Business by the Book

This Tuesday tips and tricks blog is all about what we love the most… business! As much as I (Zach) love shooting cool images and working with our couple’s on the wedding day, those that know me will tell you that when we get on the topic of business, I get really excited! Jody and I both came from having absolutely nothing handed to us, to building a business that does what we want it to and blesses us each and every day.

So, today’s tip is going to be on the topic of where you want to be in five years and how to get there. The year we got into photography we also became huge fans of a great financial adviser who hails from Nashville (and also happens to be a multi-millionaire)  named Dave Ramsey. One thing that I heard Dave quote all the time, and which is the basis of this post, is that “where you will be in five years is dependent on two things, the people you meet and the books you read.” That quote has stuck with me over the years and is one of the major factors in the success of our business.

The average millionaire reads one business book a month, and I want to think like they do, so Jody and I have become huge readers (which is something I have to force myself to do) of great business books. Every time I pick up a new business book and start reading, my mind starts racing with new ideas and different and better ways to run our business. We get asked all the time what books we recommend, so here are our top picks for this weeks tips and tricks! These books have literally changed the way we do business and helped us make more money and enjoy our business and personal lives more.

First up is in my opinion THE best book to read if you own a small business of any kind. This book by Michael Gerber (who has coached 24,000 small businesses) dispels the myth that just because you are good at something (like photography) does not mean that you are an entrepreneur and does not automatically qualify you to run a business (ouch Gerber!). Every year one million new small business start and within 10 years, 96% of all of them WILL fail. This book teaches you why and how to avoid becoming one of those statistics.

This next book by Dan Miller is a book that not only helps you figure out exactly what you are called to do, but how to make great money doing it. It also talks about balance and how your job should not be the central focus of your life.

Seth Godin is a great marketing mind that really teaches you how to stand out from the crowd and be a “Purple Cow” in a pasture of black and white cows. Great and easy read!

This is one of the first books I read when Jody and I fist started our business. This book taught me how to think like a marketer every day with our business and really helped to change our thoughts on how we ran our Nashville wedding photography business.

The last book is by Dave Ramsey who is definitely a HUGE mentor of mine. Dave is a self-made millionaire, educator, best selling author and has a hit radio show that is nation-wide. He is a financial expert as well and the reason that we recommend this book, is because if you do not have your finances in order, then venturing into the world of full-time photography can be even more dangerous than it should be.

With the tools that Dave teaches, Jody and I were able to become completely debt free, start our retirements, save for our home and have peace when it comes to money and finances.

Living this way has also helped our marriage because the number one cause of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. We care more about marriage than anything else, so if you are married and struggling with finances and it is causing a strain on you, your family or your friends, then you must pick up this book! Everything that Dave teaches is simple common sense approaches to money. Things like spend less than you make, save, give and have fun with money. Dave has radically changed our lives and our family tree with what he has done.

Happy reading and we pray that all of your businesses will be blessed!!