I like to keep an eye out for books that provide ideas for my clients and for me. Here are four suggestions for some holiday reading.
Is anyone else a compulsive highlighter of books? I was so excited years ago when I discovered that you could highlight text in e-books, because I had been using highlighters on paper books for years. Some people don’t like to highlight but for me it allows me to go back through a book at any time and see very quickly the points that resonated with me and /or that I was keen to remember.
Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time -Brian Tracy
This is great book can be read in about two hours. Brian Tracy is not particularly well known in Australia but is a pretty big name in the USA where he is considered a leading authority on human potential and personal effectiveness.
Tracy quite rightly says that “if you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time.” He then adds that “you will never be able to do everything you have to do. You will never be caught up. You will always be behind in some of your tasks and responsibilities, and probably in many of them.”
Some may feel this is a depressing statement but I think it can be seen as liberating. His view is that successful people use their time more wisely than unsuccessful people and that in particular a successful person has the ability to concentrate on his or her most important task, to do it well and finish it, rather than jumping from one task to another and potentially not finishing any of them.
How do you decide what the most important task is? Well, Tracy’s first of the 21 “great ways” partly answers this because it is about setting goals. “..the number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives, and they don’t deviate from them.”
I’ll let you read the book to find out what the frog reference is about.
The book has some really good tips and is definitely worth a read.
Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini
This was originally published in 1984 and I recently read the Kindle version which is an updated edition from 2009. Don’t let these dates put you off. To quote Amazon:
“Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.”
“You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.”
The six “universal principles” discussed in the book are:
- Commitment and consistency
- Social proof
Some of these might ring bells for you if you have been exposed to marketing and sales training. Cialdini provides a good explanation of each of the six principles providing real world examples and explaining why each works. This is a most fascinating read and one that should be compulsory for everyone in business. It will take you between five and six hours to get through it and then, if you are like me, you will want to go back through it.
The E-Myth Revisited -Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – Michael Gerber
The original book called The E-Myth from Michael Gerber was a huge hit and made him famous (and quite possibly rich!) He wrote this updated version 15 years after the original.
It will take four to five hours to read this book and I believe that will be time well invested. In essence it is a great book up on how to set up and run a business. Gerber places great emphasis on getting really clear on what you want from your business and on the application of systems to everything. Doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary, and in one sense it is not. But if you are an accounting firm owner and apply the thinking in this book I believe you will have a much better accounting firm. I hold the view that many accounting firm owners undervalue systems and structure in their firms. If you are such a person read this and tell me whether your view has changed.
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession 2018 – Business Fitness
Many of you will be aware that Business Fitness have been doing a survey of firms for many years. It is a great source of benchmark information and the 2018 report includes many articles (including one from me) to help you run a better firm.
The reporting is grouped primarily by firm size into the following categories:
- $0 – $500,000
- $500,000 – $1.5m
- $1.5m – $4m
- $m – $10m
- Above $10m
There are also summaries by state and split into city, suburban and regional firms.
92 pages of really useful information and well worth the price.
If you are quick you can get $100 of the price by using discount code GBU2018.