Hey, friends, welcome back to The Business Journey podcast, I'm Rebecca, and I'm so glad that you're here today. Today, we're talking about five books that transformed my business. I am a huge believer that anybody that wants to grow it should be reading. And these are the five books that I would say every business owner needs to have read or be reading because they were literally transformational in so many areas of my business. And so I'm really, really excited to share those books with you today. Now, before we get too far, I wanted to let you know about a free resource that I have just for you guys. So as you know, if you've been around for a while, I am all about mini sessions. I'm a family photographer and my students call me the queen of mini sessions. So I put together a freebie for you guys that goes over 12, proven theme ideas for many sessions that will help you make more money off of minis. Now, whether you're doing Minnies right now or maybe you want to do some in the summer or the fall, definitely grab this freebie because it will help you, you know, plan ahead and think through some themes that are actually going to sell. You know, so many times photographers will try to do minis and their theme is just boring or people won't book because it's not super desirable. And so I put together the top 12 mini session theme ideas that are proven, that have worked and will get bookings for you. So you can grab that today at Rebeccaricephoto.com/12 ideas. One word, one, two ideas. So go check that out. I will link it in the show notes for you if you want to grab a hold of that. Now, let's go ahead and dive into the five books that transformed my business. I will say, if you're not a reader, don't like tune out because there are so many ways that you can consume this content that doesn't involve sitting down and opening a book. I know my husband is not great at just sitting and reading. He doesn't enjoy, you know, reading books. But there are other ways that you can consume content like this. I have friends that are huge audio book people, so they'll, you know, pop in their ear pods or they'll listen to it in the car. While they're driving that. You can read audio books, however it is that you want to consume it. Definitely do that. I have people message me all the time because once a month I post like what books I read that month. And typically it's like four to seven books that I read a month. And so this month I think I or last month, I guess, I think I only read like two books, but and that's like low for me. But people say, man, I wish I was a reader like that. I wish I read books and I'm like, you know, you could be all it takes is about twenty minutes a day now. I read more than twenty minutes a day typically to get through that many books. But even reading twenty minutes a day, the average reader will finish at least one book a month. That's 12 books a year that you could read just by spending twenty minutes a day reading. So I encourage you block off some time whether it's the first twenty minutes of your day or maybe something in the middle. Maybe it's before bed. You read twenty minutes. One of the biggest things that helped me was I used to like need to finish a chapter and so if I didn't have time to finish the chapter then I just wouldn't read. While I changed my mindset. Instead of trying to finish the chapter, I started timing myself. So I would literally set a timer for 20 minutes, read as many pages as I could in that twenty minutes. And when the time rang, I closed the book. So I'm giving you permission to not finish the chapter, to literally sit down, set a timer for twenty minutes and only read for that long. So try it. Let me know how it goes. But I want to share with you the five books that absolutely transformed my business and I believe that they will for you too. The first book was a book called Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. I hope I'm saying that right. Who knows? But his book, Profit First was incredible and it really, really helped me understand the idea of having a profitable business, because the whole basis of the book is how to allocate your expenses, your profit, everything to make sure that your business is always in the plus write that it's always profitable. So I took the themes from that book and I went to a program called Why Knab? Whyknab.com go check it out. That stands for You Need a budget. And I love it because it really helps me to visually see where I allocate my funds. And so in wine NAB, you can sort of split your in your bank account, for example, you connect your bank account in any transaction that happens in that bank account, gets funneled into Winesap and it has the thing at the top that says to be budgeted. And so this is a zero based budget, meaning every dollar has a place. So in this budget, it'll tell you at the top how much needs to be budgeted and you have to put it into a bucket, if you will. So I have buckets for all of my. Normal expenses, all of my variable expenses that may come up through the months and then I have like savings allocations, so I'll say, OK, 10 percent of all my profits go to Tithe, then, you know, all the all the other things that I want to allocate, you know, personal savings, fun, fun, money, whatever. And so that that gets allocated in why knab? Now, I love it because I don't have to have a whole bunch of separate bank accounts. Right. I have just these buckets that I can put money into that it's still in one bank account, but I can see that it's allocated to something. And so, for example, my my taxes, if I'm setting aside money for my taxes, I have a bucket for taxes. And every month as money comes in, I'm setting money aside into that bucket. Now that bucket continues to grow and it rolls over from month to month so that when it's time to pay my quarterly taxes, I can pay it from that bucket. And