Advertising
Advertising

20 Inspirational And Useful Business Books To Read in 2016

20 Inspirational And Useful Business Books To Read in 2016

Personally, I enjoy reading books, especially when I know I can recommend them in the future, in place of long explanations on a topic. For example, someone may ask me how I gain such a following on Instagram, and in turn I’d recommend them a book on that topic. Here is a set of books that I’ve read within the past 3 months, that many aspiring or current business professionals will find useful.

Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation: Proven Strategies & Tips To Grow Your Business!
By Ray L. Perry, Justin Sturges, Phil Singleton, Kevin Jordan and Mark Z. Fortune

This book covers exactly what a lot of new local businesses lack: leads. It starts off with a number of rave reviews, one from the executive editor at Search Engine Journal. The book starts simple. First, it talks about identifying your market and the importance of a website. The book then gets into the meat by talking about scaling your content marketing strategy and the basics of search engine optimization. This book is a must read for any beginner looking to generate extra leads for their business online.

Renewable Referrals: How to Cultivate More Profits
By Debbie DeChambeau, Ray L. Perry, Jeff Stec, Rosie Taylor, Kelly Weppler Hernandez, Dawn Westerberg

This 100-paged book instructs the reader in a foolproof way, exactly how to develop a referral program. They address concerns like how much to pay your referrers and mediums of communication for your referrers to promote through like trade shows or newsletters. The book won’t take any longer than an afternoon to read and will help any beginner in understanding the referral economy.

Branding Your Business
By James Hammond

This book is a comprehensive and conclusive book about building a rock solid brand for your company. The information in it can be applied to all sizes of businesses. The advice James gives is very practical and applicable to a range of situations. If you’re looking for a book on improving your business’s branding, which in turn will improve every aspect of your business, you should pick this book up.

30 Days To Social Media Success: The 30 Day Results Guide to Making the Most of Twitter, Blogging, LinkedIN, and Facebook
By Gail Z. Martin

This book is broken into 30 steps, not particularly days as the title suggests. The first half of the steps are all about serving as an intro to why you need social media, then the next dozen are about the types of social media (Facebook, Squidoo, YouTube, etc), how to navigate each one, and then it gets into the application, by types. For example, “Social Media for Local Businesses” is one and “Social Media and the Speaker” is another. The book overall is very beginner friendly and good for any ancient dinosaur who is interested in getting onto Facebook or Twitter, but hasn’t made the leap yet.

Advertising

The New Elevator Pitch
By Chris Westfall

This book is broken into 3 parts, the first a bit about strategy. Then, there is a small 4-paged part on speed networking and then it goes into practical scenarios for the rest of the book. I initially started reading this book with an intention solely to form an accurate review on it, but I got carried away with it. It’s an easy read and the potential for application is not just business related. Elevator pitches are a good skill to have in a number of situations. This book will apply to you whether you’re trying to land a job, network, get a date, or gain an investor.

Bulletproof Branding
By Chris Westfall

This book starts off with an excellent story about United Airlines breaking a guitar, not compensating the customer for damages and the customer recording a YouTube video about the situation to get millions of views and damaging the airline’s brand. The book teaches through a number of examples, demonstrating exactly what branding is, and its influence on your business. The book is broken down into 6 actionable steps that will help your small business tighten up its public image.

Get Off Your Arse and Get Off Your Arse Too
By Brad Burton

These books are exactly what I’ll recommend to my college friends. Brad tells a story, starting off with him in a very tight situation, and teaching through lessons, applying his life to yours. He really takes you by the hand, and tells you exactly what you need to do to get your business off the ground. The books are built around only Brad’s stories, which really makes this book one of the most practical books I’ve read in awhile. He tells it all, the ups and the downs. The next time I hear someone is in a bad situation and they’re saying starting a business isn’t for them, I’m going to have to send them a copy of these books!

The Automatic Customer
By John Warrillow

This book is based on the highly relevant topic of recurring customers. The first couple of chapters talk about the importance of subscribed customers, then it moves onto nine example businesses types that use the subscription business model. Then it finishes up with a handful of chapters on building a subscription business. There are not many books that I get pure enjoyment out of reading, but something about subscription businesses make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, and this book will make you feel the same way too.

