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Episode 23

Summer Of Reading Wrap Up

Catch And Implement That One Business-altering Insight

What ONE insight from a business book featured in the Summer of Reading lineup translated into $60,000 in revenue for my business this year? Tune in to hear Stephanie Rainey and I discuss not only the book and the insight but how you too can start reading books and finding your own Ah Ha’s to shape and grow your business.

Find out what ONE #BusinessBook insight translated to $60k in revenue in my #business this year, and how you can grow your business through #reading, too. Share on X

In this week’s episode, Stephanie picks my brain on the insights I pulled from The Common Path to Success by John Lee Dumas, Who Not How by Dan Sullivan, and Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller and how I have turned these insights into:

  • A new product with yearly multiplying revenue
  • A team of ‘whos’ growing my business with me
  • A suite of products and services based on my intellectual property

And, hear about the one book that completely changed the way Stephanie thought about business and shaped the organization and structure of her swim school. This episode will spark your own insights and turn them into profits, systems, and business growth ideas!

What’s in This Episode

  • How to read a book to make your business better
  • Turn insights into profits, systems, and meaning in your business
  • Why reading is the cheapest MBA you’ll ever get
  • 3 insights from 3 books that made me more than $60,000 in revenue
  • What Lady Gaga has to do with selling
  • Why you need to ‘copy and steal’ other’s ideas and make them your own
  • How to create must-have products and services

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.
  3. Connect on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn and share your insights from the show.

Up Next

Next week, tune in to episode 24 of She Talks Business as we launch a new season all about Money, Metrics and Measurement. Join us as we make the complicated simple and turn the microscope on the numbers that matter most when it comes to growing your business.

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 (00:24):
1, 2, 3, and welcome to episode 23 of She Talks Business on Summer Of Reading Wrap Up. I am here with Stephanie Rainey and we are going to put this season to bed and have a great conversation about reading and books and all things books-related-to-business. But before we get into that, how has your summer been? I hope that you have had a wonderful summer.

Lisa Larter (00:54):
I have spent the vast majority of my summer in Invermere, British Columbia. We bought a recreational property up there this year, and it’s been really, really interesting to spend time up there. It’s such a beautiful part of Canada. There’s a lake up there that is just this brilliant blue color and mountains. And we are also being greatly impacted by the forest fires that are happening in BC. And I can’t help but think of how the smoke from the forest fires obstruct the beautiful view of nature that we have from our home. And how sometimes those fires in your business obstruct your view and your ability to see clearly too, which ties into where we’re going in the next season of the show.

Lisa Larter (01:44):
Next season, we are going to be talking about money, metrics and measurements. And that’s one area of your business where you need to be able to see clearly. All right, before we dive into the details, I just want to say thank you to all the people who have been emailing me after they listened to the author episodes to let me know how much they enjoyed the conversations that I had with some of the authors and how much they enjoyed reading some of the books. I love that the Summer Of Reading has inspired you to read. And if you enjoyed the Summer Of Reading, I would love it if you would give us a little shout out on Apple Podcast and let me know what you thought. Maybe let me know what your favorite author interview was.

Lisa Larter (02:33):
I also want to say thank you to Stacey Broder, who left the nicest review on iTunes. Well, I keep calling it iTunes and it’s now Apple Podcast and I should be calling it Apple Podcast. But I feel like it’s still iTunes. So what Stacey said is, “I always get great value from this podcast, but I just listened to episode nine”. If you haven’t listened to episode nine, go back. “And I was blown away. In 30 minutes I came away with three pages of actionable steps to take in my own business. I feel like I had a private coaching session”. I love that. I love, love, love that a podcast can be valuable enough for you to take notes and take action in your business. That is what I really, really, really want from this show. So thank you Stacey for saying that.

Lisa Larter (03:26):
When I read reviews like that, it energizes me and it helps me stay committed to the course of providing value for others, because it makes me know that the work that I’m doing is making an impact. I think as human beings, we all want to know that we’re making an impact and making a difference in the work that we do. So thank you for that, Stacey. Couple episodes that I want to just double tap on as we move forward. First I want to give a shout out to Dan Sullivan and the interview with him and his book Who Not How. It really made a difference in a lot of the goals that I set for my own business this year. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that on the show, but what an incredible and generous man Dan Sullivan is. I really love that conversation.

