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Business Books You Should Be Reading in 2016

Let’s cover a few core business books you should be reading in 2016…

On the last episode of Nathan’s Bookshelf, we got a taste of my more esoteric, literary, and poetic interests, with a dash of business books.

This time around, the focus is mostly on business books.

I’m a firm ongoing learner, who believes that people should always be improving their job skills and life skills.

I look at it like this: in a college course, they will typically have you read 1-3 books on a given topic…which are, by the way, often theoretical, abstract, and not practically useful.

So if you read a book a week, what kind of education are you giving yourself?

Anyways, enough pontificating.

books-933293_1920Here’s what I’ve been reading this past year:

  • No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits – Dan Kennedy’s non-politically correct guide to managing staff in your business. He makes a lot of fascinating points, in my opinion, but beware: ruthless means ruthless.
  • Making Them Believe – Another Dan Kennedy book, written with Chip Kessler. This book covers the life and the marketing takeaways of John Brinkley, a man who surgically implanted goat testicles as a cure for impotence.
  • Scaling Up – This book, by Verne Harnish, is a must-have for any business that experiences – or wants to experience – super-fast growth.
  • Ca$hvertising – This book is an epic guide to advertising. Copywriters and advertising professionals will probably know much of the material covered herein, but it’s still a good reference book. For those who aren’t immersed in advertising and marketing and want to learn more, it’s a must-have.
  • The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Getting Your Shit Together – John Carlton’s first book (I think) is a must-have for anyone – and I mean anyone – who wants to improve their business skills. Most people probably haven’t heard of him, but he’s a killer copywriter who can teach you much about sales, young padawan. When linking to the book, I discovered that he has another book out, Simple Success Secrets No One Told You About, which I immediately downloaded … even though I haven’t read it yet, I recommend you do the same … that’s how good this guy is.
  • The Boron Letters – Gary Halbert has been called the world’s greatest copywriter. This book is a series of letters written by Halbert to his son, which cover everything from copywriting to marketing to life advice. A must-have for any business bookshelf.
  • Don’t Wear a Cowboy Hat Unless You Are a Cowboy… – Robert Bly is another one of the world’s most famous copywriters. He’s written dozens of books and his copywriting portfolio covers the gamut. Every businessperson should have at least a few of his books on their bookshelf.
  • The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene’s classic is another must-have for any business person – and any other person who wants to be successful in life and relationships.
  • Fanatical Prospecting – Jeb Blount knows how to sell. Like many of the authors listed here, he is an “old-school” salesperson who doesn’t spout the New Age nonsense that you see everywhere else online … which is often designed to steer you clear of prospecting, direct marketing, and sales.
  • New Sales. Simplified.  – Mike Weinberg, who did the foreward to Fanatical Prospecting, writes another great book on prospecting and new business development – that is, bringing new business in the door as opposed to harvesting the same clients and customers over and over. It’s geared towards the sales professional, but you should read it. It will clear many of the New Sales Age cobwebs out of your thinking.

There are plenty more books on my bookshelf from the past year, including many I haven’t gotten to yet.

But these are the business books that stand out.

What most of these books have in common is that the authors truly understand sales.

As I mentioned, many of today’s marketing and sales professionals subscribe to New Age beliefs: prospecting is dead, cold calling is dead, inbound marketing should replace outbound marketing, and so on.

The authors mentioned here contradict these false teachings and stand like a torch against the darkness.

In fact, when it really comes down to it, when you really think about it, and when you really dive deeply into your business, it’s clear that sales, prospecting, and new business development are the bottom line.

Nathan’s Bookshelf: Winter 2015

Most of my recent blog posts have been focused on topics related to internet marketing, since that’s where my head’s been lately.

But today I’d like to take a step back and remind my loyal readers and stray visitors that I’m not simply an internet marketing automaton…

I do have other interests…

And reading is one of those interests.

