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Author: Ciara Ferguson

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 16)

Welcome to part 16 of our 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog –  meaning we’ve hit 80 books this week!

We are starting off today with Jeremy Toler, who is owner, bookkeeper and consultant at Bookkeeping and Consulting and he chose The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni.

“This book revolutionised the way that I hire for my team. It also helped me to become laser focused on the culture that I want for my business, as well as the culture I will not allow. It was very applicable and easy to implement from the moment I began reading it“.

The next book mentioned was Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath suggested by Diarmaid Crumlish, Founder and Director of Fusion FinTech. 

“I found it to be the best book on how to effect transformative change.  Although the book is focussed on resolving the internal conflict between the rational mind and emotional mind, the Advise the Rider, Steer the Elephant and Shape the Path was easily transferable to influencing in  a complex global matrixed organisation.  The same methods were similarly applicable to raising funding for a small start-up in the complex world of fintech.”

Independent Consultant at GLG, Ornella Nana, chose Becoming by Michelle Obama.

“It is a book that continues to inspire me as a woman of colour climbing the business world and the corporate ladder of success. I could first and foremost relate to her background story. A young Caucasian woman growing up in a suburb area with only a few friends to relate to. As a young woman still in my 20’s, I cannot fully compare our journey as of yet, but I could learn from her aspirations, her work ethics and life management. The resilience she had during her time in the white house. Her dedication to stand by what she believed was right as a leader and the humility she had, putting the interest of the people she was serving at the centre of her decision making, are some of the factors that appeals to me in the book. Also, her time management as a mother, a wife, a leader, a mentor and so many other hats inspires me to believe that you can indeed have it all as a female leader. This is, in a nutshell, why I find the book so inspiring. It’s a book I feel I can always come back to for inspiration and can always accompany me in my journey of becoming the best leader I can possibly become.”

It’s here again – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey makes another appearance from Surya Patra of Softest Consulting Service. 

He said that it’s his favourite book, but the part he likes best is: ‘All things are created twice’ – there is a mental or first creation and then a physical or second creation to anything we do, be it a tangible or intangible target or a goal. 

“‘Begin with the end in mind’ is what goes behind any creation and ties in well with the ‘purpose driven’ principle. All that we do has a purpose – a clearer purpose renders a less cluttered path to achieve it. Having the right blueprint of purpose is key to success. The clearer the picture we have about the ‘end goal’, the easier it becomes for us to reach it – What our mind perceives, it achieves. If we want to have a successful enterprise, we must clearly define our objectives, precisely know what we are trying to accomplish. This leads to carefully thinking through the products or services we want to deliver and then planning all the elements it takes to build the same (analyse the market, review the niche areas, plan for the finance, prepare for the cashflows, etc). Often most of the business failures are the result of a faulty first creation – poor business plans, lack of market study to assess the demand-supply situation, inadequate financial planning, cashflows issues, and the like. Use the tailor’s rule – measure twice, cut once, planning is paramount – Fail to prepare: be prepared to fail.”

And last, but not least, Co-Founder of Change Donations WIlliam Conaghan said the most influential book he has read is Zero to One by Peter Thiel

“It has a strong focus on the individual and the characteristics necessary to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have a high tolerance for risk and are comfortable with uncertainty. Fearlessness, confidence, and passion; those are necessary traits to venture out on your own to create something out of nothing. However, if wielded incorrectly fearlessness can become recklessness, confidence can become arrogance, and passion can become obsession. ‘Zero to One’ helps refine your skills to become optimistically persistent rather than blindly ambitious.”

And that’s it for today! Stay tuned for the next installment.

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 15)

Welcome back to part 15 of our 100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners… not much longer to go now before we release our downloadable e-book so stay tuned!!

“A book is a gift you can open again and again” -Garrison Keillor – definitely a good quote to keep in mind coming up to Christmas!

Reindeer reading a books for christmas Royalty Free Vector

This week, we are starting off with the CEO of Porta Studios, Aires Loutsaris who said: “One book that has really marked me is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. It made me fall in love with customer service and really helped cement the notion of keeping a customer happy even if it means talking to them over the phone for a couple of hours on non-business-related matters. It’s such a shame he passed away.”

Next up, we have Sean Breen, Founder and Creator of Paddy Jobsman who chose The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts.

“The reason this book had an impact on me is because it has given me, out of everything, peace. It goes into the fact that when we’re in a situation that maybe is not necessarily favourable, when you try and resist the situation, and you try and fight it and you try and change it- it just makes the problem worse, so the idea of the book is to not resist whatever is going on in your life and accept it and don’t hold onto it, don’t try and force it out, don’t try letting it go either- just be present with it and like everything else, it will pass eventually. This idea has given me peace because things like meditation, going for walks, doing all this spiritual stuff, these are just band aids on a gaping wound as I describe it…there is no fixing anything because there’s nothing to be fixed, everything is as it is. This book has changed my perspective on how I manage all things good and bad.”

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Roberty T Kiyosaki makes another appearance this week from Shubham Joshi, Co-Founder and CEO of In The Circle.

“I am not much of a book fan as I have always been a more of a socialising person. Although, when I first started reading books, I gave a good thought on the topic I am interested in, which was always “Entrepreneurship”. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki was the first experience of me learning the basic concept of making money which made me realise that ‘everything we try to achieve is just about our mindset.’ If we have a goal to achieve it is only our mind which could stop us from doing what we want to achieve. After reading that, I leaned more towards Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which was a true inspiration, I suppose, for many Millennials coming onboard in the Business domain.”

Tom Nolan, Founder and Director at Evolution Hygiene is a huge fan of Dale Carnegie. Not only did he mention How to Win Friends and Influence People that has been mentioned before, he also mentioned How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and How to Develop Self-confidence and influence people by public speaking.