Lisa Larter (04:18):
I also want to give a shout out to Amanda Mayo and her book on podcasting because I read her book and the interview that I did with her really helped me crystallize and solidify the things that I wanted to do for this podcast. So books really can influence your behavior if you’re willing to take action and do some things from what you read. And then lastly, wasn’t Tererai lovely? She’s such an incredible woman. I just adore her so much for her generous spirit and her determination and how she’s overcome so much in her life. And I find it so interesting that here I am a high school dropout and here she is a professor and we are both passionate about education and learning. And education could come in so many different ways.
Lisa Larter (05:20):
It can come through the traditional path, and it can also come through reading. And as you know I’m a big fan of reading. So on this show and what we’d like to start doing I think with every one of these seasons that we put together for you, is we want to have a wrap up session at the end where Stephanie Rainey joins me and ask some of the questions that she has from the show. And when you’re listening to the shows, if you have questions that you would like us to talk about in the wrap up, feel free to email them to me, and I can give them to Stephanie. Or you can email them directly to Stephanie, And I think it’s a really good way to wrap up each season and solidify and reinforce some of the points that are most important.

Lisa Larter (06:17):
So Stephanie, thank you for being my podcast wing woman. For helping me to organize all of the shows and the episodes and the notes. You have this unique ability to isolate things that I don’t even recognize need to be talked about on the show. And by giving me the input that you do, you make this show better. So thank you for that.

Stephanie Rainey (06:44):
Thank you. That’s such a nice thing to say. Thanks so much, Lisa. I love being here with you. I’m always learning so much. And when you’re talking about the interviews over the summer, when I listened back to them I don’t know if you know, but when you do the interview, it gives this three dimensional learning aspect to all of the information. You can read the book and you can look at it and you can get the information, but when you interview the author, I feel it gives it a whole other realm of information. I get something completely new than I did just from reading the book.

Lisa Larter (07:19):
Yeah. I love it. I love interviewing authors when I’ve read their book, because I feel I don’t have to ask them about the content in the book. It’s all the other stuff that you want to know that you didn’t get from the book. So it’s almost like the book on steroids.

Stephanie Rainey (07:35):
Yeah, absolutely. Shall I get started with your first question?
Lisa Larter (07:39):
Yeah, let’s do this.

Stephanie Rainey (07:41):
All right. So I know you read a ton, a lot. And I’ve tried to keep up with you and it’s just not possible. So can you tell us, how do you find time to read?

Lisa Larter (07:51):
I get asked that question all the time, “Lisa where do you find the time to read so many books?”. And the truth is I don’t find time, I make time. I have a very deliberate practice. I start and end almost every day with a book. And I have a morning routine where I get up, I take care of the dogs. I make my coffee. I sit in my chair and I read for anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. And that really inspires me and sets the tone for my day. And so it is a discipline that I get so much out of in terms of knowledge and insights and inspiration. That when I find myself going a few days without reading, I feel it affects me and I need to get back into that. I love to learn and that’s one of the ways that I do it.

Lisa Larter (08:46):
The other way that I make time is, typically, it’s how I unwind before I go to sleep at night. I usually have a book by my bedside table and I’ll read for five or 10 minutes, just as a way of winding down before I go to sleep. And so those are just habits, daily habits that I have in my life. And I don’t have to make time because I’m taking time deliberately.

Stephanie Rainey (09:14):
Excellent. I know in order to keep up with you in some of the books that you recommended to me over the years, I’ve had to listen to audio books. It is the only way I can possibly keep up your pace. So there’s a little hint for everyone out there in case that helps. If you’re like me, a busy mom and you’re shuffling people from here to there, and you always seem to be in your car. If you want to keep up with Lisa, that’s one way to try.

Lisa Larter (09:39):
Yeah. You see, for me I like audio books if I’m driving long distance in the car. So here’s my thing about audio books. If you’re not narrating your book, I’m not so interested in listening to it. And if you have a really bad voice, I’m not so interested in listening to it. And part of the reason that I don’t like audio books, and I’m sure I could learn how to do this, but I like to take notes when I read books. And when I’m listening, I don’t experience the same learning because I find my attention wanders. Whereas when I’m reading, I find it easier to redirect my focus and my attention. And I think experiencing a book, there are many different ways, paperback, Kindle, audio, you have to figure out what the right way to experience it is for you.

