Teaching an old dog new tricks: how these page-turners help business owners make a difference

The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to find time to read - or at least place less importance on it.

Teaching an old dog new tricks: how these page-turners help business owners make a difference

The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to find time to read – or at least place less importance on it. And in a digital world where there are so many methods to absorbing similar information, some methods of which are, admittedly, more entertaining, we often come to the point in our busy lives where we simply question the need for it. However, through having the unique opportunity to remain in the education industry beyond my school years, I have had the constant reminder that reading truly is the greatest way to learn. Being able to relive the experiences of those who have inspired you in your own journey (in whatever industry you operate in) through their words is incomparable to any other learning method. Here, I share my top five books that I believe truly can change your life.  

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

This book gives us many timeless principles for growing a business effectively. In my opinion, they are great principles on how to manage all of our relationships. What resonates with me most about this book is that it touches on real humanitarian principles, as opposed to superficial business jargon that, while helpful, can become very frustrating and clich√© when witnessing it put into practice. 

Exploring principles of fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity, these ideas are what I believe are the true drivers of success in business. This book is a great reminder of how to maintain the human touch in your entrepreneurial spirit. These values enable us to influence, engage, collaborate and continuously renew our capabilities. 

The Oz Principle – Roger Connors, Tom Smith & Craig Hickman

The Oz Principle delivers concepts that everyone should embrace. It identifies the values necessary to achieve results. Personally, the book helped me to develop my own self-awareness whenever I dipped “below the line”. With the overarching theme surrounding personal accountability, this book is a great way to keep the teachings from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in check. 

Through learning the importance of self-accountability, business owners elevate their potential to constantly strive to operate “above the line”. Addressing characteristics of poor leadership, low productivity, wasted talent and dysfunctional teams, business owners are afforded the opportunity to identify where marginal gains could make a difference to their brand. 

Atomic Habits – James Clear

Our habits are so core to the overall success we achieve in business and in life. This book gives us insights into how to develop new, positive, strong habits that move us towards our goals while reducing our bad ones. It’s full of useful and actionable ideas that simply make us better. 

In keeping with the idea of marginal gains, operating in the franchise industry gives us so many opportunities to build ourselves and identify what we can be doing to improve operations. No matter how long you have been in the industry, learning how to break bad habits is imperative, and in a lot of ways is more valuable than learning new ones. 

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber

This is another timeless classic for the new entrepreneur. The central theme is how most individuals set up their businesses as ‘people-dependent’ when instead they need to be set up as ‘systems-dependent’. It is about setting up systems and procedures that require people with minimum amounts of skill to operate their business at a high level.

Possessing autonomous characteristics as a business owner is a valuable trait. Learning how to operate at maximum efficiency without expending too much energy comes with practice and a fundamental understanding of the human potential in business. 

It Takes What It Takes – Trevor Moawad

Put simply, this book is about how to think neutrally and gain control of your life. Trevor provides a game plan that shows us how to replace negativity with neutral thinking. He talks about the “illusion of choice” which is powerful in helping business owners embrace their reality regarding the hard work that needs to be done on the pathway to success.

This month celebrates the 25th anniversary of World Book Day. As an education franchise, we support reading for pleasure just as much as for education. I feel passionately about encouraging as many people in my network as possible to read. Whether they are a franchisee, a tutor or work in business operations, reading and sharing ideas about the same topic can be hugely beneficial in business. You are never too old to learn, and you certainly can teach an old dog new tricks.

Frank Milner
Frank Milner