It was a great experience to be invited to craft and deliver a TEDx talk. In the process of receiving excellent speaker coaching (thanks Kerri Sewolt!) I learned a great deal from Nancy Duarte’s book on presentations “Resonate”, such as ‘most presentations shouldn’t’ even happen’ and ‘be the mentor, not the hero’- Give people a sense of how they can act to improve themselves or the world, and what steps they can take to proceed. Make them the hero of the story.
A few of my favorite short business books that are great for a business owner looking for concrete action ideas in a concise well written form:
Seeing The Big Picture – Kevin Cope, A great introduction to business financial fundamentals. Learn how to read financial statements, and highlights of what to pay attention to. Good story style illustrations of an imaginary business to accompany each section’s points.
Cadence: A Tale of Fast Business Growth – Pete Williams, entertaining, relatable story format about making small steady consistent improvements in several specific areas ‘the seven levers’ toward doubling profits. Great for ‘I’m in trouble, what can I do right away?’
The 1-Page Marketing Plan– Allan Dib. ‘lean’ approach to marketing efforts. I love the intro’s directness- ‘This book is about how to get you to profitability ASAP’
Startup CEO – Matt Blumberg, great for those starting out, or in business for a while having trouble with growth and culture, and have lost focus (or never knew) ‘the three duties of a CEO’ (which aren’t just Matt and his well known CEO friends’ idea- I once independently verified them with a well know VC during a Q&A)
Slicing Pie – Mike Moyer. For a pre-money startup, how to fairly track and allocate ‘Who did what and what’s my share if we ever get funded?’. GREAT set of rules including many situations you might not think of, or that are uncomfortable to discuss- many real examples are provided. It’s great to have an independent set of rules you can all agree to follow. It’s worked well when I’ve used it.
“Cadence: A Tale of Fast Business Growth” by Pete Williams is a concise, quality read is an entertaining, relatable story format for business owners looking for a solid set of steps to increase profits by focusing on steady, gradual growth in 7 key “levers” of your business with great, straightforward examples. Highly recommended for those that know they have issues and are wording what to do next, or those looking to make their next set of improvements.
Anything new by Michael Lewis’ (Moneyball, The Blind Side, The Big Short- yes, the books are better than the movies, and in a way that makes a material difference worth the read) is a must read for me, and his latest, The Fifth Risk is an interesting departure from his usual work in that it has a decided political perspective, and is darker in it’s outlook than I recall even The Big Short seemed to have (note here- remember that no US bankers went to prison, so this will happen again).
Just like a company cutting R&D to meet a quarterly result with financial rewards for the current shareholders in the short term, the risks outlined will also only affect other “shareholders” later.
What do we need to do to mitigate the risks outlined?
I joined the CommonGood IT team April 1 2019 to work with small and medium businesses in northern Colorado that want to assure achievement of their IT budget, goals, and firstname.lastname@example.org 720-328-7828 x-1109