What you’ll learn in this episode:
As established entrepreneurs, we’re always looking for ways to grow. And one of the ways that we grow our businesses is by growing ourselves – taking information in, building knowledge, and most importantly, applying that knowledge in a way that drives results in our businesses. This effects how we grow as individuals and how our business grows. And I think doing that on a consistent basis is really important.
At the beginning of a year, we’re very focused on the year ahead. There’s a lot of hope, there’s a lot of momentum, and we’re searching for the next thing that’s going to help us take our businesses to the next level.
In today’s episode I share some of the books that have had a profound effect on my business growth, and year after year I keep coming back to for their wisdom, depth, and levity. Take a listen to this episode where I share my 5 favorite books that are sure to grow your business, AND don’t miss downloading the accompanying worksheet in the show notes that will help not only keep you accountable to reading all of the books, but I’ve also provided some space for you to capture some of your own powerful takeaways and how you are going to incorporate them in your business. So grab that link, and starting reading your way to your best year in business yet! Enjoy!
In this episode, you will learn to:
- My 5 favorite business books and why you need to read them right now!
- Why mindset and the inner game continues to be one of the most crucial pieces to growing your business.
- Why focusing more, building powerful habits, and doing less is one of the most powerful things you can do in your business (and why people continue to write books on how to master it).
Mentioned in this episode:
Work/Connect with me:
Jessica Miller (00:02.422)
Well, hello everyone and welcome to a new year here on the It’s Your Offer podcast. I am so excited to kick off this year with all of you and talk to you about some of my favorite business book reads that are going to ensure that you grow your business. So as established entrepreneurs, we’re always looking for ways to grow. And one of the ways that we grow our businesses is by growing ourselves and taking information in, building knowledge, but most importantly, applying that knowledge in a way that drives results in our businesses, how we grow as individuals and how our business grows. And I think doing that on a consistent basis is really important.
At the beginning of a year, we’re very focused on the year ahead. There’s a lot of hope, there’s a lot of momentum, and we’re sort of searching around for the next thing that’s going to help us take that next level and, you know, step forward in our business. So as I was reflecting on last year and thinking about this year, I wanted to share some of the things that really made a difference for me in my growth over the last year and that I’m going to revisit as I think about going into this year.
Interestingly, some of the information, some of these books, some of the mentorship that I’ve gotten, it sort of sticks with you and it’s evergreen. And when I started to think about these books that I’m about to share with you, I realized that they fall into this category. That the knowledge and the insights and the aha moments and the best practices that I have gathered from these books are things that I keep coming back to over and over and over again.
They keep driving results in my business, not just one time, but every time I either utilize something from the books or revisit that book. And as, again, established business owners, I think sometimes we need these little reminders. A lot of times we’ve read the books or done the thing or bought the course or whatever, but we don’t take time to often pause and think about what are some of the things that really moved us forward and can we revisit that?
Asking our peers or people that we trust, what are some of those things that really stand out for you that moved you forward? And can I incorporate some of those things into my own business? Well, I’m here to share with you all that these books really changed my life. They changed my business. In many ways, they offered best practices, they offered inspiration. And for many of them, I have to say, the way that they are written, they offered some levity, some life. some fun. I mean, I remember sitting there, especially for one of them, where I would be like laughing out loud. And how often can you say that about a self-help book or a business book? Not all the time. But for many of these, it was written with such wit and such wisdom that it really is comical because it’s kind of striking that nerve. It’s really resonating as being true and being applicable. And I just love that. So without further ado, I want to jump right into this list.
And I want to share with you why these are my all-time best books for you as an entrepreneur who is growing, has a team, has big goals, wants to continue thriving. Why you need to either read these or go back to these books right now. I will tell you what they are, who they’re written by so you can go and get those. I also created just a downloadable sheet where it’s going to have all of those things, all the names of the books, all the names of the authors, links to where you could even get them and also a space for you to write what your takeaways are. So you can find all that in the show notes and just a way to hold you accountable. It’s a simple list guys, it’s five books. You can do this, make it a priority. Okay, number one, and I have to say this might be my all-time favorite book when it comes to self-help business books. I actually gifted this book to so many of my clients as an introductory book, you know, it would come in their welcome packages.
