Hope your summer is off to a terrific start.

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. Here are 50 books that a colleague, Lindsey Anderson, recently shared on her blog that are sure to keep you inspired and your business thriving even during your summer adventures. If you don’t own a business yourself, feel free to share it with someone you know who does.

I feel honored to have my book Energize Your Business included on Lindsey’s list of must read business books. Enjoy!

50 Books for Small Businesses

By Lindsey Anderson

(The following is from Lindsey Anderson’s One-Click Lindsey blog post dated May 30, 2019)

In the wide world of business, so much emphasis is put on what’s “Bigger.” It’s good to have a large, successful business, of course, but no business becomes the company of your dreams overnight. Everyone starts somewhere. Maybe you’re in the early stages of building your business—you’ve worked hard, stayed dedicated, and you know there’s a vibrant market out there just waiting for your great idea! However, you may not be sure where to go from here; hard work and passion got you this far and will carry you even further, but maybe you’re looking for something a little extra, some help to push you in the direction you need to go.

Look no further! Countless entrepreneurs just like you have been in your shoes before, and many of them are willing to help. Here are 50 books to aid you in your small business ventures—whether you’re looking to expand your horizons or keep it small-time, these experts know the ins and outs of success in businesses of all sizes and are more than willing to share their wisdom in the hopes that others may follow their dreams…

(Read About the 50 Books)

Enjoy your summer adventures and staying inspired.

Much success and fulfillment,

Ray

Wildflowers at Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

Spring has nearly sprung to life. Here in Arizona, wildflowers are bursting into bloom. Soon the rest of the country will follow suit.

Spring is also a time for cleaning and organizing our lives—and our businesses. It’s the perfect time to refresh your strategic plan.

Strategic planning is one of the best ways to truly engage your employees in the success of your organization. Done right, it can be an easy, fun and inspiring process for involving everyone. It will amplify and accelerate the success of any team and organization.

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. It enables you to clarify, organize, act and realize your organization’s intentions as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

4 Phases of the Strategic Planning Process 

  • 1st Phase, you and your team to clarify the direction to take the organization and why to do it;

    The Strategic Planning Process

  • 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to organize and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and understand what to do and who’s to do it;
  • 3rd Phase, you will learn what will cause your team to act efficiently and effectively with implementing your action plans and why it’s important to keep the plan alive;
  • 4th Phase, you will learn how to ensure that your teams realize results that exceed your desires and expectations.

 

12 Steps of the Strategic Planning Process

Here are the 12 steps that move you through the 4 Phases of the strategic planning process cycle: Read more

Introduction

Are you looking to grow and expand your business and life? There’s and art and science to it. The art is choosing to create an intention (or goal) you love that is meaningful to you and others. The science is invoking the universal creation process to realize your inspired idea.

Invoking the 4-Phase Creation Process

Each of us has been born with the same power to create the reality we desire. In each moment, we get to choose to be a creator or a reactor in life. A creative life is a joyful, expansive life. A reactive life is a stressful, contractive life. As human beings, we feel most alive and energized when we are consciously creating something new.

If you are satisfied with what is showing up in your life, do more of that. If you don’t like what’s showing up, do something different to create a more satisfying experience. The four phases of creation to manifest any inspired idea or intention are:

  1. Imagine
  2. Visualize
  3. Expect
  4. Allow

Here’s what each of the phases entail. Read more

“A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.”

~J.P. Morgan

 

 

Human Relations Principle #19: Appeal to the nobler motives.

(“An appeal that everybody likes.”)

(This is the nineteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

Dale Carnegie was reared on the edge of Jesse James country out in Missouri, and visited the James farm at Kearney, Missouri, where the son of Jesse James was then living. His wife told Dale stories of how Jesse robbed trains and held up banks and then gave money to the neighboring farmers to pay off their mortgages.

Jesse James probably regarded himself as an idealist at heart, just as Dutch Schultz, Al Capone and many other organized crime “godfathers” did generations later. The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.

