In our view, learning should be a daily thing if you run a business and that is why you should have a business library.
So you might be wondering what on earth having a business library has to do with growing your business and with marketing.
It really does go something like this:
When you’re in business, there’s so many things that you’ve got to contend with. If you’ve not been in business before or not been in business for long, your learning curve is incredibly steep. One of the ways of getting to grips with stuff really quickly is to read what other people have done.
One of the fastest ways of doing this is to start buying, and reading, and digesting, and then implementing what you find in books. Now, I can’t recommend this highly enough.
A lot of the success that we’ve had in recent years is because of the stuff that we’ve learned, a lot of which came from reading business books and developing our own business library.
But before you spend a fortune at the book shop…
Now, there are a few things that you need to consider when looking at business books, and I’m just going to tick off a couple of them so you don’t waste time unnecessarily.
One of the first things that you can do is just talk to people that you know who you know are experiencing a level of success, and ask them what they’ve done or what they’ve read that has made a difference in their business. Some people will have read some things, some people won’t, but find the people who read simply because you should really be constantly expanding your mind.
I’ve been running this website design business for over six years now. I’ve been in the IT industry for 15 years. I’ve been self-employed most of my adult life.
Once I really got to grips with reading and learning and implementing what I learn, then my business really started to change and grow, and it’s still growing. In many respects, I see where I am now as the beginning of the process because a lot of what I’ve learned over recent years is starting to kick in.
So find out what it is that people are reading.
A good way is just to talk to people at networking events. It’s not difficult. Ask if there’s a book on business growth that somebody could recommend — somebody you respect, not just somebody who turns up week in, week out; but somebody who you know is achieving a modicum of success.
Another thing you can do is look on the online book shops, things like Amazon, Waterstones, etc. They will have reviews.
Now, I have to be honest, I’m a little bit cynical about reviews because what you don’t typically find with books is people saying, “Actually, you know what? It wasn’t worth a penny. I wouldn’t read this. In fact, I’m going to ask for my money back.” No one seems to say that when it comes to books. Everybody’s just like, “Yeah. Five stars. It’s fantastic, amazing, changed my life overnight.” There’s, “Yeah, it was three stars. It was okay. I picked up a few useful things.” But nobody actually says “no, this book isn’t all that good”.
I don’t know whether that’s because every business book is great, or at least a three star. But I’m fairly certain they all aren’t because I’ve read a couple that were, to be honest, a waste of money. And being the grumpy old man that I can be at times, I’ve put that on the reviews simply because I thought that the hype wasn’t worth the money I paid for it.
So be a little bit wary about that. But if a book is incredibly well reviewed and it’s an international bestseller, it’s an often an indicator that it’s fairly good and people have talked about it. Check out a handful of different review sites as well. Read what people have said. You can pick up a lot of information from that.
Finally, if you know somebody that does a lot of reading, ask them if you can borrow their favorite book from their own business library. It’s always an indicator, I think, if people will lend you something which they’ve learned from. Usually, those kind of people are those who are there to help their business community and their fellow man.
I know a lot of people hold onto what they’ve got ever so tightly. They’re not going to lend it to anybody. It’s sitting on a shelf gathering dust, but they’re not lending it out, which to me just sounds a little bit selfish. It’s not as though you’re going to destroy it and never give it back. You are going to give it back. Right?
But the key thing is this: there’s a variety of different ways, but the thing you must do is learn. I’m constantly learning and I’ve got two books on the go. This is just one of them. I’m about a third of the way through and it’s okay. I suppose, to some extent, it will hopefully get better. The plot thickens as they say. Hopefully, he won’t die in the end or anything like that, but that’s not the point.
The point is the fact that I’m reading. I’ve got another book I’m reading called Game Changers by Paul Chapman and Julia Roberts — no, not that Julia Roberts. I recommend that one as well. You can get them both from Amazon or your favorite bookstore. The key is this: I’m constantly learning. I do some reading on business almost every single day and I cannot overemphasize the difference that it makes.
So, anyway, I know I’ve rambled on a little bit there. I hope really that’s helped. But go out and supplement your mind. You can grow your business by growing your mind. It really is that simple. In many ways, growing your mind starts first. Then, your business will follow.
You can be mechanical about growing your business, but you need to have that learning first. You need to have that knowledge. One of the fastest, most direct ways of doing it is to just read and build up a business library.
Remember, if you do none of this stuff, nothing will change.
You can buy the 2 books mentioned here: