PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
This week, Pete and Dom recommend some books to put on your reading list (especially if you are off on holiday). There are some old classics from Dom and some new suggestions from Pete, so there should be something for everyone.
Pete and Dom suggest books that you can add to your reading list when you’re on a trip
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Summer Book Club
Dom Goucher: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hey, hey, how are you all?
Dom: Hey, pretty good over here.
Pete: You flew back from Spain to London town in time for the royal arrival. Very patriotic of you, mate.
Dom: Oh yeah, I’ve lived my life that way… not. Did it really get all the way over there? Were you guys all going crazy over there because it just went crazy over here.
Pete: Yeah, of course. I think even throughout the US, it was a bit crazy as well from what I heard. It’s just big news when a royal baby is born. It’s quite interesting this day and age, but very, very cool.
Dom: Well, it must’ve been big news because even I heard about it. You know I have a very thin grasp on the real world. Well, at least the populous of political stuff anyway.
Pete: Luckily, we’re not talking about the cricket in the Australia versus England series at the moment. I think the Queen is having a fantastic month with the Tour de France win, and the cricket winning, and the rugby test we just had, and the baby. She’s having a fantastic month.
Dom: All right, okay that’s all that ordinary stuff done. Let’s go out there. I thought we have a little themed show this week, Mr. Williams.
Pete: Love it. I love a good theme.
Dom: A good theme and theme. We’re halfway through the year, we’re past halfway through the year, but I started the year with my little Foundation series of podcasts where I talked about things that I think everybody should have on their mind, things that you should be paying attention to, just general concepts.
Things that we talk about all the time, just reminders. Very well-received, even though I do say myself. But if you haven’t listened to those folks, now would be a good time because it’s that summer holidays time well in all the northern parts of the world. Anyway, Pete I realized over where you are, it’s not quite summer.
But large parts of the world are taking breaks, summer breaks, and it’s a time to take a time off, put your feet up, catch up with things. So first of all I’m recommending that you go back and have a quick listen to those Foundation podcasts.
But really what I’m getting at here is, I want to introduce something (and we could do this at the end of the year for people in your part of the world as well Pete), the Summer Book Club.
Pete: I love it.
Dom: This idea of recommended reads. Now, we do do recommended read or listen every week. We started in again and we talk about Audible for audiobooks or recommended audiobook to people. But I just want to focus in because I’ve been doing this a lot lately. I’ve been talking to people and I seem to be recommending the same three, four, five books.
I’ll start a conversation with somebody, consulting client, or whatever, and I’ll say, “Hey, have you read X, Y, Z? If you haven’t, I really recommend you read that and then we can talk more regularly, more easily on a topic.” So, I’d like to talk through those four or five books that I recommend, but I also like to get your input on anything that you recommend as well.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. I had a very similar conversation earlier this week with a couple of girls from the Deakin University philanthropic department who is chatting to me about a whole bunch of stuff due to my position with the Advisory Board. One of the questions that came up in our conversation was also, “what books would you recommend people read?” So it’s a perfect timing for even in the Southern Hemisphere.
Dom: Cool. I’m going to say hopefully none of these books are a surprise to anyone that is a regular listener of PreneurCast. From my list, I’m not going to bring anything out of the wood work. I’m not going to surprise anybody and I’m really hoping everybody’s read these at least once.
If you haven’t then I really do recommend and remind and nudge. This is an accountability thing folks. Get yourself awake. Get yourself a copy and read these. Pete, I know you’re always on the leading edge of this stuff and you’re ahead of the game.
So, I’m hoping you are going to surprise people with some stuff. That said, let’s get right into it because once we start onto this, we might wax a little lyrical. Now I’m doing these in order. This is the order, if you haven’t read these in this order I would read them in this order and I’m going to try and explain why, if that’s all right.
Pete: Sounds like a good plan.
Dom: Cool. So my first book- and it was pretty much the first book I talked about extensively on PreneurCast is The E-Myth. Now, the reason why I’m putting this is first because it puts down a lot of foundational knowledge and concepts for me. It was one of the first books of its kind that I read and it set a lot of things in motion for me personally, and I think it’s an easy start.
It’s well written as an easy read to just flow through and learn a lot of the basic concepts that we talk about all the time, but that I still see people making these mistakes every day in any work or business. This book is the origin of concepts such as, ‘don’t work in your business, work on your business,’ and about setting up systems.
