An excerpt from Volume 1 of Be the Better Broker.
At the end of each day I often spend 30 to 45 minutes reading a hardcover book in an effort to get away from a backlit screen. It is part of my ritual for falling asleep as smoothly as and restfully as possible.
Over time I have encountered numerous books that stand out as being inspiring, ingenious and just plain helpful for any Broker beginning and growing their business. Here’s a selection of my favourites on the subjects of excellence, customer service, sales, branding and how people think. Plus one that literally put me to sleep.
Mastery – by Robert Greene. A masterful tome on the topic of achieving excellence at one’s craft. All of Mr. Greene’s writings should be required reading for high school students (and Mortgage Brokers).
So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love – by Cal Newport. This book speaks to finding a path to success through pursuit of excellence and dedication to your craft, rather than simply “pursuing your passions.”
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea – by Bob Burg and John David Mann. A parable, based on current behavioural research, about a go-getter who learns why success is more tied to giving than getting.
Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service – by Kenneth H. Blanchard & Sheldon M. Bowles. Another book that uses a parable to make its message of how to improve customer service accessible.
Choose Yourself! – by James Altucher. The author is also the host of the excellent podcast “The James Altucher Show” a production that has introduced me to the works of many interesting authors and thinkers. A treasure trove of content and ideas.
The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies – by Chet Holmes. If you read, or listen to, just one more book in your sales career please make it this one.
How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients – by Jeffrey J. Fox. This book has been around a long time, but the advice is timeless. It’s a good handbook for anyone who is new to selling — things or services or even oneself — with hundreds of useful tips.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – by Simon Sinek. An excellent book, one that I subsequently purchased 50 copies of (direct from the publisher) to pass out to clients and fellow Brokers. It focuses on the importance of discovering and maintaining the “commonly understood values”, a.k.a. motivation, behind one’s brand.
How The World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination – by Sally Hogshead. A new self-assessment tool that is robust and useful for homing in on your own unique brand.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – by Daniel H. Pink. Incentives are not motivation. This book explains the current psychological research that has uncovered autonomy, mastery and purpose as the forces that really drive us. Also offers a toolkit for applying the findings to the workplace.
Predictably Irrational Revised And Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions – by Dan Ariely. People make irrational decisions all the time, but they do it in a predictable manner. Find out how to avoid common mistakes by identifying your own built-in biases and how to serve clients better by understanding theirs.
Thinking, Fast and Slow – by Daniel Kahneman. An excellent book that covers “the anchoring effect,” among other important topics. The anchoring effect refers suggests that we are routinely, if somewhat irrationally, influenced by the original information we are given. Even if this original information seems extreme to one end or the other, it still sways us.
Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep — by Richard Wiseman. This is a fascinating look at what our brains are doing when we sleep. It is also a guide to making productive time of your sleeping hours, and to getting a good night’s sleep in the first place.
I have found practical wisdom and inspiration in all of these pages. Make this your reading list for 2020 and you will see results before you can say, “2021.”