“They are my guide to people, including myself. I use these books in two ways, first- to understand what other people need when they are communicating with me and second, to hone my communication skills in different environments. Can’t say it works always but certainly helps!”

And finally, owner of QP4 Media, Raymond Gunning said it was an easy choice! The 10-Day MBA by Steven Silbiger.

Anyone who reads it should turn straight away to ‘Day 8 Economics where they will find this insightful quotation – 

Like kings of old dispensing with their astrologers, big business is sacking it’s economic soothsayers. Their strategizing proved entertaining and interesting – but not very useful’ – ‘Dreary days in the Dismal Science’, Forbes, January 21, 1991″

And we’ll leave you with that quote today… Keep an eye out for the next installment!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 14)

Welcome to part 14 of our 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners!

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”- Stephen King

This week, we are starting off with a book called The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford– a book chosen by the Co-Founder of, Benjamin Verot.

“It is an amazingly interesting and entertaining read, a modern fable about the manager of a development team in an IT company and his efforts to bring projects from A to Z. 

As a reader, you follow him on his path from failures leading to unplanned and harrowing work, to learning about the importance of maximizing the flow of work, increasing feedback loops to become more efficient, and developing a culture of continuous experimentation – all of those neatly knitted with just the right amount of business theory to make this book a page turner and confidence booster.

Simply put, it is a must read for anyone working in IT – a toolbox filled with great ideas and problem solving techniques that I always refer back to. Bonus: the end contains a chapter summarizing all the key concepts from the book.”

Steven Wilkinson, Founder and Managing Director of Good and Prosper said the most influential book he had read was called Small Giants- Companies that Choose to be Great instead of Big by Bo Burlingham.

“I read it at a time of deep frustration with the culture of my business, my awareness of my own leadership deficits, my disillusionment with my experience of business and the people I had to deal with.

The book showed me a completely different paradigm of business and it and the people who were influenced by it have changed me for the better in every way.”

Pauric Brennan of Bren Enterprises (Film & Video Director and Producer) said that when he read Rise of the Filmtrepreneur by Alex Ferrari, it opened up a world of new filmmaking possibilities for him.

As a filmmaker one of the biggest challenges I have is how to fund each project. Film is such a big risk for investors that raising funds can be a challenge especially when you don’t know how it will perform at the box office or if it will even get to a paying audience.

After reading the book I discovered that rather than trying to compete on the same level as the bigger better funded projects, I needed to be more specific and more target orientated with my thinking. Suddenly film became like any other business and not just a constant struggle for funding. By targeting niche and specific audiences I have managed to not only get two great projects on the market but I had two more garner investment from this approach.”

Founder of Reds United, Tony Carroll said that one of his favourites is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

“It’s a brilliant and inspiring read that helped give me validation and motivation to focus on what I am most passionate about and how to follow my dreams and passions in life with greater balance and harmony.”

And last but not least, Richard Morton, the Founder of MatchMedics chose Traction by Gino Wickman, as it changed everything for him when he read it on holiday in summer 2019.

“By the time I returned to the office, I had a clear plan on how to re-invent our business and focus on our core strength which is placing internationally trained Doctors into the Irish public and private healthcare system.

“Traction walks you through a simple operating system and gets you to question all aspects of your business -Vision, People, Data, Problems, Processes and Traction.

By September 2019, using the principles of ‘Traction’, we had adopted the simple tag-line of: “MatchMedics – We Recruit Doctors” and ditched other healthcare sectors that were dragging the business in too many directions. We put the right people into the right seats, changed the cadence and content of our team meetings, set new goals (rocks) and got the whole team galvanised and working in the same direction.

As a business, we still use the phrases contained in the book every day and surprise, surprise, we have had our best years ever not just in terms of revenue and profitability but in terms of attracting the right calibre of people to join the team.

I would recommend the book to anyone but especially micro and SME business owners who are feeling stuck and need some practical tools to help refresh and re-focus.”

And that’s it for now, I hope you got some reading inspiration, especially with the change in the weather this week. Instead of going out in the rain, you should sit in your favourite chair by the fire this weekend, and read a good book!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (part 13)

Welcome back to part 13 of our 100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners.

Author Edgar Allan Poe said: “Happiness is not to be found in knowledge, but in the acquisition of knowledge.” Reading provides you with not only knowledge but the tools and information needed to understand it- resulting in happiness.

Knowledge is exploring from brain around books.

This week, we are starting off with the Partner and Co-President of Mindset Wizardry, Debbie Sehulster. 

“A business book that has influenced me is Leading with Questions by Michael J. Marquardt. Questions are an underutilised leadership tool and can do a lot more than gathering information. By asking the right questions, a leader can engage individuals and teams, build better relationships, empower and coach their people and drive creativity and innovation. The author includes many helpful examples of effective questions for different situations.

After reading this book, I found that I was incorporating a lot more questions into my personal and professional conversations. It helped me not only become a better listener; it provided me with additional skills to be a better leader, coach, consultant and friend. I have always been a curious person and this book helped me hone that natural tendency and refine my questioning techniques.”

Anna Hassett, Self- employed Researcher and consultant in Anthropology, Archaeology and Heritage said the book that influenced her most was The Burnout Survival Kit by Imogen Dall.

“Even though it is technically not a business book, it helped a lot with getting through a terrible burnout I suffered last year – due to overworking and over-stressing about work – and, paradoxically, for not working as I recovered. As the book helps with developing a healthy work mindset – from learning how to say no, dealing with criticism, and maintaining a good work-life balance (which is much easier said than done!), I still refer to it constantly and am definitely conducting my work better!”

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss was what Founder and CEO of One 8 & Accountancy & QFA SEO, Craig Freemantle chose.

It’s a really clever book that gives you all the subtle skills you need to win any negotiation. It’s given me some really powerful tools which I use in my business every day.”

