After 7 Years In Business, These Are The 7 Books I Recommend Most Highly:

Before I go on, I first want to give a mention to the late Jennie Gorman, who recently succumbed to long-term illness. If you’re a business owner in South-East Queensland, chances are you either knew Jennie or knew of Jennie. While I didn’t know her as well as many other people did, I know she was always very well connected with the business community in the South-East, and her regular ‘Mastermind’ groups came from an idea featured in the very first title in today’s list. Jennie understood that no successful business person achieves their vision solo- that any successful person relies upon their connections, the people in their circle and the shared experience and wisdom they provide in order to achieve great things in life. While I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to ask Jennie, I’m sure she read the majority of these titles and would endorse their worth to people on this same journey as us. RIP…

“Readers are leaders”

I don’t remember where I read this one, but it absolutely rings true. Since I was 13, I’ve always had a great interest in reading books to do with personal development in some form or another. My “gateway” book (if you could call it that) was titled Being Happy, which I found in my parents’ book collection one day and opened out of curiosity. I think it was the title and the cartoon illustration on the front that drew me in. Written by author/ cartoonist Andrew Matthews, it wasn’t a thick book by any means, with easy to read paragraphs that were punctuated by Matthews’ cute illustrations. As I delved into it, I became fascinated by the novel idea that a great deal of what manifests in our lives is the result of how we think about ourselves, the world and the thoughts that dominate in our daily lives, before anything else.

Maybe I had more power than I thought?

I put some of the concepts into practise (e.g thinking about what I wanted rather than what I didn’t want, imagining that “how life is” was in fact changeable and under my  scope of control to a great deal). Beyond just thinking it, I had to live it and- surprise surprise- I saw results. The rest is history…

Fast forward to now and considering my job, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of books I’ve read are focused on improving in business, writing or some form of personal development. In fact, much of what I’ve shared here over the years can be traced back to the ideas of dead authors, whose words live on many years later, still just as useful, relevant and full of transformational potential as ever.

So after all these years, here are my top picks, in no particular order. As another saying I heard once goes “If you ask 10 different people you’ll get 10 different answers”, but for me, these 7 titles have the potential to make a huge difference in how you market your business, how prolific you are at selling, how well you can write copy- and how much true contentment you get from life. So in no particular order, here we go:

#1: Think And Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)

12797394.jpgWhat you learn: In Think & Grow Rich you discover the 13 steps essential to achieving riches (not just material riches but also riches of opportunity and personal success), in addition to the potential power each of us has to shape our destiny via our subconscious. Through the countless examples Hill discovered over the 20 years of research he invested putting this book together, Think & Grow Rich overwhelmingly outlines what is possible to each of us when we tap into the right mindset and take the time to understand how our subconscious mind directly affects the path our life takes, for better or worse.

Why you should read it: Think And Grow Rich is great because there’s just so many examples of people unlocking all kinds of successes through history by utilising the steps outlined. This is one of those books where page after page you get flashes of revelation and highlight single sentences or entire paragraphs that are well worth the revision later. Hill has a way of explaining the concepts in a language that is straightforward and simple, taking into account how our language has changed in the 80+ years since Think And Grow Rich was first published. To date, this is still one of the best books to just flick through from time to time and reacquaint yourself with the great wisdom found within.

#2: The One Sentence Persuasion Course (Blair Warren)18938967._UY475_SS475_

What you learn: Quite simply, you get a clear, stripped-down-to-the-framework understanding of the art of persuasion and why it works. It’s one of those concepts where once you learn it, you can’t unlearn it- and you begin to see examples of it everywhere…examples you’ve encountered time and time again, but hadn’t been able to join the dots until now.

Why you should read it: Firstly, this is a short book- you can finish it in less than an hour! You’ll reach the end and go “Is that it?” But this is a great example of a good thing coming in a small package. If you work in marketing or just want to get a clearer understanding of how persuasion works, you can’t afford to miss this one. On top of that, like I said once you learn ‘The 27 Words’ you’ll spot them everywhere- and save a LOT of time when it comes to devising a strategy (big or small) that encourages your desired audience to take action!

#3: Words That Sell (Richard Bayan)5167h0iLXtL._SX260_

What you learn: Not so much a book you read cover to cover, but more a quick reference guide. At your fingertips, you have thousands of different words and phrases designed for all types of copywriting catering to all kinds of audiences. With this as a reference guide, the copy you write becomes bolder, more interesting, powerful and effective.

