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When I choose which books I read I am typically wanting to find the best ecommerce books I can, or at least, books that relate to online business.
When I was going to school one of my fondest memories was the book club newsletter that would come out each term. I have only recently been reminded of this by my son who is now in primary school bringing home that same newsletter.
We are a family who loves to read, these days however my reading is consumed by mostly business books with the odd Biography thrown into the mix. Below I have compiled the list of books I have read and those I recommend.
I would love for this to be a discussion and would welcome any suggestions you'd be willing to share for books you recommend.
Books of 2018
Built to Sell – John Warrillow – 10/10
At first, I had an apprehension to read Built to Sell as it just seemed a bit strange. A friend had recommended I read it so I kept going. It didn't take long before I was hooked and once I was I couldn't put it down.
Warrillow has created a story that takes you through a fictional story based on his experience in business. It follows the story of a marketing agency owner who has been consumed by his business. He's had enough of working around the clock and being held hostage by his clients.
He approaches his mentor and is guided through creating a business that is, as the title suggests, “built to sell”. There are lots of actionable goodies in this short book and I 100% recommend you get yourself a copy.
Buyology was recommended to me by Keegan Rush and recommended to him by Matt Stafford. Both these lads know how to sell so when they told me I needed to read Buyology Ronnie obliged.
Buyology takes you into the psychology behind why we buy the things we do. There are some crazy interesting studies that make you question what the hell we're all thinking. One of those studies was the effect the cigarette package advertising causes addicts to do. See, in Australia, we have disgusting images place on the box…
And whilst every smoker said that it made them want to smoke less, when hooked up to an MRI they actually found that it triggered the area in the brain responsible for cravings, which, resulted in them craving a cigarette…
To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I'm a bit of a quirky individual and find myself getting into kids books way too much. So much so that I end up memorizing them and reciting them to my children.
It's no wonder then that I loved Felix Dennis' How to Get Rich. Felix is a poet, he's eccentric and at the time of his death was worth hundreds of millions of pounds. What better way to learn from someone that you connect with that has lived an exceptional business life before you.
I don't however, agree with a lot of his personal choices but the content was solid and I will be implementing a lot of the information he provided. If you want to learn from somebody who's made it, Felix is your man.
This is not a book for everyone…particularly anyone outside of the USA. It does however go hand in hand with The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. This book will now become my bible and covers everything about budget. In essence he breaks up you income like this…
- 60% of Net Income – Daily Expenses. This is used to cover all your utilities, mortgage, groceries, gas/petrol etc
- 10% of Net Income – Splurge. This is how much you get to spend on yourself. Haircuts, coffee, restaurants etc.
- 10% of Net Income – Smile. This is for your holiday/vacation account or for anything that makes you smile…
- 20% of Net Income – Fire Extinguisher. This bad boy is for getting rid of your pesky debt, credit cards, personal loans etc.
I had a great handle on our finances before but what Scott does is takes you further into the accounts you should have set up and with which bank (and he is completely unaffiliated). Across Australia we are robbed each time we use a foreign ATM and there are some accounts available out there like ING Direct and ME Bank that don't charge these fees…or any fees at all.
He goes even deeper than just your general budget and shares his process for guiding you to a comfortable retirement, something we all want. If you are Aussie and want a bright future I suggest you get this book for you and each family member.
Books of 2017
This was a great autobiography. Funny & thought provoking and shows you the power of motivated consistency. The main reason I picked this one to read was I was cast in a local play and wanted to get into the head space of an actor and understand how they prepared for roles. It's not a business book however it is a great read.
You might start seeing a pattern here. If I don't LOVE the book often I won't finish it, so the ones I do end up with a 10 out of 10.
Shoe Dog is a brilliant read and is an autobiography by the found of NIKE. If you're into ecommerce, and I bet you are, then you need to get your hands on this. We have it so easy these days with the help of Aliexpress and all the POD fulfillers. Phil had none of that and did the hard yards with a small team that grew into a work force of thousands worldwide with an amazing global brand.
After reading this book I fell in love with the dream Phil set out to achieve and fully recommend anyone else in business NEEDS to read it.
Timmy Cahill is an Aussie Legend. Very rarely do I read Australian books however given that he is Australia's best ever midfielder/striker and the fact I love football I had to read it.
Again, it isn't business related however everyone that is successful in their field have a common thread to the way they live there lives. These guys leave nothing to chance, every decision is on their shoulders, how hard they work is their decisions, how successful someone becomes is off the back of consistent hard work.
Legacy goes into the life of Timmy and takes you from the early days of local soccer clubs through to playing for Everton FC.
Another football book… I guess you have the picture now that I am a bit of a sports/football fan. You bet I am. There is something about the beautiful game that has me intrigued and while I support Arsenal FC I respect the legacy Sir Alex Ferguson left with Manchester United.
My Autobiography, 1 Year On sheds light onto the pressures of a Football Manager in the peak of their career. It is amazing to delve into someones mindset of how to deal with employees (players) mentalities and how to strive to get the best out of each person.
If you love football like I do give this a read, I am sure you will see many similarities between running a successful football team and running a successful business.
If you want to learn the psychology of negotiation then I suggest you give this book a read. Chris Voss is an ex FBI negotiator who has turned his attention to helping people negotiate better in business.
It takes you through the step by step of how to set up the conversation for you to ultimately get the result you want.
This one took me a while to read and if I was to be dealing with more negotiations I would be sure to pick it up again.
Books of 2016
If I wasn't a fan before giving this book a read then I sure as hell was when I finished. As we all know, Elon Musk is an incredibly human and most likely the one that will help the human race survive the apocalypse. While this is only a biography if gives you insight into the life of Elon, how and where he was raised, the shit he had to put up with as a kid and what drives his success.
One of my favourite parts of the book was when Ashlee was explaining his process for learning. He learns and digests at such a level that when he was asking an engineer about a project the engineer felt that his job was on the line and Elon was testing him. Elon in fact was just learning, and had done so at such a level that an experienced engineer thought that Elon was one.
The only thing I can remember about this book was that it could have been written on about a third of the paper that was used. I can't remember exactly what the book was about but everyone in the online space was raving about it in 2016. Guess I better pick it up again as it suggests that the slowlane to riches is not the only way and there is in fact a faster way of getting there…which I love the sound of.
Turns out 2016 was too long ago to remember what some of these books were about. Even the review doesn't refresh my memory.
I absolutely love what this book stands for. Everyone in ecommerce needs to add this to their reading list immediately. We aren't here to get customers, we are here because of the customers. If we cared more for others and made out businesses aim to satisfy the customer our career path will be around much longer.
In a day and age where anybody can start a store this is a refreshing take on why the customer needs to be nurtured. If we do the right thing by Facebook (advertising professionally…think freaking spell check) and provide a positive experience for the end user you will be rewarded for years to come.
USE TONY AS YOUR MENTOR. EMULATE HIS BUSINESS (ZAPPOS) and you'll have a business you can be proud of for years to come!
Again, barely remember this one… Just listing it so you know I was an avid reader in 2016.
Over the past few years I have changed my goals quite a bit. Instead of chasing gratification with shiny objects I would just prefer time with my family…in pleasant surroundings would be best of course.
The Millionaire Next Door delves into the millionaires of America. The ones that actually have money and talks about the ones that don't. I really enjoyed their stance and it gets you positively thinking about how we should be raising our children so they themselves can taste success.
I will remain an avid reader and as someone who is chasing my own definition of success I will continue to look for the pioneers who have achieved before me. In business it is incredibly important to be introspective and actively work on becoming a better you.
If you have books you'd like to recommend please comment below, I would love to see them!