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Business Book of the Month

David Bain

The monthly podcast that discusses the best business books and interviews the top business book authors

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Today on the the Business Book of the Month podcast and today we’re discussing Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business with the author himself, Chris Ducker.

Here’s what we covered in the conversation:

What are the differences to being Youpreneur compared with an entrepreneur?

You have a Build, Market, Monetize framework that you advocate your readers to go through. Towards the beginning of the book, you ask the reader to go through a Next Step assessment. I’ve stolen some questions from there – and I’d like to ask you why they’re important.
Questions below...

You start off by asking the reader to picture the business they’re building in 5 years time, and whether or not they’ll be happy at the end of it. Doesn’t everyone want to be happy after being in business for 5 years?

Can you name 3 things you do differently from any other business owner in your niche?

Could you confidently introduce yourself to a stranger as a Youpreneur instead of just an entrepreneur?

Do your website and social media profiles appear at the top of the list when someone Googles your name?

Do you publish at least one new piece of online content per week (blog, video, podcast, etc.)?

Do you have at least 500 subscribers on your email list right now?

— what email software do you currently use?

Do you get at least one new subscriber every day?

Can you name 5 top influencers in your niche off the top of your head?

Are you on a first-name basis with at least one influencer in your niche?

Can potential customers find your content in at least 3 different places online?

Can you name 5 people who’d consider you an influencer in your niche?

Has an existing client recommended you to a new client in the last 30 days?

Have you served at least 50 paying clients in your business?

Did your business make enough money last year to support you/your family?

The post BBOTM-10: Chris Ducker – “Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business” appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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Today on the the Business Book of the Month podcast and today we’re discussing They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer with the author himself, Marcus Sheridan.

They Ask You Answer

Here’s what we covered in our conversation:

One of the reasons that you started on this journey was the financial crash of 2008 – can you tell the listener a little about what you were doing at the time, how it impacted you, and how that changed your sales and marketing ethos?

And what prompted you to write the book?

So how would you summarise the “They Ask You Answer” philosophy?

Are there any types of businesses that aren’t so appropriate for this philosophy?

And I believe that the first edition of the book was published in early 2017, is that correct?

And we’re recording this discussion in July 2019 – and you already have edition 2 coming out in October, so what’s changed since the first edition?

One of the things that you suggest that readers do is that they write down the questions that they think that their customers want to know the answer to. What if the questions seem reasonable, but they don’t appear to have any significant search volume?

A popular article that you wrote on your River Pools and Spas website compared fiberglass pools with concrete pools – but you don’t sell concrete pools – so why write about something that you don’t offer as a business?

Something else that you’re keen for every business to publish is product pricing – why is that a good thing for businesses that don’t compete on price?

A lot of your content doesn’t have a great deal of branding or a strong call-to-action.
For instance, I watched one of your videos on Fiberglass vs. Concrete Pools – and it had nearly 200,000 views – but is was a fairly low-quality video with just one of your customers expressing their views on the subject – was that all done on purpose?

Something else that really hit home for me for you saying that if a prospect reads 30 pages of your site, you have an 80% chance of the sale – that’s an incredible figure, but does that apply across other industries as well?

You’ve obviously generated lots of leads for this business through content marketing – you share in the book that one of your articles has generated over $3m in revenue – that perhaps means that you can afford to suggest strongly to prospects that if they won’t read your content then they’re probably not a great fit as a customer. But is that a realistic approach for most businesses?

Will content marketing ever totally replace sales in some industries, or will there always be a need for sales people?

You also recruit content marketers for your clients – do you see content marketing as being an in-house discipline in the future instead of an agency service?

You highly recommended the software Hubspot in the book – has that recommendation changed in the past couple of years and is there other software that you’re able to recommend as well?

We’ve been discussing your excellent book, “They Ask You Answer” – but what is your favourite business book by another author and why?

The post BBOTM-09: Marcus Sheridan – “They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer” appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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Today on the the Business Book of the Month podcast and today we’re discussing Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks and 150 Best Practices for Business Success, with the author himself, Chad S White.

Email Marketing Rules

Here’s what we covered in our conversation:

Towards the beginning of the book you start off with a model you call a hierarchy of subscriber needs, quite similar to Maslow’s hierarchy. You start with Respectful at the bottom, then Functional, then Valuable then Remarkable. Tell me a little bit about that.

You also say towards the beginning of the book that many people refer to email as being owned media – but you don’t share this view. Why is that and what do you classify email as? and why? (Email marketing is Granted Media)

You include 150 best email marketing practice rules as part of the book – I’ve selected a few of the rules to ask you more about – so let’s start off with rule number 2, and that is not to include too much promotional content in your transactional emails. Is this not a big opportunity that businesses are missing out on? Where’s the line that you shouldn’t cross?

