Posts in business strategy
Three Suggestions For Great Business Reads

If you've been playing close attention to my blogs, you'll know by now that I am an avid reader, so it's probably not going to be much of a surprise to you to learn that I will be settling down with a couple of books over the Christmas and New Year break.

So, in the spirit of caring and sharing, I thought I'd give you a heads-up on five of my all-time favourite business books - if you're looking to boost your knowledge around all things entrepreneurial, these are definitely worth a read.

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How Speaking At Events Will Help Your Business

I wrote this blog at ridiculous o'clock last night (or, more accurately, this morning...), having just come home from yet another speaking engagement; my sixth this month. 

I was at a university earlier this week, giving the lowdown on being an entrepreneur to a group of female students who are interested in starting their own businesses when they graduate; last week I was at a #WomenEd lead meet, speaking to a room full of teachers and headteachers about leadership enablers and barriers, and a few days before that I was guest speaker at a volunteer celebration event for a large domestic abuse charity, talking about my time in a women's refuge and how much the support I received helped me to move forwards with my life.

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Why Being At The Cutting Edge of Your Specialism Is Key To Business Success

I love to learn. In fact, if I could spend the rest of my life reading and studying, I'd be a very happy lady. Last year, I read 75 books (that might sound like a lot but in 1982, during my six week summer holiday alone, I read 50. I admit it, I am addicted to reading...); and I have a pile of 16 books to read at the moment. All subjects, all genres, all eagerly awaited.

I've also, almost, applied to study for a Masters degree, twice, in the last twelve months. This is a nuts idea because I just don't have the time right now; although there's that optimistic part of me that tells me that's not true - I'm sure I must have some free time somewhere... (I don't). (Well, not unless I want my head to explode from the stress).

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How To Bring In Clients You Really Want To Work With

When we start a business, we will take any clients we can get our hands on. Sometimes they don’t even fit our product/service brief – we just want the income. And that’s understandable.

The problem is that working like this over a long period of time sets us up with the wrong mindset. It means that we will often end up continuously working with clients who don’t pay our desired rate (often we discount to get them), can be time consuming, and leave us feeling stuck with our ‘lot’.

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What To Do If A Client Goes Bust

The news this year has been dominated by a range of UK businesses announcing profit warnings, and even going into administration, including construction firm Carillion, restaurant chains Jamies and Prezzo, and retailers New Look and House of Fraser, amongst others. 

Much has, rightly, been made of the employees whose immediate futures are now in the balance, unsure of what will happen next. 

However, there's also a significant group of people whose plight hasn't made the headlines - the contractors and suppliers further down the chain whose businesses may well also go bust with a raft of unpaid invoices. The impact and ripple effect is likely to be monumental.

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29 Rules To Live By

I picked up quite probably one of the best business books I've ever read , this week. 

The book? Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss.

It's a simple concept. Over the years, Tim has interviewed a whole raft of entrepreneurs, successful athletes, and deep thinkers for his podcast, so he took the transcripts, asked a few more questions, and *ta-dah* produced this book.

I absolutely loved it. It spoke to me on so many levels - as an entrepreneur, as an innovator, and a creator. It reminded me of things I used to do, still do, and it also opened up a whole world of new things to try.

And this, without doubt, was my favourite find of all:

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5 Reasons To Be Authentic In Business

I am an incredibly honest person. I was brought up in a family that lied as easily as you might take a breath, so I made a conscious decision when I was very young that I would be the opposite. I would be honest to a fault.

Since making that earnest promise to myself, I've come to realise that honesty - authenticity - isn't always valued. I've learned to temper my honesty with a cushion of kindness here and there, sometimes people don't want to hear the truth so it's better to say nothing than to lie but mostly, I like to think, people want to know where they stand and what their options might be.

As much as I like to tell the truth, I also appreciate hearing it. There have been notable occasions over the years when it's hurt a bit (OK, a lot!) but I'd much rather know than not know. It's how I've brought my sons up too, and the big pay-off has definitely been that they have told me all kinds of things that they could have kept secret, or even been too scared to share; and certainly things that my friends don't hear from their own children. 

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