Books That Inspire

The market for business and personal development books is ever growing with new authors being published on virtually a daily basis. And of course, with self publishing, boutique publishers and online stores such as Amazon and iTunes, it’s relatively easy to publish eBook/kindle books very cheaply …

which books do you regularly read to find inspiration?

which books do you regularly read to find inspiration?

Some authors specifically write for the eBook/kindle book market, not just because it’s cheaper to publish but the way that author remuneration is structured, they get more money from publishing a £1.99 eBook/kindle book on Amazon than from a £9.99 paperback sold on Amazon.

There is a lot of discussion about the price of Kindle and similar books and why there is such a difference in the price between a paper version and electronic version and we may see some investigations into this in the future.

I heard a programme on Radio 4 last year where some well known authors were writing and publishing £1.99 eBook/kindle books on Amazon, as selling a few hundred of those gave them more income than selling a few thousand paperbacks. And bizarrely enough, they also said that when a book is sold on special offer in Tesco it means all their Christmases have come at once since they’ll get even more money per copy!

And from time to time, a book that’s only available as an eBook/kindle book becomes such a phenomenon that it’s published as a paperback and goes on to become a million seller.

One thing’s for sure; becoming an author is not an automatic vehicle for becoming rich. The number of books published a month compared to the number of books that make significant money is disproportionate.

So why do people write personal development and business books? In part, to get their message and philosophy to the world in general. However, the biggest reason is credibility and social proof. When introducing yourself to potential clients, being a published author raises your credibility significantly.

Peter Thomson tells of how he will take one of his books with him when he visits a potential client for the first time and gives the book to them at the start of the meeting. How the person then treats the book is a great indication of how they will treat your relationship and the respect they have for you.

If someone takes the book with both hands and shows genuine interest, there is not only increased rapport but the ‘pitch’ to the potential client immediately becomes easier. Whereas if they put their coffee cup on the book then the disdain they are treating the book with is an indication of how they view you. He then knows that not only is this a person that he doesn’t want to do business with but is unlikely to ‘buy’ his services.

As an inveterate reader, I have a shelf full of business and personal development books to read, from a wide range of authors. Some are how to books, some on business philosophy and some are modern parables or fables that in telling a story, convey their message in a very easy to read way. What’s interesting to me how sometimes I think that a book would be really useful to read and then sits on the shelf for a couple of years whilst others are consumed in a couple of days of arriving in the post. Yes, on the whole I do prefer to have a physical book but am starting to buy, and read, kindle books.

What I’ve stopped doing is downloading the free eBooks from offers that regularly arrive in my inbox because they look interesting – if its a Kindle book then it will sit somewhere that I can browse whereas eBooks just sit in a folder and to be honest I have read few that have really inspired me. The ones I read and use are the business tools books i.e. how to books but that might be my personal take or are you the same?

Patrick Lencioni’s book Getting Naked, shedding the fears of customer loyalty, Built to Sell, how to build a business that can thrive without you by John Warrillow and The Leader Who Had No Title, a modern parable on real success in business and in life, by Robin Sharma are my current top three such books.

On reflection, some of the books that I’ve got the most from have been these parables and fables

Not only do I benefit from reading these books but I also recommend them to clients and peers and often gift them as well. And each of them was originally gifted to me or recommended by someone I respect.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always been taught not to deface books and so the only books that were ever written on and underlined were books that I used for school; my copy of Northanger Abbey is one such book. Now though, I will write thoughts in margins, occasionally underline things and also use page markers for passages that have had an impact when I’m reading them. I also enjoy borrowing books from others who have done the same as it’s really interesting to see which passages inspired and resonated with them.

This passage in The Leader with No Title really resonated with me: “Ideas are ultimately worthless unless you activate them with focused and consistent action. The best leaders never leave the site of a good idea without doing something – no matter how small – to breathe life into it. Lots of people have good ideas. But the masters become masters because they have the courage and conviction to act on ideas. ‘A powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and utterly useless until we choose to use it’ wrote Richard Bach. What really makes greatness is white-hot action around red-hot ideas.”

What white-hot ideas have you had lately and what red-hot action are you taking? Because luke warm action simply ain’t going to cut it.

If you’d like to find out more about anything I’ve mentioned here, then call me on +44 (0) 1296 681094, click here to ping me an email or even leave a comment below.

Until next time …

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