Books change lives — and businesses! In this expert round-up post, I invited almost three dozen successful entrepreneurs to share the one book (or in some cases, two or three) that changed their business for the better. From fiction to how-to and self-help, there’s a little bit of everything here.
Make sure to enter to win a $100 gift card to Amazon so you can scoop up a few of these recommended reads!
Hmmm, book that’s made the biggest impact.
“The Power of Starting Something Stupid” by my buddy Richie Norton.
If it wasn’t for this book, I would not have taken the initial steps that have brought me to the point I am in my business. I would still be sitting in a job I hated dreaming of *someday* doing what I really wanted to do. Richie truly taught me the power in just starting…even when it might seem stupid. (and I’m fortunate to now call him a friend…)
About Mark: Mark Sieverkropp is a podcaster, blogger, author, entrepreneur, connector, leader, consultant and speaker. The author of Project:Success and Start a Conversation With Anyone, Anywhere, he has co-hosted the Happen To Your Career Podcast, The 24 Podcast, and currently co-hosts The World Changer Show with Matt McWilliams. Mark is passionate about connecting with others, finding ways to add value to them and helping other people do the same. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Mark is absolutely hilarious, as well as a straight-shooter and an all-around good guy. I’d trust him to babysit my dogs.)
The book that probably impacted my business the most was one I read way back when I was in my 20’s running a home based business. It’s called “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk” by Jack Trout. It’s a great primer for anyone who wants to understand marketing (which should be every business person)!
About Marnie: Marnie Marcus is a bestselling author of over 20 books, Facebook ad manager, and book and info product creation trainer. As an online marketing and advertising consultant, she helps people create engaging books and information products and market them online. Find out more on her website here.
(Lain says: I’ve followed Marnie for years and am now pleased to consider her an online friend. She has the best accent – I could listen to her for hours!)
Lots of books have had a big impact on my business, but probably the one in the last few years is Brian P. Moran’s “The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months.”
Moran teaches you to focus on massive and focused action in a doable, short time frame. Using his system forces you to clarity and execution. It’s a winner!
About Sue: Sue Painter has been helping entrepreneurs create the business and lifestyle they truly want for over a decade. Passionate about helping small biz owners create income with confidence, clarity, and big vision. Sue is a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach, Coach for Ali Brown’s Elevate coaching program, expert author for ezinearticles.com, Solo-E.com and SelfGrowth.com. Find out more on her website here.
(Lain says: Sue is another straight shooter — sense a theme here? She’s super-smart, kind, and was Lara Croft: Tomb Raider before there was a Lara Croft.)
I really love that book because it’s very simple principles that can be applied. The biggest breakthrough it’s given me is to understand that the end result of earnings most likely will come in a different form than your plan.
“And finally, because you are to cause the creation of your riches from Formless Substance which permeates all your environment, it does not follow that they are to take shape from the atmosphere and come into being before your eyes.
If you want a sewing machine, for instance, I do not mean to tell you that you are to impress the thought of a sewing machine on Thinking Substance until the machine is formed without hands, in the room where you sit, or elsewhere. But if you want a sewing machine, hold the mental image of it with the most positive certainty that it is being made, or is on its way to you.
After once forming the thought, have the most absolute and unquestioning faith that the sewing machine is coming; never think of it, or speak of it, in any other way than as being sure to arrive. Claim it as already yours.”
Excerpt From: Wallace D. Wattles. “The Science of Getting Rich.”
About Dennis: Dennis Langlais is a podcaster (FIVE Minute Bark), mindset coach, and founder of Codie Dog Interactive, a website design company. He was a professional BMX freestyler competitor and performer at events worldwide and founder of Perfection on Wheels BMX Stunt Team. Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: Dennis has a great Boston accent and understands my addiction to Dunkin’ Donuts. I’ve been online friends for about a year now, and we’ve even gotten to hang together in person. A good, good guy.)
Yes, this may seem like an odd choice as a business book, but you can extract some valuable lessons from the book (and movies) about loyalty, building what author Mario Puzo called a “wall of friendship,” and, of course, negotiation: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
About Lou: Lou Bortone has 20 years’ marketing experience in the television business, and another 10 years’ with online marketing. He’s got the perfect background to make your business – and your branding – even better. He’ll be a valuable resource, trusted advisor and creative partner on your team. Video marketing is a powerful business strategy, and the key to your growth in an increasingly competitive market. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Lou cracks me up! I met him at a conference several years back and have remained connected ever since. He gets the struggles of New England winters and being a baseball parent, and he is on top of EVERYTHING having to do with video.)
