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Episode 15

Summer Of Reading

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. – Harry S. Truman

In this episode, I’m sharing some of the books that have been hugely impactful in my life and business.

Books have been part of my life since I was a child. When I go an extended period of time without reading, I feel like my creative spark, my zest for life, and my inspiration dims a little bit. Books propel me forward.

What I love about books is they allow you to acquire all of this information that you can couple with your own insights. And, as you move forward in the world, you can draw upon the things that you’ve learned through reading to be more impactful in the work you do.

I want to inspire you to read because reading can really change your life, especially if you read with a pen and a piece of paper, and you capture your own insights, that you glean from the wisdom of others, and then take action. It’s incredible what you can do.

What’s in This Episode

  • How I turned my love for reading into a profitable book club
  • How to apply what you read to your business
  • 14 books that have made an impact in my life

What To Do Next

  1. Join Thought Readers and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in this popular book club for business owners.
  2. Subscribe to receive this podcast and regular weekly strategies to grow and shape your business. You’ll also be the first to know about upcoming courses, programs and exclusive LIVE training.
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  4. Sign up to be notified when I run the next Roadmap Workshop.

Up Next

Be sure to join in next week for episode 16 with author John Lee Dumas. You’ll learn a little bit more about how one idea that I gained from reading his book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, was the springboard for my new program, The Strategy Lab.

Books Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Transcript

Download The PDF Transcript


Lisa Larter (00:01):
Welcome to She Talks Business. If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner or aspiring mogul, chances are you want to learn more about marketing and mastering and monetizing your business. She Talks Business is where you’ll learn all of that and more. My name is Lisa Larter and I’m an entrepreneur, high school dropout, wiener dog enthusiast and your host. Let’s get started.

Lisa Larter (00:25):
Well, hello, hello, hello, and welcome to She Talks Business. I have to tell you, humble brag, I cannot believe that we finished season one on all things strategy, and we didn’t miss a beat. That was really hard work to get 14 episodes recorded and uploaded and done. And I’m super stoked to introduce you to season number two, which is a summer of reading. I love books, and I hope you like books too. So I’ve got some really, really cool fun stuff in store for you.

Lisa Larter (01:06):
So the first thing I want to start with is people always ask me how do I find time to read. And the truth is I don’t find time to read, I make time to read. I read every single day. Sometimes I read twice a day. Typically, my morning routine is I get up, I take my dogs outside, I feed my dogs, I make myself a cup of coffee, and then I sit down with a book. But I’m not talking any book, I’m talking a book that is going to stretch my brain, help me think creatively, inspire me for the day. And when I sit down to read, my preferred method of reading is a physical book, and I always have a pen or a highlighter with me. Usually, I have a little stack of sticky notes. And when I read, I mastermind with the author. I am not reading just to learn more information, I am reading for the insights that come to me when I am experiencing other people’s thoughts.

Lisa Larter (02:20):
So when I read, and ideas come to me from someone else’s book, I write those ideas down, or I underline the things that stand out for me. And I put my insights. My books are all marked up and ratty, and some of them have coffee stains on them, but I use my books like a student studying business. And I do that because I didn’t finish high school. But just because I didn’t finish high school does not mean that I am not committed to continuing my education and learning. Books have been part of my life since I was a child. And I will tell you that any time I go for an extended period of time without reading, I feel like my creative spark, my zest for life, my inspiration kind of dims a little bit. Books really, really, really propel me forward.

Lisa Larter (03:21):
And what I love about reading books is you acquire all of this amazing information, and you couple it with your own insights. And as you move forward in the world, you can draw upon the things that you’ve learned from reading books, and it can help you to be more impactful in the work that you do. So it is not unusual for Amazon to drop books off at my house two to three times a week. And it is not unusual for me to binge read a book on a weekend or to read one, maybe even two books a week and/or to have three to four books on the go at a time. Normally, if I read in the morning, I’m reading something to really jazz me and inspire me. And if I’m reading something before I go to bed at night, it’s usually more personal development, spirituality, sometimes it’s a fiction book that helps me to kind of unwind before I go to sleep.

