If you were stranded with only 14 books to read, what would they be?
I’m about to move from Europe back to the United States. I have to tell the moving guys which books to pack for the sea shipment (which will take nearly two months to arrive at my new home) and which books to pack in our air shipment (which will arrive in a week or so).
This got me thinking: Which of my books are my best resources? Which book would be the most helpful for starting a new company or growing an existing one?
Putting aside the fact that a deserted island may prove challenging to find a customer base, here are my recommendations.
Art of the Start is one of the best first-step books in starting any business. Jump Start Your Marketing Brain scientifically dispels many of our common (mis)beliefs about the right and wrong ways to run a business and perform marketing activities.
Kevin’s Rules of the Red Rubber Ball helps you put your passions in perspective and use them to motivate you. A great story, a great lesson. Steven’s The War of Art kicks your ass and thwarts procrastination like no other book I’ve ever read. David’s The Magic of Thinking Big is the book The Secret for business. A positive and big outlook delivers positive and big results.
Rules of the Red Rubber Ball:
Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work
by Kevin Carroll
The War of Art:
Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
by Steven Pressfield
The Magic of Thinking Big
by David J. Schwartz
Sales & Marketing
A recent purchase for me, Brian’s Be a Sales Superstar contains 21 nuggets of pure sales gold. A must read.
Idea Generation/Smart Thinking
Every business needs good ideas. Good ideas to start, good ideas to thrive. Sticky Wisdom is one of the best books I’ve read on being creative, brainstorming, and starting a creative revolution.
Presentation / Influencing Others
Dan’s book The Back of the Napkin is a must-read for anyone who has to influence anyone else. His second, companion book Unfolding the Napkin is a how-to guide that goes deeper than the original book. (If I had only one to pick, it would be this Unfolding the Napkin.)
Being Remarkable/Stand Apart From Your Competition
These are the best books on standing out, being remarkable, making yourself differentiated from your competition. Doug talks about figuring out and communicating your overt benefit, Seth is all about going beyond customer expectations, Bill helps you figure out your dominant selling idea, and Marty helps you to zag while everyone else is zigging.
Free Prize Inside!
The Next Big Marketing Idea
by Seth Godin
The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands
by Marty Neumeier
Totally Awesome Customer Experiences is totally awesome at helping you create a comprehensive strategy for service and experience at your company. Ben and Jackie wrote the best book on leveraging the power and influence of your best customers.
Creating and Delivering Totally Awesome Customer Experiences
by Gary W. Millet and Blaine W. Millet
Creating Customer Evangelists:
How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force
by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba
What books am I missing? A cookbook for coconut recipes? What book would you take to your island?