This book completely screwed up my mind. As a result, I had to become a business owner. Before reading this book, I was happy in my professional career as a physical therapist. After reading it, there was no turning back. I finally understood the flow of money and the freedom that came with it. That book started me on the entrepreneurial path.
About Jon: Jon Schumacher is a webinar specialist, author and consultant. Jon is an online marketing coach and consultant who walked away from a healthcare career to pursue his dreams in helping his fellow authors, coaches, and online entrepreneurs create freedom and make a difference with their online businesses. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Jon makes me jealous every time he posts a photo of his life in Capitola, about 20 miles from my old stomping grounds. He’s really determined, smart, and a good guy.)
Whether you choose to work only 4 hour per week or not is irrelevant. The real meaning of this book is to become ultra-productive with your time and break through the socially conditioned beliefs that limit us from doing things a better, easier. different way.
The biggest thing the “4-Hour Work Week” taught me was to start using the automated tools and other people that are readily available to us, in order to scale our impact and our income.
About Justin: Justin Devonshire is an international speaker and leading business growth expert for coaches, consultants, authors, speakers & service providers. Entrepreneurs in the expert-space around the world attend his live events, read his newsletter & use his online courses to launch, grow or scale a successful business based on serving others with their expertise & life experiences. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: I “met” Justin through Facebook and now rely on his daily posts to give me inspiration and guidance.)
This short but powerful and inspiring book by Steven Pressfield was revealing about a problem that many of us have. Having a lot of great ideas but not doing the work. This book led to me adopting the Mantra “Done is better than perfect.
It also helps answer questions such as:
• Could you be getting in your way of producing great work?
• Have you started a project but never finished?
• Would you like to do work that matters, but don’t know where to start?
So the answer is “Do the Work,” a manifesto by bestselling author Steven Pressfield, that will show you that it’s not about better ideas, it’s about actually doing the work. Do the Work is a weapon against Resistance – a tool that will help you take action and successfully ship projects out the door.
About Jeff: Jeff Bullas is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, marketer and speaker who works with personal brands and business to optimize their online personal and company brands with emerging technologies, content, social media technologies and digital marketing. His mission: “Inspire and educate people to win at business and life in a digital world.” Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: I’m new to Jeff’s world but don’t know why it took me so long to discover him! He’s one of the smartest guys out there.)
My latest favorite book is “Straight-Line Leadership: Tools for Living with Velocity and Power in Turbulent Times” by Dusan Djukich.
As someone who tends to like to make simple choices complex, this book reminds me to take out the complexity and go from point A to point B. Since I’ve read this (and re-read portions of it again and again) I’ve gotten more done in my single day and made more of my goals happen than I did before reading this book.
About Maruxa: Maruxa Murphy is the TRIBE Director at FreedomFastLane.com. She oversees the community and ensures clients have an experience with our trainings, our network and our events that leaves them wanting to tell others to join. She’s a product creator, community builder, and mom of three active girls. Find out more on her website here.
(Lain says: There is no more beautiful person, inside and out, than Maruxa. She and I discovered each other early in our online days — like almost 7 years ago! I’m blessed to call her a friend and mentor.)
The one book that I come back to over and over and recommend to friends is a book by Rick Carson titled “Taming Your Gremlin; A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way.”
Not a traditional business book by any means. It deals with mindset and is the single best book I’ve ever read on the subject of removing the negative self talk and representations we all have. It’s one of those “life changing” books.
About Don: Don Scott Schnure is a digital marketing professional, software designer and video producer since 1997. He’s built and sold software in dozens of markets, including SEO, Media Publishing, Email marketing, Internet safety and monitoring for kids and of course online ecommerce solutions. As the founder of 1AutomationWiz.com, Don helps new and existing business owners simplify the complex task of both selling and marketing their products online. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Don and I connect on Facebook almost daily. I appreciate his straight talk and sense of humor. Good stuff.)
The book that had the most impact to my life was “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss.
