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Growing a business

Vision and strategy books to build your practice

One key to being a successful business owner is taking the time to seek out actionable advice, guidance and expertise from other thought leaders and pioneers who have paved the way. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and growth often requires learning from others and showing patience and forward thinking in the process. Here are some book recommendations on vision and strategy from some of our Firm of the Future authors. Enjoy!

Marjorie Adams – Fourlane and POS Warehouse

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman: “This book describes a business system and rhythm so that you can have vision and strategy. It was a game changer for our business.”

Lynda Artesani – Artesani Bookkeeping

Life After Google, The Fall of Big Data & the Rise of the Blockchain Economy by George Gilder: “This book is ‘scary’ to me because Google gives us everything for free and we just allow them to have our name, email and other information. Google follows us and knows us. Remember the book “1984” and how absurd the concept sounded? And yet, here we are. What if that entire system were breached?”

Jason Blumer, CPA – ThrivealBlumer & Associates, CPAs, PC and

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio: “This book takes your thoughts higher to think about your firm at a different level. You learn to apply principles on how to grow your business, instead of remaining mired in the details of tax and accounting work.”

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman: “This book provides a system to run your business on. We all overlook foundational components to grow our firms, and “Traction” gives a roadmap. It takes accountability and time to implement the ideals in “Traction,” but it really does help you gain traction around your growth.”

Carla Caldwell – Caldwell Consulting & Training LLC

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling: “In this fantastic book, the authors share the four disciplines that will take your business to the next level: choose a wildly important goal, create and act on lead measures, keep a compelling scoreboard, and have a cadence of accountability. With impressive practicality and insight, they share how these disciplines can accelerate the change required to become a modern practice.”

Renee Daggett, EA – AdminBooks, Inc.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman: “This is a great book for business vision and strategy.”

Tammatha Denyes, CPB – TD Accounting Services

The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill and Leena Rinne: “With the advent of changes to our industry, we as professionals are bombarded and surrounded by technological “noise.” We need to weed out the wheat from the chaff, focus on what needs our attention now and delegate our time in a profitable way. The writers of this book clearly show a path for a busy professional to find peace in our day-to-day noise. Bring on the 25-hour work week!”

Brandy Derrick – Legal Ease Bookkeeping, LLC

Story Selling by Nick Nanton and J.W. Dicks: “This book opened my mind on how to bring in new clients through stories.”

Loren Fogelman, M.Ed., EFT-ADV – Business Success Solution

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: “Your accounting agency, whether large or small, can be a Firm of the Future. This guides you through a step-by-step framework that focuses on innovation, instead of competition.”

Hector Garcia, CPA.CIPT – Quick Bookkeeping & Accounting LLC

The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services by Ron Baker and Paul Dunn: “This book provides vision for a business model that is value and customer driven (looking outward towards effectiveness) vs. task and firm driven (looking inward towards efficiency).”

Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship by Mahan Khalsa, Randy Illig and Stephen R. Covey: “This book gives clear and actionable steps on how the process of consultative and transformative sales changes how you run your business and how you treat your customers.”

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller: “Donald Miller has a consistent mantra throughout the book: “Clarifying your message is the key and noise is the enemy,” helping you to sort through all the noise of ineffective messaging about who your customers are and what your life/business mission is.”

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters: “I believe this is the best and most important book for ANY business owner to read. It laser focuses on how and why a business succeds through innovation. You will be forever convicted that going from ‘Zero to One’ is much harder than going from one to one hundred! The people that can CREATE something from nothing are the ones that pull ahead of the curve.”

The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight to Impact + Wealth by David C. Baker: David C. Baker is a consultant to “expert firms” and clearly convinces you that what you do essentially is bank on your expertise above all.

Nayo Carter-Gray, EA – 1st Step Accounting

Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss: “This book was great for a person like me – who isn’t a natural wordsmith – to learn to write simple emails to help my audience get to know, like and trust me so I can make offers and get more sales.”

Esther Friedberg Karp – CompuBooks Business Services

Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini: “It has taught me how to conduct myself powerfully in negotiations. I’ve also learned a lot about the psychology of persuasion, in both personal and professional situations. It’s a short, but powerful book. I wish I’d read this years ago!”

Stacy Kildal –

Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg: “Having read Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” when it first came out, this one caught my eye because our purpose since 2014 at Kildal Services has been “leveraging technology to help clients work smarter, faster, better.” I’m obsessed lately with busy vs. productive. Everyone is busy these days – that’s a given – and this book is helping me figure out what can I do to continue to be less busy at busyness and really get stuff done?”

Beverly Lang – Diversified Business Solutions

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz: “Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent or deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, this book gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.”

Jennie Moore – Moore Details Incorporated

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown: “This book was first recommended to me by Jeff Cates, the president of Intuit Canada, and focuses on “multipliers” and the positive impact such individuals have to grow their organization by not “diminishing” employees. It explains how talent is cultured instead of controlled.”

Jacob Schroeder, CPA – Ascend Consulting LLC

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant: “This book helps you understand how to create a culture of original thinking within yourself and within your organization.”

Bob Wang, CPA, CA – Legacy Advantage

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Strategy by Harvard Business Review, Michael E. Porter, W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Mauborgne: “I highly recommend this book because it compiles the articles from the best thought leaders on strategy. It not only has high-level concepts, but also very actionable tips.”

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