It walks through the transitions that I think a lot of people go through, which is this from being the mechanic, the person that does the work to the person running the business that really shouldn’t be doing the work anymore and should be hiring people in to do it.
So that to me is a foundational book and I think if you haven’t read it, I think it’s important that you read it and not only grasp but understand those concepts. What do you think?
Pete: Yeah, completely agree. I know a good friend of mine Mike Rhodes, who runs one of Australia’s leading AdWords agency, Web Savvy, is a huge, huge fan of that book, and also did a whole bunch of additional training in certifications with Michael Gerber around them. I do think that it’s a pivotal book, particularly for people.
I think it would make the most impact for people who are really good on the tools and is just getting started in business. So you may have done an apprenticeship. The example he uses throughout the book is a better bakery. So you may be a really good baker and make amazing coffee scrolls and different éclairs and stuff like that, but you never really run a business before.
It’s a great book to see the difference between being a mechanic, as what he calls, it and a business owner. So I think that’s a really important book for everybody but particularly those type of entrepreneurs who are just starting out coming from a trade background as such.
Dom: Yeah, and you make a really good point there actually, which is that it is applicable. And this is something that I’m going to come back to with all of these books. They’re applicable to everybody at any stage. From somebody who’s like got a job thinking of starting a business, somebody at college looking what they’re going to do, thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, starting their own business up, if somebody that’s in the business but isn’t getting the results that they want.
All those people, this is applicable stuff. There’s always something in here for everybody whether it’s seeing a path to follow before you start so you get yourself off on a good start, or whether it’s just getting a bit more direction and seeing a way out of the situation you’re in. Definitely for me that’s top of my list.
Pete: Love it. Very, very cool. Well, my list is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to throw out some books that we have probably touched on the show but may not that I think are a little bit left descended that are definitely worth checking out. So my stuff’s slightly different.
The first one I want to suggest is a book called Love Yourself. Now, I’m going to completely scrap the author’s name unfortunately. But I think its Kamal Ravikant. So K-A-M-A-L is the first name, and the surname R-A-V-I-K-A-N-T. The book’s called Love Yourself, subtitle is Like Your Life Depends On It.
It’s a short, little light, Kindle book and it’s a really interesting book. It talks about the power of affirmations, but in a really non, “ooh, ooh, la, la,” weird way. I think it’s a fantastic easy read that everyone should have. Just take the $7 or $8, or whatever it costs, to buy the Kindle book and have a quick read of it. It’s an interesting take on the power of affirmation and why you want to incorporate that into your life in some area, in some way.
Dom: Cool. I read that. I can’t remember who recommended it to me, but I did pick it up on a recommendation and I read it. I enjoyed it a lot. I think the term you were looking for was woo, woo.
Pete: There you go. That works.
Dom: Yeah, because it’s not and then I don’t talk about it a lot but I am into the more psychological aspects of personal performance and things like that. And so this is a big thing. The idea of affirmations is a big thing. And if you’re not totally confident by this idea of positive affirmation, let me frame it differently for you. Thinking negative thoughts really is not very good for you and not very good for your success and progress, and so affirmations is just the opposite of that.
It’s a way out of thinking negative thoughts. It’s not just woo-woo rubbish. It’s just a way of dealing with something that absolutely everybody comes across at some point in their life; this idea of negative thoughts about just not looking positively upon a project or whatever. So yeah, that’s a good recommendation, Pete. I like that.
Pete: A little bit different, but definitely worth a read.
Dom: And oh, by the way, folks, anybody’s that’s having fun with Pete’s pronunciation, don’t panic. All the books are going to be in the show notes for the show out over on PreneurMedia.tv. You can go over and get the correct spelling of everything. No worries. We’ll put links to the books and everything there. There’ll also be in the show notes for the podcast if your podcast reader can read those things.
But PreneurMedia.tv is the best place to go to get all of the supporting material on the show. My number two. If you’ve read The E-Myth, the next one along for me is Built to Sell. Now, Built to Sell, some people say is incredibly similar to The E-Myth. I say it builds on what The E-Myth starts.
Pete: Yeah, I agree with that for sure.
Dom: Yup. And I, again, found this a pivotal work. I really got so much more from it because I’ve read The E-Myth, which is why I’ve put them in that order. But again, it’s about running a business and about designing a business. It’s almost like you get the end of The E-Myth and he gives you a lot of things that you should be going and doing, but they’re generic terms.