It came out just a short while after we had founded Louder Online and we were looking for ways to be able to travel and still operate the business.
Tim Ferriss connected so many of the dots for us that we were trying to piece together with regards to geo-arbitrage, outsourcing and much more.
I read the book about 5 times and spent the next 5 years traveling the world, living in remote destinations, building a global team and our global Search & Content Marketing agency that now works for some of the largest companies in the world.
Still today we continue to employ many of the tactics and strategies we learnt from that book. The value we received was incredible.
About Aaron: Aaron Agius is the co-founder of the highly-successful search and content marketing agency, Louder Online. There, Aaron has helped hundreds of business drive dramatic growth through both strategic and tactical marketing approaches that have delivered millions of dollars in revenue for SMB and enterprise clients, including Salesforce, IBM, Coca-Cola, Ford, LG, Unilever, McAfee, Intel and many more. Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: I’m a new connection of Aaron’s, introduced through Sujan. I’m already so impressed! Can’t wait to learn more from him.)
The book that had the biggest was “Never Eat Alone.” I first read the book when I started my career and it got me out of my hermit shell. Three years ago I reread the book and it changed my life, I decided to drastically expand my network and connect with others. I did this by throwing dinners for marketers/entrepreneurs and by connecting with my favorite writers/marketers via phone calls on my commute to and from work.
I did this for 2 years straight and connected with hundreds of amazing people, most of which I consider my good friends.
The book was driving factor for why I created an ecosystem of smart marketers and entrepreneurs. Let’s just say these days I never eat alone anywhere I go in the world ?
The relationships I built as a result of reading the book bring in more than $2million dollars in consulting deal a year. This is without asking for help or leads.
About Sujan: Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency helping companies leverage the latest and greatest marketing strategy to fuel their businesses. Sujan has over 13 years of internet marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Sales Force, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: I’d followed Sujan online for a while and was really impressed with his thoughts. I emailed him on a whim for this round-up, and he responded within hours! And introduced me to Aaron! He rocks. Hopefully we’ll have dinner soon. ?)
I actually think it was a book not so much about business, but also about life in general. It’s called “This Is Earl Nightingale” by Earl Nightingale. It’s an old out-of-print book from 1969 that was a “best of” compilation of Earl Nightingale’s 5 minute radio show. If I ever am stuck on a problem, or feel blue, I open that book to literally any page (each chapter is about 3 pages long), and I get a whole new perspective on things. It covers life, relationships, attitude, home life, and of course….business!
About Neville: Neville Medhora is a world class entrepreneur and copywriter, and creator of Kopywriting Kourse. His copywriting clients include AppSumo.com, KingSumo, and more. To this day, he obsessively reads everything, listens to everything, and watches everything he can about copywriting. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Neville is a god in the copywriting world. I love his sense of humor. We’ve corresponded a few times online and will meet at SumoCon. Be prepared…)
To optimize growth…we must rest.
About Andy: Andy is an encourager and creator. A popular podcast and webinar host, he’s spoken at TEDx and has worked with or been a guest on shows with thought leaders like Michael Hyatt, Todd Henry, Chris LoCurto, Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff, Dan Miller and Andy Andrews. He is the author of “The Early to Rise Experience” and “The Early to Rise Experience for Moms.” Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: Andy and I met at Blogworld/New Media Expo several years ago. He was super-kind to my son who was accompanying me – and then we continued to stay in touch. He’s a great friend, a great man, and a great husband/dad.)
It’s hard to limit my choices to just one. There are several that have had incredible impact on my and my business. So I’ll share three!
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book was one that changed the way I thought about relationships and connections. The principles I learned helped me create powerful, authentic relationships with influencers when I came online and knew NO ONE, and eventually became the basis for my premium course, Connect with Your Heroes.
The One Thing by Jay Papasan and Gary Kelleher. Reading this book was a huge wake-up call. I hadn’t achieved much traction in my business until I read this book and decided to focus in on just ONE strategy — creating an incredibly high-value virtual summit. That one event added thousands of people to my email list, brought in $20K in revenue, and launched my career as “the virtual summit guy.”
ASK by Ryan Levesque. The most important evolution in my business came about as a result of reading ASK. Segmenting my audience has drastically increased customer engagement as well as increased my revenue. I continue to refer to this great guide over and over again.