I actually ran a promotion last year where the top performers in my 10K accelerator group actually came with me on a night out in the city of Boston to go to dinner and meet this author in person and have her sign one of her books. And it was amazing. So my first and favorite all time book is You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
I cannot say this enough, that if you have not read this book, even if you are in the middle of reading another book, you need to put that book down and go and get You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I will share with you that I actually saw this book when it came out on the shelf like 10 years ago. It’s a bright yellow cover. It had the word badass on the front. I was like, oh, I am never reading this book. I’m never reading this book. Like who writes a book like that? It’s like really not my style, and I just was kind of like turned off by it. But then someone that I really admired told me that she was actually making a huge change in her life and her career because she had read this book and she had read another book, I can’t remember what it was, and it really changed her life. So I was like, no way, I’ve seen this book and now you are reading this book. I’m going to totally go and grab it. And I did, life changing. Jen really focuses on all of the reasons in a witty, fun, really packed with story, eye-opening and inspirational way that all of us are magnificent. That we are all these badasses that are destined for greatness and we need to go out there and stop all the limiting beliefs and stop holding ourselves back and like really step into who we are. I have read it over and over and over again, I cannot tell you.
And I also was reading it for the first time on a flight to London. And we were flying in the air and I was laughing so hard at this book that I was crying. There were like tears streaming down my face to the point that once we actually reached our cruising altitude, the stewardess came over and asked me if I was okay, because I think she thought that I was breaking down because I was afraid of the takeoff or the turbulence or whatever. And I was like, oh my gosh, I’m just laughing so hard at this that I cannot contain myself. So go check out this book. It is an amazing way to really tap into your power, really drive that motivation, that self-love and that empowerment that comes from knowing that you are a badass and you are capable of doing anything.
And we all know that so much of this journey, especially as an entrepreneur, is mental. It’s mental. And we need to be reminded through it all, the ups, the downs, the peaks and the troughs, all the things, that we are badasses and that we can create whatever we want. And this book is the best at doing that. So highly recommend this book, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
The second book on my list, which is right up there with Jensen Chero, but different, but equally brilliant and witty is Atomic Habits by James Clear. So for all of you, you know me from listening to the show that I am a direct person. I’m a straight shooter. I love people that get to the point where it’s really logical and they kind of just put those pieces in place. There’s not a lot of fluff and it’s just that brilliance that is shining through. Like let’s cut to the shapes.
Let’s make things happen and let’s just put it out there in a simple, powerful, clear way. I just love that. One of my strengths is focus. And this book is packed with best practices on how to build good habits, get rid of old habits, and how to create sort of systems in your life so that you can excel in an easier way. And you know also from listening to the show that I am a big fan of what is that thing that’s going to create the biggest results going forward. So what is that thing that when you focus on it’s going to essentially give you the highest return on your investment of time and energy and building good habits, doing that in a very efficient, a very practical way is one of the fastest ways to really supercharge your business and your life. And he does just an incredible, incredible job of putting that together in a book that is just packed with best practices, clarity, and also something that you can very easily execute on. It is not difficult to digest, and it really just lays it out for you and gives you some of these also little hacks on how you can incorporate habits into your life and utilize those to drive results. And when it comes to business, and especially for this platform, it’s about working smarter and not harder.
And I know that sounds so cliche, but I really mean this. As business owners, looking through the lens of our business with all the things going on and determining what is making the biggest impact, how do we automate those things? How do we build habits around not only what we want to create in our business, but the person we want to be and the things we want to get done in a day holistically is really, really important. And the more that just happens and it becomes systematized and habitual, the more it just becomes who we are. And it’s a huge piece of the journey. So Atomic Habits by James Clear, an incredible read. I’ve also read it several times. I’ve given it to people as gifts. I just did it most recently at our retreat. Highly recommend that you check it out. So that is book number two. Number three, also another great practical, like brilliant read, is called The One Thing by Gary Keller.
Again, when it comes to your focus, your time, your energy, everything is not created equal and we cannot give our time and energy to everything. There are things in our life, in our business that matter more than others and there are things that create more results than others. And so the concept of this book is really around what is the one thing…
that you need to do in your business to drive the most results today? And how do you really flesh that out and how do you know what that is? And how do you create the structure and the, what is the word I want to use? The, I was going to say resilience, it’s not resilience, although it does take resilience, but how do you essentially create the habits around getting yourself to think about the one thing that matters the most that needs to get done to create the most results that matter, that’s going to move your business and your life forward in the most powerful way. And this concept really changed my life because before I used to have a to-do list, it would have all the things on it, they were all created equal, and then I would just work down that list. And here was like the horrible part of that – Everything just took a ton of time and they all just, you know either got checked off, didn’t get checked off.
But I think the worst part about it was that I wasn’t actually making a lot of progress and that list never ended. Does anybody else feel like this? Like, do you ever not have a to-do list? No, because we are naturally, I think, conditioned to make these lists and kind of have all the things. But I’m here to tell you that like 80% of that stuff that is on that list that you are spending time thinking about or doing doesn’t matter from the perspective of the result in the life you actually want to live. In one way, that is liberating, right? On the other hand, it’s almost like horrifying, like, oh my gosh, well, what do I do now? Just not do them? What does this all mean? The one thing really helps you dig into that and identify what is the most important thing and really habitualize becoming that person that thinks in that way. I promise you, it will be more satisfying more productive and you will end up creating a life in a business that is actually contained with the stuff that you actually want and care about because that’s really what it comes down to. It’s really understanding those one things that are kind of the linchpin and that really move the needle. So The One Thing by Gary Keller, highly recommend it.