Fergal Toland, Co-Founder at Now DCS said a standout book for him with one of Richard Branson’s autobiographies- Losing My Virginity“The title grabs you in much the same way all of the book does.  

It’s an energy fueled, page turner, rollercoaster ride to read. I admire his audacity, tenacity and goal driven attitude – problems are incidental – he only has his eye on the prize, his vision.  

Its a window into the mind of this consummate problem solver, who applies limitless energy to his visions, attracts like minded positive people to all of his endeavours and ruthlessly cuts people out of his business and personal life who hold him back, going so far as to say ‘you cannot choose to exclude negative family members, but you can minimise the time you spend on them…!’

The book is full of tips, insights, approaches and hindsight reviews of the vast array of projects and initiatives, enterprises and businesses that this powerhouse disruptor, adventurer, explorer and innovating thrill seeker has put his hand to, mostly but not always successfully.”

And finally Damian Carr, Founder of Eyedea Medtech Consultancy mentioned… yes, it’s here again… The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey!

“Although it is as common as air (or one should so hope), it is the book that has most influenced me during my journey into the world of business. The beauty behind this book for me, is that it is applicable throughout all aspects of both work and personal life, it offers an alternate outlook on everything from our business planning to parenting, from work to play. Giving an incredible balance into working to live/living to work paradox. 

This book also throws a new dynamic and lens for how one can perceive both the world around them and the paths ahead. My business is a medtech design consultancy company and this book has truly revolutionised how I work with my clients and how I can consistently improve our offerings after every encounter. Teaching me the ability on how to blend our consultancies advancement and development with what goes above and beyond the expectations of our customers. Taking this win/win approach to business has both fast tracked the progression and reputation of the business alongside the relationships we have made with our clients. To date, we still work with every client we have ever conducted business with. Often on a weekly or at minimum a monthly basis. The ability to facilitate so many clients without burnout is also attributed to “the 7 habits of highly effective people” which has taught our business how to effectively manage present and future time, for instance, if we can design a device within a number of days as opposed to weeks or months, we may lose out on billable hours which some companies strive to accumulate, where as we open ourselves up to take on more work, working with more devices, gaining more experience with more and more customers that return for the a service evolved from the teachings found within ‘the 7 habits of highly effective people’. 

My advice to anyone looking to develop a successful mindset within the business world, would be to go out and buy this book and make it a biblical practice to read, highlight and scribble your way to a morally success driven mentality.”

Not much longer to go now until we reach 100 books- make sure you watch this space so you don’t miss an installment!

100 Business Books that have Influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 12)

Charles Dickens wrote in ‘David Copperfield’ – “my advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time” – so what are you waiting for? Pick up one of the books that have been mentioned in our series- you won’t regret it!

1,094 Time Theft Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

First up in part twelve of our series is Anthony Mac Neill, Founder of LANGRISHE Studio’s choice- Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi.

“It is a book by an Egyptian writer that was recommended to me 25 years ago by Dominic McGlinchy. It is a remarkable insight into tyranny against women in Egypt throughout post WW2 and is relevant today. The author narrative of patriarchal life in this part of the Middle East is harrowing, yet I felt so much pride in Nawal El Saadawi’s strength and reason d’etre. She was an inspiration for all mankind. Her revolutionary spirit and sense of life will hopefully be embraced by all of us that love and care for our sisters throughout the world. Until we reach this point of view, there is no point in building super hyper corporations and more capital greed. Sharing our resources and wealth and respecting our vulnerable will only benefit our humanity. In other words, as she would say “it’s time to smash greed and war mongering capitalism”, which is inevitable thankfully. I hope my this contribution towards your book memoir will inspire you also!”

Founder and partner of KNO Worldwide, Steven J Kelly said: “Many books have influenced me, but one specific very short text (which I have used for a few decades to train young managers) is The One Minute Manager written by K Blanchard and S Johnson in 1982.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is the book that the Founder of Tonic Health, Sunna van Kampen chose.

“The story of how Nike was built has been incredible in teaching me the lesson of patience. It took 6 years for Phil to get Nike going in his spare time while working as an accountant. Time and perspective are super valuable traits and the story is incredibly well written and engaging.”

The following two books are particularly interesting because they are spoken about by the authors themselves!

First up, the Owner of Accounting and IRS Problem Solutions Joe Mastriano mentioned his book Fire your Tax Preparer. “What influenced me to write it was my 40 years of doing IRS cases and the need for it”.

And last but not least, Jeff Sheehan, CX of JS Consulting spoke about his book- Customer Experience Management Field Manual: The Guide for Building your Top Performing CX Programme– and what inspired him to write it.

“My mission for writing this book is to offer CX professionals a practical guide on how to create and refine a CX program that treats customer experience management as a holistic set of integrated business functions with a clear commercial purpose.”

And just so you know he’s not biased-  Adam Haqqi, Head of Customer Experience, and a Forrester Certified CX Professional, at Merlin Entertainments, had this to say to me about the book: “I’m about to start a new contract as Head of CX with a business that is just beginning its CX journey. After some time out of work, the field guide is a perfect resource for me to know where to focus my efforts. Really enjoying the book and have just started my new role today so planning my CX audit. Honestly, your book has come at the most perfect time for me as every single part of its content is so relevant to what I’m doing in my new role.”

Jeff was also inspired by other authors and books as well: David Jacques and his 2015 article Guide to Customer Experience Transformation and Management and the book The Best Service is No Service: How to Liberate Your Customers from Customer Service, Keep Them Happy, and Control Costs by Bill Price and David Jaffe, published in 2008. “I combined the ideas of a holistic CX program with integrated functions that are intentionally designed to make improvements within the business and for its customers.”

And that’s another part of our series done and dusted- keep an eye out for the next installment!

100 Business Books that have Influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 11)

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.” – Roald Dahl

And we are back- with part 11 of our 100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners and as usual, we have some fantastic recommendations!