Why you should read it: Think of Words That Sell as your copywriting toolkit- if you have any interest in writing the marketing copy for your business or for somebody else’s business, then this is your one-stop quick reference guide if you’re searching for just the right word or sentence to use on your website, social media platform, sales letter or special offer. Never lurch to a grinding halt with writers’ block ever again, because this handy guide is always within reach and ready to give you a tonne of options so you can get on with the job- and pump out effective copy that sounds just right. But if you’re writing for somebody else, don’t let them know you use this as a guide- better to take the credit and have them think you’re a genius!

#4: Awaken The Giant Within (Anthony Robbins)51VV261Y4aL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

What you learn: The concept of our personal beliefs, how they’re formed, why we feel the way we do about certain circumstances and most importantly; how we can improve our sense of wellbeing simply by understanding the basis of these beliefs and asking the right questions. Robbins also goes into further depth exploring the concept (and application) of kaizen, which I talked about here (Revealed: The Success Formula That’s Made In Japan)

Why you should read it: I’d actually recommend reading this in conjunction with listening to Robbins’ 10 part audio series Time Of Your Life, and doing the daily exercises he sets out. I know Tony is a guy who polarises opinion- some people regard him as one of the great modern personal gurus, while others view him as a snake-oil salesman peddling nothing more than reheated feel good platitudes and short-term fixes- and I admit I was once in that latter category. But then (from a friends’ encouragement) I reluctantly began listening to Time Of Your Life and not only did I go on to finish the series- it had a BIG impact on how I went about evaluating myself, organising my top outcomes, setting priorities for those outcomes and implementing ongoing checks and balances to make sure I didn’t stray too far off course while chasing down my big goals. So call me a believer all you want, I still highly recommend reading Awaken The Giant Within and (if you like to be thorough with such things) listening to the Time Of Your Life series plus doing the exercises in both- because it may just be one of the most productive, life-changing investments of your time in a long while!

#5: Unlimited Selling Power (Donald Moyne, Kenneth Lloyd)

91teF2bHOCLWhat you learn: As the title boldly suggests, in this book you learn the core principles that underpin successful selling, in depth examples of exactly how a great salesperson operates, and what motivates people to buy from them.

Why you should read it: If you work in marketing or selling your company’s products or services, then you can’t afford to miss this one! It’s not just an effective guide when it comes to selling on the business front, but also on selling yourself- selling your ideas, your plans, your concepts, your desires to people. If you’re somebody who feels a tinge of anxiety when it comes to selling, or you need certain circumstances to be “just right” in order to sell, then this book is a great guide to graduate into the most effective salesperson of all- the one who can “sell from anywhere”. There’s also (obviously) the advantage that you’ll never hear another pitch the same way again- because you’ll recognise exactly how they’re making their pitch and why certain salespeople appear to have that Midas touch.

#6: How To Wow (John Dwyer)

How-to-wow-book-v2What you learn: Authored by John Dwyer, the man who (amongst many feats) convinced Jerry Seinfeld to appear in adverts for a Hunter Valley based building society, How To Wow is a refreshing guide that encourages you to think outside the box, look at previously untapped possibilities and dare to do things differently- regardless of what your industry looks like or what you’re selling.

Why you should read it: If you’re not content to be just like every other business in your industry and you instead want to become the stand-out name, then this is the book to read. Even if you don’t finish it with some amazing idea that completely transforms your marketing or promotions, it at least will encourage you to take a completely fresh approach when it comes to delivering maximum value for your customers and brainstorming your next big promotional idea in future. So get hold of a copy- and dare to think differently…

#7: The 3 Posts People Stop Everything To Read (Ben Mackie)

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 10.40.27 amWhat you learn:
Quite simply, at a time where the battle for people’s attention has never been more critical, you learn what kind of blog articles people still stop to read- and why this is.

Why you should read it: I know, you might accuse me of giving myself a free plug here. But this is my site, so why not? In all seriousness though, you should definitely grab a copy if you recognise what regular blog articles achieve for a business online (as we unpacked here: Some Real Numbers To Make You Re-Think Blogging) AND you want to write/ publish articles that are actually worth the time it takes. Because as you already know, there’s so much bland content out there clogging up our feeds, fading away unnoticed on somebody’s website- and the tragedy is two-fold. Not only did people waste time and energy to publish articles nobody cares about- but so many times the topic they share could’ve been a hit- if ONLY they’d followed the principles I outline in this easy to read e-book.