Lisa Larter (10:32):
And listening is definitely better than not doing anything. But for me personally, the reinforcement and the cementing of the learning comes from the reading, the underlining, the note taking that I do with the book.

Stephanie Rainey (10:48):
Mm-hmm (affirmative) that is important. So sometimes I read a book, especially one that you recommend, and I’m totally overwhelmed by all the information in the book. They have lots of great ideas or formulas or ways of looking at things. So when you read a book, how do you take that information and implement it all?

Lisa Larter (11:11):
I don’t. I don’t even try.

Stephanie Rainey (11:15):

Lisa Larter (11:16):
Yeah, no, I don’t even try. So when I read a book what I’m really looking for is, I’m looking for one powerful insight. I’m looking for one thing that I can tie back to a book. And people often ask me, you asked me this question, “What’s one book that’s transformed your entire business?”. And I’m like, “There isn’t one” because I don’t feel like any one book… I never feel the need to do everything that’s in a book. I feel I’m looking for one insight. One thing that I could put into practice as a result of reading the book and sometimes it’s information from the book, but sometimes it’s the insight. It’s the idea that is sparked from what I read that I want to put into practice.

Stephanie Rainey (12:13):
What is the difference between information and insights? I noticed you use them in different ways there.

Lisa Larter (12:20):
Great question. I want to go back to the overwhelm and feeling the need to read everything and just add one more thing. And then I will answer that question about the difference between information and insights. The other thing that I will tell you, and I learned this from one of the Heath brothers, Chip and Dan Heath, is if you’re writing a really good book, the best information in the book is in the first two chapters. I finish almost every book I start, but if you’re someone who has a hard time getting to the end of a book, don’t put the pressure on yourself to finish the book. See if you can find something in the first couple of chapters that can be beneficial to your business and do that. You don’t have to finish a book. People feel pressured to finish a book. And I don’t know why they feel that way. If it’s not resonating with you any longer, take what you can from it and move on.

Lisa Larter (13:13):
Now, the difference between information and insights to me is when you are reading the book, the content the author is sharing with you is information. That is what they have written. The insight are the ideas that you have while you’re reading the book. So I might be reading something in a book and the author is talking about a specific thing, but that sparks an idea for me that is completely unrelated to the information, but it’s an insight of how I could put this to use in my life or in my business. And so that’s why when I am reading, I’m always reading with a pen. Or I’m always using the notes on my Kindle because I can type in what my insight is or what my to do is, or what my discussion question for Thought Readers is or what my action item is or what my author ask is. So always looking for the next layer of thinking that happens as a result of the information I’m reading.

Stephanie Rainey (14:22):
That makes a lot of sense. And it takes me to something we had talked about earlier, which is that you don’t just read a book and get the information and look for one thing to do from the book and that information. You do this thing where you analyze a book on two different levels. Do you want to talk about that?

Lisa Larter (14:39):
Yeah. So when I am reading a book, I’m reading, I’m getting information, I’m getting insights. But also I feel I am deconstructing the author’s methodology. So I’m looking at the book on different levels. I think because as a leader myself and someone who is passionate about teaching, I’m also interested in how people do things. And so when I’m reading a book, I’m looking at things like… Let’s use Mark Schaefer as an example, when I look at his book, what really struck me was how he used powerful client stories to illustrate his points. I don’t actually remember all the points from the book, but I remember a lot of the stories. And so to me that was an elevated insight from looking at how he approached the book, which makes me think, “oh how could I do a better job of incorporating my own client stories, either into my blogs, into the podcast, into the book that I’m using to reinforce a point that I’m trying to make?”.

Lisa Larter (15:54):
And so I feel when I’m reading, I’m not just reading the information, but I’m looking at the manner in which the author delivers the information to make an impact. Another example of where I do this is when I’m at a conference and I’m listening to a speaker. So I remember I was at an event. I was actually speaking at an event with Brendon Burchard years ago. And Brendan got on the stage and he told this story about skydiving. And the way he told the story and the drama that he put into it and the theatrics and the way he moved across the stage, it was like this production. It was theater. It wasn’t just speaking. And so I’m listening to the story, but there’s this other part of my brain going, “oh wow, I love how he just incorporated performance into the story that he’s telling.”. And so it’s the same thing with the book. It’s like I’m not just looking at the information and the insights, but I’m looking at the manner in which the author has constructed and delivered the experience for the reader and what can I learn from that.

