The Bookworm – Part XVII by Ben J. Pritchett
What do you read when the world is locked down by a pandemic?
Growing up in Newfoundland, the primary FM station used to run a competition called “Desert Island Discs.”
People would send in a list of the three discs they’d want with them if stranded on a desert island, along with their favorite song.
If picked, the station would play their songs, and they’d win a prize.
I’m afraid I don’t have any prizes to give away, but I am going to recommend a few books to help get you through these incredibly difficult and complicated times.
I usually pick a theme and recommend several books on one topic, but these aren’t usual times, so I’m going to be all over the place this issue.
Stay with me here … we’ll call this one Pandemic Reads!
The Worldly Philosophers
By Robert L. Heilbroner
This book is an excellent classic for introducing us to the economic theories of many of the most prolific economic thinkers through the ages.
Even though I taught economics for a while nearly twenty years ago, I was pleased to come across this book several years ago and learn about some of the more obscure, yet essential economic thinkers.
Although not meant to be a primer on economics, you don’t require any kind of formal economic education to follow the stories and theories in this book.
After reading, you should have a better understanding of the world around you.
Economics In One Lesson
by Henry Hazlitt
This is another classic originally published over 60 years ago.
It provides a formidable argument for the importance and strength of a free market economy.
I would say that this book should be required reading for anybody who believes in capitalism or is in government in a free market economy.
One of the greatest things about this book is that it is easily approachable and understandable, even if you had trouble spelling economics before picking this book up.
Let’s hit pause for a moment here.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Ben, I’m a business coach, I don’t need to understand economics!”
That’s true, but we’re living in unprecedented economic times.
We’re headed into a recession and fighting off a possible depression. We’re potentially facing significant inflation.
Our governments have taken on unprecedented levels of debt.
Do you know what all of these things mean?
I certainly don’t. All over the Internet, I’m seeing coaches and consultants making predictions on when and how the economy is going to “return to normal.”
We don’t know … neither do they.
Here’s what I do know, though: our clients are going to be looking for answers and information.
We may not be able to give them all the answers, but being able to have an educated conversation will go a long way.
Not the least of which will be explaining why the free market economy is the best and why we all became entrepreneurs in the first place!
Smart Talk For Achieving Your Potential
by Lou Tice
My good friend – Phil Gilkes – introduced be to Lou Tice and this book a couple of years ago. I’ve read this book and plan to do so again really soon.
In the very best of times, we’re bombarded with crap by the media.
They’d prefer to tell us about the number of unemployed than the number of employed.
They’d rather rant about political scandals than the positive things going on in the world.
Even now, the media reports how many are sick and dead than the number who have recovered.
If we concentrate on the negative things, what do you think our results are going to be?
If we focus on the positives, our world won’t suddenly become perfect, but there’s a much better chance of success.
This book offers many stories and ideas to keep our focus on the things that matter, so we can be more and achieve more.
There has probably never been a time when our thinking needed to be more positive!
The Ultimate Sales Machine
by Chet Holmes
Chet was a brilliant trainer who sadly died way too young.
He worked with the one and only Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s business partner). He excelled in every business he was ever involved with.
This book distills the knowledge of a very successful career into a series of lessons for any business owner (or coach). I
f you’re going to succeed after this pandemic finally settles down, you’re going to have to know how to sell, and so are your clients.
It’s more about how to build a sales department than how to make a sale. It’s about who to target and how to target them. It’s about setting goals and hiring the right people.
Understanding sales and selling is an invaluable skill in any economy and should be continuously studied.
Final Thoughts …
We’ve been physically separated, but in some ways, brought closer together by a fight against a common enemy.
This enemy is a little bugger that we can’t even see, but we can see the damage that it’s doing.
In a few short weeks, our lives have become almost unrecognizable.
Rights and privileges we took for granted are gone we don’t know when they’re coming back.
Dare I say if they’re coming back.
We don’t know what the new normal is going to be, but I’m betting that it’s going to be anything but what we currently consider normal.
As such, we need to better understand the world around us.
The only thinking we can change and control is our own, so knowing how to do that is a great place to start.
Many would argue that evangelist Billy Graham probably changed more lived than anybody else who ever lived.
There’s a great story from author and speaker Denis Waitley: he describes a time when he was sitting in the green room waiting to go on stage and found himself with Billy Graham.
Graham asked Waitley how many people he’d changed, and Waitley replied just himself.
He asked Graham the same question and got the same reply. Most people would say that Billy Graham changed the lives of millions, but he feels he only changed himself … Could we ask more from ourselves?
Until next time … keep reading and stay safe!
About Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett started his first business at the age of 15, and began his own consulting practice in 1991. For over 25 years he has worked with clients in many industries including restaurants, direct sales, software development, tourism, dimension stone (granite quarrying and manufacturing), aviation, and optometry, just to name a few. Companies coached by Ben have nearly doubled and tripled their revenues in a single year.