Way back in February, I mentioned that I was reading my way to personal finance prowess.
If you haven’t picked up a reading habit yet, you may want to start. What I’ve learned could fill several books. Ha! Reading joke.
After devouring a number of personal finance books, we decided to switch gears and focus on business books. Launching a business has been no small feat, so we queued a number of business books to help us along.
Business isn’t about getting all the details right prior to launch–there are consultants and freelancers to help with everything, including accounting and bookkeeping. However, what it takes to grow a business is the right mindset, an ever-present theme in this blog. Without the right mindset, change and growth aren’t possible!
Think and Grow Rich!
Me? Rich?! No way. I’m destined for a W-2 life, or at least that’s what I thought about myself until 2015 when I decided that I needed something more, something else.
Watching my parents toil away at low-paying jobs they couldn’t stand was enough to send me to college in pursuit of something of the white collar variety. Watching myself toil away at a W-2 desk job for 10 years was enough for me to want a different life entirely, one filled with action verbs.
What I’ve taken away from Napoleon Hill’s well-known opus, Think and Grow Rich!, is the idea that in order to get the bigger life I seek, I need to think bigger. Lofty goals are one way to get there, but such lofty goals need to be met with lofty actions. I have a burning desire to democratize marketing by teaching others how to compete in this digital landscape. How’s that for lofty? 🙂
Dare I say, I’m here to help others change their lives. Other bloggers and personal finance experts have helped us get our financial lives under control and we’re thisclose to being completely debt free. I want to help others experience the same satisfaction we have in the short course of 15 months since we began our personal finance journey by leveraging what I know about earning a better income with a side hustle/freelance work.
Dorie Clark asks so many poignant and powerful questions in her book, Stand Out, that my head soon filled with new ideas for how to grow our business and help others. Below are the quotes and notes I jotted down in the course of reading her book. However, this is a small subset, and if you’re looking for your next big idea, I highly recommend you look to Stand Out.
Finding the Idea
- Ask what assumptions are underlying your field
- Ask what people find difficult or nearly impossible
- What are trends shaping your industry and how would you describe them to an outsider?
- Is there a problem that others haven’t solved or codified in your field?
- How can you help others do things better or more efficiently?
- What can you use from your background to apply to your industry? To see things differently than others? Think about Envirosell and anthropology.
- Sometimes what the world needs is philosophy. Sometimes it’s an operating manual.
Building a Following
- Cialdini studied persuasion and found out how reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity can motivate others.
- How can you use blog post content to bring you closer to influencers?
- Research in depth the influencers and identify what they need when something new rolls out by following them on social media or subscribe to email lists.
- How can you help influencers by giving them something they need?
Creating Space to Focus on What’s Important
- David Allen productivity guide on getting things done helps create space in your life. First, collect all notes, jot everything done in your brain. Spend time processing, delegating or deferring. Organize the remaining you’ve gathered. Review weekly to make sure you’re focused on your priorities. And then make choices about your next actions.
Written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp fame, this book, Rework, is not to be missed if you are trying to bring a product to life. Whether you are working on the next great American novel or an online course, Fried and Hansson emphasize the place of and purpose for the minimally viable product. As a result of the soft launch of our online SEO course, we were able to make several improvements to our online course before we released it to the world.
Related Post: Do You Want to Start a Side Hustle Online?
The Slight Edge
Maybe I’ve said this often lately about books I’ve read, such as The Four Hour Workweek and The Alchemist, but I’ll say it again. The Slight Edge is life changing. Really. Garrett and I devoured this book in record time and made immediate changes to our daily routine to improve our personal and professional lives.
From the beginning, Jeff Olson emphasizes the need to develop a filter for every decision you make, which I wholeheartedly agree with. I tend to work a LOT of hours (perhaps a theme you’ve seen in this blog or on Twitter?). But you know what else I love to do? I love kayaking.
Kayaking in my Stetson 🙂
Developing a filter has given me balance and the confidence to say “no” to lesser priorities when I want to say “yes” to greater priorities.
What else do I love about The Slight Edge? Olson’s emphasis on the impact of small changes and compounding success. Yes! Personal finance lessons in a self-development book! I couldn’t be more excited. 🙂
Small changes financially have compounding effects (see the magic of the debt snowball or the debt avalanche approaches to crushing debt). Or consider the power of an index fund–it’s The Slight Edge at its finest.