You know what the best part is? You can read The 3 Posts People Stop Everything To Read without paying a cent. All you need to do is enter your details, join our database and your very own copy gets sent straight to the e-mail inbox of your choice with just one single ‘click’. And even in the unlikely event you decide to unsubscribe from our database, you still get to keep your copy!

You can easily read this AND The One Sentence Persuasion Course in less than a day- and that’s 5 of the 7 here crossed off already! So what are you waiting for? Join up and get your FREE copy of ‘The 3 Posts People Stop Everything To Read’


Discovering Your True Purpose (The 5 Questions Every Young Entrepreneur Must Ask Themselves):

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it”– Oscar Wilde

If you’ve been reading here for a while now, you’ll know that when I was a kid, I wanted to become an F1 driver when I grew up. I talked about it here: No More Excuses! It’s Time To Make Your Shot NOW…

I imagined how awesome the future would be when (instead of having to waste my time with school or boring homework), I’d be paid paid mega bucks to race Formula 1 cars and win races, win Championships, be one of Australia’s top sportspeople and widely considered one of the all-time greatest F1 drivers. Maybe the best of all time?

That was the dream…


But more than just a boyhood dream, I thought it was my destiny:

Because whenever I raced people in karts that were (virtually) equal, I’d beat everybody- including adults who’d been driving cars since before I was even born.

One kart might have a loose brake pedal, another could have slower pick-up from acceleration or stiffer steering, but I never felt uncomfortable behind the wheel. I could quickly adjust for these differences and drive consistently fast laps

Strangers would see me race and comment on my speed (like the guy who told Mum I had “the gift”), and even if she’d made that bit up to make me feel good, there were other people I’d race against who’d later comment on how I’d flown past them and ask me for driving tips?

Then, on a spookier level still-

There was the latest issue of National Geographic Mum had bought when I was born, to keep as a memento. On the back cover was an ad for Olympus Cameras. It just so happened that they also sponsored the Lotus Formula 1 team at the time, so the ad featured a big picture of the Lotus F1 car at speed- driven by Ayrton Senna. To my knowledge, that month/ year issue was the only issue of National Geographic to ever feature this ad…

Surely it was all meant to be?

Faze 3

But then I went through my teens. Didn’t have the money to race competitively at the level I wanted and so originally planned to take a couple of years off, save money and then have a new crack at it. Then I decided instead to pursue cartooning (something else I enjoyed and was good at) and pursue racing later. Then life turned out how it did, and still I’d never even heard of copywriting!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world was a guy the same age as me, who also dreamt of becoming an F1 Champion. Who also raced go-karts, just like I did. Who also had people take notice, like people did with me.

The name of that boy was Lewis Hamilton.

Skip forward to just recently and I read an article about Australian F1 driver, our own Daniel Ricciardo, that made me sit up and take notice:

It was what he said about Lewis Hamilton- the reigning Formula 1 World Champion, the instantly recognisable celebrity sportsman who’s just as much at home with Hollywood A-listers and rock stars as he is on the race track, winning another Grand Prix behind the wheel of his all-conquering Mercedes.

And yet despite all this, Ricciardo had the following to say:

“(Lewis) reached a high level at a young age, and there is the fame that comes with that. He was exposed to the celebrity lifestyle and naturally that can have an effect.

He has admitted, too, that he is trying to find his own feet. He put on his Instagram account that he is trying to find his purpose in life so there are times when, I guess, he is trying to figure himself out.”


I read this and got a kind of surreal feeling. Why was that?

Like I said, I am the same age as Lewis Hamilton, so his career in some ways is like seeing an alternate universe where that boyhood dream of mine actually became reality.

Two boys growing up with the same dream. For one, it came true. For the other, it didn’t.

He’s won everything there is to win in Grand Prix racing, with a few records left to beat, financially well and truly banking it for life doing something he always wanted to do- all well before the age of 40. And yet he wonders about his purpose?

Meanwhile here I am, doing something I never gave a second of thought to back when I was at that tender Primary school age. If you’d told me back then, as a 12 year old, that I’d never even make the grid (let alone win a race or a Championship) I’d have felt completely worthless. Yet if Will Smith’s genie popped out of the lantern right now and said he could make that dream come true for me?

Obviously I can’t say with absolute certainty I wouldn’t take him up on it. Yet when I think about it…

Well sure, racing the cars would be fun, and it’d be cool to have my name go into the history books as representing Australia on the F1 circuits. If I got paid it’d be handy to have that kind money put away too for the business…but I’d wonder what about Scribe in the meantime?