He’s like, “You should systematize. You should work on your business not in your business,” and so on and so on. They’re all good advice. And if you can visualize what he’s saying and come up with something that applies in your world, then The E-Myth is great. But if you can’t or you’re struggling with it, or you just want a really pragmatic practical example, Built to Sell is that cover to cover.
It’s a story, a worked example; you know how in The E-Myth you say he goes through the guy in the bakery. In Built to Sell, it’s someone in the graphic design business, which I think is a great example because a graphic design business is an absolute potential minefield of draining life-sucking horror clients.
It’s a great wonderful business. If you’re good at, it you enjoy it, it’s a wonderful business to be in. But at the same time, it’s such a minefield to all these potential dangers that where you can get sucked into just this busy work and things like that. So, it’s a great example to base the book on.
He’s got practical examples and a number of people that I’ve told said, “Read Built to Sell,” and they’ve nothing to do with graphic design. It’s got nothing to do with their business whatsoever, but they said, “Wow, I looked at that. I loved the example and I can see an exact parallel in my business. I’m going to do that starting tomorrow. It’s awesome.”
Pete: Yeah, and I think for those who have read the book or haven’t read the book, there’s a conversation with John Warrillow, who’s the author, on the blog. John and I had a conversation for the blog. Head over to PreneurMarketing.com and go back through the archives.
There’s probably an hour-long conversation that John and I had, and recorded that about the book and about applying a lot of the concepts in your marketing and in your business. So, definitely go to PreneurMarketing.com and check out the archives there of the blog.
Dom: Excellent. I’ll put a link to that as well in the show notes. Great. Got a counterpoint to that one?
Pete: Yeah, I’ve got a book that I’ve sent out recently to a whole bunch of consulting clients. I quite often buy books and send them out to people that I work with. And one of them was The ONE Thing. It’s a relatively new book by Gary Keller who started one of America’s larger real-estate franchise businesses, I think it is, to get it correct.
And he’s written a number of books now, but this one’s his book all about the importance of, funnily enough, one thing. I think it applies so much to people who are probably listening to the show. I know myself some of our consulting clients that easily get distracted with opportunities and ideas.
For a lot of people ideas of what to do and opportunities to take a course and apply that particular marketing strategy, or whatever it might be, is abundant. You have so many of these. Realistically, if you have more than one thing you’re focusing on, you are spreading yourself too thin, as the saying goes.
This book by Gary is a really great way of seeing the downside of multiple projects and multiple tasks, and helps you really identify what it is that you want to stay focused on and the importance of focusing on just that one thing until it is automated, until it is systemized like Built to Sell. Then you can move on to that next thing.
Dom: Awesome, awesome. And that book is on my reading list. I haven’t read it yet. I feel bad now because you’ve mentioned it out loud. So sorry, Gary. I’m going to go and read your book as soon as possible. That book to me is in a pivotal topic about idea of focusing on the one thing. We’ve previously have talked about this the serial versus parallel when running projects.
Pete: Yes, absolutely.
Dom: I remember seeing somebody doing a very brief piece on it. I’m not sure. I don’t think it was Gary, but somebody did a very brief piece of it where they give this worked example of the perils of working on parallel projects versus serializing the projects, and achieving and solidifying a goal before you move onto the next one. So if that’s your recommendation on that topic, I am definitely bumping that one to the top of the list.
Pete: Yeah, definitely get all over it.
Dom: Cool. Excellent.
Pete: What’s the next on your list of Summer Book Club reading?
Dom: Summer Book Club reading? So far, The E-Myth; easy read. Built to Sell; easy read. Really no problem at all. Just you could quite happily sit there on your sun lounge, or by the heater if you’re down by Pete, reading those very easily.
The next one a little bit deeper, but still not a particularly challenging read. Something I’ve talked a lot about recently, but I put this in Number Three in order of, ‘you should read these things,’ is The Lean Startup.
Pete: If I had a dollar for every time you said that, I would be wealthier.
Dom: Yeah, you would be that much wealthier.
Pete: Oh, mate, you’ve said it a lot. I love it.
