Sharpening The Saw
Written by Kurt Theriault for C-Level Magazine February 2017
Over the course of a year, I sit individually, in group settings, or both with over 300 unique business owners or leaders in the Twin Cities market. It is an absolute honor, hoot, and learning experience every time.
Learning what makes different entrepreneurs and leaders tick and how they get their most important stuff done is a passion and curiosity of mine.
It is far and few between that I run into someone who believes they have it all figured out, or who isn’t in some way shape or form trying to learn something new from someone else.
One of my favorite questions to ask is, “what is it you are reading or listening to right now that’s inspiring you or helping you move the needle forward for you and your business?”
Over the past year, I’ve collected the ones that kept coming up.
The start of a new year is a time many of us commit to doing more learning or reading in the new year. Therefore, this month, I thought I’d share the top picks from these conversations over the course of this year. Enjoy!
“Built to Sell” – John Worrillow
There is a lot of literature on how to start or grow a business. Less so on how to successfully exit it the way you want to. This is that book. A must read for every small and medium-sized business owner.
“CEO Tools” – Kraig Kramer
Building a home, and building a business, have little in common. Unless you own a business that builds homes. But, imagine if you bought a tool box, and when you open that tool box, in it were all the tools and the instructions for how to use them and build a house. This is that book, but for your business.
“Traction – Gino Wickman & Beyond the E-Myth Revisited” – Michael Gerber
To grow and build value in your business you need to work on the business as much or more than you work in the business. These two books explain how and provide easy to use tools to do so.
“Getting Things Done (GTD)” – David Allen
Our brains are terrible storage devices. This is a fact. Get your ideas, tasks, commitment, goals, dreams out of your head into a system that helps you process the work and maintain control and perspective of your daily world. An operating system for your life.
“Small Giants” – Bo Burlingha
Individual stories of entrepreneurs, many of which are household name companies, whom have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals – and as a result – have become wildly successful.
“Good to Great” – Jim Collins
Why some companies make it and others don’t. If you haven’t read it, you should.
“Think and Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill
Want to be a winner? Read this. One of the first motivational and success oriented books likely written and still completely relevant and applicable. One of the books I will have my kids read while still in school.
TOP PODCAST MENTIONS
Built to Sell Radio
Hosted by the author of the book with the same title, interviews and stories from business owners who have sold their business, what was learned along the way, and how to prepare to do it successfully.
Whether you are thinking of selling or not, amazing insight into what drives the value of a business in the minds of a buyer and how to create that value.
How I Built This
Founders share their stories about how they built from nothing – the movements they’ve created. The good, the bad, and the ugly along the way.
Building a Storybrand
Struggle to get the word out about your product or service? Host, Donald Miller, hits it out of the park with practical advice about how to simplify and clarify your message and grow your business and clarify your message and grow your business.
The Growth Show
How do you grow a company or an idea? The creators of Hubspot interview those who have achieved remarkable growth (or have tried to) and unpack just how they did it.
This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt
Tips, advice, and lessons on how to live a life of influence and intentional leadership. Everything from productivity, goals, and tech tools, to relationships, purpose, and dealing with difficult situations are in play.
Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
For leaders who want to go further, faster. A mix of interviews, points of view, and lessons learned along the way. In full disclosure, Andy is a pastor, so a hint of faith in his lessons, but the insight is high value.
The GaryVee Audio Experience & #AskGaryVee Show
An entertaining, blunt, insightful, funny, and exhilarating perspective from a serial entrepreneur. Virtually something every day. The shows match the personality of the host, but great advice.
The School of Greatness
Inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world class athletes, and influential celebrities on the planet in order to help you find out what makes great people great.
The ONE Thing
New this year, and fantastic. All about how the most successful people in the world approach productivity and time management, business, health, habits, and other topics by applying the ONE thing principle.
Uncomfortable questions are asked in order to dig deep into the success and failures of the most successful business founders and thought leaders.