6 business books to stand out in 2017
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KateWrites

In 2016 I wrote the manuscript for my very first book. To my amazement, I wrote 30,000 words in 30 days… and if I can, so can you. Anything is possible.

I was fortunate to have Australia’s number one small business author, Andrew Griffiths to guide me through the process of planning, researching and writing my book.

As part of the research stage, Andrew recommended heading out to his favourite bookstore and buying a stack of business books. I didn't have to be told twice, and ended up buying so many that I had to get a cab home.

So, I read a lot of business books over the last year. Great books, mostly about the art of standing out from the crowd, thinking different, and telling stories well. I thought I'd share with you my pick of the bunch.

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1. TELL TO WIN
Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, should know a thing or two about storytelling. But in the opening to this seminal book, he tells about the time he forgot the value of story and delivered a pitch full of facts and figures. The pitch totally missed the mark and he lost an important deal.

Guber quickly realised that he wasn’t alone in his mistake. In boardrooms all over the world, we’ve forgotten the power of story to engage, inspire, lead and motivate. Guber keeps powerful company and the cast of real-life characters in the book include the likes of Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and Tony Robbins. He draws on their experiences and many others, showing how it’s possible to achieve world-shaking success through storytelling.

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2. TALK LIKE TED
The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds
Carmine Gallo

If you want to know how to structure and deliver a powerful presentation – TED or otherwise – this is the book for you. From the moment when Bill Gates opened a jar of possibly-malaria-ridden mosquitos into the audience; to the time that Jill Bolte Taylor handed a human brain, complete with spinal cord, to a hapless stage assistant – Carmine uncovers the ‘wow moments’ that make a good presentation great.

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3. KEY PERSON OF INFLUENCE
The five-step method to become one of the most highly valued and highly paid people in your industry
Daniel Priestley

You can read this book, cover-to-cover, on the plane from Sydney to Melbourne. Which doesn’t mean it’s not a good book – quite the opposite. Daniel Priestley, co-founder of the Key Person of Influence development program, takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the method that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs become stars in their industries. I’ve heard this booked described as ‘all sizzle and no sausage’ – in other words, it takes you through the method without telling you how to implement it. Regardless, it’s a great insight into what it takes to lead the field in any given industry.

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4. ZAG
The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands
Marty Neumeier

When everybody zigs - zag. So says the author of this brilliant book. Neumeier explains why traditional advertising is dying, and the reasons for it (1. people don't like one-way conversations; and 2. people don't trust advertising). So what can we do about it? The answer according to Neumeier is don't offer more - offer different, "Differentiation, the art of standing out from the competition, is not front-page news. What IS front-page news in a world of extreme clutter, is that you need more than differentiation. You need RADICAL differentation." This great book will help you find your zag, design your zag and build your zag.

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5. MONEY AND MINDFULNESS
Living in Abundance
Lisa Messenger

Collective is not only a highly successful and respected magazine, but a global movement of entrepreneurial movers and shakers. Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Messenger has come a long way from the days when she wasn't sure if she could make her rent payment. In the process, she's learned how to put fresh thinking and creativity to work, spotting opportunities where others would not. In Money and Mindfulness, Lisa teaches this resourceful, daring mindset – one that enabled her to launch a magazine sold in more than 37 countries, without borrowing a single cent from a bank.

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6. ILLUMINATE
Ignite Change through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols
Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez

The ultimate guide for leaders who need to rally the troops, this book provides the structure and tools to steer your team to success. Motivating a team to take on tremendous challenges and see the journey through, takes more than a will and prayer. In fact, according to Duarte and Sanchez, it takes speeches, stories, ceremonies and symbols. Through case studies and personal experience, the duo explain how to use these tools to inspire and activate people to achieve ever greater success.

Looking for more inspiration?

As you may know, a little-known fellow called Bill Gates publishes a list of his favourite books. I tend to think I’m a bit too busy for reading. Bill, however, who’s busy solving many of the biggest problems in the world, still manages to find time. He says, “I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.”

Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of Bill's book.