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It’s that time of year when we’re ruminating about what we want for our business — and our lives — in the new year. Below are five books I recommend over and over again when common stuck points show up in my conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends…
There’s a little something for everyone here and if you’re struggling in any of these areas — these books will help give you the paradigm shift you need to put change into motion.
Want more money to come into your life?
I don’t even know why I picked up a copy of You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero, but from the first page I was hooked — it was like she could see right into my soul where I had been hanging on to some pretty deeply-held, limiting beliefs about money.
After reading this book, I started incorporating questions about money in my client intake process. As a brand strategist for entrepreneurs, I realized that no matter how brilliant they are at what they do and how solid their strategy — if they have money issues, they’re GOING to stand in their own way.
(We all have money issues.)
Questioning those beliefs and reframing them allowed me to start making the kind of decisions that would not only bring more money into my life, but more fulfillment too.
If you want more money in the new year, get yourself mentally prepared for it. This book is quick and easy to read with a sassy, engaging style.
Want to understand why your big, audacious goals remain out of reach?
The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix has an interesting theory about why we stay stuck in the same place rather than breaking through to that highest level we aim for when we set goals — that is, we have an “Upper Limit Problem.”
The idea is that when good things happen, unless we’re mentally prepared to let those good things come into our life, we’ll hit our upper limit and sabotage our own success.
Another way to put it is we suffer from self-imposed setbacks.
Awareness around your Upper Limit Problem is really all it takes to get better results. Let me give you a personal example…
Recently I made some Very Big Decisions™ about my business and decided that my next move would be to make an announcement about it.
Two weeks went by — I threw out my back, I felt ill, and I circled around myself finding any excuse to NOT do a very simple thing that would transform my business forever.
I realised “aha! Upper Limit Problem!” and that awareness alone gave me the courage to check myself and put myself out there in a much bigger way.
Want to understand what your customers need to hear from you in order to make a purchase?
The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don’t) is probably the most practical book on this list — it’s not about your psychology, but your customers’.
What makes someone make the decision to make a purchase from you?
Turns out, it’s a predictable (mental) process. The higher the risk (price), the more important it is to meet people where they are in that decision- making process with the right information and in the right order.
This is a quick and fun read that will transform the way you write your “money words” (sales page copy) forever.
Want to get more done without all the overwhelm?
Professor Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World came up with a formula:
Work Accomplished = Time Spent x Intensity of Focus
The goal is not for you to be busier, or to try to cram more into your day—it’s to spend more of your time in focused concentration without interruption, or what creatives call a “state of flow.”
Focus is what will allow you to create real value—and real value gets noticed. Because of the way technology is transforming the way our brains work, getting into more states of flow might require re-training your brain and breaking bad habits.
If this sounds like something you need in your life, it’s a real game-changer.
Do you need to let go of some things to make room for new possibilities?
Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud help you make those decisions and feel confident about them.
A few years ago I was STUCK in my business and this book made me realise the people I was surrounding myself with were sapping my enthusiasm, projects that weren’t ever going to go anywhere were taking up all my time, and clients that were a bad fit for me were draining all my energy.
Professional and personal growth sometimes means letting go of the things that are standing in your way of a more successful business (and life).
These decisions are tough, so if this sounds like you, this book will be a compassionate companion (and a kick in the pants).
I was afraid to let go, but this book gave me the courage to stop doing the things that weren’t working and I focused instead on surrounding myself with a high-vibe tribe of people who inspire me and doing the work I’m meant to be doing.
As scary as that was, I look back with zero regrets and I know I wouldn’t be where I am now had I not made those choices.
If you need this book, you know.
I hope you find something on this list to set you up for success in 2020. Here’s to a new year, a new decade, and new possibilities for personal growth!
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.