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Book Reviews

Ownership Thinking by Brad Hams

Ownership Thinking by Brad Hams

There are a handful of business books I’ve read over the years that have made a tremendous impact on how I lead and coach.  These have included The E-Myth Revisited, First Break All the Rules, Built to Sell and How Full is Your Bucket, among others.  A new one has made the List:  Ownership Thinking, by Brad Hams.  It's a must read for business owners.  This 227 page book is easy to read and includes material you can immediately implement in your business.

  • Here are some of the key points from the book:
  • How to change your culture from entitlement thinking to an earnings mentality
  • The most important financial indicators to track
  • How to read financial statements and communicate financials to your team
  •  How to develop incentive plans for your employees that work
  •  The concept of “Rapid Improvement Plans”

Ownership Thinking drills down on:  the right people, the right education, the right measures and the right incentives.   The result is “sharing the insomnia,” so you’re not the only one caring about the results. 

In Nolan Consulting Group, we often talk about looking through the front windshield (the ability to forecast), not just the review mirror (how we did).  Brad actually uses this language.  (I’m still waiting for the credit!)  

He also includes a fantastic analogy for understanding financial statements.  It’s actually the best finance book for non-finance people I’ve read.  I was so excited I emailed my team many times throughout the read.  Consider buying it today.

Enjoy the read,

Brian Nolan

Built To Sell: Turn Your  Business into One You Can Sell,   By John Warrillow

Built To Sell: Turn Your Business into One You Can Sell, By John Warrillow

Built To Sell by John Warrillow is a must read for any small business owner who wants to have an exit strategy.  Whether you want to sell your business or not, if you follow the authors strategy, you'll have the freedom to sell it or receive a salary well into your retirement.  The book is written in a fable / story format.  You'll follow the owner of an advertising agency through his discovery of what business systems he needed to put in  place and the methods he used to make the busines less dependent on him, the owner.  Some other tips:

 - specialize: focus on a standard service offering

-  Hire sales people and build a sales machine

 - Build a management team and launch a long term incentive plan for them

- Create an operations manual

- Make sure no one customer is equal to more than 15% of your revenue.

See Built To Sell: Turn Your Business into One You Can Sell, By John Warrillow

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

I have to believe that the 7 Habits is one of the most influential business books every written. Covey uncovers concepts deeply integral to life fulfillment and lasting joy. LIfe without them is a life less lived.

- Andrew Amrhein, Associate Coach, Nolan Consulting Group, Inc

See Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell

Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell

I would highly recommend reading the book, "Hug Your Customers." It has great ideas on how we can create an environment of individuals who are team players and help YOU run a successful business by loving customers. Most of the things mentioned in the book are things we are probably already doing or are very easy to begin.

The author, Jack Mitchell, is the CEO of clothing company on the east coast. The book is an easy read and filled with story after story of ways we can care for the people around us and build a customer for life.
- David Chism, Nolan Consulting Group Coach

I just read this book as well. A "hug" is when you exceed customer expectations. It's why you can charge more money for your services. It's doing the unexpected. It's how you keep customers for life.

It's not about the paint job, it's about caring for the customer ... thinking from the customer's point of reference.
- Brian Nolan, President, Nolan Consulting Group, Inc

See Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell

Little Voice Mastery by Blair Singer

Little Voice Mastery by Blair Singer

One of the best books I have ever read. Every page holds gems that can be implemented immediately. It will help clear your head trash!

  - Tom Van Der Kolk, Van Der Kolk Painting, Summit Member

See Little Voice Mastery by Blair Singer

Question Behind the Question (QBQ) by John Miller

Question Behind the Question (QBQ) by John Miller

QBQ- When you're frustrated with someone or something and you think why is this happening to me? Step back and ask The Question Before the Question. What can I do about it? Or How can I affect a positive outcome. QBQ helps us understand the dynamics of Personal Accountability and Action.

  - Kevin Nolan, Partner, Nolan Consulting Group, Inc

See Question Behind the Question (QBQ) by John Miller

The Entrepreneurial Myth (E-Myth) by Michael Gerber

The Entrepreneurial Myth (E-Myth) by Michael Gerber

E-Myth- Business is about systems. People run the systems the systems runs the business. There are so many great concepts in the E_Myth: "Work on your business not in it," "Quantify, Orchestrate, Innovate," "Once a week have a meeting about the rules of the game," that it is impossible to describe the book in a few words. The ideas are common sense and yet the book requires multiple reads.

  - Kevin Nolan

See The Entrepreneurial Myth (E-Myth) by Michael Gerber

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

I reviewed the first edition of The Four Hour Workweek and was surprised by the content, it was a fresh look at a new idea (Lifestyle Design) and it offered some really practical, useful advice that virtually anyone could implement. I recommended the book to many people - most liked it, some didn't. 

I eagerly pre-ordered this version of the book when I first heard about it mostly because I was curious if it would really be better . . . and boy was it! I sat down with this book and read until the wee hours of the morning. Sure a lot of the material is the same, but there are around 100 new pages of material and that material is what the first edition desperately needed. The new material is solid examples, case studies, new resources and it addresses how to navigate lifestyle design in a rapidly changing economy. 

Tim includes a list of things learned in 2008 along with lessons learned, this section of the book was priceless. Here are a few of the things he talks about: 

  1. Don't accept large or costly favors from strangers - Exceptions, uber-successful mentors who are making introductions and not laboring on your behalf. 
  2. You don't have to recoup losses the same way you lose them - An interesting discussion of mortgages. 
  3. One of the most universal causes of self-doubt and depression: Trying to impress people you don't like (This one really hit home with me . . . hard) 
  4. Slow meals = life 
  5. Money doesn't change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice. 
  6. It doesn't matter how many people don't get it. What matters is how many people do. 
  7. I should not invest in public stocks where I cannot influence outcome (Another hearty agreement from me). 

The list goes on as does the new information in the book. This one is a must read for anyone who wants to break the slave-save-retire cycle and live on purpose now.

See The 4-Hour Workweek

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