Thanks to Neil Wright for a loan of the book “Rework”  by the owners of 37 Signals and the Highrise CRM program that we recommend (see the right sidebar).  Not really a novel—Rework is a collection of 1-2 page words of wisdom that should be read by all current and prospective business owners.  37 Signals has taken a rather non-conventional approach to business—an approach that probably shouldn’t be non-conventional.  A few excerpts:

Let’s retire the term entrepreneur.  It’s outdate and loaded with baggage.  it smells like a members-only club.  Everyone should be encouraged to start his own business, not just some rare breed that self-identifies as entrepreneurs….You don’t need an MBA, a certificate, a fancy suit, a briefcase, or an above-average tolerance for risk.  You just need an idea, a touch of confidence, and a push to get started.

Some companies are addicted to hiring.  Some even hire when they aren’t hiring.  They’ll hear about someone great and invent a position or title just to lure them in….Pass on hiring people you don’t need, even if you think that person’s a great catch….Problems start when you have more people than you need.

Instead of thinking about how you can land a roomful o frock starts, think about the room instead.  We’re all capable of bad, average, and great work.  The environment has a lot more to do with great work than most people realize.

Summer Reading List

Some books to make your summer reading list. Sometimes you can get the most from books that are a little “outside the box.” The first two books that are recommended by our Executive Director, Dirk Dieters, won’t be found in the business section yet anyone who is involved in any type of sales (and just who isn’t?) are really studies of the decision-making process. Since they were not written as business books you have to figure out how to apply the principles to your own situation but that very fact is part of what makes them such important reads. First is a best-seller from last year that is now easily available in paperback. Blink, by Malcom Gladwell is an excellent examination of the power of first impressions. I promise you that after reading this book you will be thinking about where your customer’s first impressions come from and how to control that first impression. The second book is Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely. Anyone who doesn’t take away numbers of ideas for adjusting their sales approach is brain dead. Both are relatively easy reads and are packed with ideas.

Back in the business genre, click on the side of this page and pick up your copy of Minding My Own Business, by Dirk Dieters or go back to the classics, The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber and The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt. These are very practical books that present well the essence of how to run a business. Enjoy.