If ever there was a time during the year when you could squeeze in time for reading, it's the summer. Luckily, I have 10 books for you to choose from—each will inspire, spark new ideas and help you gain new perspectives on your business.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger
Summary: Why do some ideas catch on so quickly and others disappear overnight?
How it can help: Learn the science of creating instant appeal for your products.
Favorite line: “People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers.”
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, by Dan Pink
Summary: Selling has changed greatly in an Internet-based economy.
How it can help: Learn how to educate customers instead of selling directly to them.
Favorite line: “The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial for our survival and our happiness."
Book Yourself Solid, illustrated and written by Michael Port
Summary: An illustrated version of Port's bestselling book that shows how to get more leads, clients and profits.
How it can help: Most small-business owners hate to sell, and aren't very good at it. This book demonstrates step by step how to always keep your pipeline full.
Favorite line: “Don’t try to please everyone or you can kiss your ass goodbye.”
Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results, by Mark Sanborn
Summary: If a mailman can turn his ordinary job into an extraordinary one, then any small-business owner can too.
How it can help: It shows how employees can create more value by providing greater service to customers.
Favorite line: “Normal is overrated.”
Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Summary: How can a person deliver a great result one day and fail the next day at the same task?
How it can help: Learn how to tip the odds of success in your favor.
Favorite line: “It’s only in competitions that we are socially permitted to try our absolute hardest, uncloak our desire to win and be at our most intense.”
Risky is the New Safe, by Randy Gage
Summary: The book shows how the Great Recession shifted the business paradigm and how these new challenges present opportunities.
How it can help: Learn what jobs and business models will disappear and how to position a business to thrive.
Favorite line: "What happens when virtual-reality sex and holo-suites become a reality? They create remarkable new opportunities.”
End of the Good Life: How The Financial Crisis Threatens a Lost Generation, by Riva Froymovich
Summary: As a result of the poor economy and mounting college debt, Gen Y is postponing marriage, home buying and having children. The trend is having a long-lasting impact on the economy.
How it can help: Explains how you can take advantage of this opportunity to get ahead.
Favorite line: “In the end, Generation Y is left questioning America’s future and our role in it.”
The Pocket Small-Business Owner’s Guide to Business Plans, by Brian Hill and Dee Power
Summary: A guide written in plain English that will help any entrepreneur move from startup to launch.
How it can help: Helps you through the process of getting an idea from your head onto paper, and how to land those first paying customers.
Favorite line: “You don’t have to have an MBA, be a rocket scientist, or work as a brain surgeon to create a business plan.”
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, by Olivia Fox Cabane
Summary: Charismatic behaviors can be learned and perfected by anyone.
How it can help: Learn how to be more persuasive and influential by adopting specific practices that fit your particular personality.
Favorite line: “Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be as magnetic as Bill Clinton and as captivating as Steve Jobs?”
Headtrash: Cleaning out the Junk That Stands Between You and Success, by Tish Squillaro and Timothy Thomas
Summary: How to control the unproductive emotions and fears that can hurt a small-business owner's effectiveness.
How it can help: Identify the seven killer emotions that keep you stuck, and prevent you from moving your business forward.
Favorite line: “It’s that negative voice of your subconscious, engaging you in a deadly dialogue that only you hear, consciously or subconsciously, but affects everything you say and do and everyone around you.”
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