Dom: I know I say that a lot. Look, you pay attention to what’s in that book, we’ll all be wealthier, and that’s my point. There are some absolutely fundamental concepts in this, and it’s really important. And this is why I talk about it a lot, because one of the things about reading a book is if you just pick it up and read it, sometimes you might miss what’s in it if you’re not ready to be looking out for some key points.
This is why I like recommending books. I love it when you recommend books because it puts me on the lookout for those key topics. I’m ready to absorb them. I’m ready to apply them to my own business and my own world. Whereas, if you’re just reading these books, sometimes they might pass you by.
I said openly, I didn’t pick up on the most important part of The Lean Startup for me until the second time I read it. But there are so many concepts in there. Things like this idea of minimum viable product; doing the smallest amount of work to test an idea, whatever it might be.
Is this e-mail going to be effective? Well, send it to 10 people. Don’t send it to everybody on your list. Send it to 10 people. See if anybody does anything with it. Send it to whatever the statistical viable number is. Is this change to all software going to work?
Don’t put it into the product cycle for 12 months, and then 12 months’ test is part of a hundred things. Build a prototype, show it to somebody, test it now. That kind of thing. The other thing that talks back to your recommendation for Gary’s book, The ONE Thing, is something called small unit size. I haven’t talked about this before. Small unit size is another powerful thing. So many people try and do big things.
Pete: Yes, absolutely.
Dom: They try and do big things and they also try- really good example actually. I’m going to elaborate on this for a second. Really good example it gives of stuffing envelopes. If you had 100 envelopes to stuff and label, and address or stamp, address manually.
Most people would go through, and they would get all the pieces of paper fold them up. Then they would get all the envelopes, write all the addresses on. Then they would stick all the stamps on them. Then they would pick up their pile of stamped addressed envelopes, and pick up their pile of paper, and stick the pieces of paper in the envelopes. Right?
Dom: Absolutely. Wrong. At that point, it stopped me dead in my tracks because that’s exactly I would’ve done and so many people I ask say the same thing. His point is in terms of elapsed time, it’s been proven time and time again to be minimally different between doing them one at a time fold, address, stamp, stuff, done.
Versus, fold everything, address everything, stamp everything, stuff everything. But the big difference is if anything’s wrong with your process at all, you won’t find out until way, way, way down the line if you do fold 100, address 100, stamp 100.
Pete: You’re getting feedback loops earlier.
Dom: That’s exactly it. Feedback loop. That is exactly the word to use, is feedback loop. Your feedback loop is much tighter. You find out sooner if there’s going to be a problem. Again, using your example. If you fold your piece of paper, try and stuff it in the envelope and the envelope’s too small, you found out within 30 seconds of starting the job.
You fold 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 pieces of paper, and then you try and stuff the first one in the first envelope, you’ve folded a lot of paper the wrong way. It’s little things that. Again, this book called The Lean Startup; you’re thinking IPO, you’re thinking share buyout.
You’re thinking all these big words that have got something to do with the Silicon Valley. No. It’s completely applicable to absolutely everybody. It’s not a long book. There’s a lot of this IPO talk and investor talk, but it’s still applicable- in my mind still applicable to everyone. There are some very important lessons in that.
Pete: No, and I completely agree. As I’ve mentioned before I started that book, the audio version, probably about two weeks ago, and I’m probably about two-thirds of the way through. Because at the moment, for some crazy reason, I’m not following Gary’s The ONE Thing.
I’ve got about three audiobooks and they go at the same time. So I’m about two-thirds of the way through their book and I’m really loving it. It’s been fantastic. Again my recommendation for the next book is something I probably haven’t mentioned on the show before, and something that I think is foundational but probably different to a lot of people what they think.
It’s a book by an American, I’ll call him a get-rich-quick guy or a property guy, but don’t hold that against him. The book’s called Money Secrets of the Rich by John Burley. If you’re in the States, you probably would know him from some late night infomercials he used to do.
I don’t know if he still does, but he used to do late-night infomercials selling real estate investing courses and stuff like that. Part of the Robert Kiyosaki inner circle, for want of a better term. But this book, Money Secrets of the Rich, is a great foundational book about learning how to handle your money.
It’s a foundational thing that I think of lot of entrepreneurs don’t think about in that they think that, “I’m going to start this business. It’s going to spit out so much cash. I don’t have to worry about managing it.” That is a very poor outlook and a very poor attitude to have.