About Navid: Navid Moazzez is the world’s leading expert on producing profitable virtual summits. His media coverage includes Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many more. His mission is to show you what is REALLY working to build your profitable online business, wherever you’re starting. His latest free epic online event is List Building School with training from over 60 expert entrepreneurs. Find out more here.
(Lain says: I meet Navid when I signed up for his Virtual Summit Mastery program last December, and then went on to start working with him. It was at his encouragement that I began my copywriting/content strategy business. There is no harder working person online.)
The book that had the biggest influence on my business: “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.
I came across his book in the wake of my first failed startup venture where I wasted $26,000 in developing a product that never got off the ground. It turned everything around for me and gave me many of the answers I needed to succeed in my next several projects.
PS – The book that got me started down the path of marketing and persuasion psychology: Influence by Cialdini. It was the text book used by my Social Psychology teacher at UVA back in the 90’s. Blew my mind.
About Jack: Jack Born is the creator of AWProTools, Deadline Funnels, Boxshot King, and more. He loves creating software that helps entrepreneurs achieve more and earn more… in less time. A popular speaker and trainer, he’s spoken at ClickBank Exchange, Ryan Lee’s S.A.M., several Perry Marshall events, and more. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Jack and I met about 5 years ago and shared some tasty Indian food. I’m in awe of his smarts. He’s really tall, too. That’s always good. I even read this book on his recommendation. He’s right. It’s good.)
This is the book that finally taught me the triggers that caused people to buy. Obviously when I understood these triggers I was better able to use them in my sales pages and promotional webinars.
About Daniel: Daniel Hall is an author, speaker, consultant, coach, lawyer, nurse and sometimes blogger. He is also the creator of the popular “Real Fast” training programs designed to help authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, trainers, Internet marketers and entrepreneurs effectively grow their businesses faster and profit more effortlessly. Daniel is also the CEO of the brands Playtime Gadgets and the Backseat Nanny products exclusively sold on Amazon. Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: Daniel and I met about 5 years ago for the first time, but came back in touch this past summer. He knows everyone. EVERYONE.)
I would either say “Business Model Generation” or “The Alchemist.” (The Alchemist is fiction technically – but I read it every few years!)
BONUS: Here is a list of 10 books recommended by millionaires too!
About Jaime: Jaime is an in-demand business coach and speaker who helps entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. She is the founder of EventualMillionaire.com, a website that features a new millionaire interview each week that focuses on personal finance and entrepreneurship. She is the author of “The Eventual Millionaire,” published with Wiley & Sons. Find out more on her website here.
(Lain says: She’s also my personal business coach and one of the coolest gals I know! Another ENTJ. If she, Jesse and I are ever in the same place at the same time, spontaneous combustion may occur.)
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks helped me push through some blocks in the past year. I was able to increase my income, and I pay more attention to the tasks I spend my time on, and whether it’s actually helping me or holding me back.
About Crissy: Crissy Herron launched Indie Biz Chicks, a website that provides business, marketing, and publicity info to “women who’d rather work for themselves, than work for the man,” in 2007. Crissy is also the host of The IndieBizChicks.com Podcast, an internet talk show that features information specifically geared towards independent business women. Her goal is to help ALL WOMEN, whether mothers or not, find information on starting, growing, and marketing their own business. Find out more on her website.
(Lain says: I started listening to Crissy’s podcast almost a decade ago! It’s fun to now be online friends. She has seen the trends come and go – listen to her.)
I’d have to say “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand.
The only fiction book on this list and for good reason. There is a quote in the book that sums up the attitude of a successful entrepreneur: “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.” Read this book and tell me if you don’t find a little Howard Roark in every entrepreneur.
About Matt: Matt McWilliams is an affiliate/JV manager, consultant, and online entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs and companies such as Ray Edwards, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes, Shutterfly, Peter Voogd, Jeff Goins, and Michael Hyatt have trusted us to run their affiliate launches. He helps online business owners and brands, small and large, to leverage the power of partners to grow their businesses. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: I met Matt through his affiliate work. He’s one of the few affiliate/JV managers I trust. :))
Not a book, but a recording. If that’s legal ? “The Strangest Secret,” original 1957 recording by Earl Nightingale. This was the first work I came in contact with about the link between our thoughts, actions and outcomes. It’s a message of personal responsibility, no excuses and being purposeful in our lives toward specific goals.