J.P. Morgan observed in one of his analytical interludes, that a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one. The person will think of the real reason. You don’t need to emphasize that. But all of us, being idealists at heart, like to think of motives that sound good. So, in order to change a person’s decision or behavior, appeal to the nobler motives.

Here are some nobler motives that people hold dear . . . Read more

“Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.”

~Dale Carnegie

 

Human Relations Principle #18: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

(“What everybody wants.”)

(This is the eighteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

When we apologize and sympathize with others’ viewpoints, they tend to apologize and sympathize with ours.

Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively? Yes? All right. Here it is:

“I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”

And you can say that and be 100 percent sincere, because if you were the other person you, of course, would feel just as he or she does.

Remember, the people who come to you irritated, bigoted, unreasoning, deserve very little discredit for being what they are. Feel sorry for the poor devils. Pity them. Sympathize with them. Say to yourself: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

When you receive a troubling or condemning letter, email or text that you feel compelled to defend in anger. By all means write out your reply… but don’t send it. Sit on it for two days. Then take it out, read it, and notice that you most likely have less emotion around the situation and a whole new perspective. Probably a different approach, tone and course of action has come to mind that will better serve all concerned.

Dr. Arthur Gates, author of Educational Psychology, said . . . Read more

“Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other persons’ viewpoint.”

~Dale Carnegie

 

 

Human Relations Principle #17: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

(“A formula that will work wonders for you.”)

(This is the seventeenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

Seeing things through another person’s eyes may ease tensions when personal problems become overwhelming.

There is a reason why the other person thinks and acts as he or she does. Ferret out that reason—and you have the key to their actions, perhaps to their personality. Try honestly to put yourself in his or her place.

Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people can try to do that.

Say to yourself, “How would I feel, how would I react if I were in his or her shoes?” You will save yourself time and irritation, for by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect. And, in addition, you will sharply increase your skill in human relationships. Read more

“In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Human Relations Principle #16: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

(“How to get cooperation.”)

(This is the sixteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

The best way to convert a person to an idea is to plant it in their mind casually, but so as to interest them in it—so as to get them thinking about it on their own account.

No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.

Don’t you have much more faith in ideas that you discover for yourself than in ideas that are handed to you on a silver platter? If so, isn’t it bad judgment to try to ram your opinions down the throats of other people? Isn’t it wiser to make suggestions—and let the other person think out the conclusion?

Sage Advice on Leadership from Lao-tse

Lao-tse, a Chinese sage, said, Read more

“If you want enemies, excel your friends;

but if you want friends,

let your friends excel you.”

~La Rochefoucauld, French philosopher

 

Human Relations Principle #15: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

(“The safety valve in handling complaints.”)

(This is the fifteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

Remember the old adage: the creator gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason—to do at least twice as much listening as we do talking.

Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves. Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things. Read more

“He who treads softly goes far.”

~Chinese Proverb

 

 

 

 

Human Relations Principle #14: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

(“The secret of Socrates.”)

(This is the fourteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

It doesn’t pay to argue. It is much more profitable and much more interesting to look at things from the other person’s viewpoint and try to get that person saying “yes, yes.”

In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing—and keep on emphasizing—the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing, if possible, that you are both striving for the same end and that your only difference is one of method and not of purpose.

The skillful speaker, salesperson and politician gets, at the outset, a number of “Yes” responses. This is the psychological process of moving the listener in the affirmative direction.

Be as Persuasive as Socrates

Read more

Abe Lincoln said, “If a man’s heart is rankling with discord and ill feeling toward you, you can’t win him to your way of thinking with all the logic in Christendom. Scolding parents and domineering bosses and husbands and nagging wives ought to realize that people don’t want to change their minds. They can’t be forced or driven to agree with you or me. But they may possibly be led to, if we are gentle and friendly, ever so gentle and ever so friendly.”

Human Relations Principle #13: Begin in a friendly way.

(“A drop of honey.”)

(This is the thirteenth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*

The use of gentleness and friendliness is demonstrated day after day by people who have learned the old maxim that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.

So with men [and women], if you would win a person to your cause, first convince him/her that you are his/her sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his/her heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his/her reason. Read more