Rule number 9 is to accept that securing an opt-in to another channel doesn’t constitute permission to reach a consumer via email too.

So are you aware of any customer communication preference centres that works with multiple forms of communication like SMS and chatbots as well as email?

Rule number 28 is to send your promotional emails from a different IP address and subdomain than you use from your transactional and other critical emails.

If you have different brands, should you use different email addresses for each brand?

Can your transactional emails be on the same domain and IP as the direct emails from your employees?

Rule 41 – you recommend that brands maintain a minimum email frequency – why is this and what’s the minimum sending frequency that you recommend?

Rule 43 – not all subscribers are equally valuable or desirable – how do you discourage people from opting-in or remove undesirable subscribers?

Rule 53 – Recognise that requiring email subscribers to share additional contact information lowers sign-ups significantly – how much by and where should you draw the line?

Rule 59 – Use the signup confirmation page as a “pre-welcome message” – what’s best practice for this?

Rule 66 – Use a recognisable and consistent sender name for your emails –

What’s best practice for the ‘from’ name – brand name, personal name or both?

and what happens if you change your email address?

Rule 71 – Use preview text like a second subject line – what’s preview test, how much do you get and what’s best practice for this?

Rule 73 – design your emails to render well and function properly across a wide range of platforms and devices –
quite a few email marketing software providers seem to me to be mobile-aware rather than fully responsive and truly optimised. Do you agree – and if so, are you able to recommend email marketing software that does a great job in helping you design responsive emails?

Rule 108 – optimize the delivery time of your emails to increase their effectiveness – what deliver time tends to be best?

Rule 109 – create a customer journey map and address the moments that matter –
what would be an example of a brand doing this really effectively?

Rule 129 – Create an email content calendar –
what should this look like and is there any particular software that you recommend?

Rule 150 – Use A/B split testing to settle disputes – what should be split-tested and why?

Towards the end of the book you talk about subscriber journeys – how do you map a subscriber journey to a customer journey?

And you finish off the book by talking about how email marketing may change in the future – what’s the biggest thing about email marketing that will change over the next few years?

So chad, we’ve been discussing your excellent book, “Email Marketing Rules.” – but what is your favourite business book by another author and why?

The post BBOTM-08: Chad S. White – “Email Marketing Rules: Checklists, Frameworks and 150 Best Practices for Business Success” appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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Today on the Business Book of the Month podcast we’re discussing Choose: The Single Most Important Decision Before Starting Your Business, with the author himself, Ryan Levesque.

Here’s what we covered:

You’re already a number 1 national best-selling author, having previously published Ask – a book that’s already influenced the way that thousands of entrepreneurs discover and assist with their customers’ frustrations. But something niggled at you that you’re Ask book wasn’t the true starting point for new entrepreneurs. So why is that and how did that lead you into writing another book?

Who is the ideal reader for your Choose book?

You were kind enough to provide me with a pre-publication copy of your audio book, so I listened to that over the past couple of days. I must say that I thought it was superb. I’ll certainly be going back to it. So I’ve picked up a couple of areas from the book that I’d like to hone in on – firstly, your description of Mission, Passion, Opportunity or Undecided based entrepreneurs. Can you give the listener an overview of what you mean by that, and how that terminology was born?

My background is in SEO and initially in adsense success. I used to make thousands of dollars a month publishing sites with content that didn’t really interest me. So the fact that I don’t like focusing on an area that doesn’t interest me – does that mean that I’m a passion entrepreneur – and if so, how does that make me different?

You also talk the reader through how to compare different concepts, so that they work on a business that has the highest potential. What if the listener has one specific business in mind, and absolutely intends to start that one business. Would you still recommend comparing it against other opportunities before they start?

You talk a lot about researching keywords, but I don’t recall you mentioning keyword volume – is that a metric that’s not really important?

Something else that you talk about is having a product mix that gives you a low-level price point, a mid level price point about 10 times the low price point, and a high level price point about 100 times the price of the low price point. Why is that and why do those ratios work best?

Should you start off by just offering the low price point on your website and only offering the higher priced products or services for those who purchased the lowest priced items or offering all of your products, all at the same time?

I love how you’re focusing in on designing your business, because for me, the vast majority of business and marketing gurus focus too much on how to drive traffic and build a personal brand authority rather than how to select and structure a business – do you agree with that?

Who are your favourite business or marketing authorities to listen to?

I would say that Chose has the potential to become a movement, just like Ask – is that what you’re trying to create? What does it look like in 5 years time?

From your perspective, what would you say is the number 1, actionable takeaway from the book?

As a final question, apart from your own books, what is your favourite business book and why?

