I read a lot. And I mean a lot. Even when I’m at the gym, I’m listening to audiobooks.
As a speaker, if you want to grow your business then you have to alway get better…always feed your mind with great information because the results you get are determined by how you think.
So here are some of the books I recommend:
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
Success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most.
Gary Keller is the guy who created Keller-Williams (the real-estate company). So as soon as I heard about this book, I immediately picked it up. And I’m glad I did.
As a speaker, you’re being bombarded by all kinds of things you should be doing to grow your business. Webinars, write books, blog posts, contact meeting planners, etc etc etc. And it seems like you can’t get everything done.
That’s why The ONE Thing is a great book. It goes into detail about how successful people don’t do ‘more’…they do less. They’ve just figured out the ONE thing they need to get done, the SINGLE most important thing (that will product the best results) and they only do that.
If you can’t focus, you can’t build a business. Buy this book right now and take it to heart.
Time Management For Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy
Every one of my working hours has to be worth a certain amount of money. I do everything I can to create and protect that value.
When it comes to time-management, I always recommend this book. Dan Kennedy tells it like it is and gets straight to the point.
Here’s the thing…
If you want to really grow your speaking business then you have to get this ‘time management’ thing down. You can’t go out to lunch with people for an hour. You can’t do things that aren’t directly linked to growing your speaking business. And unfortunately, most speakers waste their time doing everything except the thing that’s going to help them grow.
Dan Kennedy goes into detail about making sure you know how much your time is worth…making sure you spend it doing the right things…and more.
Zero To One by Peter Thiel
Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.
Peter Thiel is one of the PayPal founders. And there aren’t too many books out there from a billionaire so I pre-ordered this and waited for it to come in like a Trekkie waiting for Star Wars.
This book will really make you think about how a business works…and the mindset you need to grow your speaking business.
What I like most about this book is that it’s not like all the other business books out there. When you read a lot, most books start to sound the same. But with Peter Thiel, you can tell that he put a lot of thought into what he has to say.
One of my favorite parts is when he talks about Mark Zuckerberg. Peter Thiel was one of the first investors in Facebook and when Facebook was getting started, Yahoo offered them $1 billion to sell. At the time, this was HUGE.
A board meeting was called because Peter Thiel figured that all the board members would want to talk it over.
The Mark Zuckerberg walks in and says, “Ok guys, this is just a formality and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We already know we’re not going to sell.”
Peter Thiel talks about how Mark Zuckerberg is in a league of his own. And that’s the mindset you get a glimpse of when you read this book.
All Robert Greene Books
Never whine, never complain, never try to justify yourself.
Robert Greene is my favorite author…hands down. He wrote the 48 Laws of Power, 33 Strategies Of War, 50th Law, The Art Of Seduction, and Mastery.
He also release “Interviews With The Masters” which is a series of interviews he did with top-notch people so he could write his book Mastery.
You will get more insight into the human mind from reading his books than any other books you know about.
What’s great about Robert Greene’s books is that they’re very practical.
He isn’t trying to be ‘politically correct’ when he writes the books…he just writes the books the way things really are…it’s the ultimate realists perspective.
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” -Mastery
“Your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today.” -33 Strategies Of War
“There is too little mystery in the world; too many people say exactly what they feel or want.” -Art Of Seduction
“Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.” -50th Law
“Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.” –48 Laws Of Power
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing.
The only reason I read this book was because I heard it was one of Mark Cuban’s favorites (the billionaire on Shark Tank…who owns the Dallas Mavericks).
And I’m glad I read it.
It’s a story about an Architect and it has a great point behind it. Unless your book is titled “Harry Potter”…I don’t read fiction books. But this was an exception and it’s a great book.
Ayn Rand also wrote Atlas Shrugged which is pretty popular…but I think this book is better.
Most speakers talk about how they want to help other people. And if that’s you, then I suggest you re-read the quote above about ‘love the doing.’
If you want to grow your speaking business, then you have to ‘love the doing’…you have to love the work. Not just speaking on stage for a few minutes…but all the other things that go along with it, because you’re only speaking for 60 minutes…and the rest of your time is spent marketing you bootay off.
Topgrading by Bradford Smart
Resourcefulness is the most important competency.
To grow your speaking business, you’re going to have to hire people…eventually.
Whether you hire someone full-time, part-time, or just sub-contract things like your website, demo, etc.
Topgrading will help you get through the hiring process because almost everyone lies when applying for a job. And your goal is to figure out who’s best…not who says they’re the best, but who really is.
Why is Google one of the top companies in the world? Because they’re known for their hiring process.
You will always hear the top entrepreneurs talk about their ‘team’ because that’s what makes or breaks a business. If you have a horrible team, you won’t have a business.
You need to get good at hiring people right now…even if you can’t afford to hire someone. And the reason you want to get good is because it’s a skill like anything else. So when you’re ready to hire, you will already have built up that skill.
This book will show you what to look out for, how to put together your hiring process…the whole sha-bang.
Smartcuts by Shane Snow
New ideas emerge when you question the assumptions upon which a problem is based.
Smartcuts is a book about how people do amazing things in a short period of time. In this book, he goes over how people get results really fast, without having to go through the traditional route.
You always hear about ‘working hard’ but you very rarely hear about ‘working smart.’ Of course you’ve been told to work smart…but this is an entire book about it.
I built my speaking business really fast because I didn’t pay attention to what other speakers said (especially about one-sheets). I ignored 99% of the advice out there and just did my own thing…which then allowed me to get to a point where I could get $10,000.
And if you want to grow your speaking business faster than most speakers, you have to do things differently than other speakers.
This book will give you a good idea on how you should be thinking if you want to make things happen…without taking forever to get it done.
The Power Of Decision by Raymond Charles Barker
Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.
This book has some powerful stuff.
Very few people commit themselves. They say they’re committed, but they’re really not. They might be 99% committed, but unless you’re 100% all-in, you’re going to be a ‘dabbler.’
And people who dabble don’t get results.
This book will make it very clear to you about how you need to become VERY decisive.
Decisions shape your life and you have to get good at making them.
Right now, you might not be speaking full-time. You might not be making at least six-figures as a speaker…but do you know what the problem is?
The problem is that you have one-foot-in…one-foot-out.
You want to speak for a living…you want to get more paid gigs…but you haven’t gone full-force with your marketing.
And you can feel it. You know that you’re not showing the potential you could be. You know that you’re not giving it your all. Because if you did…you would be a force to be reckoned with.
This book will help you see the power of making a decision…a real decision.
When you commit, you move forward. That’s what a real commitment is. It’s not you ‘saying’ something, it’s you ‘doing’ something.
I get lots of emails from speakers who ask about getting gigs and the problem is never the information…the problem is always a lack of commitment. They’re holding themselves back.
Don’t hold yourself back. Go all-in.
I can’t speak highly enough of this guy. He’s awesome, his mom loves him, and Einstein is almost as smart as him.
This book has over 270 pages of straight-forward business advice for speakers.
…If you have any favorite books, comment below and let me know what you’ve read. I’m always looking for more books.