September is one my favorite months of the year. Colleagues are all back from vacations, students are back to school, and the approaching end of the year inspires growth and reflection. It’s also a month of renewed ambition, focus, and energy. It’s a time to tackle new creative projects
I’ve pulled together a list of three great summaries by members of the Actionable Book Club to help you think about creative approaches to drive business growth this Fall (or Spring for our colleagues in Australia). Whether you’re pitching prospective clients, expanding your offerings to your existing roster, or just feeling a little stuck in your work, you’ll find these books offer new perspectives to help you renew your excitement and tackle big creative challenges.
Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business
The most powerful tool for a marketer is a satisfied customer. Joe Calloway’s Magnetic explores strategies that any business owner can use to attract and retain customers. Calloway writes: “The single most important factor in the future success of your business is this: what your customers tell people about their experience with you.” Identify the top three strengths of your business by thinking about the kind of feedback you receive on a regular basis, and then focus your energy on replicating those results. By focusing squarely on the needs of your customers (instead of your products, services, administrative requirements, or appeasing management), you can create a reputation for exceptional customer service, and attract more clients.
Creativity is not merely the domain of visual artists, writers, or performers. As you work to grow your consulting business, think about the ways you can make pursue curiosity and make room for magical, expansive creativity. Gilbert acknowledges that fear is a powerful force that we hold us back. Fear can also propel us forward. By embracing our fear as a necessary part of inspiration, we can strip fear of it’s power and create space for creativity and inspiration. And once that inspiration strikes, we can lean into our curiosity and complete the hard work required to achieve results. It’s tempting to rely on tried and true processes, especially when business is busy. However, if you are brave enough to acknowledge your fear and create space for inspiration, you may be surprised at what you can achieve.
In Originals, Adam Grant examines individuals who were able to influence people around them regardless of their status or access. What these original thinkers had in common was a tremendous volume of output, a lack of urgency to be the first solution in a space, and a disdain for groupthink. These remarkable contributors are able to yield an immense amount of influence because they refuse to conform to prescribed behaviors. Grant explores how procrastination can be a tool for boosting creativity: by letting go of the ambition to be the first person to solve a problem, you can start to shift your focus to offering the best solution to the problem.
Driving business growth is a daunting task, and it can be tempting to lean on established processes. Creating space for creativity will help you make new connections, brainstorm new ideas, and grow your business in new and exciting ways. These titles were curated to help you explore outside the realm of traditional business growth books, and inject a bit of artistic passion into your business growth plans. We hope that these summaries will inspire you to think creatively about driving business growth this season.