Stephanie Rainey (17:12):
That is so powerful. I think about that as far as information is concerned in a book, but also even just when we go to a concert or we listen to somebody sing, we’re watching them on stage. If I’m thinking of The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie is so animated and so all over the place. And it gives another whole new dimension to what we’re experiencing when we listen to his music. So you’re looking at all those experiences and analyzing them on different levels.
Lisa Larter (17:39):
Yeah. Like Lady Gaga, believe it or not. You look at Lady Gaga’s Superbowl performance as an example. You think, “oh wow, she’s really awesome.”. Do you know that when she has a major performance coming up like that, that she spends six months practicing every single day. But we look at someone like that and we just think that they have this special talent and really special talent is created through practice and discipline and dedication to your craft. And so I am enamored with people that do great things, and I’m always looking at what it is about what they did that made it great so that I can pick apart the pieces that I want to use in my own life and business. The things that I want to emulate.

Lisa Larter (18:40):
Chris Brogan says, he used a term CASE years ago in a copy course that I took with him and CASE stood for copy and steal everything. Now he didn’t mean that literally. He didn’t mean go around the internet and copy everything that people have been done and break rules and all that stuff. But what he meant is that everything’s already been done. And so why try to reinvent the wheel when somebody’s already created a wheel and you can look at it and figure out which spokes you want to put into your wheel. Look at what other people are doing and borrow best practices.

Stephanie Rainey (19:13):
We’re going to look a little closer, and I’m really excited now to get your insight into these three books. So we’re going to look at two that were part of the interview series, and then we’ll look at one other. So let’s start with The Common Path to Uncommon Success by John Lee Dumas. So what did you take from that? What did you take from that book and has it showed up anywhere in your business?

Lisa Larter (19:36):
Well, there were a couple of things that I took from that book. The first thing that I took from that book was a comment that Rebekah Dixon made on our Thought Readers Books & Business call to discuss the book. And she looked me in the eye and said, “Lisa, I felt like you could have read this book. Everything that he wrote in this book is what you teach us to do”. And my insight, or my takeaway from that was, “Lisa get off your ass and write a book” because you have all this information that you could be sharing and you’re not. So that was one insight for me. It was like, “why didn’t I write a book like this? Why am I not writing books?”.

Lisa Larter (20:13):
But the other insight that I had was the way that John approached selling his program and refining his program. And so I took that insight away and I created The Strategy Lab and I started to really think about… I took something from AJ Harper, which is, who are you writing your book for? And I thought, who am I creating this program for? And what are the things that they need? And instead of trying to rush to launch this program, I slowed down and I asked a lot of questions and I iterated and refined from feedback that people gave me. And then I was able to actually sell the program to my 30 founding members without a sales page, which was something I really wanted to do because people always say, “Oh, you need a sales page to sell stuff”. And I don’t think you need a sales page at all.

Lisa Larter (21:13):
So for me, the insight was create what people want, not what I want. So too often, what people do is they create products or programs for what they want to talk about or what they want to sell instead of creating what people want to buy. If I go to a steak house, I want a steak. I’m not going to a steak house to have the best vegan meal in the city. So a steakhouse that only offers vegan dishes is a bad idea because you’re not selling what people go there to buy. And I think that we can learn from that by spending a little bit more time on the front end of really identifying and getting clear on what people want to buy before we launch a new initiative.

Lisa Larter (22:06):
So that’s what I took away from that book and 30 founding members at a reduced rate of $2,000 means that that book generated $60,000 in sales in my business. That book. And I now have a wait list for The Strategy Lab. I have people beyond the 30 that have begged me to let them in. And I said, “No”. So I know there are more people coming into The Strategy lab, that $60,000 in revenue from that one insight and idea and action that I took from John’s book is just the beginning.

Stephanie Rainey (22:40):
Wow. That’s an amazing return.
Lisa Larter (22:41):
Mm-hmm (affirmative) $30 book, $60,000 in sale. That’s pretty darn good. I should probably send John a thank you card.

Stephanie Rainey (22:50):
Yeah, I’m sure he’d love that. The other thing I’m thinking too is when you’re talking about The Strategy Lab, the interesting thing is that you refined and refined and refined before you offered it out there. But even now that we’re in the lab, you’re still doing the same thing. You’re refining, refining, refining what we’re doing in the lab so that it’s a no brainer. You absolutely want to stay in because you can’t wait to see what’s coming up next in the lab.