I know that that's what's you know, whatever's in that bucket is money that I have set aside purposefully for taxes. So all that does, I go read profit first. It'll help you understand how to you know, how to save, how to put money aside for certain things to make sure that your finances are healthy. So many CPAs and bookkeepers I've talked to really love this book and just this concept, because having a pulse on your finances is so, so important as a business owner. So definitely go check that out and I'm going to link all of these books in the show notes for you guys so you don't have to, like, go Google and find him. I will literally, like, link them on Amazon so you can go click the link and go buy them. So that's in the show. Notes for you. The second book that was transformational in my business was a book called Traction by Gino Wickman. This book, I don't remember where I heard about it first, but there are so many business owners that I follow and respect that we're talking about this book. I'm like, I need to check this out. I need to see what this book is about. And it was transformational in the way that I saw my business, in the way that I formatted my business. Just everything. The whole book is about an operating system. It calls it the EOS. I think it's stands for the entrepreneur operating system or something like that. This this concept, it walks through how to structure your team, which if you don't have a team, that's OK. You can still apply these practices to your business. It walks through, you know, putting together a ten year picture and a, you know, three year or five year plan and then a one year plan and what your business values are and what your mission statement is and things like that. And so it allowed me to really, like, nail down what my business was created for. Like what is my why ? Why do we do what we do? Who is our target audience? It pins down and asks very specific questions so you can think through these things and have a very good idea of, like the structure of your business and why it's created the way that it is and what direction you're headed in. It also has things like a scorecard in there, which basically is key performance indicators that you can look at. It's numbers that you can look at every week and know the health of your business as it walks through your scorecard. It walks through all kinds of stuff. And I read this book one time when it was just me. I was a solopreneur . And then as I started adding people to my team, I read it again. And it's one of those that I reference all the time because it really helps me structure my team and make sure that we're, you know, following things to the best of our ability to be able to grow and scale our business and keep our team healthy and keep communication lines open. And all the things I now have a team of, like, I don't know, I think we're up to 16 people now. Not all of them are full time. We have several contractors, but I do have a handful of full time employees on my staff and part time employees. And so in that we we refer back to traction all the time. And my integrator cat, she and I both like love all things traction. And so it's one of those books that literally changed and shaped and molded and continues to mold my business in the way that I run things. The operating system, it's not necessarily you know, it's not for photographers, but business in general. It's good to know these things, to be able to shape and mold your business and treat it like you're the CEO. Right. Because having that CEO mindset really changes things. You know, you're not just a business owner, a small business owner, whatever. You're not just a photographer. You are a CEO even if you're the only person on the team. This book is an incredible read. And I'm telling you, you're going to want to check it out. The third book that really was transformational for our team was a book called Rocket Fuel. This one. It was also by Gino Wigman and Mark Winters. They partnered on this book. And it's a piece it's kind of like a branch off of traction. So I really suggest rocket fuel if you have some people on your team. So it's not just you, maybe it's you and. And an assistant or you and somebody else, social media, whatever, there's somebody else in your team, rocket fuel would be a really good book to read, especially if you're interested in growing that team. I know not everybody wants to have this big team under them and be a CEO, but if you're interested in growing your team, then rocket fuel is for sure when you want to read. What it talks about is the relationship between a visionary and an integrator. You guys have heard me say the word integrator in a few episodes is my integrator and she is incredible. But in this it talks about the relationship between the visionary and the integrator that is mentioned in the traction book. So tractions sort of like barely touches on it and outlines it. But rocket fuel dives really deep into this relationship because it is so powerful and it has taken our business to a new level by adding an integrator to our team. Again, this is like a whole nother episode that we could talk about integrators. I'm planning on having Kat on. We can talk about visionaries and integrators and all the things. So that's for a later day. But if you have a team and you're looking to grow it, read rocket fuel, it will be so helpful for you. I promise. The next book that really made a huge difference in my business is called The One Hour Content Plan. This is by Meera Kothand. And I may be saying that wrong. Her last name is spelled Kothand and but Meera writes this book and I, I have Kindle Unlimited. And so I'm pretty sure this is one of the books on Kindle Unlimited that you can just pay like ten dollars a month and read as many books as you want that are on Kindle Unlimited, which there's thousands and thousands