Justyna Strzeszynska, Founder and CEO of Joii chose Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability Into Billion-Dollar Businesses by E. Freya Williams: “One of my favourites is Green Giants by E. Freya Williams. I really like the author’s unexpected take on sustainability. The green giants are basically businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more that can be directly attributed to a product, service or line of business with sustainability at its core. They include restaurant chain Chipotle, Unilever, Tesla, Nike, IKEA… but when we read about these companies we don’t instantly think “sustainability”. Williams argues that in order to build a green giant-like brand we need to make our products or services not only greener but actually better.

When I started developing the Joii brand, I quickly realised that the period care category lacked the development and innovation it deserved to really cater to every individual need. The category seemed to be full of over promises, superficially sustainable organic cotton brands and just green-washing. Therefore it was extremely important for me to bring real advancements to this market and not only focus on sustainability alone.”

Next up we have Founder and CEO at The Muff Liquor Company, Laura M Bonner: “I have a few books to be honest but definitely Gerry Hussey’s – “awaken your power within” which I just finished recently. This book resonated with me  from the very beginning.

What I took from it though was that every feeling is just a thought; change your thinking and you change your feeling. Even self doubt is only a negative thought about yourself. Think of yourself as a winner and you’ll sit with winners. Once you’re truly in control of your feelings; where there is no ego or fear, no one can have any influence on the decisions you make because you trust yourself to make the correct move every time; and being that confident in each step you take will make you successful and also a leader.”

Joanne Alexander-Sefre, Founder of Food Sans Frontieres chose a bit of a different book– The Golden Treasury of Caroline and Her Friends by Pierre Probst: “My favourite book was Caroline and Her Friends. Then came Caroline at the Ranch, Caroline Goes to Sea, Caroline in Europe, Caroline’s Grand Tour, and Caroline’s Winter Holiday. I even bought pretty much all the ones in French that I read to my children, translating at sight.  Caroline could do anything, anywhere- What a wonderful role model!”

Georgia Kirke, Founder and Director of Write Business Results Ltd. chose Finding Gold Dust by Gavin Scott. “This book transformed the way I think of customer service and my clients’ experience of working with Write Business Results. Gavin breaks down his knowledge of creating memorable customer experiences into bite-sized stories with lessons at the end of each one and they’re all made relevant to entrepreneurial companies. He has a podcast too – it’s been invaluable!”

And last but not least- Founder and Head Consultant of Elevator Program, Will Kinsella said that one of the most influencial books for him when he was starting out was ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walker Isaacson. “It was an incredible insight into the mindset and work of a modern day genius. Jobs was not only an entrepreneur but a technological and cultural innovator. When I picked up this book I literally didn’t put it down, I carried it everywhere with me. Very few books have had that impact on me. I think a close second is the Richard Branson biography. Innovation comes from people who think differently. To have a positive impact on our communities, I believe it’s important to think beyond the realms of our current realities. Jobs saw a future in his minds eye and built it, without compromise.”

And that’s it for this week! Have you read any of these books??

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 10)

Welcome to part 10 of our 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners.

I normally open with a quote from a famous author or a famous book but I think the only appropriate quote for today’s blog is: “woah, we’re half-way there” – Bon Jovi-  as we are officially half-way there hitting 50 out of 100 books for our 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners. Don’t forget, at the end- we will be creating an e-book containing all 100 books available for you to download so keep an eye out for that!

Halfway There Bon Jovi GIF - HalfwayThere BonJovi LivingOnAPrayer -  Discover & Share GIFs

Today we are starting off with Conor Meehan, Co-Founder of Nú Infusions who chose: Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life by Tyler Gage. “Fully Alive tells the story of how two young American entrepreneurs built the world’s first supply chain of guayusa tea, a caffeinated Amazonian holly leaf that had previously only been consumed by indigenous communities in Ecuador. This product is the core of our business also, so naturally we were curious to learn about the industry’s origins. But apart from that, the book also provides a fascinating and inspiring perspective on how to tackle the more general challenges of starting a business. It combines lessons from starting a US energy drink company with insights from indigenous Amazonian cultures, something which sounds bizarre but which the author, Tyler Gage, manages to weave together really well. I generally like books that generate insights from real life stories, and this is a great example of that. Would highly recommend for anyone looking for a business book with a bit of an alternative approach.”

Next up, we have the book Tribes by Seth Godwin chosen by Co-Founder and Creative Director of Stola London, Poppy Fordham. “The book that has most influenced me is Tribes by Seth Godwin. He is an inspiring writer and encourages you to take risks and follow your passions. I would never have started my own business were it not for his rational arguments on fear of failure. Godwin has also installed in me the importance of marketing and standing out form the crowd. I am a fan of all his books but this one in particular provides a fascinating account of human behavior. Godwin highlights everyone has an opportunity to start a movement – to bring together a tribe of like-minded people and do amazing things. This is what led me to start Stola London and pioneer hemp pyjamas for women.”

Alan Andrews Owner of GUJI Coffee Bar said hands down the book that influenced him most was Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends and Influence People. And although this book has been mentioned before- if anything I think that means you should get out there and read it! “The content is not as suspicious and crass as one might initially think. Moreover the book is full of lessons on how to listen to people, understand people’s point of view, how to become more empathetic and less reactive to situations. A great book that teaches patience and builds your resilience as an entrepreneur and business owner.”