About Paul: Known for his direct style and pulls-no-punches humor, Paul is a popular public speaker, business coach, online business owner, and author of “God Loves Short People (and Maybe Other People, Too),” “Instant Speaking Success,” and several more. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Paul has been a touchpoint for me for years. I’ve worked with him in a coaching capacity for several years, and I have had the honor of hearing him teach, speak, and sing. He’s pretty awesome.)
There have been many great books but “Secrets of The Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker is the one that changed it all. It’s the book that made me realize that there was more out there for me.
More than just punching the clock and waiting for retirement and hoping I didn’t outlive my money.
About Mike: One of Mike Murphy’s greatest talents, is helping others to “clear the clutter” and step into their own greatness. He assists entrepreneurs and businesses with lead generation via paid Facebook ads, systems creation, and personal coaching to deal with your limiting beliefs. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Mike and I joke that we are long-lost cousins (I have a Murphy side to my family tree). I will gladly claim kinship with him. He’s a good, good person.)
It was a long time ago, but ‘The Perfect Store’ by Adam Cohen, which tells the origin of Ebay, is a book that influenced every business I have ever had.
What it taught me was the power of choosing the right business model. I’ve always valued freedom above all else, so I didn’t want a business that sucked my time and stressed me out.
eBay demonstrated the concept of ‘leverage’, which can be built right in to your business model. In the case of eBay they could scale rapidly because they acted as a middleman between two groups – buyers and sellers.
From that point forward (and we’re talking way back around 2003 when I read it) every business I created had some kind of leverage built in.
I had an editing company that used a similar model to eBay acting as the middleman between students and editors. With my current blog based business I didn’t want to be trapped blogging 12 hours a day to make a living selling advertising. Instead I tapped into the power of selling my own courses and a membership site, so I can make a lot more with much smaller audiences (leverage!).
About Yaro: Yaro Starak, the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, began blogging over ten years ago as a hobby, but made it full-time once his income surpassed $10,000 a month. Yaro has mentored thousands of other experts, authors, coaches, consultants, speakers and trainers how to turn their expertise into a profitable online business. Today Yaro helps people set up their own “Blog Sales Funnel”, a system that combines blogging with email marketing to build a platform to sell your own digital training products. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Yaro may be the person I’ve “known” longest on this list (I followed him when he had long hair!). His was the VERY FIRST online program I purchased way back in 2008 or 2009. Through him I started my website almost 7 years ago. THANK YOU.)
The greatest book that has influenced my business is “Scaling Up.” I believe that every “entrepreneur” has a glass ceiling of $10M a year. At some point an entrepreneur either needs to become a CEO or hire one. “Scaling Up” has taught me how to transform from an Entrepreneur to a CEO!
About Anik: Anik Singal is the Founder of Lurn, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. In 2008, he was among the top three finalists in Business Week’s Top 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs in the U.S. He began as an Internet marketer and affiliate in 2001, and was a consultant on SEO and online marketing strategy to a wide variety of businesses. Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: Anik is a new online “friend” whom I met through Andrew O’Brien. When I read his bio, I was like, yes please! He does good stuff.)
By far the book that’s had the biggest impact on my business is “Scaling Up” by Vern Harnish. Before that book, as an entrepreneur I felt like I was flying blind, scaling a company with no instruction manual. How do you manage people? How do you do meetings? How do you manage your cash flow? There were all these unanswered questions that I had no answer for, not only because I dropped out of school, but also because this was my first company that I was scaling. So when I read “Scaling Up,” it was as if I’d been finally given the instruction manual to scale my company.
The book’s broken down into four phases: Strategy, Cash, Execution and People. And each one of those phases we’ve been able to implement into our business to scale our company. Since reading this book, I’ve recommended it to countless other people, every single person of which has said it’s dramatically changed their company. So I feel like “Scaling Up” is an instruction manual for scaling a business. It’s worked for me, it’s worked for my friends, and it’s worked for entrepreneurs around the world.
And so if there’s one book that I would read to go from the six- to seven-figure mark, or even from the seven-figure mark to the eight-figure mark, that would be it.
It may not be the best book if you’re just trying to get your first sales, or if you’re a solopreneur, but it definitely is the best book for scaling your company.
