A few weeks back, Rachel focused on her top ‘brain food’ picks. That is, the resources outside of work that keep us inspired and sharp.
Rachel focused on a few websites that she frequents (hopefully not on the clock!) throughout the week for inspiration. And while I have quite a few websites I also spend time on that continue to give me good ideas and inspiration, I’m going to take a different approach and recommend some alternate sources for keeping my brain happy.
When I’m not improving websites for small business owners across the country, I try to pretend that there isn’t a thing called the internet, Facebook or Reddit and pick up one of those ‘book’ things you used to hear about. I have a bookshelf in my office with some books that I’ve picked up along the way and some that I’ve ‘borrowed’ from my dad’s library.
In my early days of starting this business, I was in a BNI (Business Networking International) group. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BNI, it’s one of the most successful networking groups of its kind. In this group, I not only made great connections (and friends) – but some great ideas.
One of those ideas was passed along by a young lady who was in the Real Estate/Title business and came across this book at a seminar she attended. She spoke so highly of it and how it focused her approach to how she presented herself to prospects. I believe I bought the Kindle version before the meeting was over.
By the time I had some time to dedicate to going through the book – I was reexamining everything about my business: my approach to prospects, who my business truly catered to and how much I should be charging for my services.
I would recommend this book to anyone who owns their own business and/or anyone in a sales position. It’s a great read from either perspective, but has been invaluable to me as I continue to take a step back and make sure my business is growing in the right direction with the right people.
Check out Book Yourself Solid on Amazon.
If you are ever in a slump for sales or just need a virtual kick in the butt – pop this movie in. (I just said pop, as if you had a VCR. I’m old.) Don’t have time for the whole movie? Just skip to Alec Baldwin’s iconic monologue as Blake. “A. B. C.” he writes on the chalkboard. “A – Always, B – Be, C – Closing.”
Or you can watch Alec’s own SNL parody below, it’s just as good:
I was privileged enough to see Jim Stengel (former Global Marketing Officer at Proctor & Gamble) speak at Aileron in 2012. His talk about brand marketing and business management convinced me in a few short minutes that he A) knew his stuff, up and down and B) I want to read everything he’s ever written.
But this book in particular speaks to ideals and how they drive consumer actions. This is certainly higher-level thinking than the average small business owner gets into normally, but it’s really help me focus on what really drives my business growth.
Check out Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies on Amazon.
Feel free to poke fun of me and my homemade picture in my office. But I found this quote while making some art for Scarlett’s baby room and immediately fell in love with it.
Knowing that I even if I didn’t do all of the right things yesterday, I can start by making a positive change today.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Made this for my office to serve as my mantra for the year. As I work to start 2016 with new habits of healthy living and achieving a happy work/life balance – knowing that it would have been nice to be doing all the right things all along, but today is just as good of a day to start. #pictureaday #365project #365 #365photochallenge
A photo posted by John Young (@jkyoung08) on
In the end, I can find some sort of idea or inspiration from anything. All it takes is the openness to allow that sort of creativity in. Whether it’s an idea you picked up at a networking meeting, a good book or a movie from the early 1980’s. Open your mind, get inspired and make your business better.