Lisa Larter (23:15):
Mm-hmm (affirmative) It’s true. I’m looking at how can we iterate? How can we make it better as we go along? And even the learning labs, the monthly learning labs, I just put together a list of 24 topics and asked people to pick on the top five to six that they liked so that I can plan the next quarter. But people are actually commenting and say,” I want all 24″. So that’s great because people are guiding the process. And too often, sometimes I think people are afraid to ask their customers what they want. And I actually think that you do your buyer a disservice when you pretend to know what they want. You might know what they need. There are some things that I know people need. I know people need help with numbers and money and strategy. I know that. But you don’t want to make assumptions and be completely way off base. You want to sell what people want to buy and know that what you’re selling is also something you can deliver.
Stephanie Rainey (24:23):
Sometimes we as business owners create these products or services in a vacuum. And then I feel what I’m seeing right now is a metaphor where it’s like we stand at the edge of the cliff and we think… or this big gap between one rock and another. And we’re like, “oh no, is it going to sell? Is it going to sell?” And we feel like we’re jumping this great big space rather than actually just putting little stepping stones in between, which are all those questions and all those connections that you make when you actually talk to your ideal buyer.

Lisa Larter (24:55):
Yes. And then there’s also the fear of what people think. So I know that sometimes, I actually had a coaching conversation with a client this week and she said to me, “I did my first attempt at invitation marketing. And I put this thing out there and right away, two people said they were interested” and she’s like, “I don’t know why it took me so long. I’m just so afraid I’m going to put something out there and nobody’s going to respond”. And I was like, “Oh my God, that’s a great thing.”. Because if you put an idea out there and nobody responds, then it’s the wrong idea. Why would you want to go the distance with the wrong idea and take it all the way to the end zone?” I worked with a woman years ago, who was a perfectionist. When you’re a perfectionist, you got some insecurity, I know. I’m looking in the mirror. I’m looking at myself because I’ve been there, done that. Sometimes I still do it.

Lisa Larter (25:50):
But she created this great big, huge program and invested so much money in the creation of this program. And nobody bought it. You don’t create the program and then try to sell it. You sell the idea and then create the program. And I know that. I know you sell the idea before you create the program. That to me, that’s a common sense thing that I do. But what I did different as a result of John’s book is before I sold the idea, I got a lot of feedback from people on the idea to perfect the idea before it was ready to be bought.

Stephanie Rainey (26:35):
Nice. It shaped your original idea.

Lisa Larter (26:37):
It did. It totally shaped the idea.
Stephanie Rainey (26:40):
All right.

Lisa Larter (26:40):
That’s a great title, shaping the idea. It’s a great title.

Stephanie Rainey (26:45):
All right. We’re going to move on to Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Ben Hardy. So can you give us a look at that and your insight into that book and how did it show up in your business?

Lisa Larter (27:00):
Well beyond the obvious, which was, “oh my God I need a who” and changing the language that I use in my own business now. Because now I say things like, “I need a who, who can take this. I need a who, who can do this. I need a who, who can finish this”. And my biggest realization was two-fold. One, I wasn’t assigning ownership to a who. All right. I wasn’t assigning ownership to a specific who. So when I decided to do the podcast, I assigned ownership of this who to Michelle McAlpine, my Executive Assistant. And she took ownership and she took the ball and she owned it. And she saw it all the way to the end zone and continues to oversee what we’re doing in the podcast like a mother hen to make sure that it’s good. But I think what was the most valuable insight for me in the Who Not How book is what Dan Sullivan calls… And I know he uses this in Strategic Coach as well, the mpact filter.

Lisa Larter (28:10):
And if you Google Dan Sullivan impact filter, you can find the impact filter online. You might have to opt in for it, but the impact filter asks… He talks about it in the book. And it asks you a series of questions that help you get really clear on the idea, the outcome, the benefits, and what’s at risk if you don’t do this. And my aha is when you fill out the impact filter, your idea as an entrepreneur goes from half baked to fully baked. And when you’re running a business and you want somebody to take the ball to the end zone, you have to hand them a fully baked idea. You can’t hand them a half-baked idea because when there is uncertainty and ambiguity and a lack of clarity in your half baked idea, you’re who can not be successful because they don’t know what they need to do. They don’t know what it takes to please you, to be successful.

