While there are some business owners who go into business for the sake of the passion that is associated with what they to do, and growth and expansion are not necessarily high on their priority list, the vast majority of entrepreneurs are extremely focused on growing their business. The thing is that if you were to survey 100 small to mid-sized business owner, or aspiring business owners, concerning the best way to support business growth, you would get a wide array of responses.
These responses would be based on a number of different variables, including background, industry, experience and more. Fortunately, there are some business books that can provide superior insight on the matter.
The first thing that any entrepreneur who is looking to grow his business should have is a willing to change their views concerning business and themselves. One of the most important elements of business growth is the capacity for personal growth. You will never be able to grow your business beyond the measure of capacity generated by your ability to grow yourself.
So, it should be of no surprise a couple of the business books listed here are actually focused on personal development more than business growth, but personal growth is essential to developing the capacity to grow any business.
How Will these Business Books Change Your Thinking?
When the average person thinks about growing their business, the first thing that will come to mind is opening up a second location, and while this may be an option, both, critical thought and lateral thinking would offer some alternatives, such as creating an online presence. An online presence would present less overhead, while providing your customer base with 24-hour access to your goods. When reading the books listed here, you will be challenged to think laterally, also known as thinking outside of the box. You will also be encouraged to travel the path less trodden. Stop following the followers and create your path or niche in the market. The more unique your approach to business, the less competition you will have in your market.
The truth is that your thinking is the primary factor to how successful you will be in business, and these business books will get you off on the right foot.
1. Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business From the Inside Out
This book by David Gelles explores the growing phenomenon of introducing Zen practices into the workplace. Globalization has had an immense influence on the increase in the popularity of meditation, long believed to be an eastern mechanism. However, meditation is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. and other western countries. In fact, its popularity is growing at such a rapid pace that companies are actually having developers create mobile apps to assist their employees in their Zen practices. The premise for this approach to business development is actually well supported.
It is no secret that the less stressed an employee is, the better they will perform. Additionally, the self-confidence that comes out of meditation practices is exceptional — again contributing to improved performance. Improved performance and a high customer satisfaction rate will usually lead to an increase in demand — leading to growth.
2. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
If you are one of the many people who have read traditional economics-based business books, and then thought, “this is not how the real world functions,” then you will absolutely adore this book. While traditional economic-based business books make the assumption that people will make rational decisions, the truth is that people rarely use rationale when making spending decisions, and it is spending (consumerism) that drives economies. This book educates the reader on market behavior and human psychology — providing the reader with the insight to make smarter business decisions that will support their company’s growth by placing consumers in the ideal position to buy. Additionally, understanding the behavior of the market will help business owners build relationships with their customers that will lead to customer loyalty.
3. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
This book by John C. Maxwell goes right to the heart of the matter that growing anything in your life begins with your willingness to grow yourself. He kills the myth that growth is autonomous through experience. He points out, with great clarity, that growth is the result of “intentionality.” It comes through adding specific purpose to your activity. Basically, setting goals alone will not produce growth. In fact, when setting goals, you may hit the goal and still not experience growth; however, if your aim is growth, you will experience growth to the point of your intentions, and the goals will be met autonomously. Whether a person is looking to improve their marriage, athletic performance, sales career or business, it all begins with personal growth.
4. Outliers: The Story of Success
While my favorite book by Malcom Gladwell is still Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Outliers still gets a powerful honorable mention. With the same analytic approach that he always uses, Gladwell analyzes success in an entirely different way. He asserts that it requires 10,000 hours of practice to become highly proficient at something. The way that this translates to business is repetition and familiarity should be given greater gravity in comparison to some common considerations, such as IQ, academic achievements, background and more. Basically, a person with a strong enough desire and the willingness to continuously do something over and over until they become great at it will find that they will outperform those who are not as committed — no matter what level of experience and education they have.
So which one will you read?
There are other business books such as Reallionaire by Farrah Gray, which focuses on the importance of authenticity and transparency in the development of a business. Another great book is The Lean Startup, which shows how contemporary entrepreneurs are using innovative thinking and creativity to create business ideas that are radical and effective.
The train of thought in this new global economy is to step outside of the box and leave the traditional business model behind. The customer still remains a key focus of performance and insight, but now, a great deal of attention is being given to how well the workforce is being treated, trained and compensated. It is a bold new business world, and these books will initiate the process of making sure you are prepared for it.
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