When I got into reading three years ago, I didn’t think that where I am now would be the result. I was promoted to store manager of my retail location at the end of 2014 and after the first couple of months, I realized the saying, “fake it ‘til you make it” was not going to translate into a profitable business. The realization that I was responsible for millions of dollars in sales triggered a new level of urgency and I had to come up with new ways to sell more products. A conversation with a close friend in sales about prospecting new business and what a sales process was lead me to two book suggestions, “The Sales Bible” and the “Little Red Book of Selling.” It had never occurred to me at the time to read a book on sales or recognize that experts in the field had shared their techniques and stories to help others succeed. For me, this was my difference maker. My results showed not only a new mindset towards sales, but a triple digit percentage increase in profitability in my store.
In January 2016, I was in an airport bookstore and saw an interesting title, “Sell or Be Sold.” This book began a shift for me in thinking that sales are more than just in business. “Everything in life is a sale. Everything you want is a commission.” Those words triggered my curiosity and I started to ask myself, “Is there more I can learn from sales that go beyond what we are doing in my store?” Immediately I began regularly sharing what I was reading with my staff and made this information part of my in-store training. Around this same time, I was introduced to podcasts and started listening to experts talking about the books I was becoming fascinated by. As my reading began to increase frequency, I noticed that not only did my process for sales improve, but so did the results of my entire staff! Even my most timid employee was beginning to sell higher margin products and the store saw an almost 60% increase in profit over the previous year. It wasn’t until midway through 2016 that I began feeling like I’d found my stride as a store manager and was soon reading books like, “Contagious”, “The E-Myth Revisited”, “Influence”, “Fascinate”, and “The 4 Hour Work Week.” I’d become a sponge and was not only soaking up as much as I could but was sharing everything I learned with my staff. As sales continued to increase, I realized I was really enjoying this process of learning and training my staff to be the best at what we were doing. I’m still very proud of the effort my team put forth every day to make the experience shopping with us unlike what you would find in our sister stores.
Over the next two years I’ve gone on to read 29 books and my transformation has been palpable. What I’ve been feeding my mind has become part of what I believe and been instrumental in developing the best version of myself now. Seeing the results from the store and my personal growth, I’m inspired to ask more questions as I continue my journey. Is there anything in your life that you need help with but don’t know where to begin? In a relationship? For your health? Maybe your business needs a new marketing plan? Whatever it may be, moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is your first step to help you get there. Regardless of your age, you’re still able to acquire new skills and improve upon what you already know. Look at where you are today, is there anything you’re working towards? Even if you’re exactly where you want to be and have everything you want in your life, when was the last time you read any type of book? This year I read “The Sun Also Rises” by Earnest Hemingway. It’d been a long time since I’d engaged my imagination reading a classic like that and I just loved it. Maybe reading can be something of entertainment for you?
I now think of reading or feeding my mind like compound interest. As money grows in the financial market, what about what you put into your mind by reading? Year over year growth on a topic of interest. My journey into reading has now evolved into a desire to read everything I can and have begun compiling a reading list. In the spirit of that, what are some books you have read that have positively impacted your life? I want to see what my life will be by reading and learning more year after year. Send me an email to Connect@wherethechangehappens.com and let me know your suggestion and I’ll add to my reading list. I believe it would be life-changing to learn something new from those I’m connecting to from around the world and I’d love to hear from you. I’ll even share with you my template for taking notes to help review what you read to increase retention if you’d like. As Jim Rohn said, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.” Maybe our change can happen together?
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If you've enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!