I like to send books to my clients — books I’ve read and think they’ll get something from. A client who recently received a book asked me how many books I read last year during the Pandemic of 2020. So I counted…
Last year I read/re-read 46 business books and 15 non-biz books. Not included here are all the magazines, journals and digests.
At the bottom of this post is some of the things I do to help retain/use the knowledge.
If you’re looking to up your business, marketing, finance, productivity knowledge, here’s a peek at 2020’s reading list by category (note that many of these could fall into more than one category):
- The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment by John Lee Dumas.
- We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachael Rogers.
- The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company with Your Customers’ Cash by John Mullins, PhD.
Customer Service, Customer Experience, Customer Retention-Related Books
- The Widest Net: Unlock Untapped Markets and Discover New Customers Right in Front of You by Pamela Slim.
- The Gold Standard: Giving Your Customers What They Didn’t Know They Wanted by Colin Cowie.
- The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath, and Dan Heath.
- From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans by Jon Picoult.
- People Aren’t Robots: A practical guide to the psychology and technique of questionnaire design by F. Annie Pettit PhD.
- Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive by Jonathan Byrnes, and John Wass.
- Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book (2nd Edition) by Tim Grahl.
Marketing and Sales-Related Books
- The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue by Robbie Kellman Baxter.
- Productize: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Professional Services into Scalable Products by Eisha Armstrong.
- Content Inc., Second Edition: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful (With Little to No Money) by Joe Pulizzi.
- Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age (Que Biz-tech) by Gini Dietrich.
- The Ultimate Marketing Engine: 5 Steps to Ridiculously Consistent Growth by John Jantsch.
- Guerrilla Selling: Unconventional Weapons and Tactics for Increasing Your Sales by Orvel Ray Wilson, William K Gallagher, and Jay Conrad Levinson.
- The Non-Obvious Guide to Marketing & Branding (Without a Big Budget) (Non-Obvious Guides) by Rohit Bhargava.
- Infusionsoft Cookbook: Over 88 recipes for effective use of Infusionsoft to mitigate your CRM needs, marketing automation, conducting online business optimally by Paul Sokol.
Productivity and Leadership Books
- A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport.
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition) by Jocko Willink.
- The Amazon Way: Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles by John Rossman.
General Business and/or Personal Development-Related Books
- Business Made Simple: 60 Days to Master Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Execution, Management, Personal Productivity and More (Made Simple Series) by Donald Miller.
- Oversubscribed: How To Get People Lining Up To Do Business With You by Daniel Priestley.
- Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath.
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport.
- The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendrix.
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon.
- Building the Happiness-Centred Business by Dr. Paddi Lund.
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant.
- The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds–Not Crushes–Your Soul by Brad Stulberg.
- Outwitting the Devil: The Secrets to Freedom and Success (Official Publication of the Napoleon Hill Foundation) by Napoleon Hill.
- Tribe Of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss.
And the non-biz books (some can be considered personal development while others are just for fun):
- Bloodless (Agent Pendergast Series, 20) by Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child.
- Private Moscow: (Private 15) by James Patterson.
- Through the Crack: A Novel by Charrita D. Danley.
How I get the most out of what I read
It’s easy to read and forget when dealing with everything in life and business so I’ve developed a few strategies to support me in retaining and implementing the info I read:
1. Business on Kindle, Non-Biz on Paper
While I prefer to hold a book in my hands (there’s nothing like that!), when it comes to learning I’ve discovered that using my Kindle works much better. Highlighting passages I’m interested in allows me to come back and zip through much faster than a paper copy. I can also export things to my Evernote Notebooks and sort by topic.
I save the non-business books for paper copies, most of which I get from the library to ease my mind over the “dead tree books.” 🙂
2. Read with a Notepad Nearby
I typically have my Whitelines notebook nearby (Whitelines lets you digitize handwritten notes so I can upload them when done and store with highlighted notes from book.) and jot any special notes and/or action steps that aren’t covered simply by highlighting.
When done reading and before uploading, I go through my notes and take any item marked with an asterisk and either add it to my action list or delegate it to a team member. This is something to be implemented.
Each week I review my overall action list and move items to that week’s “Make It Happen” list and schedule it on a certain day. This saves me from always staring at a multi-page list which feels overwhelming.
That’s it… doing these two things have helped me make leaps in my business and share knowledge/support clients in doing the same in theirs.