On a totally sort of different note but equally as powerful as some of these practical, you know, application, these books that have – practical application in the sense that it’s more tactical is the book steering by starlight by Martha Beck So I train under Martha Beck many years ago was the first coaching certification I ever got shared the story with many of you before but I found Martha back through reading Oh magazine Oprah magazine back 25 years ago when I was like in my 20s and I really loved her column. She had a column in O Magazine because she actually was a life coach for Oprah before like life coaching was even a thing. She just blew my mind. She had this amazing way of really marrying the very practical outcomes and practical things that we do and we experience in life with these sort of intangible internal things that we experience. again.
Whether it’s emotion, mindset, all these intangible things that we experience as human beings. And she was so witty and wise in how she put these things together to help us understand why we were doing the things that we did and what really drove us as human beings and how do we create this magic really in our life that manifests in very practical things in our reality. And she blew my mind. She’s so well read. She’s so educated.
And she is a researcher. So she’s gone and looked at all different types of societies and cultures and different ways that people approach things. And so she has this very broad perspective. And so her ability to really synthesize all this information and help us tap into this inner wisdom, be grounded, and then use that inner wisdom to steer us in the direction of our life and business that we want to go.
It totally blew my mind and changed my life. So, Steering By Starlight is really about how do you create this world? What are your passion and your vision and the things that light you up that you might be missing when you think about creating the life that you want? And in this particular instance, what we’re talking about here is, how do you tap into that so that you can create the business that you want, so that you can do the things that you love and that you can work with the people that you want to work with and essentially have all that you’ve ever dreamed of. But not in this cagey kind of what she calls like shackles on sort of a way, but in a way that feels expansive and free. And she always says, you know, it’s sort of tastes of freedom when you’re on the right path when you’re steering by your own starlight, when you’re in alignment with your North star.
You feel free and it’s the shackles off feeling. It tastes of freedom is what she talks about. And her book is just amazing. It allows you to ask yourself the questions that allow you to really orient yourself to that North Star and really find that starlight that is guiding you. It’s also funny and witty and very down to earth for something that could be so, you know, kind of fluffy and ambiguous.
So I highly, highly recommend her book for a way to anchor you in the things that really light you up. As we know, as we’ve talked about a lot on this show, and I’m a huge, huge fan of hell yes, I love saying it, I love the whole concept of it. That concept of being in alignment with your hell yes, finding your North Star and steering your life by the starlight of that star is really crucial as a foundation to everything else that you build.
Because you can do all the things based on something that is not your true North, and you will have success, but I promise you, it will never taste or feel like the freedom that comes with following your heart and your passion and your North Star. And that’s a very personal journey. And sometimes, as we grow our businesses, we lose sight of that. We’re just kind of like on the treadmill. Things are moving, they’re growing. We’re like, woo, let’s keep going, you know, and you don’t realize that you can be veering off course. And so I think it’s always important in this way to come back to like, where am I going? Where am I orienting myself to? And do I need to just kind of adjust my compass, like adjust those sails on my boat to get back on course to where I really want to be? And is this really lighting me up? And is it bringing me where I want to go? And am I living the life I want?
You know, intrinsically, it always starts with us, right? It always starts with that hell yes. So her book, Steering By Starlight, so good. All her books are great, but I really like this one. And so I highly recommend checking this out. She’s amazing, changed my life. And really, so much of my journey now, my business, all of it, I owe to her, to finding that column, to looking for that certification course, and for starting on that path and being brave enough to really change my course because I was on the course of building a big career in corporate America and just staying on where I’d always been. And I loved that, it was great, but it wasn’t my true north. And so I really owe so much to her and her wisdom and just the way that she put it all together to help me just change my sails and bring me to a different destination. So love her and I would definitely check out that book.