Lisa Larter (04:23):
Now I am an author stalker, admittedly. If I read an author’s book and I love it, I will read everything that they write. And this was problematic for me for a while. When I found out about Diana Gabaldon, if you have not read the Outlander series, I dedicated an entire summer of my life to reading all of those books. They were fantastic. So I have to be careful that I don’t read too many fiction books, because I can just go down a rabbit hole and not come back to business books. So that’s why I typically prioritize business books in the morning. But a few years ago, something really interesting happened. A client of mine came to a mastermind experience that I was hosting, and she said to me, “I have a business idea for you. I think that you should start a book club. And I think that you should mail us a book a month that you’re reading so we can read and learn with you. And I will be the first client, and I will pay you right now if you would do that.”

Lisa Larter (05:21):
And of course, the itty bitty crappy committee rolled in. And I said, “Nobody’s going to pay to read books with me. That doesn’t make sense. I need at least X number of people for this to be worth my time.” And yada, yada, yada, yada. So then a couple months later, I floated the idea on Facebook. And lo and behold, 75 people paid me a thousand dollars to read with me for a year. And five years later, that book club is still going strong. It is called Thought Readers. So if you enjoy a summer reading and you would like to read with other like-minded business people, you can go to, and you can learn more about these books. I will tell you, I read one book, and I’m going to talk about that book later on in this episode, and that one book probably did a 600 times the investment of the program in terms of my own business.

Lisa Larter (06:20):
So I love to read a book, and I love to pick one juicy thing from that book that I can apply in my business. I don’t try to do everything. I try to pick one slice that can make a difference. And a lot of the time, I can financially measure the impact in my business as a result of the one thing I chose to do from that book. So if you want to learn how to read better and use books in your business, if you want to read with the community, check out Thought Readers. But for now, I want to bring to you, I want to share with you a couple of things today. So one, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite author interviews from the Thought Readers community. Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this for, I think, almost five years now. So I’ve interviewed some pretty cool authors.

Lisa Larter (07:13):
I am going to start episode 16 with John Lee Dumas and his new book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, which one idea, one little tiny idea helped me generate $60,000 in my business. Episode 17, I am going to introduce you to Dan Sullivan, who wrote the book Who Not How. This is one of my all time favorite books. I love, love, love, love this book. It has helped me get so much done this year. It’s not even funny. So I look forward to you learning from Dan. Episode 18, I’m going to talk to Allan Dib, and his book is The 1-Page Marketing Plan. But the title of that book is so misleading. It’s really not a better marketing plan, it’s really a business plan. It’s a fantastic book. Episode 19, I’m going to share my mentor and my next book co-author, Alan Weiss, with you, and his conversation with me about his book, Fearless Leadership. Fear gets in the way of us doing great things in life, and this interview with Alan will not disappoint.

Lisa Larter (08:22):
Episode number 20, I’m going to talk to Mark Schaefer, and I’m going to share with you the conversation we had about his book, Marketing Rebellion. And in episode 21, I’m going to go back to an interview that I did with Amanda Mayo, who wrote the book Podcasting, who was actually very instrumental in me getting this podcast off of the ground. And then last but not the least, I have a little surprise coming for episode 22, that you’ll just have to keep listening to find out who that is. All right. So I’m looking at my show notes. And my show notes say, today, I want to share three books that impacted my life in business. And then I couldn’t stop at three, so I have more than that. The books that I’m going to share are not part of the author interview series, because I wanted you to get additional book ideas.

Lisa Larter (09:12):
So the first book that really had a significant impact on my life in business is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I read The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, oh my goodness, probably almost two decades ago. And when I read that book, there was a little worksheet that you had to fill out, where you had to list all of these goals that you had for your life and your business and all of this stuff related to the success principles. And I filled out that sheet, and I stuffed it in the book back when I was still an employee working for TELUS. And fast forward, I think it was the 10-year anniversary of the book, I spoke at a conference. And Jack Canfield was speaking there as well. And I bought a second copy of his book, and got him to sign the book. And I went back to my office, and I pulled out the old copy of the book to loan it to someone.

Lisa Larter (10:13):
And lo and behold, that piece of paper was still in the book. Well, I pulled out that piece of paper, and every single goal that I had written down 10 years previously, every single goal except for one had been accomplished. And that one goal that I hadn’t accomplished was a goal that I had set by the time I turned 50. And I can tell you that that goal, because I’m now 51, has been accomplished. So that book was transformative for me in terms of where I was at that time as an employee and being able to really think about what I wanted my life to look like and what I wanted to achieve. And one of those things is learning how to swim. I learned how to swim in my forties. And so I’m still not a great swimmer, but I was able to cross that off the list because I learned how to do it. And so there is extreme power in writing down your goals and thinking about your life in terms of what you want to accomplish over the next decade, instead of what you want to accomplish over the next day.