Not only will that affect your personal finances, but also affect the way you look at money inside the business as well. I think it’s important to make sure you spend wisely, you invest wisely, and you keep a good chunk of the cash. It’s a book that I read, originally, about 10 years ago, so it’s an older book.
There’s an Australian version, and there’s a US version, as well. He has rewritten it based on the different markets, but it comes with a whole bunch of stuff, the typical stuff about save 10%, tithe 10%, but also through a whole bunch of other areas about how to buy car in a smarter way, how to start investing in real estate, and how to do other stuff with your money as well.
It’s a really good foundational book that everyone should read just to make sure they get that financial acumen so they can keep the money when they actually do start earning it from their business based on all the really cool stuff that we share here on the show every week.
Dom: That’s a really, really cool suggestion. Just to put my hand up and admit that it’s passed me by, but we talk a lot about successful business. We talk about making your business successful. But there is that whole concept of when it’s successful, that means that money is going to start flowing through your business.
If you’re not accustomed to money flowing through your business, if you’re not accustomed to having money, if you’re not accustomed to being in the business, then, in a cruel twist of fate, it can cause a lot of problems.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. This is something a lot of people don’t really think about is you have to manage the money in your business, as well. It’s not just about the marketing and the money coming in. Once it’s there, you have to start thinking about that.
And for a lot of people who are starting out, or the business is just growing, they think, I’ll worry about that later. That’s a fair statement and a fair way to look at it, but I do think that you’ve got to at least have some of those foundations in place. This is something that I’m working on as a series of essays for the blog under the title of Wealth Foundations. It will be about getting that foundation correct and solid.
So when the money does come in, you can have the control of it in the right way. It will even touch on some stuff about how to just get your finances. Because again, a lot of people come to our show to grow a business, but more and more, as the bigger the audience gets and the community we have around this show grows (which is so fantastic), just inevitably based on size and percentages.
There is this growing number of people who are coming along and getting involved in our little community here, as not necessarily a last ditch resort to be able to pay off the credit card and keep the mortgage under control. But there is that people who are here, they need to make money now and they need to be able to pay next week’s school fees, which is a very sad thing.
Because that’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to help people create a sustainable business, and that does take time. So I want to at least touch on that for that part of the audience a little bit, and I think that book is a good starting point. Yeah, John Burley’s Money Secrets of the Rich.
Dom: Excellent. But, again, it’s applicable to everybody and, again, the audience segments that I talked about at the beginning. If you’re just starting out, that’s a great time. If you’re just starting out, one of the things you’re going to know the least about is having money. Unless you have a family member, or a trusted advisor somewhere close to you, you’re only going to find out about money the hard way.
Pete: And it’s something about saying, “I’m going to worry about this when I’ve made $1 million out of my business.” If you start having money come in to pay off your debts, well, what’s the smartest and best way to chip away at those debts? There are smart ways to go about it, and there are naive ways to go about it.
In the book, it talks about debt-reduction strategies and how to do that. Because, for a lot of people, that’s the first thing they’re going to do with the cash that their business starts to produce—start, not necessarily investing it, but paying off debt, which is an important thing to do as well. And you want to do that in the smart, intelligent way, too.
Dom: Cool. Awesome. Yet again another excellent suggestion. Another one I’m going to put on my list. On the topic of getting large chunks of money, or just generally getting paid for anything, my next recommendation, again something that I’ve talked about it a lot, although I haven’t talked about it for a while, Pitch Anything.
Again, this book has a bunch of core concepts in it that are applicable to pretty much anybody in pretty much any situation. It’s written by a guy. It’s from a very specific perspective, initially, if you pick it up and look at the cover. The book is written to go and pitch investment opportunities to big businesses.
That’s where this guy’s background is, but it’s really more subtle than that. It’s more about putting across an idea, which is a form of salesmanship. It’s a form of marketing which everybody who’s in business in some way is going to have to develop these skills.
Now, there are lots of specific books out there on marketing, sales, copywriting, all these different things. We can pick up on that in future episodes, definitely specific topics. But to me, Pitch Anything is like a rolled-up kind of kick-off startup sales course that covers things, really powerful things like framing, which is something that we talked about before.
There’s the importance of making sure that people understand where you’re coming from and you understand how they’re seeing what you’re saying, so you understand where they’re looking at you from, so that you can speak to them with the right language and say the right things.