Lisa Larter (29:20):
And so that what happens is that who has to ask you a million questions, and then you as a business owner gets stuck in analysis paralysis, because you haven’t thought through the answers to those questions. When you follow the impact filter process, it forces you to make decisions and get super clear on the idea. And that one thing is what enables someone else to help you execute. That was my biggest insight. So not only did I fill out the impact filter for the podcast, I filled out an impact filter for The Strategy Lab. I am using this as a tool now to ensure that I, as a leader, am doing a better job of delivering clear communications and expectations around what I need when I give ownership to a who.

Stephanie Rainey (30:17):
I feel like when you don’t specify or you haven’t fully baked the idea or you haven’t thought it out fully, and then the person who’s taken this idea doesn’t know what to do, there’s a lot of room for improv.

Lisa Larter (30:33):
There’s a lot of room for improv, and there is a high risk and likelihood of failure work. Failure work is a term that Alan Weiss uses where you have to do the work over again, because you didn’t do the work right the first time. And anytime there is failure work, failure work costs you money. Because you paid for it to get done the first time, now you’re paying for it to get done the second time. And so the clearer you are at the onset of what it is that you want, the less likely you’re going to have delays. The less likely you’re going to have failure work. And the less likely your team is going to feel demoralized. Nobody likes to not do good work. Nobody shows up and thinks, I want to screw everything up today. So as a leader, it’s your job to let them know what the outcomes are so that you can help them to be successful.

Stephanie Rainey (31:30):
All right. We’re going to switch gears and go to one that was not a book that was not at all included in the Summer Of Reading. But it was in your list of the top 12 books that you have enjoyed and implemented, or got an insight from in your business. So, Building A StoryBrand by-

Lisa Larter (31:51):
Donald Miller.

Stephanie Rainey (31:52):
That’s right, Donald Miller. That’s right. So what insight did you take from that book on the two different levels that you think on? And how did that show up in your business?

Lisa Larter (32:05):
Building A StoryBrand is a great book. I think I’ve read it three times now. And what I really took from Donald Miller’s book was two things. One, codifying your methodology. So his book, it’s not rocket science. When you look at the steps and stages that he’s got built out, he’s using the hero’s journey to show you how to build a story brand. CASE – copy and steal everything. Hero’s journey is not his, but he’s modified it and made it his. But when I read the book, what happened for me is I started to think about my own methodology and the methodology that I use when it comes to strategy with my own clients.

Lisa Larter (32:51):
And I started to look at, okay, so Donald Miller wrote this book and he’s got his methodology in the book. And he’s got this online program that goes with the book, and he’s got this in-person workshop in Nashville that goes with the book, and he’s got these workbooks that go with the book and he’s got these visual documents that go with the book. And I thought, well, what if I did that with my own methodology? What if I took my strategy process and deconstructed it in a way that was transferable to a workshop? What if I wrote a book around my process?

Lisa Larter (33:34):
And so what happened is I have not created the online program yet, still to come. I have done the workshop in person a number of times with people. I think the first time I did it, I had 25 or 30 people come to the workshop and pay I don’t remember, I think $500 or a $1000 to attend. So I’ve done the workshop a number of times. I continue to do the methodology with my clients privately. I have an outline and probably about 20,000 words written for the book already. And so it was reading that book that just made me look at how to take my own methodology and transfer the format for delivery from mass market, which would be a book. Group setting, which would be a workshop. Online, which would be a DIY. And in-person, which would be high-touch. So I was able to see through his work, how to rock, pebble, sand my own business.

Stephanie Rainey (34:43):
That’s only one of his methodologies that he’s codified.

Lisa Larter (34:47):
Yeah, exactly. And as I talk about rock, pebble, sand, I’m pretty sure we talk about rock, pebble, sand somewhere in the first season of the show. I don’t know what episode it’s in, but we definitely talk about the roadmap strategy in episode four. And really the roadmap strategy is my codified process that I have been able to use in all of these formats as a result of reading Donald Miller’s book. The other thing Donald Miller has done that I find really interesting because I bought his online program and I went to his StoryBrand workshop in Tennessee and he has done a really great job of utilizing his team to deliver his content. So when you go to the workshop, Donald Miller opens it up and he ends it. So the first half of the first morning is him. And the last half of the last afternoon is him. And everything else in between is his team delivering the content. And he’s got ambassadors that are essentially clients that are all wandering around the room helping people while they do their exercises. And so it was also a really good aha for me.

