I’m a voracious reader. I believe the most valuable card in your wallet is your library card. And even by picking up the same book and reading it again and again, you can learn something new every time.
Which is why if you walk around my home and office, you’ll find piles of books everywhere. And now with my iPad, I’m starting a whole new collection of books that I can bring with me everywhere.
So if you’re starting out as a new photographer, or have had a studio for years, there should be a few books on your shelf available for you to read again and again.
And surprise – none of them are on photography.
Why is that? Because if you want to open up a studio, you have to be good at photography – and at business. The photography is the “easy” part; if you are going into business, it’s a given you already have the passion and the drive to make photography work. But you may not be good at business – or even understand anything about running an effective, successful business than can take you years into the future.
And even when you do have a successful business, there are always ways to improve.
So if I had to pick my 5 most favorite, most influential books sitting on my shelf, they would be:
The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
This is my most recommended book. In fact I have two copies because I’ve loaned one out here and there, and never want to be without it. Especially if you are new to the entrepreneurial world, this book helps you realize you can work at your business, or in your business. You can either replace the job you had before you went into business, or you can build a strong business that stands on its on, and allows you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
I enjoy this book because of its simple concepts, easy reading, and effective use of storytelling. You can instantly see yourself in the pages, and choose what you want your future to look like. It’s an eye opening book that will help you establish goals and plans for your business.
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
If you’re going to follow the advice of a mentor, you might as well follow someone who has sold billions of books around the world. Jack Canfield has had an amazing career with Chicken Soup For The Soul enterprise. And as a part of his mentoring business, he shares strategies and tips for becoming the best you can be.
The Success Principles sums up all of his philosophies of success into 64 principles. This isn’t a book to sit down and read. This is a book to leave on your desk, open it up and read whatever chapter you flip to. I’ve been doing that for years, and I always open the book to the most relevant principle for what I’m facing.
The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Is the 4 hour work week really possible? I’m not quite sure about that. But what this book does is open up your mind to what you can do to release things that aren’t the most important item on your plate. And to find a way to accomplish whatever you choose right now instead of later – when you have “stuff”. If you wait to travel until you’ve saved a million dollars, that day may never come. But if you choose to live and travel across South America, there are ways you can do that today – by establishing goals and getting great people to help you out along the way. Many of Ferriss’s ideas are now a part of my own business structure – and I would highly suggest taking a look at this very powerful book.
The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Do you truly understand how connected the world is? Have you ever thought about how someone half way around the world impacts your day to day life? This book will open up your eyes to the way such things as the global supply chain, staying in business by utilizing minds from all over the globe – and where our future is heading. I love Hot Flat and Crowded – the book Friedman wrote after this – yet The World Is Flat remains one of my favorite because of its eye opening ability to really show you how we must operate in the future world.
Little Red Book Of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
The smallest and shortest of the books on this list, this little book packs a powerful punch. Where else can you get quotes, comics and instant ideas all on one page? Gitomer has long been a favorite of mine because of the way he gets right to the point, and makes you see exactly what you need to change in order to move forward. This book, like many of my other picks, offers sound advice on every page. Have a spare moment? Pick it up and open to a page. Read it and apply. Then start your day. It’s a great way keep you focused on what’s really important – having the life you’ve always dreamed of.