10 MUST-READ BOOKS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
Blue Ocean Strategy
Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant is the 2015 update to the classic business strategy guide originally published in 2005. It’s a practical handbook for business students and entrepreneurs who want to rise above the fray of the competition and gain access to impressive growth opportunities. A blue ocean business aims to create new value for customers and explore new market space, which is like the clear blue water of the sea. When you have a blue ocean business, you innovate and execute new concepts smoothly, and you’re always seeking new ways to grow.
Five top insights from the Blue Ocean Strategy summary
- The blue ocean strategy empowers organizations to create entirely new markets for themselves instead of battling competitors in increasingly crowded territory.
- A red ocean business typically focuses its strategy on beating the competition.
- Blue ocean businesses do not allow themselves to be stymied by industry conventions and structure.
- The ability to construct a blue ocean strategy has never been more important than it is now because users and consumers are increasingly causing industries to pivot.
- No company can permanently remain in the blue ocean without renewing and revising its long-term vision.
The Psychology of Selling
The Psychology of Selling is a business classic. It is full of techniques and insights for anyone hoping to make more sales, much faster and easier than ever before. Brian Tracy offers a guide to breaking into the top sellers of any company, based on his long experience in the sales industry. By following his guidelines, you can double or even triple your sales.
Five top insights from The Psychology of Selling summary
- Your insecurities and worries stem from thinking that you are not good at sales. To succeed, you must have high self-esteem. You must like yourself! Every day, talk to yourself positively to raise your confidence and performance.
- Customers are more likely to buy from people who they think are their friends. So if you want to sell, you must first be friends with the buyer.
- If you like your product, the customer will like it. If you like selling, the customer will like buying. Emotions are contagious.
- Try to set as many goals as possible for yourself. Write down everything you want out of the universe. The universe is a storehouse of wealth. The more you want your goals, the more you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve them.
- Commit to lifelong learning. The more you learn and practice, the more you can help other people. The more you help other people, the more they will pay you.
The High 5 Habit
You’re already high fiving everyone else in your life. Now is the time to high five yourself. You need to put yourself first and build a strong relationship with yourself. Mel Robbins teaches you how to do exactly that in The High 5 Habit. This habit may seem trivial or even silly, yet it is an effective way to deal with self-hate, self-doubt, and feelings of inferiority. As soon as you begin practicing it, the High 5 Habit will boost your confidence, happiness, and success right away.
Five top insights from The High 5 Habit summary
- You are probably very good at encouraging and applauding others, from your favorite celebrities, artists, sports teams, and influencers, to your friends and family.
- It’s time to offer yourself the support and encouragement you deserve.
- The High 5 Habit is more than just a habit—it’s a comprehensive approach to life, a tried-and-true mentality, and offers powerful tools for reprogramming your mind’s subconscious habits.
- You will find the key to self-love and self-acceptance if you make high fiving yourself a regular practice.
- Your subconscious mind switches to a positive mode and silences the critic in your thoughts as soon as you raise your hand to high five yourself.
Have you ever felt as though you are stuck on autopilot, making the same poor decisions resulting in the same negative outcomes? In How to Do the Work, psychologist Dr. Nicole LePera explains why people engage in these cyclical behaviors and offers a guide on how to break them. The key is understanding our authentic self. We create our identities through our experiences, and the result is often an unflattering, self-destructive image that we continually reaffirm despite any opposing evidence. This typically begins in childhood from parents with their own emotional shortcomings, and affects our relationships as adults.
We’re not the problem, but the solution. We must look deep inside ourselves to rediscover our inner child and embrace it. We will find ourselves with more positive relationships, more success, and a happier life.
Five top insights from the How to Do the Work summary
- If we can control our bodies, this will help control our minds and consciousness. Practices like yoga or meditation can help build awareness of our thoughts and feelings.
- Studies have shown we are fixated on negative thoughts 70 percent of the time. To break free from this, create a positive environment and spend time with yourself.
- You will need to make a commitment to consciously check in with yourself. Along with physical exercise, set reminders or alarms throughout the day to ensure you don’t return to autopilot.
- While we all hold on to some childhood traumas, we need to start learning how to become resilient, and this requires conditioning. If we didn’t see this from our parents, it will have to be on us to teach it to ourselves.
- It is very helpful to find a community of fellow self-healers. This can be online, in your local area, or through some of your own interests and hobbies. Because this journey can be so lonely at times, surrounding yourself with others going through it can be reassuring.
The Greatest Salesman in the World
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino offers a set of precepts that salespeople should follow to achieve happiness and success. This classic bestseller is written as a parable about Hafid, a Biblical-era man who inherits a set of ancient scrolls that teach him the right way to live and sell. Hafid uses the teachings in the scrolls to become rich and happy. At the end of the book—and at the end of Hafid’s life—he gives the scrolls to the apostle Paul, who uses them to “sell” Christianity to the world.
