4 books that every networker must read
Before we get started let me be clear.
I’m not saying these are the ONLY books which anyone involved in business networking should read (as it goes, I know of rather a good one on that very subject). I’m not even saying that these are the best books on the subject, that’s a very subjective thing.
Three out of four of these books aren’t even really written about business networking. But they all have hugely valuable lessons and all four of them have shaped the way I approach my networking, my business, and my life.
If you’re reading this and think I’m talking rubbish and there are far better books, please tell us about them in the comments. If I’ve not read them already I shall do so.
If you haven’t read these books and you’re in business in 2014, I very strongly suggest you do.
How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie
This book was first published in 1936 and yet I recommend it to anyone who needs help with their social media.
The lessons which Dale Carnegie puts into this book have such huge relevance in 2014. In fact I would say some of them are even more relevant in 2014 than when the book was first written. The basic principles behind relationship building which are outlined and detailed within this book are timeless.
People still often think that business networking and social media are to do with promoting yourself and your stuff. And yet Dale Carnegie states in this book that “people are not interested in you. They are not interested in me. They are interested in themselves. Morning, noon and after dinner”.
I first read How to win friends in around 1990 when I started out in estate agency. I can’t remember who recommended it to me, but I shall always be grateful to them.
Feel the fear and do it anyway – Susan Jeffers
So much of what I do is out of my comfort zone. So much of what I have to do in my life every day is stuff that I used to be scared of doing. Public speaking is still something I’m scared of, and yet I speak somewhere several times a week now.
This book firstly gave me the insight that everyone is scared of stuff – it wasn’t just me! And then it helped me with the practical hints and tips to deal with that fear and, as the title says, do it anyway.
As I repeat in one of my presentations, being in business means getting out of your comfort zone repeatedly. The people I have observed who are the most successful are the ones who make themselves uncomfortable and do new stuff more often than others. The people who have the most successes, if you watch them closely, also have more failures along the way, they just deal with them and keep going.
This book has been described by so many people as a “life changer”. If you need to get out of your comfort zone, and you do, you really should take a look.
Get off your Arse – Brad Burton
Let’s get it out there straight away – Brad is MD of 4Networking Ltd and I am Network Director. We’re mates. I joined 4N in late 2007 as a member and Brad and I hit it off straight away. So I’m recommending his book and I know him. I’m even mentioned in there somewhere.
This book deals with a simple truth about life and business – you’re going to have to do stuff. As much as you can blame other people, the economy, timing, lack of funds for your lack of success, ultimately it is down to you.
GOYA talks in very practical terms about how to take steps forward, no matter where you are now. The language is blunt and Brad’s overriding message is that you have to confront the things that you don’t want to, in order to move forward. That stone in your shoe doesn’t work it’s way out.
Something that I’ve learnt from this book and repeat to myself everyday is that “the longer you run, the weaker you become”. Learn to attack the things which are scaring you. A different, but linked message to “Feel the fear”.
You’ll read this book in an afternoon. And you’ll be glad you did.
The Thank You Economy – Gary Vaynerchuk
I first spotted a YouTube featuring Gary Vaynerchuk back in 2008. Before then I had never heard of him, and many other people hadn’t either. The YouTube I saw is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhqZ0RU95d4 and, even though it is VERY out of date in today’s fast moving social media world, Gary’s passion about social media and how it was going to change business forever comes over so well.
And he was right. Social media, inextricably linked to business networking, has hugely changed the way we do business.
But it hasn’t. If you read Gary’s book you’ll note that many of the lessons we need to learn now, were common practice amongst our grandparent’s generation. The definition of what is “local” to any of us may have changed, but the basic principle of caring that anyone needs to build a business, is just as relevant in the social media age. Perhaps even more so now that people can talk openly and publicly about the service they receive from any business anyway.
Gary has written two other books. Crush It!, which was his first book, and Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook, which came out last year. To my mind though, The Thank You Economy is the one which really deals with the “why” behind networking and social media, before giving you some of the “how”.
Here are all four books again, with clickable links to find them on Amazon:
How to win friends and influence people
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Get off your Arse
The Thank You Economy
So those are my recommendations. If you haven’t read them and you now do, please let me know how you get on. If you’ve got any other recommendations for business networking books, please comment wherever you see this blog.