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(What if) You made your business work for you (?)

The Reader's Emporium presents a selection of valuable books that provide the building blocks to empower us in creating our own business solutions.

Jan 11, 2023

Words: Andrea Kinsmith

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Opening a business is a bold idea that is often sparked by something quite simple. Some find something they’re passionate about and want to share what they love. Others spot a need and have the vision to fill it.

Michael Gerber started his business coaching company, EMyth, because he found that there was a desperate need to assist small business owners and he felt he knew just how to help them. Thankfully for those of us who can’t book in for coaching, Michael has written several books revealing his observations and the principles that have guided him to create solutions for these businesses.

Our ultimate goal is to serve and provide for our customers so that they are empowered to achieve their goals and become the hero.

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The E-Myth Revisited and E-Myth Mastery by Michael E. Gerber shows that the most common difficulty in small businesses is that the owner faces the impossible challenge of simultaneously being ‘the entrepreneur’, ‘the manager’ and ‘the technician’.

Understanding this, Michael guides us through the systems we need to build to free the business owner from working ‘in’ their business, so that they can make time to work ‘on’ their business. Systems create order within the business, standards to work to, and consistency in service and integrity.

Michael encourages us to invest in being the best that we can be and to care equally about the potential of the people around us: including our suppliers, our customers and our staff and their families.

Michael’s books give us the building blocks that empower us to create our own solutions – acknowledging the uniqueness of each business and situation.

Here are some other principle-based books that we love:

Next to Michael Gerber’s work, Start With Why by Simon Sinek is the most valuable book you could read. Simon guides us to consider what is really important to us – a task that seems simple, but actually involves a lot of effort to gain clarity on. But knowing that one thing and being able to express it in words is life-changing. Your why acts like a compass, giving you clear direction for your business and your life.

In Tribes by Seth Godin, the author focuses on the message that, in our global society, there are others who value what we value and believe what we believe – and all they need is someone to bring them together and lead them. We don’t need to serve everybody; we just need to work on the things that really matter to ourselves and our tribe.

To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. He helps us to see it as a service of mutual benefit – no different to persuading someone to take any action that is beneficial.

In Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley, Daniel looks at the sometimes surprising factors that lead to businesses with sold-out signs and waiting lists. He encourages us to understand why some businesses become oversubscribed and what we need to think about to increase the value and growth of our own businesses.

For a marketing strategy, I think it is hard to go past Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller. This book provides a framework to write your story. Donald Miller’s suggestion to write your business story with your customer as the hero is brilliant! Our ultimate goal is to serve and provide for our customers so that they are empowered to achieve their goals and become the hero.

Real leadership is a rare thing, so we must include The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Leman. This lovely little book has seven stories, each leading to the understanding of a leadership practice. These practices can be applied in a business, community or family. Like Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last, rather than bossing staff about, this book encourages leaders to take care of the needs of their people so that they can work effectively.

Finally, put yourself in another’s shoes with How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and The Dominance Factor by Carla Hannaford. These principle-based books help us understand how we (and the people around us) work and what they value. If we take the time to understand others – who may be quite different from ourselves – we can begin to understand better how to empower them. Empowered, happy staff provide better service, which means we all benefit.

Our dear friends at the Reader’s Emporium ( have been supporting Gippslandia since #1. Why don’t you show them some love? Head to Shop 12 Seymour Arcade, Traralgon from 10am.

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