The post BBOTM-07: Ryan Levesque – “Choose: The Single Most Important Decision Before Starting Your Business” appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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For this episode of Business Book of the Month I’m pleased to be joined by the former Chief Evangelist for Apple, and current Chief Evangelist for Canva and Brand Ambassador for Mercedes Benz USA – welcome, Guy Kawasaki.

Guy famously likes to make 10 key points in a presentation – so to celebrate the publication of his latest book ‘Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life’, in this episode I ask him about 10 lessons that he took from key stages in his life.

Here’s what I asked him...

1) You studied psychology at Stanford University from 1972 to 1976. Looking back, what was the main benefit that you got out of studying psychology for your future business life?

2) You studied for an MBA from 1977 to 1979, but since then you’ve said that an MBA is a hindrance to entrepreneurship – what do you mean by that?

Is this maybe because you went straight into doing an MBA from your first degree, and you might have got more out of it if you’d had a couple of real jobs first?

3) Your first real job was in the jewelry business from 1979 to 1983, and there your boss Marty Gruber had a tremendous influence on you – what was the biggest life lesson he taught you?

4) In 1983 you worked for Eduware Services – your first tech job. What advice would you give someone today who isn’t working in tech to be able to move in to the sector?

5) After that you started the role that defined your next few years – Software evangelist at Apple. Your job there was to convince developers to create hardware and software products for a new computer that had a zero installed base, zero backward compatibility, and zero monthly sales. How good is your reality distortion field?

6) In 1987 you left Apple to start a Macintosh database company after as you said, you listened to your own hype about the opportunities in Macintosh software. Was it a good idea to listen to your own hype?

7) From 1989 to 1993 you wrote as a columnist for both MacUser and Macworld – what was a key lesson that you learned from that?

8) Shortly after that you went back to Apple – this time as Chief Evangelist. You say that your Apple Chief Evangelist job description was to protect and preserve the Macintosh cult by doing whatever you had to do. What was the biggest life lesson from that stage of your life?

9) After that you began a series of “Advisor” roles, advising firms like StumbleUpon, Motorola and Ustream. What is a common challenge you see that rapidly growing tech companies face?

10) More recently you’re back to “chief evangelist” type roles – Chief evangelist for Canva and Brand Ambassador for Mercedes Benz USA. What’s one key activity that a “chief evangelist” does that a modern business owner needs to make sure that is done in their organisation?

You sometimes have bonus tips in your presentations – what is one key life lesson that we’ve missed?

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for joining me!

The post BBOTM-06: Guy Kawasaki – “Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life” appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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It’s been a while. But I can’t believe that it’s been 3 years since I published an episode of the Business Book of the Month podcast! Slightly longer than I initially intended

But the show’s coming back!

It was always a bit of a challenge getting the guys together on a specific date – by guys I’m talking about my fab previous co-hosts Mark, Colin and Chris.

(Yes, previous I’m afraid.)

I’m going to take a slightly different tact moving forward.

I’m going to start talking to authors themselves. I want to get a feel for why they wrote the book that they wrote, the story behind the book and the author’s key motivations and other life lessons.

I’ve already recorded the next 2 episodes – and that’s interviews with former Apply Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki and author of “Ask” and the brand new book “Choose”, Ryan Levesque.

I think that they’re great interviews – so please check them out.

It may be that the podcast evolves again – it would be great to do a few episodes getting other people’s opinions on books too.

And it would also be great to build up a Business Book of the Month community. Is that something that you’d like? Would you like a LinkedIn Group, a Facebook Group – or something else?

Get in touch if that appeals to you! @DavidBain on Twitter or /DavidBain on LinkedIn is probably the best ways to reach out.

In the meantime, thanks for staying on as a subscriber. Hopefully it will be worth the wait! And keep an eye out on for other future developments!

The post BBOTM Announcement appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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In this month’s Business Book of the month episode we discuss “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Essentially Sinek says that most businesses have it back-to-front. They start off by selling WHAT they do, then say HOW they do it differently and then they ask for the sale. He says that most successful businesses do it the other way round. The successful businesses start off by sharing WHY they do what they do.

Top quotes & bullets from “Start With Why

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.

“By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”

“Instead of asking, “WHAT should we do to compete?” the questions must be asked, “WHY did we start doing WHAT we’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can we do to bring our cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?”

“Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward.”

“When they are unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context.”

We’re taking a little break...

The Business Book of the Month podcast is going on hold for a few months due to other commitments – hopefully we’ll be back up and running again fairly soon. Remember to subscribe to the email updates if you’ll like to be informed when we’re going to record and publish our next episode.

The post BBOTM-05: “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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In this month’s Business Book of the month episode we discuss “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil, and he has now sold more than 100 million books.