Lisa Larter (11:20):
And I got to tell you, I wrote that stuff down and I stuffed it in that book and I forgot about it, but my subconscious mind didn’t forget about it. And that to me is one of the most powerful things about the success principles, is the habits that you can develop. Even if you only take one from that book can really change your life. The next book that was really impactful on my life, and I read this again when I was still an employee. And this book spring-boarded me out of employeeship to entrepreneurship, and that is Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki in a day. And I highlighted and highlighted and highlighted so much stuff in that book. I was fascinated by the story. I was fascinated about the way that he talked about money. He made everything make sense to me.

Lisa Larter (12:14):
In fact, at the time, my husband and I were in the rat race. We had remortgaged our house to put an inground pool in. And we were doing what most people do. The more money you make in your job, the more money you spend, yada yada yada. And so I read this book. And when I was done, I text messaged him, because he was away that weekend and said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” And he said, “Tell me what?” I said, “We have to sell our house.” He’s like, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I just finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. We cannot have this much debt. We need to get rid of it.” And that started us on the journey of really changing our financial situation, which allowed us to get out of debt, leave our jobs, create businesses, and really build a lot more wealth in our lives as a result of the changes we made.

Lisa Larter (12:59):
When I finished reading that book, I took that book, and I sat in front of my computer, and I literally typed up every single thing that I highlighted from the book. It was that impactful for me. The third book that I read a few years ago, a client recommended to me is The Ultimate Blueprint for an Insanely Successful Business, and it is written by Keith Cunningham. Now here’s the interesting story, in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki talks about a rich dad and a poor dad. And the rich dad was really his mentor, and his poor dad was really his dad who was a school teacher. The Ultimate Blueprint for an Insanely Successful Business written by Keith Cunningham, well, Keith Cunningham was the rich dad that Robert Kiyosaki talked about in his book. So this Blueprint For an Insanely Successful Business is, for me, it was mind blowing, the way he looked at running a business and the way he looked at money in a business and your dashboard and your scorecards and all of these things.

Lisa Larter (14:03):
I love this book so much, I buy it for every single one of my private coaching clients. I have used this book at my beach house mastermind retreats to help my clients get super clear about the numbers in their business. Because a lot of people, they stick their head in the sand and they avoid looking at the numbers. And the numbers in your business are so important. I love looking at the numbers, because the deeper you go into the numbers, the more you can identify and learn to improve your business. So I highly recommend this book.

Lisa Larter (14:36):
The next book is Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman. Daniel Goleman is the guy who writes about emotional intelligence. And in his book, Primal Leadership, he talks about leadership in a way that I’ve never really seen anyone else talk about it. He talks about different leadership styles, and he names them. And he talks about how, as a leader, you need to know what style to employ at what time. And he talks about how some styles are really effective, but if they’re used too much, they can actually be damaging. And so I love this book, because I believe that leadership affects so much of what we do when we interact with other people, whether it’s your clients, whether it’s the team that works for you, whether it’s how you lead yourself. And so this book is a book that I have read multiple times. If you want to learn how to be a good leader and you want to learn… Basically, I look at this book as, he gave me a toolbox with a bunch of different tools for leadership. And I know what tool to use for what thing.

Lisa Larter (15:44):
So I joke with one of my clients all the time, don’t use a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito. All right? So it’s like knowing when to pull the flyswatter out versus when to pull the sledgehammer out, knowing the difference in style and which style to adopt given the situation and outcome that you want. Highly recommended. The next book that I read years ago, and I’m reading it again right now, which is why I put it on the list, because anytime you read a book and you go back and you read it again, and you’re even more jazzed the second time you read it, you know it’s a really good book. And that is The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. The ONE thing is just such a powerful way of looking at your business, looking way out into the future to think about the one thing that you really want to do with your life or the one impact that you really want to make, and then reverse engineering it so that every day you’re doing one thing that leads you towards that.