To turn my focus away from this business I started from scratch, that I’ve kept building and growing, that’s taught me so much about myself I didn’t expect when I went in- to leave all that behind to go and race?

I don’t know if I could walk away…

Senna Quote

I’d hear the above quote as a kid and find it baffling. How could you think that when you were living the dream I wanted to live? How could you miss having to be in school and do whatever boring exercises the teachers gave you, then go home and live by the unfair rules of your parents?

But then, as you know- you get older. And you realise:

It doesn’t matter what life you lead, how successful you become at it, how much money you make or what sort of people you meet- there’s always going to be problems and frustrations that are unique to what you do. So what do you choose?

There were problems when I had my paper route back in high school that I never have to worry about now. There are problems to deal with in this current role that I barely considered when I was delivering those papers or working in retail a decade ago. But I’m definitely glad I don’t have to endure another festive season hearing the same 15 Christmas carols at work day after day, week after week and I’m sure you can think of instances like this with jobs you’ve worked as well!

But in order for those problems and frustrations to be worth it, there has to be a purpose behind what we do. We’ve got to believe in it. It has to answer some need or desire in us that goes beyond stuff we can show off to our friends or post on Instagram. There have to be valuable lessons we learn along the way, and (no matter how unexpected) they should reflect positively on more than just on our ability to do a job well or to get paid for it. They should manifest in the quality of our lives as a whole and how content we are…

For some of you, maybe as we wind down this year and this decade, it’s time to have a think about what you want the next 10 years to look like? Maybe it’s time to do something incredibly selfish and take some time out just to focus on you?

This may be the best time to think about your job, your craft, your skill, your mission- and ask yourself these 5 big questions:

#1. What needs does it fulfil, beyond just paying bills?

#2. When you stop to think about it, does the money you make/ the holidays you take feel more like a bonus on top of your job, or compensation for your job?

#3. If this was always your dream job growing up- why was that? When you work out the underlying reason (or reasons), are they still relevant now?

#4. If you’re not quite “there” yet, what defines “there”, and what are the real reasons you want to be “there”?

#5. Understanding that no matter what you do brings problems and frustrations, do you really get something valuable out of doing whatever it is you do? Again- are the perks of the job a bonus, or compensation?

Taking the time out to truthfully answer these questions might feel uncomfortable and even confronting, but it could just save your life- figuratively now, and literally further down the track.

I can’t speak for Lewis, can’t give him the answer he maybe needs? Perhaps winning yet another World Championship has revealed to him that purpose he seeks? Or maybe he’s still searching for it?

I imagine if my dream had come true, and I was a top F1 driver. For all the perks of that- I’m not so sure I’d be truly content? It was my boyhood dream, but looking back now I can see the underlying reasons I wanted it, beyond simply enjoying that feeling of driving fast and racing against other people-

I wanted the recognition.

I wanted the respect.

I wanted to feel as if I’d done better than my peers.

I wanted to know that I hadn’t settled for mediocrity, surrendered to the comfort of working an “ordinary” job.

I wanted the prestige and the success to rid me of the insecurities I discovered when I was 12 or 13, and reassure me that I was a “somebody” who amounted to something worthwhile…


Maybe I could’ve been a multiple Formula 1 World Champion and a popular Australian sports identity, followed by millions around the world?

Yet it still couldn’t have given me what I was looking for. I could’ve spent years- decades- chasing that rainbow’s end- but never reaching it. Then realise I’d sacrificed so much time and effort in so many areas- only to discover the rainbows’ end was an illusion.

And for me, that would’ve been the second one of life’s two great tragedies.

Because to find all those things I was really searching for, I had to look within. Eventually, I found it…

So here I am now, sitting on my bed and it’s nearly 1am on Tuesday morning and I can’t drag myself away yet even though I want to sleep, because I just have to get this out and finish it.

But I’m perfectly content to do so. My purpose has (in many ways) been further realised by this entrepreneurial journey- yet I know there’s still more to be discovered on the road ahead…

So I’m going to keep pressing on. And whatever path you take- whether you reevaluate the one you’re on and recognise it’s where you want to be headed- or whether you have to back-track or abandon the mission, it doesn’t matter-

Just so long as you can recognise chasing a rainbows’ end vs. aiming for a solid, concrete purpose- and go headlong for the latter, regardless of what anybody thinks or what your younger self thought was your dream or what your parents expected you to do- instead recognising your purpose and setting off in pursuit of that-

Because that’s the greatest reward of all.

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