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The Bookworm – Part I
Okay, I admit it, I’m a book worm. I have literally spent years of my life with my nose stuck in a book (including the old-fashioned paper variety and the new-fangled digital variety), so I’m happy to write this column for Karl and The Six Figure Coach.
Since I started business school, my best guess is that I’ve read 3,000 books on all business topics over the past 28 years so I’ve got a book to recommend on almost any business topic for coaches and business owners alike.
There are plenty of places for you to get book reports and summaries if you like that sort of thing. I like those too, but that’s not my purpose for this article. I’m going to tell you the books you should read on certain topics and why you should read them.
Since my nose was usually in a book you won’t find me telling many sports stories, but I do have one that’s appropriate for today’s discussion. It’s said that the great Football coach – Vince Lombardi – would start every season in the locker room with his professional athletes with a football in his hands and say: “This is a football.”
Must read books for Business Coaches
With that lesson in mind, I’m going to start with 3 books that should be considered foundational for any business coach serious about the coaching profession.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD
This book has been around for quite a while, and while there have been other books on the topic – including ones by the same author – this one remains one of the best. This book shows you what makes people tick, what drives us to make the decisions we make and helps you understand how to use that knowledge.
Areas of influence are broken down into eight broad categories including things like Social Proof and the Law of Reciprocity. Cialdini has stories and examples to hammer home every point in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement manner.
Let’s face it, the ability to persuade and influence people is the very foundation of salesmanship, and salesmanship is the bedrock of business, so this book is a must for any serious student of business.
Million Dollar Coaching / Million Dollar Consulting
by Alan Weiss
For anybody entering the consulting profession (and if you’re like me, there’s a big blurry line between coaching and consulting), Million Dollar Consulting is a must-read.
It delves into everything from creating your brand and growing your business to managing clients and how you bill them. For me, one of the greatest things that Weiss has done for the consulting and coaching industry is a highly-impassioned plea for all of us to bill based upon value, not by the hour … we are not in the money for time business!
A few years back he also wrote Million Dollar Coaching as well. For my money, I recommend you read them both. Yes, there will be some overlap, but there’s nothing wrong with a little repetition to really drive a message home.
These books take you from the day you hang out your shingle to the day your brand is worth a million bucks. Weiss’ chapter titled “101 Questions For Every Sales Situation You’ll Ever Face” is worth the price for both books alone!
The E-Myth Revisited
by Michael E. Gerber
Last, but certainly not least, we have The E-Myth. This is a book that hardly needs an introduction, but I regularly run into business owners and even my fellow coaches who have never heard of it!
The original E-Myth was voted one of the most influential business books of the 20th century and I’ve personally given away more than 100 copies of this book to friends, clients and prospects. Yes, it’s that good.
The E-Myth is the book that convinces the reader (hopefully our clients or clients-to-be) that they must work on their business, not in it, and the path to accomplishing this is systems. What this book is not is a book to teach you how to actually build those systems. Perhaps that’s where a good business coach comes in?
There are certainly other books to tell you how to build the systems (I’m currently writing one as a matter of fact), but there’s not much point trying to tell your client how to create systems if they haven’t already been convinced that they need to have them.
No serious business coach … certainly no Six Figure Business Coach … can choose to not have these books in their library. They are foundational to what we do and who we are. Read them, absorb them and practice them, or find yourself another profession.