Top quotes & bullets from “The Alchemist”

The Alchemist

  • “What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised. “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
  • He had to choose between something he had become accustomed to and something he wanted to have.
  • ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’”
  • He picked up the two stones and put them back in his pouch. He didn’t consider mending the hole—the stones could fall through any time they wanted. He had learned that there were certain things one shouldn’t ask about, so as not to flee from one’s own Personal Legend.
  • it’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive. That’s what helps me face these days that are all the same, these mute crystals on the shelves, and lunch and dinner at that same horrible café. I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living.
  • every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
  • “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream,” said the alchemist, echoing the words of the old king.
  • “Isn’t wine prohibited here?” the boy asked “It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil,” said the alchemist. “It’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”
  • “And what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so?” “They were looking only for gold,” his companion answered. “They were seeking the treasure of their Personal Legend, without wanting actually to live out the Personal Legend.”
  • “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”
  • happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it.
  • The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.
  • “When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”
  • When the pan had cooled, the monk and the boy looked at it, dazzled. The lead had dried into the shape of the pan, but it was no longer lead. It was gold. “Will I learn to do that someday?” the boy asked.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

What score do we give “Ask”?

Mark Asquith gave it a nine-and-a-half out of 10, Colin gave it an eight-an-a-half out of 10, Chris have it a nine and I gave it an eight. That means that it gets thirty-five out of forty – that’s 87.5 percent!

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek, so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll tell you when we go live with the next show!

The post BBOTM-04: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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It’s Chris, me and Colin for this, the second episode of Business Book of the Month. Unfortunately Mark couldn’t make it but he hopes to be back at 8.00pm GMT on the 21st December when we host the next live discussion!


In this month’s episode we discuss “Ask” by Ryan Levesque. Levesque has apparently used his Ask Formula to help build businesses in 23 different industries, generating over $100 million dollars in sales. It’s essentially a step-by-step formula to follow; to learn how to ask your subscribers about them and their background. So you as a business can deliver a much more tailored message.

Top quotes from the book

It’s about appealing to people’s sense of self-discovery and curiosity

The help you do 4 things: define your market, engage your market, refine your marketing and redeem your marketing efforts

the only incentive you want to offer is the promise of a solution to their problem

what is your #1 single biggest X challenge you’re struggling with right now?

lastly, i may want to follow up with a few people personally to learn about your situation. If you’d be open to chatting for a few minutes on the condition that I promise you not to sell you anything – please leave your name and phone number below

so you want to combine and consolidate those buckets until you’re left with, ideally three to five buckets that address 80% of your market

The Alchemist

by asking you a few questions we can help diagnose your problem, give you the solution, and even customize that solution to help your particular situation

What score do we give “Ask”?

Chris gave it a 9, I gave it an 9 and Colin gave it an 8, giving it a very good score of 87%.

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called “The Alchemist” by @paulocoelho so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll tell you when we go live with the next show!

The post BBOTM-03: “Ask Formula” by Ryan Levesque appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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It’s Chris, me and Mark for this, the second episode of Business Book of the Month. Unfortunately Colin couldn’t make it but he assures us that he’s going to be part of the gang next time!

The $100 Startup

In this month’s episode we discuss “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau. Guillebeau has travelled the world, never had a real job & met with hundreds of entrepreneurs who started their businesses with almost nothing, trying to find the common thread of success between everyone.

Top quotes from the book

A well-designed FAQ page also has another, extremely important purpose. You could call it “operation objection busting”.

Generally you should offer an incredible guarantee or no guarantee at all. A weak guarantee, or one that is unclear, can work against your credibility instead of helping it.

The goal of a good launch is not just to convert as many prospects as possible; it’s also to preserve your relationship with other prospects and increase your influence.

What if you deliberately said yes to every request unless you had a good reason not to? The next time someone asks for something, try saying yes and see where it leads to.

When you’re presented with an opportunity, don’t just think about its merits, or how busy you are. Instead, think about how it makes you feel.

The role of paid advertising in marketing has long-since changed. The vast majority of case study subjects I talked with build their customer base without any paid advertising at all; they did so largely through word of mouth.

Offer a limited range of prices: Not so many as to create confusion but enough to provide buyers with legitimate choice.

Some of the best advice is none at all.

Be careful of letting clients take your business in a direction that makes you hate your job.

The quest for personal freedom lies in the pursuit of value for others.

The most important lesson in the whole book: Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life.


What score do we give “The $100 Startup”?

Chris gave it a 9, I gave it an 8 and Mark gave it an 8.5, giving it a very respectable score of 85%.

What we’re reading next

Next up we’re going to be reading a book called “Ask” by Ryan Levesque, so make sure you’re subscribed to our email updates and we’ll keep you informed when we’ll be recording the next show.

The post BBOTM-02: “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau appeared first on Business Book of the Month.

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