About Chandler: College dropout, six-figure business owner, bestselling author… Chandler fell in love with the idea of passive income when he spent the day snowboarding, yet still made enough money to cover his day on the slopes through his book sales! The author of numerous bestselling books, including “The Productive Person” and “Breaking Out of a Broken System,” Chandler is also the founder of the Self-Publishing School. Find out more on his website.
(Lain says: Chandler is like my little brother. Little SMARTER brother. He wears giant foam hats and makes millions of dollars. There’s definitely a family resemblance — at least on the hat part! I took his Self-Publishing course — it works!)
This book has helped me understand the things that I do best (at a uniquely higher-than-average level) and create a business focused on those abilities. By applying the process in this book, you will have a compass that continually guides you to opportunities and activities that allow you to make your greatest impact and derive maximum fulfillment from your work. I buy this book for all my clients and have them go through the process. It’s that important.
About Jason: Jason Van Orden helps influencers and thoughts leaders turn their expertise and ideas into courses, content and and automated systems that amplify their income and impact. One of the co-founders of Internet Business Mastery, he’s been doing and teaching this stuff since 2005. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Jason is also someone I’ve followed online for years – back when he went by a pseudonym! Now I’m super-glad we actually “know” each other. I call him the “godfather of the Internet.”)
The most impactful events, what Taleb calls black swans, are unpredictable. While many people claimed they saw it coming, almost no one successfully predicted the most impactful events of the last twenty years from 9/11 to the dot com bubble the 2008 collapse.
If we can’t predict the future then, what are we to do? What can we control? We can control how unforeseen events impact our businesses. All businesses are either fragile (hurt by black swans), robust (resistant to black swans) or antifragile, (benefit from black swans).
Reading Antifragile made me realize that a lot of businesses are fragile, just waiting for the next unforeseen event to wipe them out, and let me start taking steps to making my business robust and antifragile, able to withstand if not benefit from the next unforeseen shift.
About Taylor: Taylor Pearson believes entrepreneurship can create more money, meaning and agency in your life and the lives of those you love. He takes theories and philosophies and turns them into actionable advice you can apply to your life. Taylor is an entrepreneur and author of The End of Jobs. Inc Magazine rated The End of Jobs one of the Top Three ‘Start Your Own Business’ Books of 2015 and a Top 25 Business Book of 2015. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: When I read Taylor’s stuff, I think “Brilliant.” I was really pleased he answered my blind email to take part in this roundup.)
The one book that had the biggest impact on me building my business is without a doubt “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
How? By becoming really good at building high-trust relationships with influencers online. I used blogger outreach to get featured on 158 top blogs in my first 14 months of blogging with my first blog.
It´s not about what other people can do for you, but what you can do for them without expecting or asking for anything in return.
About Tor: Tor Refsland helps online entrepreneurs skyrocket their business by building genuine relationships with influencers. Known for his smart and simple influencer outreach strategies, he was featured on over 150 blogs in just over a year. He has a burning passion to work with people who are starting or growing their businesses. His upcoming class is “How To Blog Outreach Like A Boss.” Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Tor and I met at Navid’s mastermind in Barcelona this past summer. He is hilarious, smart, and generous. You don’t need anything else to be on my Christmas card list!)
For anyone who “sells” a brand, an idea, or even themselves — this book offers smart ideas about getting your audience hooked on your message.
About Sally: Sally Hogshead is an award-winning advertising copywriter and New York Times bestselling author. She frequently appears in national media, including NBC’s “Today” show and the New York Times. She was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest award for professional excellence. Sally is the creator of the Fascination Personality test: the world’s first personality assessment that measures what makes someone fascinating. Find out more on her website here.
(Lain says: Sally’s book was absolutely groundbreaking for me. I use her principles to write on behalf of my clients. I ask them to take her diagnostic quiz, and it helps me connect with their audiences in an authentic way. Read her stuff.)
The Antin Newsletter by Brad Antin (unavailable)
These two publications helped me get my start in the world of marketing.
The book that’s had the biggest impact on my business was actually not a book, it was a subscription newsletter called, “The Antin Newsletter” written by Brad Antin many years ago. It was a marketing newsletter that taught me how to write killer copy, which is one of the most lucrative marketing skills I posses.
