Best Business Books: The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List

Best Business Books

If you’re anything like me, you’re in a constant state of learning.

And with Game of Thrones still a few weeks away and the Netflix catalogue exhausted, I have a little bit of time to fill!

Barely a day goes by that I’m not tuning into a podcast, webinar or reading up on the latest business and marketing trends from my favourite blogs and books.

I even have time blocked out time in my calendar each week specifically for “learning” activities.

Some of my greatest business learnings have been from the humble book! There is such a wealth of information out there with years of experience and knowledge at our fingertips.

So, while you’ve been a busy bee getting things done, I have compiled The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List: 25 of the Best Business & Marketing Books to tide you over till Game of Thrones starts! Continue reading “Best Business Books: The Ultimate Entrepreneur Book List”

Addicted to Facebook? Me Too. 9 Reasons Why I Just Can’t Stop

Addicted to Facebook? Me too! 9 reasons why I think Facebook is awesome

Hello, my name is Kylie and I’m a Facebookoholic …

And you know what? That’s perfectly fine with me!

Yes, I freely admit the first thing I do before getting out of bed is … check Facebook. While I’m watching TV, I’m on my phone … checking Facebook. And when I’m working, there is a browser window open permanently so I can … check Facebook.

I may also be guilty of having my mobile handy in restaurants if I need to … check Facebook and post the obligatory “what am I having for dinner” photo.

I confess, I LOVE Facebook.

So why is hating on Facebook the new cool?

I have friends undergoing Facebook detoxes and technology free weekends. Then there’s those scaling back their usage because of privacy concerns or cancelling your account entirely because it’s the “hipster” thing to do.

Even businesses are whinging about a deliberate decrease in engagement as part of a sinister plot by Facebook to push businesses toward advertising.

Well yes and I actually have no problems with that … but let’s save that one for another post.

The things is, while the number of anti-Facebook hipsters continue to grow, my usage has only increased.

I am a Facebook addict and proud of it!

So I wanted to share with you why I think Facebook so awesome.

1. Facebook is my journal

Every post is almost like a diary entry documenting the milestones and precious moments over the years – both good and bad.

And with Facebook’s recent addition of the “This is what happened 2 years ago today” reminders, these memories are never forgotten.

Remember the controversial change to your Facebook Profile that had all your posts displayed like a historical timeline?

It kinda bombed and disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

I loved it.

As I scrolled down the page, I saw the past five years unfold before me revealing every milestone of my 4-year-old little man and all the memories in between.

But your Facebook experience is as good as the effort you put in. Make every post count. Celebrate the milestones. Share what’s important to you right at this moment.

And maybe a little less of the “look what my dog did”. Just say’n!!

2. Family is never far away

My little bro Matthew lives in Hong Kong and I live in Australia, but it really feels like he’s just around the corner.

At any given moment I know what he’s up to and never miss a single important moment in his life. And they don’t miss out on mine!

Distance is not an issue. Facebook connects our lives, so we don’t miss a thing.

And if I haven’t heard from him in a while, he is just a Facebook Message away.

3. Reconnect with old friends

My Dad was a teacher, so we moved around a bit when I was in school and there have been many friends over the years which I had lost contact with.

Back then, there were no mobile phones … or internet for that matter! (HUH, showing my age!) Long distance phone calls were costly for regular catchups, so the trusty old pen paper was really the only way to stay in contact. And that wore thin after a while.

Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with my childhood best friends who I hadn’t spoken to for more than 20 years. And many more friends have found me over the years.

I can chat with friends who would’ve otherwise been lost to me at a moment’s notice.

4. Organise events with ease

Forget paper invitations or ringing around to arrange a BBQ!

Just set up a Facebook event and have guests RSVP in one click. Easy peasy.

No more chasing those who couldn’t be bothered sending you an RSVP (pet peeve, raaa. Ok, so I might be guilty of it too …). Just send them a Facebook message.

5. Stay on the pulse

Facebook allows me to keep up with the latest news and entertainment – and see what real people think about it. Love it or hate it, Facebook is the biggest social platform in the world and when it says something is trending, it really is trending.

6. Become one of the tribe

I’ve gone a little crazy with Facebook Groups. They allow me to connect to people with the same interests as me. From Business to Photography, Bloggers to Thermomix Lovers, I can join communities (or tribes) of likeminded enthusiasts and get support when I need it the most.

I just love that I can ask a question and have 10 comments in 10 minutes from a collective of knowledge and experience.

7. Connect with like-minded savvy entrepreneurs

Where else can I find others as passionate about business, from all around the world – in one place?

Many of my closest business friendships have been forged on Facebook.

8. Where else am I going to find funny cat videos?!

Or talking twin babies. Or scary spider dogs.

9. Facebook is jam-packed with my future customers

You see. I’m not the only one who loves Facebook.