It’s all the way down to what to include in a presentation, which could be the same as what to include in a sales video or what to include in a marketing letter. You can use these lessons all over the place. To me, it’s a book that looks specific. But it is a great generic book with a lot of powerful tips and skills, and tricks and things in it.
Pete: Yup. Now, I absolutely, completely agree. Again, had Oren [Klaff] on various things at various times. There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the blog with Oren and I chatting about some various pitching techniques and processes. Okay, so I’ve got a couple other books here that I want to suggest and throw around. One of them is a book that I got recommended when I was about 19 and joined Amway. Yes, yes, yes, I think a lot of people probably have done that at some point.
Dom: Wow, dark secrets.
Pete: Yeah, I was involved for a little bit. I think they called it a2k at the time, and I was trying to do some online version of it anyway. It was all an interesting journey at 19 years of age. Get swept up in the biz-op world, and that came across my desk. But the book is called The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.
It has nothing to do with MLM or network marketing. It was just a book that was recommended as part of the induction package, I think, to try and get people to dream big. But it’s a fantastic book. It’s very rare that I recommend this, but get the physical book, not the audio version.
I did download the audio version a few years back and listened to it, and it was very, very different to what I remember the written book being. Quite often, though, they’ll do that where they’ll make the audiobook very different from the written book, to make it more a compliment as opposed to a replica.
So get the physical book. It’s a great book, a whole bunch of stories about people who have been successful because they’ve thought big and dreamed big. It’s a really good little motivational book that I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the show before, but it was one of my favorite ones early on.
Dom: Cool. It’s great to have these inspirational things, as well as the practical advice. A lot of what I’ve talked about has been practical stuff, and some of the ones that you’ve talked about have been a little bit more around the edges. It’s great to have, especially if you are starting out.
Because that’s the other thing. I’ve noticed that, as you say, the community’s growing and we are picking up quite a few people that are younger that are starting out in the entrepreneurial space. It’s good to have role models, to have a vision, to have things to aim for, to just have some inspiration, so that’s great.
Pete: Yup. I think it’s a perfect summer read by the pool. It’s that book. It’s the fun, easy, light read, which is not too heavy on the cruise ship, on the beach, by the swimming pool, in the couch, in the window. Because what this show’s all about is summer reading.
Dom: If it’s summer where you are. Now, I have a fifth book. All these other books, these other four books, I totally say these are generic. You should, in my opinion, read them in the order that I have presented them. So, start with The E-Myth. If you’ve read that, read Built to Sell. If you’ve read that, read The Lean Startup.
If you’ve read that, read Pitch Anything. If you’ve read any—if you’ve read number four, but not one, two, and three, go back to number one, because I think they all will give you something from the ones further down the list, as well. But my fifth book is a little bit more specific.
It’s my final of my five. But when I opened up, I said 4-2-5 because the fifth book is specific. It’s for people that have a services-based business. Either they are the product, or they sell services, or there’s a lot of personal interaction, and it is Book Yourself Solid.
Pete: Good old Michael Port.
Dom: By Michael Port, yeah, who was on the show recently, braving all manner of weather to give us an excellent interview. Now, I’ve read the original Book Yourself Solid. I’ve also listened to the audio version. They are, point for point, the same. The one thing I will say with this is I, again, would get yourself a copy of the physical book because this is more of a workbook. At the end of every chapter, he says, go do this.
Dom: And it is homework, but it’s excellent homework. It’s the equivalent of build your resume, or whatever it is where you’re first starting out. You might go through a step-by-step to build a perfect this, that, or the other, and it’s like that. The advice is absolutely fantastic. He’s got systems.
If you go back and listen to that interview, he’s got systems and ideas, and just strategies for dealing with everything to do with being a services-based business, with selling yourself or selling a service. You’ll hear people use the term elevator pitch.
This idea that you can describe to somebody what you do in the time it takes to go a couple of floors in an elevator. So, if somebody says, “Hey ,what do you do?” But he has a script, a fill-in-the-blanks, say it this way, frame it this way, say it this way, think about what you do, and present it this way.
If you read this example through, if you work it through, it’s a huge difference. Everybody I know who’s gone through this. If you ever asked them what they do, you’ll be there half an hour later and wishing for another drink while they finish off what they’re trying to tell you. And I give them this, and I say, just read that bit.