And last but not least, is an amazing book that’s actually targeted more to coaches. But I want to offer, before I even tell you what it is, I want to offer that in some capacity, I think as entrepreneurs with the work that we do, we are always coaching. Like whether you call yourself a coach or not, doesn’t really matter. In some capacity, when we are holding the space for our clients, when we are giving them the space to be who they are or tell us what’s going on or reflect or feel like they’re in a corner with somebody they can trust or we’re giving them advice or expertise based on where we are in the service of them and their business. We are coaching people. It’s just what we do as entrepreneurs. And so I think although this book is really focused on coaches, I want to say it’s really more about leadership. It’s about leadership energy. It’s about the “coaching” that comes when you are in charge, when you are holding the space for your clients as the trusted guide and as the leader to help them navigate what it is that they hired you to help them navigate. This book is called The Prosperous Coach and it’s by Steve Chandler. He is another brilliant writer. He has so many books I have read. It’s amazing I even narrowed this down to one book and frankly to the five of these books. I mean, I could have gone on and on for two hours about all my favorite business books, but he’s amazing. And the Prosperous Coach is really about stepping into the identity of a coach who can coach other people, hold the space for people, be in that leadership energy and actually prosper. So as I mentioned earlier, so much of the entrepreneurial journey is about the internal game, it’s an inside game. And that means it is about our identity, who we think we are, what we think we’re capable of, what we think about what other people think about us, what our focus is and where that energy comes from internally. And making money and having a thriving business, although it absolutely requires the business framework that is essential to grow.
There is a formula for that, right? We learn it when we go and get our MBA. We understand what it is when we get out there and build our business. But there is that internal structure that needs to be there, mental structure that needs to be there, in order for us to make money and grow as business owners. And frankly, this is true in every aspect of our life. Whether it is you’re building a career in corporate America, you want to be the best husband that there is or wife or partner.
You want to be the best mother, father, or guardian, whatever it is, there is a mental internal game to that. And this book really talks about who do you need to be and how do you need to think in order to prosper. And that is true in this sort of general mental space. It’s also true from a financial sense. All of those things are part of who we are being.
And so this book is direct to the point. It is a quick, easy read. It just really knocks out all this brilliance one after another. You’re like, oh my gosh, truth bomb after truth bomb after truth bomb. And you really start to see where you might be missing some of these marks. Like how you’re showing up and what you’re doing and why are you doing them? And energetically, what are you putting out there? And how is that manifesting in your business and you growing both, like I said, logistically and tactically, but also financially, emotionally, like what does it mean to prosper and who do you need to be for your clients in your business for that to happen? It is a great read. Like I said, it is quick, it is punchy, and every time I read it, I am like, yes, yes. Like it just brings you back to those things that we know, but we sometimes forget and we need to revisit.
I think this book is also really, really amazing for any of us who are in that time in our business where it’s a trough, where we’re getting kind of like beaten around, where our confidence is shaken, where maybe we’re shifting our business, we’re shifting our model or clients are shifting or something is happening where we don’t necessarily feel like we’re soaring, like where we’re not mentally on top of our game and we need that shift.
We need a reminder of whom we are and what it takes to be prosperous. I think this is a great book for that. And I think especially at the beginning of these years to level set, to give us that oomph, that like empowerment in our step, you know what I mean? That we need to really kick off a year strong. This is a great book for that. So highly, highly recommend The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler. So those are my top five books for you as an established entrepreneur.
Yes, if you’re just starting out, let me tell you, go read these books too. Because if I had read these books when I was just starting out, I would be a very different experience in the beginning. It’s just going to set you up for so much success and so much insight. But especially for all of us, again, that are growing these big businesses, we have a big team, we’ve been around the block, we’re going through the motions and we’re growing. But we need that little reminder or that little extra something. These books are for you. This is here to make 2024 your best year yet. Best year yet.
Okay, so to recap, number one, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Amazing. Go get it. She also has another book; You Are a Badass at Making Money. Equally as good. Read that one too. She’s amazing. Go get it.
Atomic Habits by James Clear. Incredible around systems, habits. How do you take your life to the next level by creating great habits around the things that you want and getting rid of the things you don’t want.
The One Thing by Gary Keller. What is the one thing that is going to have the biggest impact on your business and move your business forward?
Jessica Miller (25:36.226)
Number four is Steering By Starlight by Martha Beck, an incredible, incredible book at looking inward, finding your North Star, and steering your life and your business toward it. It is an incredible book, highly recommend.
And last but not least, The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler. It’s just such a great book on how to create the internal identity to create a prosperous life and business. Highly recommend it.
Targeted a little bit toward coaches, but frankly, I think we’re coaches in all of our businesses for our clients, so highly recommend that. Go and download the sheet that I have in the show notes for you to keep you accountable to these five books and to also give you a space to reflect on what really mattered to you from these books. What are you going to use to actually push your year into the best place it could be, and your business and yourself into that place.
So go and download that sheet from the show notes so that you can use it to, again, keep you accountable and keep track of those things that really matter to you. Let’s make this the best year ever. And it’s not just about consuming the knowledge, it’s about applying it. It’s about applying it. So take these five books, let them guide you to where you’re being called.
Let them give you some of those insights and practical applications that you can go and put into your business right now. And let’s really make this your best year yet. Until next time, everyone, see you then!