Twelve Tips on How to Structure Your Self-Help Business Book

A popular (meaning non-scholarly, non-MBA program) book that is aimed at business professionals must satisfy a few very basic requirements. Here is an outline of what you must accomplish with any business book, regardless of length or complexity.

1. As you create your book, the number one concept to keep at the forefront is that your readers are totally self-centered. They care only about how you can help them to solve their immediate problem. If you cannot provide practical, accessible solutions, they’ll toss your book out the window.

2. Therefore, your first task is to clearly state the problem that you can help the reader solve. For any business owner, the number one problem is how to make more money. Period. This goal can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including winning a big contract, increasing market share, increasing profit margins, cutting expenses, or introducing a new product or service. Regardless of the strategy or combination of strategies, the goal is always to make more money. If you are writing a fable you may, if you wish, use a metaphor for making money, like finding out who moved the cheese.

3. The specific problem that you say you can solve must resonate and be clearly defined. It may include increasing team effectiveness, lowering employee turnover, taking advantage of the internet for marketing, or strategic succession planning. Whatever the area of your expertise, you need to define the problem and show the consequences of allowing the problem to continue. This is the fear factor. You must say, “In today’s competitive business environment, if you’re doing it the old way, you’re going to be outperformed by your competitors.”

4. You must then assert the benefits of your solution. Regardless of the short-term benefits your solution can provide, the long-term benefit is always the same: increased profits. Period.

5. Then you need to describe your solution in plain English. Provide examples or tell stories to make your solution come alive. The reader must be able to say, “Yeah – this book describes my problem and I can see how to fix it!”

6. You are the expert. The reader does not care where your ideas come from. Do not tell the reader to go elsewhere for a solution. Please do not load your book with quotes by Jack Welch, Donald Trump, or Lao Tzu. I guarantee you that these same quotes are reproduced in thousands of boring business books. Your job is to stand out from the herd, not to be a part of the herd.

7. Don’t try to sell the reader. They’ve already bought your book, so you’ve got their attention and loyalty. Just tell them at the end of the book that if they need more information you invite them to contact you.

8. Don’t make the reader do an activity, like fill out a chart or make a list. No one has time for that kind of stuff, and most business people think it’s beneath their dignity. Plus, if they’re reading your book on a Kindle or Nook, they can’t fill out a form anyway. Remember that your reader is totally self-centered. They have paid their money for your book and they want you to do the work.

9. If you must use graphics, make sure they are incredibly simple. One corporate client of mine drew his own little circles and graphs with a pen. The images looked like a fifth-grader had drawn them, and they were incredibly effective. You could see at a glance exactly what he wanted you to understand.

10. Never ever use clip art. Never insert an image that is not unique to your book. The reader does not need to see a generic image of dollar bills in order to understand that you’re talking about money. Your book is not a PowerPoint presentation; it is a personal communication between you and your reader.

11. Do not use footnotes. Busy businesspeople do not care about your sources and do not want to interrupt their reading by going to the bottom of the page and squinting at a footnote. If you quote a source, say in your text, “According to the New York Times, fifty percent of all homeowners… ” If you wish, provide a list of resources at the end of the book.

12. This is your goal: to get the reader to read your book and then hand it to a colleague and say, “You gotta read this book. It’s a fast read and it’s got some great ideas. We can discuss them at the next meeting.” Bingo! Your book has just sold itself. And chances are good that your phone will ring and the company will want to hire you for a consultation.

That’s it. Keep it simple. Describe the problem and offer your solution. Give your reader value and they’ll come back for more.

Small Business Books – Must Read Books For Small Business Owners

Starting up your own business can be challenging. There are lots of things that you have to take into consideration when you are planning your business and some good small business books might just help you with that.

Running a small business can be very tough because you need to have a good network in order to expand, and building a network is not an easy task. Mathew Corner’s 40 Super Tips for Networking You and Your Business: How To “Work The Room” While Having Fun AND Being Effective will teach you how to improve your communication skills and gain useful networks that will help you to get your business to the next level. The book provides applicable, concise, and practical strategies and it also talks about all the things you need to know about networking. It combines attention grabbing visuals and effective advice to keep readers interested in the subject.

Building a network is not the only thing you should be concerned about. In order to run a successful business, you also need to know how to solve business problems. Donna Fenn’s Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack highlights eight successful small-company entrepreneurs. These businesses are represented as case studies in how to solve some particular problems. The book is very user friendly and it also highlights some of the most misunderstood business assumptions such as ‘higher salary leads to better employee motivation’.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber is a good book that has garnered lots of positive reviews from readers. This book talks about business start-up myths and how they can get in the way of running business. The book points out that your work is not your life, and it also helps you distinguish between working on your business and working in your business.

The marketing series have been around for decades and it is arguably the most popular reference series in the world. Small Business Marketing book talks about strategic marketing, online marketing, cost-effective, fast-acting ideas for fast impact, and more. If you are looking for an easy-to-read book, this is the book to buy. It uses plain English, so you will be able to understand the book easily even if you do not have a business degree or background. Despite that, the book is also enjoyed by readers with marketing background.

5 Top Business Books That Changed My Life

For many years I avoided learning. Like most people, I learned by accident through a very popular learning method known as; trial and error. Most people have used the trial and error method but, while this may be effective in rare cases, trial and error takes way too long. And most of the time, the errors and mistakes you make create a whole lot of learning experiences that don’t feel that good. For example; when things go horribly wrong, how does that make you feel?