Don’t worry about everything else. Just read that bit. And instantly, their delivery’s improved, their confidence is improved, and they get instant results. It’s such a powerful thing, and that’s just one part of this book.
Pete: Very, very cool.
Dom: So, if that’s you, if you have ever to represent your company, your business, or you are trading on your own, you’re a consultant, or you provide services, then I strongly recommend Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port.
Pete: Very cool. Very, very cool. Well, I’ll give you my last one. I’m going to actually give one and a half. I think Influence by Robert Cialdini, that’s just a must-read. I’m not going to even go any further than that. I think, if they haven’t read that book, they are doing themselves, their wife, their child, their banker, their butchers a disservice.
Seriously, Influence by Robert Cialdini is just the must-read. I was so lucky to have been recommended that book at about 17 years of age, and it’s been a cornerstone of everything I’ve done. So that’s a must, must-read. But what I want to suggest is a book that’s not a business book, not even close to a business book.
It’s Steve Martin’s autobiography, Born Standing Up, and get the audio version. It’s really, really engaging and it’s basically Steve’s life story. It’s interesting because Steve Martin is known as one of the greatest comedians, very successful, ‘Mr. Everywhere’ scenario.
But it’s interesting to see what it took to get there, and the hard slog. Again, people in this world who listen to our show, probably listen to other podcasts, are on newsletters, read a lot of sales letters for marketing courses and programs and business opportunities. They get these rose-colored glasses almost forced upon them based on the sales and marketing that, “Everything’s going to be easy. Buy this magic pill.
You get the results. Overnight success is guaranteed,” type of crap. It’s really good to occasionally just step out of that world, that little vortex, and see what it takes to be successful. Steve Martin has to be classed as one of the most successful comedians of all time.
There’s no doubt around that. But it’s interesting to see how much hard work he put in and how many hours and hours, and hours, and struggle and effort and push and determination he had to have to crack that market and become this successful comedian.
It’s a real interesting story, a good laugh, but it’s definitely a must-listen just to get perspective back every now and again. I think summer is a great time to get that perspective and recharge the batteries the right way for moving forward for the rest of the year.
Dom: Cool. I like that. I’m a huge fan of Steve Martin. But again, my shame I haven’t read or listened to that.
Pete: I was listening to it when I was training for the first Iron man triathlon I did when I was doing long three-hour runs and three-and-half hour runs, I put that on. It was really enjoyable. It was fantastic. It’s about four hours, I think, in total time. It’s a decent-sized audiobook, but is very, very cool.
Dom: And you’re absolutely right. I laugh when you said about people in these forced rose-colored glasses and things like that, but it’s true. If you operate in the wrong circles, especially if you’re in this new world of information marketing, you can just get this idea that everything’s easy.
I think a lot of people are infected by it, and that’s why we have this problem where people think that just by getting a website, magically, your business is going to be successful because you’re now on the mystical internet. And it’s work. Business is hard work.
The internet has presented a lot of new opportunities and passed the market to people, and there are a lot of barriers coming down to people getting started, but it’s only easier to get started. I don’t think it’s any easier to be in business or be successful.
All these things we’ve talked about, and especially the things you’ve talked about; you talked about things like affirmations, keeping yourself positive, keeping yourself going, focusing on the one thing, being determined and making sure that you get that thing done, finished, and put away before you move on to the next one, managing your money, managing the finances of the business.
All these things, ironically, that you’ve talked about are those things behind the most fundamental things in business. Yes, okay, I’ve talked about the high-level concepts and The E-Myth and Built to Sell, and structuring the business and running the business, and making a business more successful by generating more clients and things like that.
That was really where I was coming from with these books. But your books are about the fundamentals. And that one, the last one, I think, is probably the most powerful one because it’s a very good point. We have said this before. We’re not lying to anybody here. We tell the truth. We tell it straight. It’s hard.
You work hard, and you get the rewards. I think people sometimes look at you, you know, young, shiny, barely 30 years old, and think that your life is easy, but I know it’s not. I know you’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you do work hard. You work effectively, but you work hard.
Pete: Oh, absolutely, there’s no question about that. I hope people don’t think that there’s any picture painted other than that because I sacrificed a lot in a lot of different areas, and it’s a choice I make. But the difference, I guess, is that I enjoy it. I do work hard, but I treat it as enjoyment. It’s not hard work in the traditional sense of the word, or the way people use that word.
