Your Must-Read Business Book List


When we were children, our parents told us to never stop reading. They were onto something big. As adult business owners, an easy and fun way to develop a competitive advantage and get ahead in today’s fast-paced business world is to read. Reading helps you continue to build your knowledge of business, finance, commerce, and just about any other topic.

Fortunately, there is plenty of reading material for those looking to read the most progressive and insightful business books, and get ahead, in the next several months. Here are four of my favorite business book picks for 2015 and beyond:

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber

This book is one of my must-reads. I highly recommend it to all of my small business clients, and anyone who is thinking of starting, or has, a small business. The book discusses the importance of placing components of your small business on auto-pilot, allowing employees to assist you in the day-to-day execution of tasks, and giving you the peace of mind to strategize the business.

The Intelligent Entrepreneur, by Bill Murphy

Focusing on the experiences of several Harvard University alumni, this book takes a look at those who turned down high-paying, fancy jobs for entrepreneurship. I especially love it because it relates to the many people I meet each week here in New York City. It inspires me to be a better entrepreneur, and has inspired many to take on entrepreneurship.

The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries

I’ve always loved The Lean Startup since the first time I read it, because it truly makes you go through the (sometimes) painful process of elimination that comes with developing a great and viable business idea and product. By facing the hard reality of starting a business early on, first-time entrepreneurs will be more likely to succeed and develop a sustainable, long-term business.

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

This classic is a must-read for any entrepreneur, small business owner, or anyone looking to better understand why certain people have been extremely successful and made a lot of money. Think and Grow Rich is also a very entertaining and insightful read as it dives into the lives of those who have already experienced huge success.

Read the full list of must-read business books here.

Social Media as a Marketing Vehicle


It’s 2015 and everyone knows we need to be online in order to make the most of our marketing efforts. But many companies struggle to find ways to organically engage with their audience in a meaningful way. Here are a few methods you could use to generate buzz about your brand:

  • Influencers Drive Actions: Companies are seeking out influencers, or individuals with great knowledge and clout on a specific topic within a particular demographic, to adopt their products and let others know that they’re using this product and like it. Using influencers not only improves awareness, it also drives sales.
  • Connect With Your Audience: Take this case study, for example: “On November 15, 2013, Make-A-Wish created one of the largest and most elaborate staged event ever, which included participation from President Barack Obama and other government officials and law enforcement … As a result of its extraordinary word-of-mouth campaign, Make-A-Wish received 1.89 million social impressions, 555,697 #batkid hashtags, significant press coverage including a Buzzfeed article that generated 2.5 million hits within three days, more than 21,683 Instagram and Twitter photos posted by the end of the day, and, of course, increased donations.”
  • Interact With the Community: Engage with local schools by giving their journalism students a chance to write about your product, distribute samples to people that are likely to enjoy it, and host events to give your demographic an opportunity to interact with your brand.

It is always a challenge reaching your demographic, but the true magic of social media lies in its tendency to organically retain the attention of your customers. Ultimately, it is up to you to employ the proper strategies to engage your target audience and have them interact with your product.

Read the full article here in Entrepreneur

A Celebrity’s Guide to Rockstar Social Media

LE-AA429_SOCIAL_P_20151012122858When it comes to social media, nobody gets it like celebrities. They consistently put out content that caters to their fans, and reinforcing their brand and strengthening their relationship with their fans. Your business could benefit greatly from social media by learning from the stars and how they keep their followings engaged. Here are a few common practices you could employ to boost your company’s social media:

  • Acknowledge Your Customers: Taylor Swift is well known for getting back to her fans, so much so that several sites have appeared to compile her replies to her audience. Get your customers excited to interact with you by demonstrating that you care about their concerns online and replying to both positive and negative feedback.
  • Don’t Be Too Commercial: Though it may seem contradictory, promoting your brand through social media isn’t about telling them to buy your product, it’s about making a narrative as to why they should buy your product. Your Instagram followers prefer to see a “behind the scenes” sneak peak over a “buy now” banner.
  • Create a Narrative: When Beyonce was in the tabloids in regards to troubles in her marriage, she did not try to dispel the rumors by confronting the publications. Instead, she posted happy pictures with her husband Jay Z, and in time the rumors went away. Instead of arguing with bogus reviews, show your customers the quality of your food by showing quality photos of your food to demonstrate that the rumors are false.

All in all, good social media takes time and strategy. Developing quality content to engage your audience can be a challenge on its own, but ultimately will provide a rewarding opportunity to build an authentic connection that will foster lifelong relationships with your customers.

Read the full article here in The Wall Street Journal.