As it’s coming up to the seasonal period I thought I would share with you 15 amazing books that I recommend for your Christmas reading list.
The reason I’m doing this is that many of us see the seasonal period as a time of rest. Whatever our religion or outlook on life, many societies tend to slow down over this period.
But rather than catch up on chores around the house, or drifting around doing not much at all, why not sharpen up your entrepreneurial brain for the New Year by digesting some of the world’s greatest sales, marketing and motivational concepts?
Yes we all need downtime, but when you are building a lifestyle income business you need to live and breathe that mindset. This means that even during times of rest you should always be considering new ideas for the future and learn new things.
And just like a dog, these books are not just for Christmas. Buy the lot and read them throughout the year is my advice. Some of them are so awesome that you will want to return to them time and again.
To make this list of my 15 amazing sales, marketing and motivational books super easy to get hold of, I’ve even included links to the books on both Amazon USA and Amazon UK. But just in case you’re wondering, no they are not affiliate links.
So you do not have an excuse to not read those essential business success books any longer. You can now see exactly what’s on my personal killer booklist, visit them on Amazon and buy them. You could even add them to your Christmas wish list and get your relatives to fund your personal and business development!
1. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got
By Jay Abraham
A wonderful book packed with high-impact marketing strategies that can also be low cost strategies. The central theme of the book is based around the starting point that everyone is in sales. Whether it is physical products, intangible goods, services, or yourself, everyone in business is selling something.
Once you have read “Getting everything you can out of all you have got”, you will start to notice how widespread his strategies are in the people you do business with. It really is a business classic.
This is not a light read. It is 21 chapters of essential advice on everything from forming lasting relationships through to discovering exciting ways of developing new areas of your business. It is a blueprint for business craftsmanship you should definitely have in your collection.
2. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus On 12 Key Strategies
By Chet Holmes
This is one of those amazing books that addresses common themes in sales and business which you may already recognise, but in a totally different way. Chet Holmes has written a masterclass in producing a business that is top to bottom focused on selling.
One key thing you will take away from this book is how to do proactive strategic thinking, rather than the reactionary, firefighting style of thinking most people end up using.
What makes this stand out from many other business/sales structure and motivation books is that it deals with specifics. Rather than dealing with concepts alone, it outlines in detail 12 key strategies that can be applied to any business structure. A great read if you’re about to start a business and are wondering how to structure it and focus it from the word go.
3. Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula For Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention And Compels Them To Buy
By Maria Veloso
If you are looking for a book that covers the core fundamentals of creating amazing sales copy for the Internet then this book should be your first port of call.
The information in it is specific enough for you to quickly grasp the key principles behind the language and structure required for high converting web content, while remaining general enough for you to apply the principles to any type of copy.
I urge you to get this book, study it in detail and then apply the principles to your own Internet writing, it will help you to lower your bounce rate, build relationships and convert more sales.
4. How to Make One Hell Of A Profit And Still Get To Heaven
By John F Demartini
One of the simple things many entrepreneurs struggle with is how to make a profit in a way that they do not feel guilty about. If you’re struggling with personal, social, or business ethics then this book can help you get some clarity of thought.
It’s amazing how many people get upset about the ethics of buying and selling. Of course there are boundaries you should not cross, but generally things that worry people should not do so. “How to make one hell of a profit and still get to heaven” is about reconciling what you are doing to allow you to do it in peace, by reaching a personal heaven.
The book does a great job of taking you through the “why” of selling your product or service, and justifying what you do both to others and yourself. It also covers the aspirational aspect of making money, by discussing what you should do with the money you earn and consider how it can ethically and spiritually improve your quality of life.
5. Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion, And Purpose
By Tony Hseih
Tony Hseih is the CEO of Zappos, the company that grosses $1 billion plus in sales every single year. This book outlines the vision he takes into his business life, which filters down into every area of it.
The documents how he had to go through the stress of crisis managing the company out of near collapse. It was through this period of hardship that that he developed the business strategies outlined in this book.
