Let's Get Down to Business: MW's Reading List for the Business Side of Making
We spend so much time scrolling through digital content on everything from our desktop computers to the teeny, tiny screens of a smart watch. We're definitely guilty of it over here. But every now and then, we slow down, take a step back and crack open a book. A physical, bound book... Okay, maybe sometimes it's an audio book, but a book, nonetheless. We all have our favorites, but this week, we wanted to share a few good reads that shed some light on the business side of making. We turned to Paul Claxton, the business brain behind Makers Workshop, to learn about which books he's been reading. So, if you're looking for a new take on business or just a little insight for the new year, this one's for you!
1. "Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions" by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber
This one's all about leading through change. No, I'm not crazy because, yes, this a story about a family of penguins. The authors do a great job of putting a fun spin on the challenge of change as a business owner, which makes this a quick and easy read.
2. "Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works" by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin
If you sell a product, this is a book you must read. It takes you through the process of thinking about who your customer truly is and how you can create a better product for that customer. It takes a couple chapters for your gears to start turning but offers some great tips on refocusing your business. I would recommend listening to the audio book first, too.
3. "Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service" by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
If you're looking to create a world-class customer experience, I would recommend this simple and quick read. The authors take you through various examples of how to create raving fans instead of just customers for a wide range of businesses. This is especially effective for businesses where the owner still has a hand in each customer interaction.
For a more established business, or for the forward thinkers out there, check out Reid Hoffman's "Masters of Scale" podcast as well.
4. "Real Artists Don't Starve" by Jeff Goins
Whether you making a physical product or providing a service, charge people for it. Goins explains how you can jeopardize your business by not standing up for yourself. Additionally, by charging a premium price, your perceived value increases, which allows your business to thrive without you having to add extra work hours. This is another great book to have in its audio book version for those times you're in the car or working in the studio.