The Books Top Trainers Read (and love) this year

 In professional development


or …. your buds in your ear?

Most of the successful = profitable + happy entrepenuers I know read… a lot. A book a week… read, listen, absorb. I find that almost impossible… but I manage at least to BUY one a week?!! And read one to two a month.

I’ve run out of places to plug in learning! I love to read, listen, watch…. but I’ve nearly filled my waking moments with ways to do it. I listen to books on tape in the car, watch or listen to books and authors webinars while I’m on a bike trainer in the winter, and I occasionally, though less often listen while I run. (I might do that more but I’ve dropped my iPod in the toilet and it’s never coming back…while cleaning…relax. I don’t like to run with my cell phone. Hardline. I unplug).

Oh, and I read …usually only a handful of pages before I end that nighttime routine. But honestly… all of those moments are powerful moments for absorbing information. I’m a kinesthetic learning…. always studied for exams while doing the Stairmaster in college (did I just date myself?)…and listening to a recording while I run or ride seems to make it not just give me information but seep into my sweaty little pores somehow. The last thoughts before we go to bed? Powerful ways to plant seeds and let them secure themselves in our brains while we sleep.

Here’s what’s on my nightstand…or waiting in the wings because I’m a book-a-holic. I’ve reviewed a few older titles on YouTube and Pinned an entire list for fitness pros too. My books usually pop out from fellow mastermind groups, marketing and sales gurus that I hang out with, a marketing business coach, and friends who also geek about marketing, branding and the “meta” message. Rarely do I read a random book I stumble across. My point…these titles come with strong supporting testimonials! Like or not like… you’ll learn and grow if they grab you.

Branding and marketing are big topics for my presentation and speaking business. Naturally, I consume a lot of information from INC, to Fast Company, to books, webinars and videos..daily. Road trips to consult or present or visit family are audio book treats. My audio on the last trip was Primal Branding. If you like case studies…every five minute chapter was filled with them and my wheels were turning (pun intended). Examples of how you’ll shine and how you’ll have resistance, as every brand does, will give you confidence about the fact that you need to have resistance, someone objecting is a good thing, not a bad thing entirely.

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results has been a call-back to my early days of coaching (when we all referred to it as life coaching – I’ve since reserved that role for God and moved on to a smaller niche). The brilliance of the book is the simplicity of the book. If you focus on ONE thing.. your mission, your motive to serve…and do it daily… the dozens of other shiny objects, goals and to-dos you have fall into place. It’s in fact the way that I coach my clients. It isn’t weight loss..that they say they want more than anything…but the act of ritual and routine focused on exercise and nutrition that make the energy possible to improve …relationship, earning potential, spirituality even.

We are agents of change. For so many of our customers we’re going about it wrong. In fact, if you have a staff of trainer you could be doing this so wrong that you hurt your chance of improving things. What if you could identify the right hires better? Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck isn’t a book about recruiting talent but it could be. If you are surrounded by – or are operating yourself – mindsets that are “fixed” (what is, is and I’ve got this capacity so why try harder to do something else?) vs those that are growth…and believe the harder you work the more you learn, the better you get… your business path is hard to change. It’s like trying to teach an 80 year old how to drive a stick for the first time. It could be done…but their answer might be “why” do I even want to try this?

You can change your mindset is the real message in this book. In fact the author and scholar on the topic realized that at times she was operating with fixed mindset. It’s hard not to get called out when you’re working with the best and brightest grad students at Stanford I guess.

Imagine the impact you have on clients when you start working with them uniquely: not with your philosophy or style but with their mindset. You’d coach a growth mindset completely different than you would a fixed mindset. Learning how is reserved for later chapters in the book. Pick it up.

A book I’ve loved and turned back corners, underlined, written in the back and front parts of the book is Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer. This book I picked up after hearing him present at National Speakers Association annual conference this last summer. This takes the idea of a complimentary session as a lead magnet so much farther. Think bigger, bolder, earth-shakingly useful and top-of-mind. It’s about NOT directly and overtly wooing your customers. Selling YOU is just selling YOU. And we’re tired of it, aren’t we? You as a consumer are tired of someone calling out of the blue offering help for something we don’t want.

When I go and visit a new gym while on vacation I don’t want to have to come back at a convenient time for your staff to show me the ropes and give me the tour. I want to exercise NOW…I just paid my guest fee. So why not an app that helps me get around, shows me the how-to for each piece of equipment and tells me what to beware of and how to use it best? Why not replace your generic orientation with something that a customer WANTS? or tell them where to go within 5 miles for the healthiest breakfast, lunch and dinner?

These are indirect but they are so much more directly linked to your clients heart…and wallet than 99% of fitness businesses are doing now. Get your customers involved. They can on some apps, similar to Yelp, give their rating of a fitness center or hotel with a fitness center. Can you build THAT? Then yes, they will come.

Now it’s your turn. I just invited you into my bedroom. I’ve given you my November, December and January listen and reads…I’m still working on Mindset.


What are you reading right now?

How is it helping you?

Where do you get your “next” titles?

Share it…I’ll include your recommendations and link to your site or page if you leave it too.

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