Lisa Larter (16:43):
He talks about this domino effect and how if you line your dominoes up and you move forward, the momentum that you can create in your life or business really is unstoppable. So if you’re an entrepreneur with big creative ideas, and you have a list of things that you really want to accomplish and never seem to make the progress that you would like, The ONE Thing is a really great book to help you prioritize what the one thing is that you should focus on first, and then second. So even in The Strategy Lab, I am working with entrepreneurs to focus on one thing each quarter that they can do to move their business forward. And it’s super valuable and helpful.

Lisa Larter (17:24):
And then the next book is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I think I read this book in a weekend as well. And then I went back to the bookstore and I bought every single copy that they had on the shelf. And I gave it to all of my favorite girlfriends. I gave it to my niece, I gave it to my sisters, I gave it to some of my closest friends, because perfectionism traps us, and it keeps us playing small over and over and over again. And this book that Brene Brown wrote was so freeing in terms of how to look at imperfection, and how to stop being a perfectionist, and to see the true gifts in imperfection.
Lisa Larter (18:09):
If you know somebody who gets stuck in imperfection, if you know a woman who thinks she isn’t good enough, I got to tell you, I’ve been there. I know what that’s like. This book is like a healing balm for understanding how to move beyond that. I have read every single one of Brene Brown’s books. I think maybe not quite the last one. I like all of her work. I think she’s super smart. I love her TED talk on the power of vulnerability. But The Gifts of Imperfection by and far was the most impactful book that I read by her.

Lisa Larter (18:44):
The other book that I want to share with you, it’s not really a business book, but it’s a book that I have read many, many, many times. And that’s The Alchemist. The Alchemist is a fable, but The Alchemist reminds me all the time to trust the journey, to dream big and trust the journey. And even though the journey may take you down rabbit holes and side paths that you didn’t expect, that if you trust the journey that you are on, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. It just rekindles that creative spirit for me to think bigger. And typically, when I read The Alchemist, I read it between Christmas and New Year’s, because I want that little spark to start off the year. So I’m not sure if you have any trends like that, books that you read at certain times of the year, but that’s what I do with The Alchemist.

Lisa Larter (19:38):
One other book, I don’t have it on my list, I could just talk about books all day, is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s not an easy book to read, but I got to tell you, you read that book, and you understand how powerful the human spirit is and the human mind. It’s just, I’m just going to say, it’s an incredible book. If you haven’t read it, I would read it. It’s one of those classic books, kind of like Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich, that I think everybody should read. So there you go. I’ve given you way more than three books. I could probably talk about 30 more. My bookshelves are full of books. I love, love, love books. They just bring so much richness and perspective to my life.

Lisa Larter (20:23):
And so that’s why I wanted to do a season on the summer of reading, because I want to share that with you. I want to inspire you to read, because reading can really change your life, especially if you read with a pen and a piece of paper, and you capture your own insights, that you glean from the wisdoms of others, and then take action. It’s incredible what you can do. So next week, be sure to join in for the author interview that I did for Thought Readers with John Lee Dumas. You’ll learn a little bit more about how that one idea that I took was really the springboard for my new program, The Strategy Lab. And if you love the summer of reading and you’d like to read with me, check out We’d love to have you join our community and read. There’s two ways you can join. One, I ship you the book. And the other, you download your own digital or audio version, whatever one you want. You can learn more about that at

Lisa Larter (21:26):
And here’s what I’d love for you to do, tag me on Instagram. My handle is Lisa Larter. Use the hashtag thoughtreaders, and snap a picture of your favorite book. And tell me, why is this book your favorite book? In my private coaching clients intake form, I always ask people what the five most impactful books are that they’ve ever read, because I want to know what I’m missing. I want to know what books I still need to read. The only bad thing about books is there’s not enough time to read them all. So share your books, and other people can follow that thoughtreaders hashtag too. And they can see the books that you’re sharing.

Lisa Larter (22:07):
All right. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being part of this episode with me today. And I hope you really enjoy a summer reading. And if you have listened to most of the episodes in season one, and you have not written a review yet, please write me a review. Come on. I work hard on this podcast. I got to show up, and I got to sit with my mic, and I got to riff and talk and do all this hard work. I’d really like to know what you think of this podcast. So let me know. And let me know what your favorite book is. Thanks for listening. And I’ll see you next week with John Lee Dumas.

Lisa Larter (22:46):
Thank you for joining me for this episode of She Talks Business. If you enjoyed the show, you know the drill, leave us a review, tell someone about it and join the conversation on social media. Thanks for listening and until next time remember, done is always better than perfect.

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Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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