If you are looking for an insight into how a successful company was turned round, while offering a fantastic look into the mind of the person who did it, then “Delivering happiness” will be a fascinating and inspiring read.
6. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses
By Eric Ries
Everything I outline in my blogs about setting up a profitable online business is also discussed in this compelling book
Test your ideas first, listen to your early adopters, start with a single idea and be prepared to expand in any direction, stay flexible, focus on your long-term personal goals, and be prepared to just go for it…and maybe fail. These are the principles I have integrated into the heart of my own successful Automated Business System product.
In a nutshell, that is exactly what is outlined in “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses”. But don’t be fooled into thinking that doesn’t make it worth reading. It will certainly help you in adopting the mindset you will need to create rapid online profits with your start-up lifestyle business.
7. Ogilvy On Advertising
By David Ogilvy
I’m really hoping you have already heard of David Ogilvy. If you are really serious about starting your own online business, then this book by the father of modern advertising is essential reading.
The central principle of what he advocated is that every advert should have a strong central principle and make a single compelling point. You have to get past the way this is written, as it is getting on a bit in age now, but the core messages are essential to take on board. In some ways, modern sales and marketing techniques have lost track of the message contained in this book, to their own detriment.
The bottom line is, on the Internet as with print advertising, you have about five seconds to grab someone’s attention, and the principles outlined in this masterpiece will help you achieve it. Reading it will help you to better structure every aspect of your online marketing.
8. The Boron Letters
By Gary C Halbert
Delivered through a series of letters, this is one of the best copywriting and marketing lessons you will ever get. It goes beyond tricks, techniques and fads. The psychology behind why people buy is unveiled for you in the clearest possible way.
The letters were written by Gary Halbert in Boron prison. Now that may sound strange place for a successful man to write letters from. But what it does is give a raw honesty about the mistakes he made himself, as he writes about the principles of copywriting and direct marketing to his son, Bond Halbert.
So it’s not just about business, it’s about principles for life and learning from mistakes. Because it was written by a father to a son, everything is stripped away to give you the barebones of his brilliance in copywriting and direct marketing, alongside his outlook on life.
I can’t put it more simply than to tell you that you really do have to read this book.
9. Double Double: How To Double Your Revenue And Profit In 3 Years Or Less
By Cameron Herold
Many of the books about being successful in business that I am disappointed in are those that are filled with theories and strategies, but that are not backed up with real-world examples or truly actionable detail.
‘Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less” is one book that has not ever disappointed me, and it won’t disappoint you either.’
Whether you are on your own in business, about to grow it into a multi-person organisation, or looking to maximise the potential of an existing company, then this book will help you to churn over great new ideas.
But at its heart, Double Double is about intelligent business expansion. It’s packed with strategies you can use right away. I reckon there are over 100 easily actionable ideas in it, that can help you right now. So it’s highly recommended from me to anyone looking at structuring a business so that they can rapidly expand it.
10. The Leader Who Had No Title
By Robin Sharma
As the title suggests, you don’t need a fancy title to be a leader. I’m not talking about being in charge, or in control, I’m talking about leading.
In your life and in your business, you have two choices, to lead or not to. If you lead, then not only will you benefit, but you will enrich the lives of those around you. It’s about being hands-on, making the connection at every level, and working with those around you for the common benefit.
Within the boundaries of setting up your own profitable online business, it means leading yourself in a positive fashion every day. It means connecting with the outsourcers you work with.
In a nutshell, it means developing a positive and inclusive style that will constantly drive your business in the direction you want, while minimising isolation and maximising buy-in.
So the great thing about this book is that it is not just about business, it is packed with principles that will help you in your everyday life as well.
11. Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade And Triumph With The Hidden Power Of Story
By Peter Gruber
You may already be aware of the fact that storytelling is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Whatever you are selling, if you can create a story that highlights how a problem was solved through your product or service, then you are going to enjoy higher conversion rates.
