by Michelle Vackar of Hi Mamma
The phrase “The more that you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” by Dr Seuss is so true. Believe me, I know how hard it can be to sit down and read at times, especially if you keep thinking of different things you need to work on, create, or do for your family. But it is one of the best ways to expand your mind, to grow, to learn and most of all, a way to challenge yourself in running your business.
Visiting our local book store is such a danger zone for me that I will even take a photograph of the front of the book or write an email to myself via my cell phone, so that I can place it on my wish list of books to read when I get home.
There have been a few books where I wondered during the read if it was worth continuing. But one thing that has helped me to finish a book is to at least write down one or two things that could be applied to my business.
As I have been a contributor for the past several months at OMHG, I have been inspired by all the topics that the monthly contributors have shared. One thought, I know this may be such a crazy thought, was, “What do these entrepreneurial women read in order to help them soar to the next level in their business?” So I automatically thought, well let’s just ask and see. And you know what? It was such a wonderful idea because I now have grown my reading wish list and I thought that you would like to learn what some of the contributors like to read as well. I am going to have to go out on a limb and say that I think you will want to take notes as you read these books, because they come so highly recommended.
April at Anointment Natural Skin Care
- The Boss of You is a fantastic book for all newcomers to business, and has several specific examples for those who are selling handmade items. It is written by two Canadian business women so it has a lot of information pertaining to the Canadian market, but also provides information for US readers as well (http://www.laurenandemira.com/).
Zoe at A Quick Study
- Getting Things Done by David Allen – I have to admit I’ve never read this book start to finish (kind of funny, since it’s about time management and productivity), but the pieces I’ve read and skimmed have helped me immensely with my time management. While I don’t use Allen’s strategies exactly as written, the principles behind them (for example, blocking like tasks together) have been really transformative for me. Any entrepreneur knows that time is often the hardest thing to come by, and this book definitely helps me create more time for the things that matter!
- Notes on Graphic Design and Visual Communication by Gregg Berryman – This 46 page purple book is an amazingly thorough primer on all things graphic design related. It’s a required text for a lot of introductory graphic design courses, and it’s one I’ve held on to for years because it’s a great reminder of the basics. It’s entirely set in handwritten text (an especially odd choice for a design text, since that’s something of a no-no), which makes it a bit challenging to read, but it is so worth it – I promise that everything you create will be better for checking this book out.
Lucy at Perfect Balance Marketing
- Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin. This has to be one of my favorite books. If you make meatballs, and the market wants sundaes, then you’ve got a problem – and this book shows you how to overcome it. The book is packed with little case studies from different industries. Godin’s central argument is that it’s not about just using new marketing tools (like blogging, YouTube, email marketing, Facebook, Twitter) – it’s about integrating them into the business. You can also subscribe to Godin’s blog (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) to see if you like his style of writing – which is concise, to the point, inspirational, thought-provoking and practical. All good in my books!
Michelle at Hi Mamma
- Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco. This book was an easy read, is upbeat and a wonderful tool in helping me market my business early on. Gave me numerous ideas and provided some initial insights into the handmade market.
- E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber. I originally read this book in a business book club targeted toward CPAs. The book takes several different mock companies through their stages of development. It is a great book to gain perspective on meeting the different day-to-day challenges of various businesses.
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott. David is a corporate marketing strategist by trade and he takes the new tools of the trade and applies them and explains in very simple terms how these new mediums can be applied to your business. Not to be “afraid of them” but to engage them for your company’s use.
Grace at Pink Olive
- E-Myth by Michael Gerber
- Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell – this was one of the earlier books that shaped the way I look at retail
- Delivery Happiness by Tony Hsieh – LOVE this one
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Becoming Category of One by Joe Calloway
Jacqui at Mee a Bee
- Online I love to read Scoutie Girl, Crafting an MBA and Hubspot.
- Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business by Meg Mateo Lasco
- Made to Stick by Dan Heath and Chip Heath (as recommended by Crafting an MBA)
- The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart.
- I love the book I Was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile, it deals with “mom guilt”.
- Reading biographies and autobiographies. You never know where your motivation and drive will come from.
Julie at On the Dot Creations
- Treat Your Customers by Bob Miglani
- The Referral Engine by John Jantsch
Jessika at Oh My! Handmade
This is a hard one! I am a huge reader but I don’t actually read a huge amount of business books. I read a lot of books that influence how I look at business though. Here are few of the more or less directly related to business ones:
- The Handmade Marketplace Your Guide to Selling Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online by Kari Chapin
- The Right Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee
- Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine
- Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life by Thich Nhat Hanh has helped me be more mindful in general but definitely in business & parenting, a truly powerful and moving book.
Do you have any favorite books that you would like to share? If so, please let us know and together we all can grow.