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Self-help books – do we really need them to be successful in business?

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THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU (INSERT APPROPRIATE WORDING)

I meet many people networking who tell me about self-help books they have read, which they claim could change my business. But as a Yorkshire lass, I can’t help but wonder if we are all being taken for a rather expensive ride, as some of the information they contain is basic common sense and/or extremely logical? And instead of helping us, I suggest whether this genre of books is just a clever way for successful people to exploit those who are less successful?

Self-empowerment starts from within

Whatever your feelings, there are certainly plenty to choose from, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey), The E-myth (Michael E. Gerber) and Law of Attraction (Michael Losier) to name but a few. But whilst I am not doubting their credentials as excellent sources of knowledge and powerful tools of self-empowerment, what I am questioning is people’s ability to take what they have read, understand its relevance to their business and then be responsible for putting it into practice.

Take responsibility

Self-help books can change your perspective, but it’s up to you to change your business. Below are my five tips to ensure you get the best value from them going forwards:

  1. Take notes – highlight relevant details, turn these into a list of bullet points.
  2. Make a plan – transform your notes into a realistic plan for execution.
  3. Take action – begin to make viable changes to your business.
  4. The buck stops with you – make yourself accountable for achieving your goals.
  5. Tell people – share with others so you have additional help and support.

Implement change

I think self-help business books have a place in business today, but you need to remember that it’s not just about reading them. You need to decide how the concepts will work given your circumstances and surroundings and then take necessary action. Once you start to implement what you have learnt, you can create something new and exciting that will be of benefit to you, your business and your customers for many years to come.

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