The Predictable Profits Playbook
By Charles E. Gaudet II

This book shows readers exactly how to plan and manage their new business. Charles goes in depth, teaching each lesson by example or story. This book is that sweet medium between an easy read and a technical book. It contains some solid information, not only for beginners but is a breath of fresh air for those who have been selling products or running a business for a few years. While the book itself isn’t short, the lesson are. The book is broken down by subheadings into lessons about 1 or 2 pages long, which is handy given that most entrepreneur don’t have much of an attention span for overly long works. If you’re looking for a book that offers hundreds of business lessons, this is the book for you. For being a pure business book, its a pretty enjoyable book.

Advertising

The Coworking Handbook
By Ramon Suarez

This book is probably the most beginner friendly of all of them. It goes through a lot of basic definitions and gives the reader a very broad introduction to modern business. This book may not be for the fast-paced entrepreneur as many may know a lot of the content already, but to all the young managers out there, breaking into the business world, this easy read will give you a catch-up lesson on basics from the difference between incubators and accelerators to how search engine optimization can help your business.

Building Your Ideal Private Practice: A Guide for Therapists and Other Healing Professionals
By Lynn Grodzki

This is an in-depth book that walks you, a non-businessperson therapist, through starting your own private practice. The book is quite thorough, as a business book for non-business people should be. It is broken into 3 parts, starting with a preparation section then jumping into topics like internet presence, customer retention and other business lessons. I feel this book fills a huge gap for people in this situation looking for assistance.

Make Money Teaching Online: How to Land Your First Academic Job, Build Credibility, and Earn a Six-Figure Salary By Danielle Babb and Jim Mirabella

This book is all about academic teaching. Instead of teaching you how to be a guru and attract mindless customers, this book teaches the long way ‘round. It’s a thorough book, almost thorough enough to be considered a reference book. It answers all your questions from the expected pay to if its worth it and what kind of schooling you’ll need. Danielle herself has an MBA and PHD and teaches you everything you need to know about the academic system. In the 11th chapter, she dives into the technology aspect of this book, talking about basic tools you’ll need to make this all happen. If you’re a high educated individual and looking to continue in the education system, this is the book for you.

Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Growth
By David J. Greer

This book is broken down into sections, based on strategies. The first two sections are broken into the entrepreneurial strategy and the corporate strategy. A number of these books talk purely entrepreneurial, but this book gives insight into both worlds. Coming from a similar background as me, a programmer by trade, David shares his vast entrepreneurial experience in lessons. Unlike other books that take several pages to cover a topic like social media, David covers the important parts in just 7 bullet points. There is no fluff in this book, it’s all the meat and potatoes, which allows him to cover so many different topics and still keeping the page count under 200 pages. This book will give any business professional serious and actionable business advice.

Life. Business: Just got easier.
By Brad Burton

This book is the only book in the list that hops outside of the business world and talks about personal well being. This is Brad’s third appearance in my list but his writing style and aggressively persuasive approach are addictive. His opinions such as “the idea is only 1% of the big picture” couldn’t be more accurate. If you read his book “Get Off Your Arse,” I know you’re going to pick this up too.

Advertising

The Enthusiastic Networker
By Juli Monroe

This isn’t just your typical tome about networking. Juli teaches a number of strategies by asking questions about you, your actions and your goals. One topic in the book is the elevator pitch and how you need a 5, 10 and 30 second version of your pitch and how you should build your own. If you’re looking for a conclusive book on building connections and expanding your network, check it out.

Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreuners with Big Ideas!
By Adam Toren and Matthew Toren

This book is a short 60-paged, illustrated book designed to teach children entrepreneurship. Funnily enough, it motivates kids through the same cloud nine thinking that beginner entrepreneurs have, like the illustration of the person with their feet up on a big desk, reclined back in their chair and the “boss” nametag on the desk. There are interactive boxes which allow the kids to jot down ideas and interact a bit with what they are learning. If your child is interested in entrepreneurship, get them this book so they have something to do over the upcoming summer holidays.