For Ian Murphy Founder at CyberOff, the book that influenced him the most was The Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll: “It taught me that having a keen eye and following your gut was an all important trait, not only in cyber security but also in life too. The true story of how Cliff spotted an accounting error in the use of the University’s computer system and then tracking this back to an attacker in Eastern Germany that has been using the University system to access NORAD, is as good as any spy thriller. It was also at the very beginning of my career in Security that I read it and it still amazes me today that the common inquisitiveness he showed and the trusting of his inner voice is something that is still missing amongst all these data breaches we hear of in the news. The parallels of this with running my own cyber security business, especially in trying to help others with increasing their cyber savviness with respect to developing that “gut feel” or “spidey sense” is as important now as it was back then (and probably even more so now). It also shows me that whilst we think technology has advanced by several orders of magnitude, we as the consumers of such tech are still fallible and still falling for the same tried and tested techniques. Business for me is not only expertise it is also capitalising on the opportunities that come your way and being able to decipher which of those opportunities to follow. Some will lead to dead ends, others will take you to places you never imagined, but the only I know from my experiences and from the book is that if you stop being inquisitive and asking questions, then you probably will not come across your untapped potential.”

And finally this week as our 50th book we have Now Is Your Chance: A 30-Day Guide to Living Your Happiest Life Using Positive Psychology by Niyc Pidgeon chosen by the Founder and Director of Mel Wakely Marketing, Mel Wakely Mackay herself. “I’ve been a fan of Niyc Pidgeon since I started listening to her brilliant ‘Unstoppable Success’ podcast. I wanted more, so I decided to listen to this book on Audible. Since investing in coaching myself, I’ve dug deep into gratitude as I often feel I’m in a place of scarcity and lack. This is a great book for action-takers. It’s easy to dive in and out as you want, or you can follow it consistently for 30 days. I was more of a dip in and out kinda girl. I find Niyc’s no-nonsense, no BS approach refreshing, and this book is a good way of getting you to think differently about your life, attitudes, feelings, and thoughts and how a few small tweaks can make a big difference in your life and business. Coming out of a pandemic, I think we all need as much positivity as we can get and Niyc has it in spades.”

And that’s it for this week’s installment of 100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners- enjoy!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 9)

Welcome to part nine of the ‘100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog!

Abraham Lincoln said: “A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”

And it’s true- reading gives us knowledge that others before us have discovered and written into books which are there forever for us to learn from. 

Books: Organizational Learning Model

This week we are starting off with CEO & Founder of, William Johnstone with the book: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber: “One of the key takeaways I would have from this book is the fact that you need to work on your business rather than in your business. It is very easy these days to get all consumed by the jobs that need to be done to service customers, which can ultimately lead to a business that is being driven by customers rather than by the owners and managers of the business. If we spend a bit more time working on the business then we are more in control of our destiny.”

Interestingly- The E-Myth by Michael Gerber was also mentioned this week by Colm Mckeown, Founder of Effective Digital Marketing. The E-Myth was originally written in 1986 but still holds a huge amount of value today. Its principle message is simple: build repeatable systems in your business. By documenting and refining the systems you have over time, you will produce a business that produces consistently high quality results to the customer. These systems will also allow you to train your staff and ultimately grow your business. The book is written in a very relatable way, where Gerber tells the story of a baker who wants to launch a bakery. The baker in question learns some hard lessons along the way and very quickly experiences overwhelm. From here, he interlaces the story of the baker moving from overwhelm to entrepreneur through some valuable business lessons. He makes the point early on that just because you’re good at a skill (baking), it doesn’t mean that you can run a business around this skill (running a bakery). There are different skills required! A fantastic book and one that any aspiring or existing entrepreneur should read!”

Next up, we have: Tom McNamara, Founder and CEO at Apex Privacy and he chose (yes, it’s here again everyone) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey!  “This book really changed my way of thinking and how I approached everything from family to career. If I could distill the teaching in the book to one phrase it would be ‘own your sh1t’. It is not necessarily a business book but more a manual on how to succeed in life.”

Management Consultant and Founder at Pathway4Business, John Flynn’s book choice was “Jack” by Jack Welch“a fascinating account of business leadership, driving for growth, people management and multiple other challenges which he encountered over many years in rising to the very top of the GE organisation. This book provided many examples of situations that I subsequently encountered myself in my own career.  A must read for anyone looking to run a business in a corporate environment or run their own business.”

And finally, Tracey Finlay- Founder of Business EQ Ltd, said the book that influenced her most was Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard P. Rumelt: “There are so many books on behaviours, negotiating, sales, etc. But if your strategy isn’t absolutely on point, then the foundations aren’t there. This book is a really straightforward and powerful look into why common approaches to strategy just don’t work. In the first few chapters, I’d really started to question my own approach and I’ve since made some really effective changes.”

Next week we will officially hit the half-way mark with 50 out of 100 books that have influenced successful business owners so stay tuned!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 8)

Author, social media content creator and mind coach, Vex King said: “your mind is a weapon of mass destruction or mass creation. Use it wisely. Don’t read into negative ideas that aren’t even there. Only entertain thoughts that will improve your life and make you feel good.”

I think that reading books, any kind, doesn’t have to be a specific self- care or self- improvement book, can help you create thoughts that will improve your life and make you feel good. 

Welcome to part eight of our ‘100 Business Books that have influenced 100 business owners’ – we are getting close to the halfway mark!

Today we are starting off with Founder and CEO of Zedosh, Guillaume Kendall, who chose the book Yes Man by Danny Wallace. Many will be familiar with the basic premise from the film adaptation with Jim Carey – a man decides to say ‘yes’ to every situation. My main take-away from this book is that if you say yes to something today, it could start a chain of events that lead to amazing opportunities that otherwise might have slipped you by. Certainly, there’s more chance of that being the case than if you say no! Starting my app Zedosh which put Facebook’s money into your pocket, is just such an example where I said yes to emailing the biggest hitters in the advertising game despite having zero experience in it. They all replied and most loved the idea. One ‘yes’ lead to another and here we are!”

Denis Egan, Owner/ Managing Director of Weston Facilities Services said that one book he found profoundly interesting when he was 18-19 was The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck. “Basic teaching is that life is intrinsically difficult and expecting it to be otherwise is unrealistic and people don’t develop the tools necessary to cope with life accordingly. It’s a curious book in that it combines some psychotherapy principles with spiritualism and has some great practical lessons on actual patient cases.”

