5 Books to Keep up Your Lockdown Self-Care and Boost Your Business Strategy

5 Business Books to Read in Lockdown

By Rebecca Allam

Lockdown. Day 171, week 52, I think it’s possibly the 32nd Mapril? Or is that just me?

Finding it hard to carry on as you once did while working from home, homeschooling, home drinking and board meetings from the comfort of your own sofa? I think it’s taking its toll on us all.

But for the immediate future, this is our new way of life, therefore as business owners, we must be resourceful and continue to search for ways to keep moving forward, whilst keeping our mental health intact.

Reading is a great way to relax, unwind and to feed the brain at the same time. So we have put together an excellent selection of books that come highly recommended to not only provide a great read but with the promise to build on your business knowledge and give you new skills to implement straight away. And they are all available to buy or download at your fingertips through Amazon.

So why not go ahead and try…

The Jelly Effect – Andy Bounds

Click here to buy or downloadPaperback price £8.75

Recommended to us by Consulting Practitioner, Nicola Taylor of Utility Warehouse. The Jelly Effect shows you ‘how to raise your game to a different level’ by showing you how to communicate effectively, not throwing information at someone, hoping that enough of it sticks (aka jelly).

This book helps you understand how to make yourself more approachable and engaging to the people around you - it’s straight to the point with a no-nonsense approach. Andy Bounds has produced an easy to read guide for anyone looking to improve the way they communicate in life. Yes, it is specifically applied to sales and marketing, but can also be considered for people who want to improve their communication in any other situation.

The most important part of this book may well be the ‘afters’… but you’ll have to read it to find out why.

Nicola’s review: I’d recommend this book because for me, it’s simple and the way Andy Bounds describes things and his attention-grabbing ways, makes communicating messages (selling or actions) easier.

So the idea of the jelly is that if you threw a bucket of jelly at someone, only some of it would stick – it’s the same with communication, only some of it will stick/stay so you need to grab their attention.

Also, Andy is partially sighted and there is genetic blindness in his family so he had to describe things to his Mum, hence he sees the world through a different set of communication eyes – plus if it works for big companies, it can work for the one-man-band too.

Start with WHY – Simon Sinek

Click here to buy or downloadPaperback price £7.68

Recommended to us by Practitioner, Antony Haysom. You may well have seen Sinek’s 3rd most popular TED talk based on ‘Start with WHY’, which inspired people back in 2009.

Sinek’s book focuses on the elite of the business world - the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk’s of the world and breaking down the reason why they command more success, loyalty and are more profitable than others. What do these people have in common? It’s all in the WHY behind it. The realisation that people can’t truly buy into a product or service, concept or idea without fully understanding the reasons behind it.

The one thing our business leaders of the world have in common is that they all think alike; act and communicate in the same way, and have the same passion flowing inside them.

Do you want to be a part of ‘The Golden Circle…’? Give this a read and see where the inspiration leads you.

Antony’s review: This book adjusted my thinking by challenging it. Challenging the long-standing thought process of life (which has thus far yielded not so great results) is so important. We need to grow, evolve and change as people if we are to become the person we need to be to achieve our goals in life.

It’s about focusing on and realising the driving force behind 'Why' we do something that can be revolutionary for the mind, life and those around us.

The 5 Levels of Formality – Danny Rich and Paul Robinson

Click here to buy or downloadPaperback price £10

This book, based on real-life events, follows the character of Sam Hirst on his journey through the highs and lows of network marketing, through to his success. Sam takes you through the 5 different levels of contact that all business owners should break their contact list down into before they communicate with them.

If you want to build your business and increase your confidence in how to approach potential customers and even employees in a way that feels comfortable to you, this might be the book you are looking for. Following a storytelling style, it breaks down business concepts into bite-sized, manageable chunks.

One reviewer wrote: “I wish I'd actually read it much sooner, would've saved a lot of time, confusion, anxiety and disappointment. I'd be much further on in my business if I hadn't left it on the shelf for 6 months. It’s a very easy read, clearly explained and I’ve learnt so much.”

Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth – Robert Skrob

Click here to buy or downloadPaperback price £7.54

Recommended by Helen Livesey of The BCO. If your business is based on member subscriptions (and even if it isn’t) this book is a great quick and easy read and will give you insight on how to keep your customers engaged and on a path to becoming your advocates.

Robert Skrob reveals more than 25 years of membership growth experience in this new book. Retention Point will open your eyes to many ways in which you can keep and maintain great relationships with your customers and ensure they stay with you.

You are going to need a highlighter and pen when you pull this one out for a read!

Helen’s Review: Retention Point is written in a straightforward way. It is easy to take away points for development and simply identify the things you are doing well or that you can improve on.  The food for thought areas for me were, ‘your relationship begins after the sale’, as well as ‘focus delivering transformation rather than information’ and ‘begin by promoting the end’.

The E Myth – Michael E. Gerber

Click here to buy or downloadPaperback price £11.99

Recommended by a fellow Shout Network member, Helen Spencer from Utility Warehouse, this book addresses the myth that all people who start a small business are automatically classed as entrepreneurs and therefore, understands how to take that business and make it a success, but even technical expertise and expectations can get in the way of running a successful business if taken in the wrong order. This book walks you through those steps, from infancy right through to entrepreneur, applying techniques used in franchising to any business, even if it isn’t a franchise.

It’s about being able to distinguish between working on your business and working in your business!

If you don't want to own a job, but want to own a business, this book will help you get into the right mindset.

One reviewer wrote: “This book provides the material to help change the mindset of any technician (be they in IT, bakery, floristry or any business) and offers practical advice on how to systemise your business.”

So, break out your reading glasses and glass of wine (if you are so inclined) and find that cosy place to sit and let the waves of knowledge wash over you!

Remember to always check Amazon if you have a Kindle, as sometimes books are on offer for free to download. (In fact, Retention Point is right now).

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