Ultimate Guide To: LinkedIn For Business 2nd Edition
By Ted Prodromou

This book is a part of the Entrepreneur Magazine collection of “Ultimate Guide To” books. Over 25 chapters, it discusses everything you need to go from a fence sitter to a full-fledged LinkedIn connoisseur. From those looking for a job or those looking for new employees or new mediums to publish content, this book will sell you on why you should be using LinkedIn and what exactly you can do with it.

Lift Strategies: Quick Tips to Engage Customers and Elevate Profits
By Jen DeTracey

This book is made up of 89 knowledge bombs. So many books hover on the same idea for several pages but Jen’s tips generally don’t span longer than a page each which makes the book both easy to pick up where you left off and easy to stay interested in. It’s broke into marketing and customer retention with a couple odds and ends strung along at the end. Every tip includes a personal experience which makes the book very easy to read. If you’re looking for a broad, easy-to-read business book, pick this up and you won’t be disappointed.

Selling to China: A Guide to Doing Business in China for Small- and Medium-Sized Companies
By Stanley Chao

This book is not your typical business book. We all know how much business the US does with China and we’ve heard a lot about how the economy is booming in China. We’ve seen China’s wealthiest kids come over here for schooling and drive around in the nicest of cars. This book addresses all of your questions and curiosities about China, everything from finding your translator to the legalities of working with China. This book will not only provide you with a lot of information about doing business in China, but I think a lot of people will find it purely interesting.

Advertising

Millionaire Within
By E. Brian Rose

This book details what I’ve watched firsthand over recent past years. Brian features precisely his path to becoming a big fish in a small pond. The book is written in a similar fashion as Sam Walton’s book, Made In America. It tells the story of his first beginnings as an internet marketing professional, ending with the founding of the JVZoo marketplace, just a few years back. This is certainly one of the books I’m going to have to go back and re-read for sole enjoyment, rather than the purpose of creating an accurate review. It’s a breath of fresh air to read a modern biography from someone down to earth, unlike one of those Forbes-listed billionaire biographies. If you’re into product creation or marketing of any kind in this modern age, check out this book!

The Compass and the Nail: How the Patagonia Model of Loyalty Can Save Your Business, and Might Just Save the Planet
By Craig Wilson

This book teaches a number of solid business lessons through a number of excerpts. Craig focuses not just on consumers but on the behavior of people and how we act. Unlike a lot of other business books which are purely opinionated, this book cites scholars and other successful people on almost every other page. If you feel your mind is cluttered with incorrect thinking, and want a book that will teach you pure, truthful knowledge, pick up this book.

The School of Greatness: A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy
By Lewis Howes

Last but definitely not least, unless you’re living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard of this guy, or at least have seen a picture of him on your Facebook newsfeed or on a YouTube thumbnail. Lewis Howes has been recognized by The White House as one of America’s top 100 under-30 entrepreneurs. His podcast, also named The School of Greatness, has received millions of downloads. Lewis is used to this amount of success however, as he’s played on a number of professional sports teams including the USA Men’s National Handball team. His book teaches a number of useful business lessons, a number of which he learned throughout his pro-level sports career.

Featured photo credit: Josh MacDonald via joshmacdonald.net

More by this author

Josh MacDonald

Internet Entrepreneur

guy friend 8 Ways to Judge If Your Girlfriend’s Male Friend Is Actually a Friend 5 Reasons Why Random People Follow You On Social Media Google Organic Search 2017 CTR 5 SEO Tips To Help Your Blog Grow In 2017 5 Ways to Get Your Degree for Free 5 Things to Look for in a Potential Roommate or Tenant

Trending in Work

1 12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job 2 10 Key Elements of Effective Meetings to Avoid Wasting Time 3 Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In. 4 What Is a Mentor And Why You Should Find One For Yourself? 5 10 Signs You Have Created a Good Work-Life Balance

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

Advertising

2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

Advertising

What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

Advertising

7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

Advertising

10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Read Next