Guiding the Digital Transformation of Organisations by Vallabh Sambamurthy is what Co-Founder & CEO of Preview, Maxence Vidal chose. “It’s a very complete read on digital transformation, digitalisation, and information technology consulting. Very useful for understanding the way our digital economy works, like through pipeline and platforms organisations. Also good to understand digital architecture, ERP implementation, and my personal favourite: digitalisation risks.”

Susan Johnson who is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Mooka Media Ltd, said she couldn’t choose just one book! “I read several business books as a part of setting up the company. The most useful was The Lean Startup by Eric Ryes. However, the most influential books would be those relating to the field I work in – the most notable being E-Learning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth C. Clarke and Richard E Mayer. It’s a useful guide to the principles of designing multimedia learning. Two additional books that are definitely worth a read are Design for Kids by Debra Levin Gelman and Make it Stick by Brown, Roediger and McDaniel.

And finally this week we have Jeff O’Brien, Co-Founder of Zoidii. Jeff said: “I read about 12 business books a year and some of my favourites include Start with Why, Trillion Dollar Coach, Obviously Awesome, and Good to Great. The business book that has influenced me the most is Grit by Angela Duckworth. The book outlines why persistence and perseverance are more important in business than a great product, talent, intelligence, or luck. It really resonated with me as the first startup I was involved with was done and dusted only for the grit of the two founders. That business is now an industry leader and employs over 200 people. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to build a business, further their career, or achieve more in life.”

Grit is the only other book, along with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that has been mentioned more than once as a main book in this series so far- have you read either of these books? If the answer is no, then I recommend you do!

Keep an eye out for next week’s blog post!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 7)

In his novel ‘Hard Times,’ Charles Dickens said: “There is a wisdom of head and there is a wisdom of heart” and on many occasions both the head and the heart will clash…

…but one thing that can bring wisdom to both is reading a good book!

Welcome to part seven of our ‘100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog.

This week, we are starting off with Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhardt which was chosen by Founder of be-BR Fieldwork Assistance, Larissa Christofoletti: “The book shows that early experience has effects on the development of both brain and personality that none of us can afford to ignore. It was Margaret Ainsworth, a Canadian psychologist, who first demonstrated a robust connection between early childhood experience and personality.”

Sophie Newbould, Founder/ Director of Newbould Solicitors chose: Building A Portfolio Career (3rd Edition) by Adrian Bourne, Christopher Lyons and Colin McCrudden: “It influenced me because at the time I was in a difficult situation with business colleagues, and this book helped coach me to achieve the right outcome without burning too many bridges, give my energy back to refocus and set goals to achieve outcomes that are even more important than just financial.”

Founder of Niro RS, Sean Walker chose, Think like a Monk by Jay Shetty. “It strips things back to basics by introducing monk orientated practices we can all use to benefit us on a day to day. It helps rewire us to consider how we function in society with a refreshing twist that digs deep into our existing way of life with solid reminders of the small things in life mean the most and we should pay more attention to them, in order to feel more fulfilled- a book that changed my life!”

Nesime Dogan, Founder & CEO @iPostBox said the book that influenced her most was: The Richest man in Babylon by George S Clason. “It is the bible of financial freedom. The ancient Babylonians were the first people to discover universal laws of prosperity. In this book the author explains the secrets of creating, growing and preserving wealth.”

And last but not least, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey has been mentioned again! Every other book so far has only been mentioned once but The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been mentioned not once, not twice, but now three times! That tells you one thing: GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS BOOK! Head of Advertising Services at StackMedia and Co-Owner of BV Pet Retail, Corey Buller said it “was the reason I started my business. It completely changed the way I evaluated opportunities, approached problems, scheduled my time, and communicated with other people”.

And that’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the next blog…

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 6)

Walt Disney once said: “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island”. I like this quote because it’s one of those quotes that both children and adults can understand- simple but effective. 

We are now on part six of our ‘100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog… And this week, we had our very first repeat of the entire series so far! Almost 30 books in before someone said the same book twice and I think that tells us three things: 1) Different books mean different things for everybody, 2) There is a book out there for everyone, 3) If you’re looking for an inspirational book- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a must have!

Founder of Running Wild Press, Lisa Kastner said: “When I look at the seven habits, I realized that they truly are the baseline for all of my goals and achievements: Habit 1: Be Proactive, Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind, Habit 3: Put First Things First, Habit 4: Think Win/Win, Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, Habit 6: Synergize and Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. And they can be leveraged in business and personal strategizing and planning.”

Next up is Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Wealth Legacy Group Inc, RJ Kelly: “A book I read earlier this year blew me away for its simplicity – and its change & impact in my life. It’s called Tiny Habits by Dr. B. J. Fogg, a Stanford professor. Phenomenal. What I am finding is by making tiny changes and developing new positive habits, it is having a ripple effect in other areas of my life positively as well. It’s not about shooting for huge changes that are difficult to maintain, but about tiny efforts made consistently over time that then expand as the habit gets further and further engrained. Brilliant!”

Founder and CEO of ReVise Consulting Britt Gottschalk said the book that influenced her was: Never Split the Difference by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz: “There are so many different ways to conduct business negotiations, and this book shows that it doesn’t have to be a cold and emotionally disconnected process. Through Voss’ experience with leading hostage negotiations for the FBI, it taught me that negotiating should be more of a discussion where you pay attention to the other person’s feelings through actively listening. Although I originally picked it up as a professional read, I’ve found myself applying its concepts to my everyday interactions with people I care about. I’ve become a more empathetic leader, vendor, partner and friend through hearing concerns instead of thinking about how I’m going to respond while they’re speaking”.

