So, the mayhem of Black Friday has passed. Can I just put out a cheer for those businesses who chose to ignore the whole thing or do something different — honourable mention to Lift in Southwold who gave 20% of proceeds that day to Shelter, and 200 Degrees Coffee locally to me who gave a free lid with every takeaway coffee.
Even if you’re like me and have celebrated one or two Christmas Days before, then there’ll still be someone asking what’s on your list. So, given that I’ve done a few book lists throughout the year, I thought I might help you out with a few Christmas suggestions to get the grey cells ticking over during the festive period. Here’s five to get your list underway.
I love Seth Godin, his view on the world and on marketing. Anyone who preaches that marketing should be grounded in empathy and generosity gets my vote. I think he challenges us to really embrace authenticity and honesty, which smaller businesses are definitely well placed to act on. I think although he writes about new channels and techniques, his thinking is rooted in what some might consider old school values. And I’m all for that.
I heard James interviewed on a podcast recently and was fascinated by some of his techniques. Particularly when you run your own business, and there is always something to do, then not getting overwhelmed and ending up not doing much is hard. I’d make reading James’ book a habit to get into and adopt at least one of his techniques and see how you get on. What’s great is that his theory is based on real change is the result of adding up the effects of lots of smaller, simpler changes. So, five press-ups a day for 365 days is better than doing 100 on day 1 and then never again — one for the new gym bunnies to remember in January.
If you want an actual book, you’ll have to wait till next year, but the eBook version is available now. Fascinating premise and I certainly think that the future might be smaller in many sectors. Just look at the casualties on the average High Street. These are massive businesses that are just not able to adapt to the shifting sands of consumer expectations. As a business of one then I’m really intrigued in what he has to say. Will it be scaleable to maybe two or three of you? World domination is not the aim for all of us.
Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
I love the line in this that “same is lame”. You’ll only drive customer conversations if you’ve got something different for people to talk about. Not rocket science, but then the best ideas often aren’t. If we’re going to make smaller businesses viable, then conversations are vital. And you’ve got to give people something good to talk about. They even give you a formula to make it happen. Worth a shot?
I wrote a post inspired by Ingrid’s TED talk earlier in the year. It’s probably the most joyful TED talk I’ve ever watched. Her book has a secondary title “the surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness”. Now, that’s something I can buy into as a principle for 2019. I think we’ll see mindfulness move us into looking at how the ordinary is not that ordinary at all when it’s had some thought applied to it. If Santa brings me nothing else, then this is the one for me. Although I do know that there’s already a copy of Michelle Obama’s book heading my way. That’s not a bad thing for Christmas Day either.
So, tell me, what’s on your list for new books for this Christmas? What should I add to my list? And as another thought, while for research these links will take you through to Amazon, please do try and support your local bookstore if you still have one. Failing that, then there’s Amazon Smile that means a charity benefits a little.