To me, it’s like I work a lot, not hard. I work a lot, and I think the big key thing is that I don’t work hard, I work a lot, but I enjoy working a lot. So it’s 7:30 in the morning here right now, and I’m trying to think how to articulate that even better. But maybe you can put a better spin on that, Dom. I think it is working a lot, not working hard.
Dom: Yeah, well, the thing is. To me, I’ve seen you work. Your work is focused, and your effort is focused. I see you put effort into things, so I say working hard. But what I don’t see you do is I don’t see you doing busy work. I don’t see you working unnecessarily. I think that’s where people can look at you and go, “I don’t see him breaking a sweat.”
He’s really successful. It must be really easy.” It’s not. You put a lot of thought into what you do. You’ve got all these systems that you put in place, and you’ve been at this a long time. You were talking there of being part of Amway at 19. You’ve been around for a while.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely.
Dom: A little bit overly serious on that. But I think its important people to realize, hopefully, our little list of summer reads, there’s something on there for everybody. There’s something on there that you haven’t read, or maybe if you have read them, then we’ve inspired you to go back and look at them again.
Like I did with The Lean Startup. Second time around, I got more out there because of the other things that I’d read and the experiences that I’ve had in the interim time. I could appreciate that a lot better the second time around.
Pete: Yeah. Now, I think there are some key books that you should re-read at least every couple of years. Things like Influence, Pitch Anything, Built to Sell. There are certain books you want to pick up off the bookshelf and just re-flick. If you’re not going to re-read the whole thing, at least re-flick through it and just get that spark again. You’ll always see something a bit different.
Dom: Personally, what I do is I tend to make notes when I go through, the things that stand out to me. Some people actually mark the books up. I write my own notes. Some people highlight in their Kindle, their electronic reader or whatever. It’s one of the reasons I like to have physical books, or electronic, and read the book, rather than have the audio.
But even if I have the audio, I’ll find myself taking notes and making those notes. And I do review those notes, which is just another tip. If you think that there’s too many books to go through to be constantly re-reading these old books, then make some notes.
Well, folks thanks again for listening. We’ll wrap it up there. But I will say we’re going to put this on PreneurMedia.tv. As always, all the show notes, all the links to all these books and names and titles, everything, they’re going to be on there. But I love your comments.
If there’s something that you think we’ve missed, something pivotal, something that made a difference to you, something that you think will make a difference to other people, drop us a comment below the post on PreneurMedia.tv, or leave us an audio on PreneurMedia.tv with that little bulletin on the right on the screen.
We love those little audio feedbacks. Let us know. Let us know if we’ve missed a book. Let us know if there’s something you think we should read, or if there’s somebody you think has written a great book that you think we should get on the show because we’ll do it.
We want to give you guys the best shows that we can, and we want to get stuff back from the community and give stuff back to the community. So give us your input. Now, as a quick reminder as a PreneurCast listener, you can get a free trial with our favorite audiobook service, Audible, by going to AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast.
So, if you want to get through these books in the easiest, quickest way, and the most convenient way, then Pete and I both recommend that you get the audiobook version. With the free trial of Audible, you get a free download. So, if there’s any of these books you haven’t got, you want to try out Audible, now’s the time to give it a go.
Pete: Fantastic. All right, guys, another PreneurCast in the bag. Enjoy your summer. Enjoy your reading. We’ve got another interview next week with another stellar author on another stellar book.
Dom: See you all next week.
Dom’s Recommended Books:
The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
Built to Sell – John Warrillow
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff
Book yourself Solid – Michael Port
Pete’s Recommended Books:
Influence – Robert Cialdini
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It – Kamal Ravikant
The One Thing – Gary Keller
Money Secrets of the Rich – John Burley
The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
Born Standing Up – Steve Martin’s Autobiography
You can try out a lot of these books in audio format with Audible: http://audibletrial.com/preneurcast – Free trial with a free audio book download for PreneurCast listeners
Pete’s Conversation with John Warrillow on PreneurMarketing.com
Previous PreneurCast Episodes:
Episode 076 – Pete’s Interview with Oren Klaff
Episode 088 – Foundations: Determination vs. Discipline
Episode 089 – Foundations: Valuing Your Time
Episode 090 – Foundations: Investing in Yourself and Your Team
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