of titles. But this was one of them and it was a very quick read. Super easy. I know I read it in a day. It was so easy, but it was really powerful in the things that it talks about because this book helps ask questions and helps you map out an entire year's worth of content. So whether that's, you know, as a photographer, you're needing content to be able to blog about or whatever or serve your clients better. For us, it's our our blog for photographers and our, you know, our podcast, YouTube coming soon. All the things anybody that's creating content that needs to be scheduling things out, I mean, it can even be like your Instagram post and things like that. This book helped so much. I literally left with a list of, like, I don't know, almost a hundred different content ideas because of the way that it's structured. She asks questions. She gives examples of like literally fill in the blank examples of things that you can talk about in different phases of where people are, whether you're in the awareness building phase or, you know, wanting to teach something specific and tangible or wanting to sell something, whatever it is. She gives example like topics that you could talk about and then shows you like what questions to ask. And and really, it's a big brain dump. You sit there in brain dump after you've read this book or as you're reading, I did it as I was reading and I left with, I'm pretty sure, over 100 hundred ideas of content that was so, so easy to create and so or not easy to create. It was easy to come up with. This process made it very easy. You never run a run out of ideas. And so go check that out. Then after that, it's just implementing the ideas. And so whatever that looks like for you as a photographer, you know, I'm telling you, literally, you could take this stuff and come up with Instagram caption ideas for the next year or whatever. So I highly suggest this book. It's very short and very, very practical. It's not one of those like self-help books that takes you a long time to read and you can't really implement anything. I literally implemented, as I was reading so highly, highly suggest. And then the last book that I want to talk about that really made a big difference in my business is called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The Miracle Morning. And this one was more of a personal win, but it did impact my business. And so this book basically outlines the basis of a solid morning routine and why you need a morning routine, why it's helpful. And it outlines like how to win at a morning routine, because whether you're a morning person or not, routine can be hard, especially if you know you're in a season like me where I have young kids and sometimes a morning routine is not realistic. And so this book really outlines ways to to put together a solid routine that works for your family and works for you. You don't have to wake up at five a.m. to make it happen. Now, if your kids wake up super early and that works for you to wake up at five a.m., OK, do it for me. I found I tried that for a season and I just didn't like it as much. And so I don't wake up at five a.m., but I do wake up about six thirty or seven to get this this morning routine in its. Not not super time consuming. In fact, he talks about it can either be an hour long or it could even be seven minutes long, like however much time is needed. But by implementing a morning routine, I found that I was a healthier version of myself. I liked the version of myself that I saw when I did a morning routine. I liked the way that it made me feel it was just transformational. It helps me to be more productive. It helps me to be more motivated and to just better use my time. And so if you've ever struggled with a morning routine or putting one together, I highly, highly suggest this book because it will really help give practical things that you can do to make this morning routine easier and implementing easier. It gives you like quick wins, something like keep your phone across the room so that when your alarm goes off, you have to get up to go turn it off like super practical things that you can do. You know, put a glass of water next to your toothbrush so that when you brush your teeth in the morning, you can chug a glass of water and, you know, your body is naturally a little bit dehydrated from sleeping. And so when you wake up, chugging a glass of water will help you just gain clarity for the day and all the things. So anyway, I can go on and on about a morning routine, but I'll leave it at that. So those are five books that I highly suggest. Go checking out add them to your list. If it takes you a whole month, two months, three months, whatever, to read through these books, do that. Take the time that you need, but take an action step like go on Amazon. I linked all the books here in the in the show notes. So go to the show notes, go grab these books on Amazon, order them. So at least you have them in your hand and hopefully you'll be more likely to start reading them because they are incredible. If you will apply what is inside these pages. So I'm excited to see, you know, what you do if you need accountability for this shoot me a DM on Instagram, Rebecca Rice photography. And I would love to be accountability for you if you want to, you know, snap a picture of your books and like, let me know that they were ordered that you have them, you know, that you're reading them, whatever. Let me know. And I want to know how what you think about them as you're reading. So definitely reach out to me. Let me know how you like. There's any questions I can answer. I am more than happy to, but just wanted to give you some really helpful tips, things that really made a difference in my business and hopefully they will in yours too. So with that, that's all I have for this week. We will see you again this time next week. Bye, guys.