The simple fact is that mankind has developed through storytelling. Warnings, information and society structure have all been maintained across the generations before the written word, almost purely by the power of storytelling. This book builds on that principle.
On a practical level, the book also discusses how you can win through storytelling in negotiation. By creating a context through building a classic story you can compel others to work within the structure you have built. They may not even recognise it as a story, but will find themselves discussing things with you through the imagery you create.
So principles outlined in “Tell To Win” can be incredibly powerful for you and really help you to shape business success.
12. Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power And Create Your Life’s Work
By Steven Pressfield
I would describe this book to you as one that is a simple, but highly effective self-help strategy. What it does really well is to help you to analyse why you accept a lower quality of things in your life, basically by thinking like an amateur.
The core reasons that Steven Pressfield focuses on as to why other people are still amateur in mindset is that they are held back by fear and distraction. I have already covered this in my recent post “Seven Excuses (Deadly Sins?) That Keep People From Starting An Online Business… And How To Overcome Them”
The book can ultimately help you to ignore the voice in your head that reinforces your fear and distraction, known as your commentator.
If you take on board the principles outlined, you can focus more on listening to your coach, a positive voice in your head which allows you to do the things you want. Only by listening to your coach can you overcome the obstacles that will allow you to take the risks that the rewards of success require.
13. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change
Stephen R Covey
This book is far from being unlucky number 13. In fact, this is an all time classic that you simply must read. Inspiring, impactful and motivating, once you have read it you will not look at how you do things in the same way ever again.
This isn’t a pickup and drop book, it’s quite intricate and the principles in it can help you change your life. So it’s a book to be read in detail and considered at length.
If you stick with it, it will improve your personal and professional effectiveness that will move you from a state of mental dependency, to a state of mental independence. That’s powerful stuff, and I am sure you will benefit from it is much as me.
14. Secrets of Closing the Sale
By Zig Ziglar
This book helped to transform the mindset of many businesses around the world. From the old hard sell, we are now in a world of relationship marketing. Closing the sale does not depend on cheesy techniques or pressure tactics, it’s about being honest and passionate about what you are selling. It’s about becoming an expert in what you do.
There are plenty of closing strategies in the book so that you have examples to go by, and once you have read “Secrets of closing the sale” you will start to notice that Zig Ziglar’s concepts have influenced many people.
By learning how to be completely passionate about the product you sell, to completely believe in its value, you will more naturally be able to overcome objections in potential customers. What initially seems uncomfortable, can transform your conversion rate once you understand why the book is telling you to do that way. Invaluable stuff.
15. Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion
By Robert B Cialdini
If you are looking for a book that outlines everything that underpins why people buy, then this is it. It will truly give you an “Ah Ha” moment when you finish reading it.
Influence goes into great detail, with practical examples to back it up, on the exact principles under which humans accept or reject transactions. It will help you to understand exactly why people say yes, and why they say no to you.
So this classic is about psychology, rather than selling. But it is written so that you understand how psychology drives selling. You may also be shocked at how easily humans can be put into a buying frame of mind through clever implementation of certain techniques. But that doesn’t make it a manipulative book, far from it.
If you’re starting out in online business and are wanting some solid knowledge to underpinning your sales material creation process, then this book is essential reading.
So Which Book Are You Going To Read First?
I always like to challenge people to step up and have a go, rather than read these pieces and then walk away without acting.
I really would suggest you aim to buy them all, and even more importantly actually read them all. They will give you not only a great depth of knowledge, but also a new level of confidence in what you are going to achieve in the next 12 months.
Setting up your own profitable online business is not easy, and unless your mind is sharply focused and driven by great knowledge then you will find it even harder.
Every expert is widely read and can back up their expertise with understanding the theory that drives what they do. So I urge you to become an expert through kicking-off your learning with this book list.
If you have already read any of these books, I’d love you to leave a comment and tell everyone exactly why you found them valuable, or even why you didn’t.