Reading has been a lifelong habit for me. My earliest memories of reading were in grade four when I lived next door to my Aunt Sandra. I used to raid her bookshelves and take books that were much too old for me because I had a voracious appetite for reading. I remember saving up my allowance and going to bookstores with her and buying my own books. As an adult this habit has continued except instead of reading the likes of VC Andrews, I consume knowledge that helps me be a better person, leader and business person.
This past year, there were five books that really stood out to me that I’d like to share with you.
The Advisor Playbook, was hands down was my favourite book of 2017. I bought this book as a bonus book to kick off my new business book club, Thought Readers and to say this book is a life changer would be an understatement. I am familiar with Duncan McPherson’s work from his first book, and I was not disappointed when we read this.
Key takeaways for me included the need to create better processes around how you do business, and key insights on the difference between marketing and branding. Marketing is what you do, branding is what everyone else says about you. I have 12 pages of notes from this book, and half of those are action items, strategies, and tactics that I will apply to the growth of my business this year. This book is written for financial planners but the content is transferable to any business. If you read it, you will be required to stop and think about how the lessons apply to you, and stopping to think about your business is a good thing.
I love Brene Brown and Braving the Wilderness was another solid book from her. I read this entire book in a weekend. It was easy to read, made me want to be a better person and inspired me to tap into my own brave.
When we think about bravery, we often think about big giant heroic acts. The truth is we can all get our own brave on in small ways every day. Too many people are held hostage by fear and just a small bit of bravery could significantly change their life. If you’ve never read any of Berne’s books, don’t start with this one. Start with The Gifts of Imperfection and work your way through her body of work. You’ll be glad you did.
Profit First should have been written by me! It’s one of those books that I picked up and felt like someone took all my ideas about how to run a business, how to protect your profits and build a sustainable business and then said it in the easiest to understand way you can imagine.
Here’s the premise: you get to the end of the year and find out your business had 20% profit. Maybe that’s worth $20,000 but…you don’t have $20,000 in the bank. You don’t have it because you spent it and didn’t manage your cash flow the right way. This book will single-handedly help you understand the numbers in your business and how to earn and keep your profits. Run and buy this book if your profits are missing.5 #business #books you need to read! Click To Tweet
Option B is an honest look at Sheryl Sandberg’s life after she lost her husband suddenly a few years back. This book will make you consider what matters most to you in life and what to do when what you really want is no longer an option.
In this book, you can’t help but have deep respect and admiration for how Sandberg navigated grief and loss in her personal life, cared for her kids, mourned her husband and learned how to rebuild her life in a new way. She is vulnerable, honest and kind in how she shares this story and you’ll walk away with compassion and a deeper understanding of how to show up for someone who is grieving, and how to navigate your own grief. It’s an excellent book. I bought many copies and gave them away I liked it so much.
The 12 Week Year will tell you that annualized thinking is so 1980 and that today’s high achiever can plan and get more done in 12 weeks than most people do in 12 months. This book fundamentally changed the way I look at planning. Last year at my January mastermind, I noticed an interesting trend with my private clients – they all wanted to put their year’s worth of priorities into the first quarter. When you do this, nothing gets done because if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
I took the foundations from this book and applied it to my group coaching program, Profit Pods and now all we do is plan for 12 weeks at a time. This book helps you pick 1-2 priorities each quarter and figure out what needs to happen daily, weekly, monthly in order to see your plan go from idea to completion. It’s a masterful and effective way at looking at how you get things done. A year later, we STILL use this methodology in Pods. It’s fantastic, and in my 2018 Planning Day, I shared templates for everyone to use for their own plan.
Don’t get me wrong – having a big picture view of your year matters, and when you have the discipline to then take that big picture view, distill it down and prioritize over 12 week periods, you can get tons done.
There you have it, those are my top five picks for 2017. What was your favourite book in 2017? Please leave a comment and let me know.