Lisa Larter (36:08):
Because when I look at my own business and even in The Strategy Lab, one of the things that you’ve said to me Stephanie is, “We need other posts to hold up the tent”. We need other people that are involved in programs beyond just me. And I think it’s so important because the way that we synthesize information and even contextualize it for other people is different based on our experiences. And so it increases the value for someone else when you have more people participating.

Stephanie Rainey (36:39):
Yes, it really amplifies your message or whatever it is your thought process is or your methodology. It makes me think of when I went to a U2 concert a couple of years back. And when you look at Bono on the stage from where I am, he’s two inches tall. He’s the size of an ant. And you think, wow, all these people. And we’re all looking at Bono, the size of this tiny little ant on the stage. But what is he doing? He’s got all of these screens that amplify what he’s doing. He’s got all of these speakers that are blowing out the sound and making it feel like he’s bigger. But the truth is that all of us are only this big. We can only be that small size. And if we want to get our message out, we need a lot more things to help us do that and to amplify what it is we do.

Lisa Larter (37:33):
Absolutely. A hundred percent agree. Great, great, great metaphor.
Stephanie Rainey (37:38):
So if you find yourself saying, and I know this happens to you a lot, “I could have written this book”. What does it mean?

Lisa Larter (37:47):
Write the book. Write the damn book.

Stephanie Rainey (37:51):
How often has that happened to you?

Lisa Larter (37:53):
Lots. That’s happened to me lots of times. And I actually had a coaching client of mine mention something about my book to me just this week on a coaching call. She referenced a chapter of my book on money and something that I said about having fun in business and how that really made her stop and think, because she doesn’t think about having fun in her business. And it made me realize that, all right that book is five or six years old now, and people are still getting value from it. I really need to just do it.

Stephanie Rainey (38:32):
Write another book?

Lisa Larter (38:33):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stephanie Rainey (38:35):
What was your reaction when you read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz?

Lisa Larter (38:41):
Oh, Mike Michalowicz. I have a love, hate relationship with Mike Michalowicz because every time I read one of his books I’m like, “I should have wrote that book”. So Profit First, I have been focused on profits from the very beginning. I am always saying, “People need to move the bottom line to the top”. I’m always saying, “I don’t care how much your top line revenue is. If you don’t make a profit, then who cares?” And so when I read Profit First, I was like, “man, why didn’t I write this book?”. Mike has done a spectacular job of writing books that are easy for entrepreneurs to relate to and implement. And if you don’t have any money in the bank, if your business isn’t turning a profit, until I write my book, you should read Mike’s because it’s really good.

Lisa Larter (39:27):
But I have to tell you, it’s frustrating when you see that someone else has written about something and you know you could have done that. I think that we all have books inside of us. And the problem is, not only do we all have creative ideas and books inside of us, we have a critical editor inside of us too. And that critical editor causes us to self edit and not finish. It causes us to think that what we’re writing isn’t good enough. It’s like me, I have not had a podcast review since July 9th. Hello? Do you think my podcast sucks? Because you haven’t given me a review, so maybe I should stop. Maybe I shouldn’t do it anymore. We tell ourselves these stories and the stories are not always true. No, I haven’t had a podcast review since July 9th, but I probably received 10 emails from people thanking me and telling me how much they liked the podcast and what value they got from this and that.

Lisa Larter (40:22):
So it’s important that we learn to silence the critic and that we learn to put the perfectionist in its place and just do the work so that we can make an impact.

Stephanie Rainey (40:38):
I love what Steve Dotto said in your interview with him, that everyone is going to look at something and explain something in a new way, just from the very thing of being themselves. They’re going to have a different perspective. They’re going to use different words. They’re going to use a different metaphor. And really, StoryBrand is just a huge metaphor. That’s all it is. And so some of that is going to resonate with a whole new crowd of people who might not have got that information in the first place.

Lisa Larter (41:07):
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Stephanie Rainey (41:10):
Thank you so much Lisa, for having me on again and for answering those burning questions about some awesome books. Thank you for hosting a Summer Of Reading and for getting us all excited about getting into these business books that we might not otherwise pick up. I really appreciate the work that you do.