Alejandro Martinez of Resilience Coaching by Alejandro Martinez said he could easily pick his most influential book: “The one that has had the most influence in my self-development is called Becoming Supernaturalby Dr. Joe Dispenza. (That is, if you include his meditation on creating abundance that you can find on his website). If I had to mention others, on the topic of self-development its born rich by Bob Proctor, and on the topic of business and sales it’s Built to Sell by John Warrilow and Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort.

And finally Laura Vidal Borrell, Founder at HappySneeze said: “I work with mothers, many of them successful professionals, who after the wild journey that pregnancy, birth, and motherhood is, find themselves stuck in their jobs. Many want to take on different careers, start-up companies,  run for office! They are just not sure that they ‘have what it takes’. For them, and for anyone ready to start a new venture their mom would disapprove of, I recommendWomen who run with the wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola EstésIt’s not your regular business book, as you will discover the unspoken cultural norms and beliefs that hold you back, and find power in your own experience and intuition. After reading the book you will be left with the certainty that you are THE ONE, and that you do have what it takes to start whatever you choose to.”

Some really interesting books this week from some really interesting people- watch this space for the next installment!

100 Business Books that have influenced 100 Business Owners (Part 5)

Ernest Hemingway once said: “there is no friend as loyal as a book.” And he was right! Books are reliable, inspirational and informative…

Are books our best friends? - Quora

Welcome to part five of our ‘100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners’ blog.

First up today is Founder and Managing Director of RevSherpas, Kevin Wessels and he chose the book ‘Managing Customer Relationships: A Strategic Framework‘ by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers. “I first read it in business school and I was immediately drawn to the fact that a “WOW!” level of service can immediately result in enhanced client satisfaction, deeper customer loyalty, more repeat sales, increased revenues, and much higher profits. The book’s premise of growing and scaling a business via a relentless commitment to the customer and getting rewarded for over-delivering seems like such a simple concept to follow and implement.  However, it’s clearly much easier said than done, as disappointing customer experiences continue to occur across all channels in all industries. For that reason, the core values of our consulting firm are “Client Focused. Elevated Results.”  Moreover, in the spirit of Peppers and Rogers, our consulting engagements consistently deliver an exquisite, unrivaled level of service to our client family members, similar to what they’d expect and receive at the best restaurant or hotel they’ve ever been to.” 

Mike Evans, General Manager at Automation Systems Interconnect Inc. kept it plain and simple with his book recommendation: ‘The Bible‘. “It has all the answers you’ll ever need”.

Founder and Managing Director of The Cove Enterprise Hub, Helen Butler said that the book that influenced her was: ‘The 4 hour Work Week‘ by Timothy Ferriss. “I read it whilst still working in my corporate roles and I felt a real pull towards a way of working and living that was more on my terms than those of the corporate world. It felt questionable at first (was such a life actually possible?) but over the years both I and the world seem to have really moved towards this way of thinking. Be smart. Be savvy. Build a life that allows you to have more control and choice. It was a real eye-opener for me and helped me make real change.”

‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod is what Owner of Trill Marketing Ltd. Tony Hill chose. “I find it so important to have a good morning routine. It sets me up for the day and puts me in the right frame of mind. The tips in the book are very insightful, I don’t follow everything in ’The Miracle Morning’ but have taken aspects from it and it’s definitely improved the quality of my life, I do feel happier, healthier and I am so much more productive.”

And last, but not least- Wahid Chowdhury, Founder of Problem Solving Company chose “The Trusted Advisor” by David Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. “Here are my 22 takeaways from the book on how you can demonstrate trustworthiness to your customers: Show you’re dependable with your consistency, Help them to always see things from a fresh perspective, Never force things on them, Show genuine empathy & understanding of their perspective, Honor that they make the decisions, Your advice is not a substitute for their judgement, Stay calm and never panic, Help them separate logic from emotion, Correct them very gently and lovingly, Show that you can be relied upon to tell the truth, You value the long-term relationship more than a short-term initiative, Give them reasoning and evidence on ‘why’ before drawing conclusions, Give them options to choose from, explain those options, and then provide a recommendation, Challenge their assumptions politely, Show that you are personable, but also take issues seriously, Don’t play a character, be yourself (your true self), Show that you are on the same side and their best interest is ingrained in yours, Show you remember details from previous conversations, Never speak ill of anyone (including past or present clients and team members), Put issues into context using storytelling, Show your good sense of humor even in tough situations, Share your knowledge at the right time, and right place. These tips might take some time to put into practice, but if you want to become a true asset and advisor to your customers, trust is essential.”

And that’s it for this week! Have you read any of these books??

100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners (Part 4)

Part-four of the series already! If you’ve missed any of the other parts you can check them out here: Inspiration – MeasMedia

C.S. Lewis said: “we read to know we are not alone.” And it’s true. Reading unites us in more ways than we would ever think possible.

It can connect us to someone across the other side of the globe, someone we’ve never met and might never meet. For example, I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter books as I grew up along with them and in 2018, 500 million Harry Potter books had been sold all over the world in 80 different languages. I’m never going to meet all these people, yet we have one big common interest.

Not only does it connect us with people we have never met, but it also creates discussion with the people we do know.

Two people can love the same book, but on the other hand, two people can have completely different opinions on a book- but it still creates discussion and brings us together. For example, a few years ago, I finished a book and I remember thinking “Oh, is that it?” and when I said that to my friend, she gave me a lengthy verbal report on how it was an excellent book, and she loved the metaphors and we spent easily over an hour discussing our different opinions on the book.

Here are five more books that have influenced successful business owners- give them a read! You never know… they might influence you!

