1. Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
Working with Brené Brown and her team has its perks — like getting early copies of the books she’s written, with a little thank you note on the inside. Thank you note aside, this book has instantly become a favorite and I’m not even finished yet. For all you business owners who have become leaders, especially for those with teams, this book is a must-read. I can also attest that Brené practices what she preaches, as I’ve seen the four courage-building skill sets she elaborates on in this book – Rumbling with Vulnerability, Living Into Your Values, Braving Trust, and Learning to Rise — in practice within her organization. I’m just all kinds of inspired over here.
2. Never Lose a Customer Again, by Joey Coleman
I’ve been on a rather obsessive kick this year around client experience. Obviously, I always want our clients to be happy. But figuring out all the ways we can improve what we do to achieve that and go beyond? That takes real time and thought. This book highlights some of the biggest pain points in the customer’s experience of a product or project and makes clear suggestions for questions to ask about your business so you can start making changes. (It won’t happen overnight, but those little changes can really make a significant difference.)
3. Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself, by Mike Michalowicz
Four-week vacation? It sounds like a game changer, doesn’t it? A friend told me about this book. She had some complications with her last pregnancy and only took 3 weeks off after her daughter was born. She realized it wasn’t enough time. I had come to a similar realization after my mother passed this summer — because of projects going on, I was only really able to take 2 days off, one for her viewing, the other for her funeral. It wasn’t enough time. So mapping out how to get from a business that is highly demanding of my time is not something I’m working on because I don’t love this business, it’s something I need to work on so I can be there for family when I’m needed, and so I take care for myself as well. But beyond that, setting up my business so I could take 4 weeks off if needed, is about taking care of my team as well. Mike Michalowicz lays out the frameworks and steps to make it happen, so your business can survive and grow and even thrive without needing you to be at the helm constantly.