of Virgin Unite. It tells the story of tons of different nonprofit and forprofit business, how they have made change, how they have collaborated. I loved that he talks about small businesses, small as in a tiny village in Africa, one woman running a business, all the way up to huge corporations like Shell, how they can work together, what they can do to change the planet. It’s a very, very inspiring book and very practical and very useful as well.
The book challenges us to talk about how we as small businesses are screwing business as usual. So this is something that I’m really excited about. It’s some of the ways that I’m screwing business as usual. One of the biggest ways is that I have an online business in many different senses. So I actually don’t have an office. I’m recording this video here for my house, here from my home office; and everyone who works for me all over the country and all over the globe, they work from their own homes as well. So we save a lot of natural resources, a lot of commuting time by not having an office.
Another way that we screw business as usual is that everybody has a flexible schedule. There’s a lot of people that work for my company that have small children that they want to spend a lot of time with, and a normal job that requires you to go into an office from 9 to 5 or 9 to 8 doesn’t allow you to spend time with your kids. I think people should spend time with their kids so we’ve set up a workplace that allows people to do that or whatever it is that they like to do or that they feel passionate about.
Another way that we screw business as usual is by delivering all of our programs online. We could ship out physical DVDs but we save a lot of carbon, a lot of natural resources by having everything delivered online, and it’s really cool because people can access our materials from all over the world. We also provide a lot of free training materials that allow entrepreneurs that are just starting out, entrepreneurs all over the globe to do whatever their version is of screwing business as usual to grow their small business as well using our free training and free tools, and I think that that’s really cool.
So if this is stuff that excites you as much as it excites me, or if it doesn’t, I hope that you read the book anyway so that maybe you can be converted. So definitely check this out. Please buy a copy because the proceeds directly benefit Virgin Unite.
Stay tuned, we’ve got another fun gift guide coming next week with LKR’s fave office supplies to help you rock your 2012.