Book Reviews

Book Review: YBYE

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Book Title: Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals

Author: Michael Hyatt

Publication Date: 2018

In November 2017, my eye caught an online advertisement, and I bought something. Crazy! I know. It caught my eye because it was a planner that looked like a hard-covered journal. Even though my business processes are 100 percent cloud based (meaning, everything is online), I like to write out—with a pencil—lists and project details. The Full Focus Planner has been a wonderful investment and strategy to help in my entrepreneurship journey.

Your Best Year Ever (YBYE) complements the planner. But you don’t have to use the planner to get something out of the book. The author outlines five steps to goal achievement. I write highlights from each of the steps.

  1. Don’t think the impossible. What past failures or obstacles do I think have held me back? What thinking do I need to change to accomplish goals? What old thoughts “limit” my current actions? I need to recognize my “limiting beliefs,” and then reorient and revise my thinking.
     
  2. Remember from where I came. What goals have I achieved or failed to achieve? What disappointments did I face? What were my proudest moments? What lessons have I learned from my past experiences? Is there something I regret? I need to learn from my past performance and make necessary changes.
     
  3. Define your goals. Have I set goals that are too “comfortable”? Have I “downgraded” my goals because they didn’t seem achievable? Am I ready to take on more risk in my goal setting? I need to set goals in my “Discomfort Zone.” The goals shouldn’t be delusional, but they should be challenging, risky, and rewarding. Don’t let fear control.
     
  4. Don’t quit. Have I lost focus? Do I feel like giving up? Why am I doing what I am doing? I need to remember that it takes perseverance and persistence to achieve my goals. Learn to enjoy the journey.    
     
  5. Take action. How am I planning to meet my goals? Have I been procrastinating? I need to take the next step.  

Who should read this book?

  • An entrepreneur who needs a new or revised goal setting system,
  • An entrepreneur who feels they are failing, and
  • Someone who has already read the book should re-read it!

As my key take-away, I will quote the author: “The most important aspect of making it happen is practicing the art of the start. You don’t have to see the end from the beginning…. All you have to see is the next step. Any goal is manageable one action at a time” (pg. 195).

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Book Review: The E-Myth

Book Title: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

Author: Michael E. Gerber

Publication Date: 1995

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Yes, this is an older book, but someone recently recommended it to me. I am glad I read it.

The “E” in E-Myth stands for Entrepreneur. When we start a business, we likely all believe certain myths of what owning a business will be like. We learn quickly that reality is quite different than dreams. If you (the entrepreneur) and your business are living lives that are chaotic, this book provides some practical steps to help you re-focus. Basically, it helps you look at all your positions of responsibility: innovator, maintainer, and doer. Then, taking a step back, the book suggests method(s) of how to change you and your business to make prior dreams become a reality.

The greatest negativity about this book, in my opinion, would be its application to service businesses. I would have been pleased if someone had handed me a manual with step-by-step instructions for every client situation I would ever encounter during my career. That’s just not possible. A manual can’t teach knowledge gained through experience. If you own a service business, you will need to adjust, in my opinion, the Franchise Prototype Model as outlined in the book. Regardless though, I have taken some key points from the Model and am attempting to implement them in my service business.

Who should read this book?

  1. The new entrepreneur should read it to understand the many “hats” he or she will be required to wear when owning and running a small business.
  2. The discouraged entrepreneur should read it to provide perspective that “your business is to serve your life,” and not the other way around (see Chapter 9).
  3. The ever-learning and -growing entrepreneur should read it to be reminded of what is important to a business: “How it looks, how it acts, how it does what it is intended to do” (see Chapter 6).

My key take-away from the book is this: “Your business is not your life” (see Chapter 9). Why was this statement profound to me? Because this statement sounded vaguely familiar to another principle: My career is not my life. A friend reminded me of this concept a few years ago when I was still an employee of another accounting firm. It was hard to start applying this principle, but every step I made toward application has been well worth it. (Maybe a topic for a future blog post!) More recently though, I’ve been applying the concept as a business owner. I was pleased to read the confirmation in this book!