You know, mistakes hurt only when you repeat them over and over. So, learning something new, from someone who has what you want, gets way better results.

At some point you also have to ask yourself, “is it possible to get better results by learning on purpose instead of by accident?” Yes. “Is it possible that there are things you don’t know yet?” And, the answer is yes. “Is it possible that there’s some things that you know that aren’t necessarily so?” The answer is also… yes.

Based on many years of struggling and trying it my way, I decided to learn a little bit about how other people achieved success. And that’s when I started becoming a learn-it-all instead of a know-it-all.

Only when you choose to learn on purpose can you attract the best kind of learning experiences, the ones that actually get great results. Here are the 5 top business books that I used to get real world results. Many people may not think of these books as being business books, but I applied the lessons to business and achieved business results, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Counting down the top five…

5. “The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho” – This was the first “real learning” book I had ever read since University. It is a simple story about a Shepherd boy who, one day, takes it upon himself to explore the world in seek of fame and fortune. And while the boy meets with many challenges, they are all learning experiences which eventually led him to the very treasure he set out to find.

When I read this book, I was already a few years into my journey with Tinnitus: a loud ringing in the ears. I was struggling and depressed. This book was simple enough for me to grasp the main concept which is; if you never take a risk in life, things will never get better. But if you are willing to take the risk and learn something, then the journey will unfold the way it’s supposed to; perfectly and in its own good time.

4. “The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale” – In this book Joe outlines five steps to attracting anything you want in life. He does it in such a way as to make it simple enough for even the most poorly programmed and skeptical person to grasp. And believe me, I was more than skeptical. However, because there was only 5 steps, I figured it couldn’t be that difficult to learn. And, as it turns out, these five steps helped me create incredible results in just about every area of my life, including financial. The final step, “The Law of Detachment,” taught me a lot about how to truly manifest big results. If you don’t know this law, then Google an article that I wrote called, “How to Practice the Law of Detachment.”

3. “Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind” – by T. Harv Eker – Yes, I agree that some people don’t like the way that Harv talks about wealth. I also agree that his methods could be perceived as radical and unconventional. I also agree that some people believe he’s arrogant and overconfident. However, do results matter? Yes, in my opinion, that’s all that matters. I’ve followed his methods now for several years. I’ve taken some of his training courses. In fact, one training course that I took, even though it was at the time extremely out of reach financially, I did it anyway, and earned my money back in one night.

When I read this book I really felt as if Harv was talking just to me. Sure, he’s not that nice about it. He basically jumps out of the pages, grabs you by the neck shakes you a little bit and starts to get you to see wealth from a different perspective. Some people don’t like that. But not liking something, doesn’t always mean it’s not good for you. Believe me, I have literally made millions off of one Harv Eker Seminar and if it weren’t for the book I would’ve never decided to take that course.

2. “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho – Yes, this is the same person that wrote the Alchemist my number five pick. After reading this book, I felt compelled from a deeper level to pick myself up out of my miserable situation and walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. The book and the journey made me realize the number one trick to getting what you want in life; stop trying to figure out how you will get there. In fact, every time I tried to speed up on the Camino, the universe just pushed back.

So if you’re trying to get to where you want fast, you may actually miss the part that matters; living and discovering. And when I gave up my strict schedule, the universe opened up and delivered me better results faster. Funny how that works, isn’t it? The more you slow down the faster you will achieve. To most people this would not make sense. That’s why you need to read the book and maybe even walk the Camino de Santiago. Sure, it’s 850 km. And your excuse might be, “you don’t have time.” And that is the number one reason why you will never get there. Because, if time is your excuse, then ask yourself, “do I honestly have time for the things in life that really matter? Like RESULTS?

1. And my number 1 best business book that changed my life is;

“Ask and It Is Given” by Jerry and Esther Hicks – While some may call this book spiritual mumbo-jumbo, I would call it “the secret.” I have read this book so many times and have incorporated so many of their beliefs and exercises into my life that I literally created a new me. And, I like the new me way better than the old me. While the old be would say, “I’ve got better things to do.” The new me would say, “better things require me to do something.” While the old me would say, “I hate rich and successful people, ” the new me would say, “I admire rich and successful people.” While the old me would say, “money is hard to come by,” the new me would say, “money comes to me easily and effortlessly.” I think you get the idea.

This is a book about reprogramming your beliefs. Are you always right? If so, and your results don’t prove it, then you need some new beliefs. Being right and getting what you want in life are two different things. Only when you open yourself up to knowledge and experiences can you actually learn anything. You can be right or you can have what you want, but you can’t have both. In business, making yourself right, makes someone else wrong. And that is why you may never win. Only when you learn that results are co-created for the benefit of everyone, will you truly understand a thriving business. Help someone else get what they want first, and you will have what they have in abundance.

I just want to say a quick thank you to each of these authors for their life-changing words and information. I am pretty certain that without reading these books, I would not be in the position that I am today. Like Brian Klemmer says In his book, “If How-To’s Were Enough, We’d All Be Skinny Rich and Happy.” It takes more than just “how-to’s” to get what you want.

You have to learn to be deeply committed to your strongest intentions. Otherwise, there will be many intentions competing for your attention. Most people live a life of activities and distractions. Only deep commitment to learning and experiencing new things will lead you to what you truly want. I trust that these five books when read, understood and implemented, will reveal many secrets to creating the results you seek.