Business professionals listening to coworker in creative office. Male and female colleagues are … [+]
As the year ends, I hope you’ll find some time to keep up your self-improvement and business-improvement efforts into 2020. Here’s a selection of books and podcasts that can propel your business forward. All of these can be loosely categorized as self-help or how-to, and they include a mix of recently published and more classic titles.
This is Marketing is a do-it-yourself guide to marketing, but not along the lines you might expect. You’re not going to find anything in Godin’s new book about, say, media buys or social media metrics. Rather, this is a book intended to focus you on finding what Godin calls “the smallest viable audience” for your product, your service or your idea and seeing where that leads. And it can lead you far.
This is the latest edition of Bernard “Bear” Kamaroff’s phenomenally useful guide to most everything the proprietor of a small (even a very, very small) business needs to know. It brings the content up to date for 2019 and beyond, including the introduction of a new section on “surviving the gig economy.”
Kamaroff is a C.P.A. with over thirty years of experience specializing in small business, and he really knows his stuff. I’ve personally used these guides since my business was tiny, and they really help.
Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz
In Clockwork, Michalowicz, the author whom Simon Sinek has nominated for the title of “patron saint of entrepreneurs” for his work ending “entrepreneurial poverty,” helps businesspeople get out of the cycle of overwork and desperation, and does so in a series of seven sensible but rarely-considered steps.
A book by serial entrepreneur, consultant, and speaker, Barry Molt, that takes the barriers to business success (and enjoyment), breaks them into 25 bite-sized chunks, and shows you, in a relatable and humorous way, how to overcome each of them.
Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break by Rachael O’Meara
Author O’Meara was a hard-charging Google support manager when she realized she was suffering from burnout. Rather suck it up, go on an extended sabbatical or simply break down, she came up with the concept of a “pause”: a shift in behavior that allowed her–and can allow you–to experience a shift in attitude, thoughts, or emotions. She shares her philosophy, techniques, and a reading of neural science as it applies to the concept and puts it in practical terms for the reader, whether their need is in business or personal life.
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Gary Keller is the co-founder of Keller Williams, the largest real estate company in the world. His blockbuster book, The One Thing, is a relentless, inspirational, and practical guide to doing more with less: less distraction, less mental clutter.
How To Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black (Podcast)
How To Be Amazing offers Interview, one per episode, with some of the most amazing people in contemporary culture, creativity, and business, hosted by comedian (though he’s for the most part not aiming for laughs here), Michael Ian Black.
I may have learned as much from this show as from anything else I have listened to or read in the past few years. There’s something about how Black focuses his questions, and about his comfort on air with his guests, many of whom are his friends or professional colleagues, that draws out information and insight that the listener can apply right away. While the show is currently on hiatus, there are hundreds of episodes available for download now.
Entrepreneur and marketing expert Eric Siu takes you inside hot companies to help you discover what it takes to get “from zero to a million and beyond,” in a format that includes actionable interviews and more. 300 episodes are already available for listening.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, by Lori Gottlieb Entrepreneurs and business leaders would appear to have at least as much need for mental health services as the general populace, considering the loneliness and self-doubt often involved in what we do. Gottlieb’s hit new book shows how she works as a therapist, how she works with her therapist, and what their might be in it for the rest of us.
NOTE: There are other books on the subject that dispense with the “therapist’s internal narrative” aspect of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, and thus may be more appropriate if you’re looking more toward digging in right away yourself. A great one along the lines is The Feeling Good Handbook, by Dr. David Burns, and the bestseller it grew out of, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.