As a habitual one-hour-a-day reader, I become excited when I find a book that catches my attention. Too many books offer the same old regurgitated advice leaving me to flip to the cover wondering if this is a title I've already read in the past.
Here are four books offering a fresh take on achieving entrepreneurial greatness. They've penetrated the entrepreneurial ranks through word-of-mouth, great content and raving fans. As evidence of their appeal, the titles have collectively drawn more than 1,100 five-star Amazon reviews and the authors have 42,000 followers on Twitter as well as thousands of "friends," "followers" and "likes" on their various Facebook pages.
These authors have built communities of entrepreneurs who listen intently to their lessons, build businesses by their blueprints and live by the success credos memorialized in their tomes. The following business-lifting titles could be called entrepreneurial “cult classics,” if you will:
1. The Miracle Morning:The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8AM by Hal Elrod, 2012: The premise is simple: Those hitting the snooze button each morning are telling the universe they would rather be unconscious than live out their day. Elrod's book offers a system to start each day since the way people begin each morning speaks to the way they live out their entire day, week, year -- and life.
2. The 7 Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals by Michael Maher, 2010: This book offers salespeople a blueprint for building a network of advocates who will refer them business. It's not about using neurolinguistic programming to entice buyers or digging into a suitcase full of objection-handling techniques.
No, this book offers a blueprint for developing relationships and then turning them into business. It’s a light and entertaining parable built upon a foundation of highly valuable techniques that work when applied to any business.
3. Selling Luxury Homes by Jack Cotton, 2010: Working in real estate is not a prerequisite to loving this book. Those selling anything based on value rather than price will find it worth reading. Cotton has built a lucrative career selling homes to millionaires and billionaires: He offers exceptional advice about how to sell based on value and presents a bird’s-eye view into the minds of ultrawealthy consumers. Putting on a pair of white gloves to pull out luxury-marketing materials may be a bit much, says Cotton, but he also concedes that it might not be for those truly selling luxury.
4. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by M.J. DeMarco, 2011. I can’t bear to remove this book from my briefcase even though I’ve read and reread it now several times. DeMarco has a unique take on attaining prosperity, saying most people work their entire lives and never accumulate wealth since their habits keep them on the slow lane when it comes to saving huge sums of money.
His assumption is that it's not possible to attain massive wealth when a person's income is tied to the number of hours worked, as is the case for most individuals. His advice? Separate the number of hours in the day from earning potential to hop over to the millionaire fast lane.
Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Read to Lead
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