Entrepreneur Reads is a series designed to bring our readers the best books to motivate you on your entrepreneurial journey. We've asked public speaking expert and Entrepreneur Press author Dustin Mathews for his top 5 book recommendations for entrepreneurs like you.
"My favorite book of all time is experience." —Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo
I couldn't agree more with Kagan.
Nothing takes the place of doing in the real world, and there are key books that every entrepreneur should have in their library. Let’s take a look at five must-have business books.
1. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How can you go wrong with one of the bestselling self-help books of all time? With over 30 million copies sold, this “oldie but goodie” shows you how to make lasting relationships in business and life.
In our ever-expanding, high-tech world of gadgetry and automation, this book serves as a great reminder that success in business comes back to relationships -- with people. Whether it’s prospects, partners or team members, you’ll need to win them all over at some point in your travels. Look for the six ways to make people like you and the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking.
2. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
If Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg were all interviewed today about success and we put their answers into a book it would be essentially what Think & Grow Rich was at the time. Napoleon Hill interviewed the titans of business of the day -- Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison -- to deliver us the entrepreneur’s mental mindset handbook.
Richard Branson said, “Tough times are inevitable in life and in business. But, how you compose yourself during those times defines your spirit and will define your future.” No doubt, the road of an entrepreneur is long, winding and daunting. It’s Hill that reminds us how to get anything we desire in business with the right mindset. Be sure to look for the "Power of the Mastermind."
3. The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy
Every communication in business needs to sell. Whether it’s an email to an employee, conversation with a partner or phone call to prospects, customers and clients, influencing is critical for getting it done.
The challenge is most people don’t think in these terms. In one of Dan Kennedy’s first works, he lays out the formula for writing a message that sells. Essentially, he’d prefer all business owners be world-class copywriters, however he understands they don’t have the time nor the patience. So, inside the book he’s provided simple, yet proven formulas, case studies, examples and resources for hacking your way to a letter that closes the deal, every time.
Words matter. Are you making yours count?
4. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
It bears repeating: You won’t get far in business if you can’t make solid relationships with others. Keith Ferrazzi shows us that we can get anywhere in life and business by connecting and creating powerful relationships.
My big takeaway from the book is to keep in check the balance of helping others without expecting to ask for something in return. Of course, this can be tricky if you find yourself in the wrong crowd or in front of a “taker,” but the philosophy is one that resonates today. Look for "Connecting with Connectors," as this can be an extremely beneficial concept in terms of creating speed and finding the right connections to help you on your path.
5. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
If you need to make it rain, look no further. Really, The Ultimate Sales Machine is a combination of sales, marketing, time management and mindset or, as Chet Holmes, calls it “pig-headed discipline” all packed into one resource.
One of the more unique (and daring) ideas from the book I’ve put into action for myself is showing up at a tradeshow with a theme. In the book, Holmes discusses working with a client, having them dress up in Hawaiian outfits, theming the booth with a beach backdrop and making it fun for the team and most certainly for attendees.
Following suit, we decided on a doctors theme, bought lab coats with stethoscopes and put pill bottles in the conference bag. Doing so, we most certainly were the talk of the convention, garnered a lot of attention and generated a good number of sales. We even noticed non-attendees in the lobby, double taking, as they were curious as to know what we were doing.
Be sure to look for the Holmes’s classified ad for attracting the right kind of sales people, “superstars."