Another book that helped me was Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Marketing Plan.” That book taught me the critical importance of gathering and using social proof in your marketing. I’ve always remembered Dan saying, “If you don’t have testimonials, you don’t have a product.” Even today, the first thing I do when creating a marketing system is collect all kinds of social proof. If you promote the proof, your marketing becomes infinitely easier.
About David: David Frey is a respected online entrepreneur, community builder, and writer. In 2013, at 49 years old, he suffered from total renal failure. He received a life-saving kidney transplant and decided that he needed to honor his body and his angel donor more, so he made a commitment to start eating right and exercising. That decision (and of course his kidney transplant) totally changed his life. He runs a number of health and fitness websites to help spread the word about living a healthy lifestyle. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: David is someone else I’ve known for years, though we’ve only met once. I love how he’s re-invented himself to follow his passions.)
It’s not a business book. It’s a book about story and what makes a good one. Understanding the truth about how great stories (aka journeys and adventures) work gave me the courage, perspective, and perseverance to live my own.
About Deacon: Deacon Bradley is a digital marketer specializing in Facebook advertising. He has training in all 8 core disciplines of digital marketing, which means you can be certain your paid traffic strategy will complement your business’s existing sales funnel and strategies. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: I met Deacon through Jaime Masters in Austin. He’s funny and solid and really smart.)
This book is PROFOUND in so many ways, but there is a specific section on fear that will change your business. When you read this book and realize you can’t escape or avoid fear (and in fact you can live in harmony with it) it helps you take the risks that bring you to the next level!
About Zach: Zach Spuckler is an online business strategist. In under a year, he built a six-figure business that allowed him to leave school, quit his job, and become a full-time entrepreneur. He coaches clients who enjoy 5-figure launches and serves as a consultant to 6 and 7-Figure entrepreneurs who are ready to grow their businesses using social media and live streaming. Find out more on his websitehere.
(Lain says: I’m relatively new to Zach but love his spirit, drive, and generous heart. He’s one of the good ones.)
My favorite book is “Dot Com Secrets” by Russell Brunson. This book teaches you everything you need to know about online marketing and making sales online. It is my turn to book when trying decide how to build a stronger presence online and get more sales in my publicity services. I can say that this book and it’s teachings has led to my business breaking 6 figures a month in sales. Sometimes even breaking 6 figures in just 1 sale.
About Andrew: Andrew O’Brien is the founder of The Publicity Guy. His service helps entrepreneurs gain media exposure for their businesses. Committed to gaining more than increased visibility for each client, The Publicity Guy instructs in the art of leveraging total exposure and in how to use the media as a selling tool. Media exposure is so much more than “social proof” as The Publicity Guy team has consistently proven time and time again; it’s a precious commodity any business can use to their advantage. Find out more on his website here.
(Lain says: Andrew’s story is so incredible I won’t even attempt to do it justice. Read about it yourself, then join me in standing in awe of his resilient spirit. I admire him so much).
I read about 150 books per year (yeah, really!), so it’s hard to pick one “all-time” favorite. But one that I keep coming back to again and again since I read it in 2014 is, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.
In this biography/business book, he shares all the projects and products he launched that DIDN’T work (like the Dilburrito). His principle is simple: If you’re somewhat smart and somewhat talented, you just need to throw enough spaghetti (or Dilburritos) at the wall until one of them sticks. You don’t need a string of successes; you just need one. I LOVE THAT! Bonus points because he’s super-funny. ?
About Lain: Lain (that’s me!) is a content strategist, copywriter, online community creator, and bestselling author of several books, including “Rock Your To-Do List: A Non-Traditional Guide to Time Management.” She’s written for the Boston Globe, Runner’s World, Entrepreneur.com, SUCCESS Magazine, and many other publications, she runs on Dunkin’ and hates talking about herself in the third person. Find out more on her website here.
But wait, there’s more!
Enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card that will allow you to purchase a BUNCH of these recommended books for your very own library (or you can spend it on Mentos and Dr. Pepper — I’ll never know!). Three additional people will receive a copy of one of my favorite business books… probably by Seth Godin. ?
Just sign up for my email list here so I can keep you updated on more resources and good stuff to help you communicate more effectively, build your business, and live a kick-donkey life (with a good dose of glitter and confetti).