1. The Supernova Advisor (Rob Knapp, 2008)
The author, a former financial services executive, pioneered the application of the 80/20 rule to growing your business. If 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients, consider reassigning the 80% of clients providing 20% of your revenue and focusing on that top 20%. The time you save can be used to deepen those top 20% relationships, increasing wallet share and duplicating those key relationships. The industry move to customer service centers for smaller accounts and higher account minimums was likely driven by this approach.
2. The Millionaire Next Door (Tom Stanley & William Danko, 1996)
This book pioneered the concept that people you imagine are wealthy probably aren’t while the people you overlook can be very wealthy, because they are low key about their wealth. The concept has often been summed up as the following: The local plumber who stayed married to the same person, continued living in the same house and drives a midsize American car has likely earned and saved a fortune. It got us to rethink our ideal client profiles.
3. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World (David Epstein, 2019)
We all admire Olympians and celebrity athletes. They have taken a skill and honed it to perfection. The point is they are exceptions to the rule. Many people go through life having several experiences and gaining different sets of skills. They take detours (like second careers) and they learn to experiment and innovate. By taking this path, they often find success later in life, versus being a tennis or golf protégé, discovered at an early age.
4. The Positive Influence Leader: Helping People Become Their Best Self (Glenn Parker & Michael Parker, 2020)
Looking back on our lives, we remember people who inspired us and made a lasting impression. The book looks at four types pf positive influence leadership. Leaders might be Supportive, Teachers, Motivators or Role Models. The book includes a survey to determine your style, tips to become more effective and a plan to improve your skills.
5. The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism (Hubert Jolly, 2021)
Written by the retired CEO of Best Buy, the book makes the case the owner’s interests should come last when you prioritize serving customers, paying suppliers and paying employees. He is a believer in “human magic,” not financial incentives. The latter drives short-term thinking, hiding problems and encourages wrongdoing. He makes the point leaders work for the organization.
6. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking (Chris Anderson, 2017)
Everyone loves TED talks. The concept of them is “Ideas worth spreading.” They got us away from boring, hard-to-follow presentations and gave us great ideas explained in a simple, logical manner. It’s a book on public speaking written by “the curator of TED.”
7. Art of Selling Intangibles: How to Make Millions Investing Other People’s Money (Le Roy Gross, 1988)
This was followed by The NEW Art of Selling Intangibles (2003). It’s obviously a book about sales techniques specifically written for our profession. It addresses finding prospects, scripting and closing. It addresses the problem that buying investments or insurance products is buying into a concept, not a project you can touch and handle like a new suit or a new car.
8. Eat That Frog! 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (Brian Tracy, 2017)
The concept is to start your day by completing the tough projects you want to avoid. You are fresh in the morning. It gets it off your to-do list, which boosts your confidence. The book makes the case for prioritizing critical tasks. It also looks at the role of technology. It can remind you about important projects. The book also looks at how to maintain focus when we have more distractions than ever.
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow (David Kahneman, 2011)
The author won the Nobel Prize for economic science. It was Amazon’s Best Book of the Month in November 2011. It’s a book about human judgment and how we make decisions. Anticipating someone’s actions might be fast thinking while solving a math problem requires slow thinking. It looks at rational and irrational thinking. Where does intuition fit in? What about risk?
10. The Millionaire’s Advisor (Russ Alan Prince, Jeff Van Bortel, 2003)
The book looks at the millionaire market and makes the great point: The wealthy have multiple financial advisory relationships. They have three, on average. This isn’t three separate professions, like a financial planner, accountant and financial advisor. They have more than one financial advisor. There are many reasons they don’t put all their eggs in one basket, including relationships.