Five top insights from The Greatest Salesman in the World summary
- A substantial amount of the profit that a salesperson earns should be given to those who are less fortunate.
- A salesperson should act with love at all times.
- Cultivating a light-hearted perspective will help a salesperson prosper.
- Salespeople who want to achieve great wealth and happiness must remember that they control their destiny.
- Prayer is essential to success in the business world.
Make Your Bed
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven is an expanded version of a commencement speech that he gave at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. McRaven details how training as a Navy SEAL imparts key lessons about how to overcome the challenges in life. We must build on small accomplishments, form strong human networks, avoid superficial judgments, learn from failure, take risks, rise to challenges, and hold on to hope. To illustrate these lessons, McRaven shares grueling experiences and exploits from his years as a Navy SEAL.
Five top insights from the Make Your Bed summary
- Making your bed in the morning is the first step on the path toward bigger, more important accomplishments.
- Quitting is not an option. We must persevere through hardships.
- It’s important to be a team player and to support others so that when we are called upon, we can help them complete difficult tasks.
- Life is inherently unfair at least some of the time.
- Navy SEAL training, like life, can be incredibly difficult, but its challenges can be overcome.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (1999) by clinical psychologist Marshall B. Rosenberg offers a life-affirming, empathy-based approach to conflict resolution. The goal of practicing Nonviolent Communication, or NVC, is not to win an argument. Rather, it is to be observant and become increasingly attuned to the feelings and needs of another person. NVC improves understanding and increases satisfying communication in personal relationships, classrooms, diplomacy, and business. When people are no longer hung up on their competing strategies, they can reach solutions together in a spirit of compassion.
Five top insights from the Nonviolent Communication summary
- Hierarchical societies and organizations encourage people to communicate in ways that can reduce their ability to feel compassion.
- It is easier to propose satisfying strategies for resolving conflicts in a climate of mutual respect and concern.
- Empathy requires attentive listening with a clear mind, suspended judgment, and an earnest desire to understand another person’s feelings.
- When people become more aware of their needs, they can begin to take greater responsibility for their feelings.
- Requests that use positive language to ask for specific behavior are both more likely to be understood and less likely to be rejected by the other party.
Strengths Based Leadership
Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie introduces readers to the Gallup-designed survey that identifies a leader’s unique strengths. The best way to discover the ideal traits of good leaders is to ask followers what traits have characterized their most positive leaders. When asked, most mentioned the same factors: trust, compassion, stability, and hope. Rath and Conchie use the results of the survey to help leaders develop all three.
Five top insights from the Strengths Based Leadership summary
- Some leaders believe that they can improve by emulating other leaders or developing skills they do not already have, but leading based on a unique strengths profile is more likely to succeed.
- Leaders tend to have a set of strengths that fit into the 34 leadership themes captured in the StrengthsFinder test. Each strength has unique ways of creating the needed environment for followers to feel engaged and productive.
- Compassionate leaders inspire followers to stay with an organization, engage with customers, be more productive, and produce more profit.
- Hopeful leaders create more engaged employees, but most leaders spend their time reacting to the present rather than inspiring hope in the future.
- The most engaged employees feel respected by the company, confident in its future, and enthusiastic due to the influence of leadership.
Who Moved My Cheese?
A seemingly simple fable about two mice, two little people, some cheese, and a maze teaches important lessons about life and business in Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson’s fable has become a perennial bestseller about how to adapt to change. The fable is framed by a group of adults discussing their lives and their struggles, which encourages readers to do the same.
Five top insights from the Who Moved My Cheese? Summary
- Change is an inevitable and constant part of life.
- Anticipating change can help you better handle it when it occurs.
- Visualizing success and happiness can help you focus on what you can gain rather than what you’ve lost.
- Fear is immobilizing and can stop you from embracing new opportunities.
- It’s important to stay in touch with areas outside your comfort zone so you know what’s happening around you and are ready for changes when they occur.
The 50th Law
In The 50th Law, pop culture icon 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) joins forces with Robert Greene, bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to write a guide for success in life and work based on a single principle: fear nothing. With stories from 50 Cent’s life on the streets and in the boardroom, as well as examples of others who have overcome adversity, this deeply inspirational book is perfect for entrepreneurs as well as anyone interested in the extraordinary life of Curtis Jackson.
Five top insights from The 50th Law summary
- A fearless attitude is key to success. Seeing a problem as a challenge rather than a fear converts a negative attitude to a positive one.
- 50 Cent is a pioneer spirit. He suffered abandonment and violence in his childhood, which pushed him to adapt and overcome emotions of fear and anxiety.
- The 50th law states that we can control our reaction to events, which increases the margin of control over circumstances and fearlessness.
- Observing the 50th Law creates open possibilities, brings freedom of action, and helps create a forward momentum in life. The key is to assume the active mode in dealing with your fears.
- Do stuff you’ve never done before. Go places you’ve never been. That’s how you develop mental and physical fluidity.
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