Lisa Larter (41:28):
Oh, thank you, Stephanie. What is your favorite book? What book transformed your business? Besides mine, of course.

Stephanie Rainey (41:37):
Well, your book I feel I got it firsthand in every workshop and mastermind I ever attended with you. It was the 4D version of what that book was. And it always led back to similar insights, which is so helpful. When we were talking about books and there’s one that I can think of that really set the stage for me in creating my own business. And that was The E Myth. It was the first business book that I ever read because I never studied business. I never took a business course in school. It never interested me whatsoever. It wasn’t even on my radar as I was growing up. And that book, I just so related to the woman that’s in that book that-

Lisa Larter (42:20):
The pie maker.

Stephanie Rainey (42:21):
Yeah exactly, the pie maker. And the fact that she’s so busy making pies and trying to make it so good that she ends up taking over everyone else’s job that she’s hired to do. And in the end she ends up a one woman show with a horrible job and a horrible boss, which are both herself. And I could just see forecasting forward that if I had just started my business and didn’t frame it properly, that I would end up just like her. So his advice around making your business an actual product blew my mind. Of course, so you’re not so wrapped up in it that you, it’s like your baby and you can’t part with it and you can’t see its blemishes and you can’t see where it needs help. So if I had to pick a book, I would say that would be the one that transformed, definitely the way I think about business and how I think about structuring a good business.

Lisa Larter (43:15):
Yeah. Michael Gerber is amazing and he is a super, super, super nice man as well. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him in person at an event that I spoke at. He was speaking, he was a keynote speaker there. And he’s actually a short man too. He’s not a very big man. He was speaking of small and big. I was surprised because his stature is so big in my mind based on his work, but yeah, he’s great. I’m actually planning next year for Thought Readers, I’m planning on doing a year of the classics. I’m planning on doing a year of books that are the foundational fundamental books that I think every business owner needs to read for their business. And E Myth Revisited is definitely one that I’m going to look at again. Because I read that book years and years and years ago when I still had a job and my husband and I had started our first business and it was really helpful for me as well.

Stephanie Rainey (44:17):
Oh, that is so exciting. I can’t wait for that season with Thought Readers. That will be amazing.

Lisa Larter (44:22):
Yes, yes, yes. That was actually your idea a couple of years ago. You’re like, “You should do a capsule. A capsule about-”

Stephanie Rainey (44:27):
No wonder it’s such a good idea. It’s awesome. Thank you for taking it on.
Lisa Larter (44:34):
All right. So thank you, Stephanie. As we wrap up this episode, a couple of things I just want to mention. Reading books doesn’t have to be complicated. Just read. Just look for one thing that you can act on in your business, whether it’s insight or information and look at your book as a resource that’s helping you grow as an entrepreneur and helping you grow your business. The other thing that I would say is if you don’t like to read every single day, maybe don’t give yourself the pressure of reading a book a month. Maybe give yourself a quarter to read a book. In the program 75 Hard, they suggest that you read 10 pages a day. 10 pages a day doesn’t seem too much. There are a lot of books out there that are 200 pages, 300 pages, 500 pages. So if you give yourself a page count, it can actually make it easier for you to get through the book as well.

Lisa Larter (45:36):
So next season, or next week, we are going to have our first episode for our third season, which is all about money metrics and measurements. And so in episode 24, we’re going to talk about why it matters, what you should be measuring and how to start. I’m going to dive into the difference between a metric and a measurement so that you understand that. And we’re going to talk about money myths in this season. We’ve got some really, really fun stuff planned for you. I’m going to talk to a colleague and former client of mine about a million dollar launch. And I’m going to talk to somebody else about how they want to scale their business to $10 million. It’s going to be a really, really interesting season because money is such a trigger point for so many people. So I hope you’ll tune into that and put your triggers to rest and embrace and learn.

Lisa Larter (46:38):
And if you have enjoyed Summer Of Reading and you would like to read with us, then come join us in Thought Readers. You can learn more about Thought Readers at This month we are reading Big Little Breakthroughs, which is another fantastic book. And it’s not just about the book, it’s about the insights that we are all gaining from each of the books that we read and the actions that we are taking in our business. And that’s it my friends. Thank you very much for listening to this episode and for participating in a Summer Of Reading and I look forward to starting the next season next week. Bye for now.

Lisa Larter (47:22):
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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