1) Founder and CEO of Moment One, Co-Founder and COO at Wee Jobs and Founding Member of NextGen Scotland Naish Yadav chose ‘The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme’ by by Steve Peters. Personally, I enjoy learning about behaviour psychology because it is the basis of our attitudes, decisions, and interactions with others. The Chimp Paradox book in particular, offers a much-needed insight towards understanding the human psych. This has been an essential part of my reading because it has allowed me to better focus on my own thoughts and behaviours while allowing me to apply an empathetic leadership approach towards all my projects.”

2) Ryan O’Keeffe, Founder of Jogo, chose Agencynomics by Spencer Gallagher and Peter Hoole. “This book gave simple, plain English guidance on how to scale my agency. If you want a blueprint on how to scale your agency, then this is the book for you. The book includes how to structure your agency, what KPI’s to measure, how to win more business and much more!”

3) Founder of Professionals in Transition Support Group Inc. Damian Birkel said: “When I lost my job for the second time (the company sold and relocated), I was 500 miles from home and simply handed a copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute,” by Richard Nelson Bolles.  “I was like a zombie when I arrived home early that day. My bride knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t talk about it. Instead, I sat in my favorite chair and read and re-read for hours, 1 page in Dick’s book. The Title? “How To Find Your Mission In Life.” Not only did it change my life, but his book also guided me through the re-employment process. It also inspired me to write 3 books published by Harper Collins Leadership/AMACOM. Dick was a wonderful man. I visited with him twice; 1 time spending an entire afternoon at his home. It was stunning, & a peak experience in my life. His memory lives on every time we have a Professionals In Transition® Support Group Meeting…Thank You, Dick!  RIP.”

4) Karl Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Agile World and Co-Chief and Executive Officer of Agile World News chose The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective by Kopytoff, I. (1988) and edited by Appadurai, A.- P.64-91 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK). And said:So I added to this, to create the model by which I understand, everything. It works, I don’t have context issues in my life, I adopt no fear only the desire to do more. I think understanding where I fit gives me so much peace that really cannot be bought. It gives me liberty to take risks because I understand my environment very well.”

5) Stephen Covey’sThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is what Founder/ Business Consultant at Rioxa, Juan Rio Salvador said: “It still has great insights about personal and interpersonal effectiveness. However, I find it useful when focusing on a specific chapter or theme at the time, otherwise when I try to read the whole book, I get distracted. This book has information to help us to re-focus on what is important in life and how to reprioritise behaviours/habits around principals such as fairness, integrity, honesty, etc. One of the key lessons from this book for me was Eisenhower’s Time Management Matrix. Now more than ever it is critical to manage time and how we focus on priorities.  The matrix has 4 Quadrants, we should spend most of our time on the 2nd one (important, but not urgent things). We created Rioxa’s Priority Matrix using this and our clients/own experiences. Another habit that I think is very useful these days is the one called “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”. A key skill here is empathic listening, we should practice being mindful during conversations trying to make an emotional connection with the other person.”

And that’s it for today- 20/100 books listed already! Stay tuned for part 5!

100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners (Part 3)

Today’s blog is part three of 100 business books that have influenced 100 business owners. If you’ve missed part one or two- you can find them both here: Inspiration – MeasMedia

This simple quote by Dr. Seuss covers exactly what reading can do for you: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more than you learn, the more places you’ll go.” And it’s true. Reading provides us with knowledge, and the more knowledge we have the further we’ll get in life. And I’m not talking about just reading intense and heavy books about a particular subject (even though they’re good books too!) Reading any kind of story- even a fantasy- can improve your vocabulary, your writing skills and essentially, your speaking skills. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading- you’re always improving yourself!

1) Although it was very hard for the Owner of Steve Liebroder to narrow it down to just one book- he chose Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “It helped me to understand how much having control of your thought process changes the way you look at the world and the opportunities that open to you with the new way of thinking.”

2) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills was what Director of Financial Planning Systems, Founder of Independent Professional Basketball and Founder/Host of In The Front Row, Shereen ‘Rayan’ Lavi chose. “The book offers a code of conduct based on ancient Toltec wisdom that advocates freedom from self-limiting beliefs that may cause suffering and limitation in a person’s life. The concepts in this book are so simple yet so difficult to adhere to. Be impeccable with your words, don’t take anything personal, always do the best you can under the circumstances, and do not make assumptions. The book changed my life! I have to constantly remind myself daily of these things, it helps in my professional and personal life as well.”

3) Adam Kroener, President and Co-Founder of Carbliss chose a book I read recently myself: How to Win Friends and Influence People By Dale Carnegie. “Prior to the book, I believed that being the most charismatic, forceful and talkative person lent a great deal of respect. That book showed me the complete opposite. The way to make the best of relationships is to listen, truly care about others, and let them be in the limelight. Since that book my life has continued to improve dramatically year after year as I continue to hone in on the concepts.”

4) Director, Chairman and Fellow of the Institution of Diagnostic Engineers, Elliot Berry- chose the classic- Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I read this book a couple of times as a child, long before any thought of becoming a Marine Surveyor and I think it instilled a subconscious desire to work on or near the sea with ships or boats but more importantly I think I have learned some valuable lessons from the book, the most important one being that there’s always another opportunity and that if one door closes another will open and that you shouldn’t waste all of your time and energy with the pursuit of a singular unreachable goal. Ahab’s obsession with Moby Dick inevitably ends in tragedy but this could have been avoided if he’d listened to the advice of his crew and if he’d heeded the fate of the two other ships that had previously encountered Moby Dick.”

5) And finally, we have Winne the Pooh– yes, you read that correctly! Co-Founder and CEO of DNA Compass Alice Rathjen said: I’m hopelessly a northern Californian and keep hoping for a softer, kinder world.  I believe strongly that innovation grows in communities that are more forgiving and less judgmental.  Pooh for me, reflects that innocence which I keep trying to hold on to.”

And that’s it for part three! Stay tuned for part four which will be coming up shortly and don’t forget- a list of all 100 books will be available to download at the end of the series!

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