So if you’re also a reader of books and you’re looking to curl up with a good book by the radiator this winter, have a gander at my bookshelf…

And if you see something you like – by all means, click on those affiliate links ;)

What’s on Nathan’s Bookshelf Right Now

The actual blurry photo of my bookshelf that I took with my Samsung Galaxy S5 copy that was made in Hong Kong and bought in Bangkok

The actual blurry photo I took with my Samsung Galaxy S5 copy that was made in Hong Kong and bought in Bangkok

This is a mere fraction of my collection, but here goes:

  • Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, by G.I. Gurdjieff – Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of Gurdjieff. This is the first book in his trilogy. If you are considering reading this book, all I have to say is, “Good luck…”
  • In Search of the Miraculous, by P.D. Ouspensky – Anyone interested in learning more about Gurdjieff should start with this book.
  • The Storymatic, by The Storymatic – This isn’t actually a book, it’s a set of cards. But it’s right there in the picture so I figured I’d throw it in. It’s a set of cards that are designed to help stimulate the creative writer’s brain. I wrote about them in a previous blog post. It doesn’t look like the edition I bought is still on Amazon, but there are a couple others…
  • William Blake: The Complete Illuminated Books, by William Blake – A must-have for any student of Blake. Reading the full-color reproductions of his prophetic works is a completely different experience than reading the text versions.
  • Austin Osman Spare books – Spare is another major player in the Western esoteric scene. His unreal work was heavily influenced by the likes of Dante, Goethe, Lao Tsu, and more.
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing, by Bob Bly – This book looks like it’s only available used, but it’s a great resource for anyone interested in direct mail marketing. It’s written in the well-known Bly style: clear, concise, to-the-point.
  • Dictionary of the Khazars, by Milorad Pavic – Someone said of him, “He thinks like other people dream,” or something very close. Read a page of any Pavic book and you’ll see why. If you love crazy surrealistic poetry, get this book.
  • The Journal of Albion Moonlight, by Kenneth Patchen – Another surrealist poet, Patchen makes the beatnicks look like mice. This book is a difficult read, but it will take your mind apart.
  • The Works of Lord Byron, by Lord Byron – Yawn. Got it for a few bucks secondhand. May use it to start a fire if it gets cold enough.
  • The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing, by Thomas S. Kane – I brought this all the way back from Thailand. It’s interesting. I feel it could be useful if I had enough time to go through and create exercises from parts of it.
  • Rumi’s Stuff, by Rumi – I can’t read the title from this picture (I’m writing this post at the office), but I think it’s the popular “selected works” one. Rumi’s another great addition to any poetry lover’s bookshelf.
  • Viriconium, by M. John Harrison – Harrison is one of the best living writers. The first Viriconium book was fantastic, as are Harrison’s more recent works. My favorites are Light and The Course of the Heart.
  • Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron – Like to write? Then read this. She sheds scientific light on the story-writing process, but it’s more about story than it is about wired.
  • A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, by Kenneth Henshall – This fascinating, in-depth look at the etymology of Japanese characters is a must-own for anyone deeply interested in the Japanese language.
  • Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati – My favorite book on yoga. It provides a complete series of asanas (yoga poses), benefits, counter-poses, et cetera et cetera.
  • William Blake Dictionary, by S. Foster Damon – A must-have for any serious student of Blake. It provides detailed explanations for all the major concepts and characters found in Blake’s work.
  • Japanese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar, by Rita Lampkin – This short grammar book contains everything you need to know to create grammatically correct sentences. I taught myself grammar with this book when I was 15.
  • Hinduism, by Somebody – I don’t know if the linked-to book is the same one that’s on my shelf or not…I’m reading the Mahabarata right now and bought a book on Hinduism to help me out with some of the concepts.
  • The Ultimate Marketing Plan, by Dan S. Kennedy – Kennedy is great. His books are like sales and marketing textbooks. Must-haves for small businesses or anyone in sales and marketing…like me. This one covers Dan’s “marketing triangle”: message-media-market.
  • The Ultimate Sales Letter, by Dan S. Kennedy – A must for anyone who ever does copywriting or who plans on writing a sales letter.
  • Light on Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar – This is another classic book on yoga. Any serious or semi-serious yoga student should have this on the shelf.

 

As mentioned, this list of books doesn’t even cover a fraction of my total collection.

Maybe when I have access to the rest of my books I’ll put them up…

Well, that about does it for this edition of Nathan’s blog…

We’ll see you guys next time!