Here is a very interesting Blog article by our MD about some inspirational books…
My Five Must-Read Inspirational Books
I never used to read much but when I set up GW Power-Safe I felt I needed to learn as much as I possibly could, to give my business as much chance of success as possible.
When you start out on your own, you have to learn from other people and this brought me to enjoy studying successful people. I have learnt about their habits and mindset and, if I am ever feeling down, lacking motivation or seeking inspiration, I always look for recommendations on personal development books. My ultimate aim is to be a good role model for my children and be someone they look up to and who inspires them to be successful the same way I have been inspired.
Having looked back to review my Top Five favourites, I am overwhelmed by the massive influence these writers have had on my business as well as my personal life. With each one I read, if I can take just one nugget from each book to implement, then it’s worth it.
For some people finding time to read can prove difficult, my time is while I’m giving my son, Jack, his bedtime milk, and settling him down for the night. He winds down watching Peppa Pig and I read. This is a nice time for us both to release from the trappings of the day and have a nice cuddle. If you struggle to find time, listening to audio books in the car between meetings or long distance travel can help you to make the most of this time by learning something new.
It was very difficult choosing just five books as I have read so many but here is my selection. The authors have all come from very different backgrounds and had very different experiences. However their words have touched me, made me stop, think and most importantly – take action and implement.
So, in no particular order…
The Real Deal by James Caan.
Caan’s story takes him Brick Lane to Dragons’ Den. It is a Sunday Times Best Seller and autobiography of the former investor from the hit BBC TV programme.
He initially achieved success in recruitment, founding Alexander Mann in 1985. He tells the story about a guy he hired called Mike, admired him for a while and was very pleased when he accepted his offer to join the company. On the way to an important sales meeting in James’ Porsche, Mike talked about the car and how much he loved it. The meeting went very well and on the way back Caan asked him what value of sales he expected to achieve that year. Mike said he would guess at least £300k, giving him £100k commission. In what might seem to some as a moment of madness, Caan handed Mike the keys to the £60k Porsche and said he’d give him the log book once he’d made enough commission. This leap of faith motivated Mike so much that he received the log book 8 months later.
I love the fact that Caan gave Mike this anticipation reward. This made him believe in himself so much that by the end of the year he’d done fifty percent more commission than even he predicted.
This is one of my favourite parts of the book and although this is an extreme example, I implemented this with my own employees, giving a bonus before they’d completed the job and they didn’t let me down.
Bog Standard Business by Charlie Mullins.
Charlie Mullins OBE is best-known for the employment tribunal with Pimlico Plumbers which ruled in his favour. However his success story is fascinating, as a domestic service provider he is turning over in excess of £43m. As is common with many entrepreneurs, Charlie left school age 15 with no qualifications in 1979 and began work as a plumber, going on to become London’s largest independent plumbing firm.
This book has had a massive influence on me and the way my company is built and portrayed.
Although we are not domestic tradesmen, working in people’s homes, I’ve used his brilliant tips and adapted them to suit our business model. His high standards are very inspiring – no vans are allowed out on the street without being perfectly clean, engineers’ uniforms are checked each morning and his positive common sense approach to everything is so refreshing.
I admire the work he does promoting apprenticeships and his modern approach to the service industry, with regards to marketing and the image of tradesmen in general.
Leading by Alex Ferguson.
This is completely different to any of the other books I’ve read however there are many parallels between sport and business. This book is an inspirational guide to great leadership by the Scottish former Manchester United Manager, considered to be one of the greatest of all time.
Admittedly, I am not a huge football fan although I have always admired Alex Ferguson and his book has helped me to be more aware and become a better leader which is important when running a business.
The book talks about the key skills that he values to highly, such as, teamwork, focus, setting standards and negotiation.
According to Sir Alex, the two most powerful works in the English language are ‘well done’.
The 10X Rule by Grant Cordone.
The author is an American entrepreneur who has created a billion dollar real estate portfolio from scratch. I found him via social media in 2014. He has a massive following and his content feed is relentless and probably has something to do with my favourite chapter – Omnipresence: the concept of being in all places at all times!
The idea is that you want people to see you so often that they instantly identify your name, your brand and your business with the product or service you represent. As well as that of your competitors, they still think of you.
The 10X Rule is Grant Cordone’s principle that you should set goals, targets and take action ten times more/bigger than the norm to ensure success. The problem is, people often give up after underestimating the effort required to achieve goals.
Cordone says that if you 10X your goals, even if you fall short of the original target you’ve probably over achieved on what you had originally set out to do.
For me, I 10X the business growth target, aiming for twenty five percent and we absolutely smashed it. It’s amazing how what seems like an outrageous goals can actually be achieved.
Can’t hurt me by David Goggins.
I first came across David Goggins in 2018 when he appeared as a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (check this out too if you haven’t already).
Goggins is a retired United States Navy Seal and more recently an accomplished endurance athlete. In his book he shares his astonishing life story, revealing how most of us tap into only forty percent of our potential and capability. Goggins calls it the 40% rule.
He must be the toughest man alive and is a true inspiration, proving you can achieve great things if you have complete mental toughness and strength.
Don’t get me wrong, the stuff he does is very extreme but, at the same time he inspires me with quotes like: ”be uncommon amongst the uncommon”.
This book has helped me more personally than in business, but it talks about continuously improving mindset.
I suppose my conclusion is to say that if there is any part of your life, work or business that you are unhappy with and you want it to change… take inspiration from the words in one or all of these books.
I would love to hear which books have inspired you or, if you have already picked one of these up, what you thought of it.