Love them or loathe them, the world is full of self-help books and business coaches.
It's a huge worldwide industry, with books and coaches aplenty, with quality varying from the genius to the incompetent. I read a few books over the years, which seemed manuals of the obvious, and spoke to a couple of coaches, none of whom filled me with confidence, and had an obvious track record I could aspire to.
Then a few years ago I was introduced to a coach who was inspirational, who put me on the right path and started my education by introducing me to audiobooks, after much procrastinating that I didn't have time to sit and read. He was spot on, and journeys to work became learning experiences or a healthy walk at night with the headphones on.
Since then I have consumed countless business books, some really are stand out classics, such as Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and The E Myth by Michael Gerber (everyone should read this).
But you also start to see patterns and repetitions, you suddenly realise once your brain is plugged in that there are some golden rules, then an awful lot of commonsense, repackaged using different examples, or tone depending on the audience. eg from third person storytelling, to over the top jam-packed expletives.
There's a great Mashable article that breaks down the 11 rules and gives lots of examples of further reading and examples, so is definitely worth a look. But I'll summarise them here and give my 5 pence worth.
1. Take one small step
This is all about good habits and lots of repetition. Turn in to muscle memory instead of will power. eg Spend 10 minutes a day updating your Facebook post. Make it a routine, make it become part of your autopilot.
2. Change your mental maps
Visualise your goals, why are you slogging your guts out? Make a dream board with your family and write down your aspirations, could be holidays, new car, big house. Make it tangible and real, not I want lots of cash. Stick it on the wall so all the family can see it. You've now got a reason and a destination.
3. Struggle is good. Scary is good
Get out of your comfort zone. Pick the phone up and start generating leads, stop faffing about playing with spreadsheets and putting off talking to potential customers or dealing with issues.
4. Instant judgment is bad
You may think you know it all, but take a step back and analyse the situation or facts before making a decision. It will save you a fortune!
5. Remember the end of your life
You've made your dream board and have a list of goals, so when do you plan to achieve them? No point slogging your guts out until you are 75 then croaking it on the round the world cruise. So what's the exit strategy for your business?
6. Be playful
Who said business had to be boring? Have fun, make some cash and spend it. If you've got employees, build a friendly culture. People who enjoy working for you will give 100% more productivity than those that clock watch.
7. Be useful to others
Classic business advice. Make your product or service useful, make it invaluable, make your customer service amazing. Your not a corporate machine, surprise people, make them talk about you in a positive light.
8. Perfectionism = procrastination
Rule of thumb, if it's 80% good enough, then it's good enough. Nothing will ever get to 100%. Get it out the door and making revenue. You can offer refinements, updates or changes based on feedback, but never chase perfection.
9. Sleep, exercise, eat, chill out. Repeat
Most of us are guilty of not doing this. Take time out, get enough kip and stay healthy. Running a business is stressful, so counterbalance that with healthy habits.
10. Write it all down
Couldn't agree more. I start every day with a to-do list. What does a good day look like? What do you want to achieve today? Prioritise your daily tasks and tick them off, keep productive, stay focused. Don't wonder off down internet rabbit holes or chasing new shiny things.
11. You can't get it all from reading
You have to run a business for real, not theories. Books can give you the advice and help you need, but you have to apply that knowledge yourself and create an entity that generates profit. Once you have that, you can then start tweaking, playing with the levers of business, maybe find a coach that suits you and start growing a bigger more profitable business.
If you want more information and book suggestions to get you going, below is the article I've taken the 11 rules from, and below that is a thread on this forum about some of the books I've found useful.
- Do you read business self-help books?
- Have you tried business coaches?
- Do you agree/disagree with the 11 rules?
Let me know your thoughts