There are millions of people on Facebook – right now – liking pages, getting involved in groups, connecting with family, engaging with brands, sharing content and posting a selfie or two.

You need to be where you’re customers are and Facebook is where they are at!

So how can you use this to your advantage?

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I am a FIFO wife and this is our normal

I am a FIFO wife. Right now I’m living in Brisbane, QLD with my 4-year-old, while my husband lives in Mount Isa for work.

After almost a year of unemployment courtesy of a struggling mining industry, my husband took a residential job in Mount Isa. I made the tough decision to stay in Brisbane.

Our lifestyle is definitely unconventional and not for everyone. But this is our normal and we make it work.

How do we do it? Routine and structure! Google Calendar and Asana are my go to organisation tools. We don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on what’s important. Something in your life ain’t working? Find another way. I hate cooking and it just seems pointless cooking for myself. Riley’s food preferences are also pretty limited to complicate things. So HelloFresh is my new best friend (use this link and get $35 of your first box!).

And there are perks to the lifestyle! Riley and I love having breakfast with Daddy in the Qantas Club Lounge before we see him off.

So what’s your normal and how do you make it work?

August 21, 2015 // BYE BYE DADDY

{ PROJECT RILEY: Documenting the milestones and precious moments of one little man }

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5 Blog Posts that changed the way I do business

It’s crazy looking back at when I first started out in business and how much I’ve grown – both personally and professionally. There’s been a lot of trial and error and many lessons learned. But also just as many wins!

I can even pin point key moments in the journey that were pivotal in my growth.

Those “aha” moments that change everything.

Some of these moments were advice from trusted mentors. Others were simply the result of stumbling across information that challenged my way of thinking.

So here are the top 5 blog posts that have had a HUGE influence on how I approach business.

Zen to Done (ZTD): The Simple Productivity System

Getting Things Done | Productivity

This seriously changed my life. Way back when I first started out, I struggled with time management and staying on top of everything. I couldn’t get my head around my workload, what to prioritise and how to maintain that ever elusive work-life balance.

I suffered from information overload and was bombarded daily with emails, phone calls, snail mail, social media notifications, meeting requests, event invitations not to mention the client projects and deadlines that I needed to also get done. And that’s not even taking into account my personal life!

I needed a system.

Enter GTD or the Getting Things Done Methodology by David Allen. It all starts with writing stuff down and getting it out of your head. It then goes into an “Inbox” for processing later or immediately assigned to a “Task List / Folder”.

Leo Babauta from Zen Habits has his own take on GTD which simplifies the system and focuses more on taking action. Check out his post here.

The 30 Minute Business Plan: Business Model Canvas Made Easy

Ditch the business plan. Paint a canvas.

So how’s that Business Plan working for you? Oh, don’t have one? Maybe, like mine, it is half baked and unfinished buried somewhere depths of your hard drive.

I say ditch the business plan and paint a canvas instead!

Introducing the Business Model Canvas. I live and breath this tool for my business. It’s the tool I refer to when I’m stuck in a rut. It’s my complete business MAPPED, from now and into the future.

If you’re looking for something practical that will actually help you think through your business, this is the answer. And here’s the best part – IT’S A ONE PAGER!

This post helped me build a long term vision for Kreatology.

How We Sell: Men vs Women

child holding a instant camera

Why do we find it so hard to ask for money? We’ve provided a service, invested our time, expertise and put our blood, sweat and tears into a client project. And yet we still feel guilty about asking to be paid!

I am even guilty of working for free or discounting my services, but why?

Denise Duffield-Thomas sums it up perfectly with this blog post. Time to be fearless about money and get paid what you’re worth!

9000 Unread Emails to Inbox Zero: My Executive Assistant Shares How We Did It

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As my business has grown, so have the number of emails received each day. I was easily receiving at least 100 hundred emails a day and the reality is I wasn’t getting to them. Important emails were getting lost. Client requests sometimes took a few weeks to be responded to and as a result, customer service was suffering.

This podcast from Smart Passive Income is only a recent discovery and still a work in progress. But has already made a huge difference to my email management and response time. 

Do You Have An “Upper Limit” Problem?

little power super hero child

I see it time and time again. I’m even guilty of it myself! A business starts seeing the results of their efforts and things are going well. EXTREMELY well. All of a sudden suddenly things start to go wrong. They might get sick. Mysterious gremlins attack the computers. Excuses are rife for why they can’t move forward – too busy, personal problems, other commitments.

Self sabotage.

Without realising, we bring it all back to a level we’re comfortable with. We all have a comfort zone and unconscious ideas of how happy and successful we feel we deserve to be. And that’s ok. But time to hit that BS for six. Marie Forleo sums it up fabulously!

So that’s my list of of Blog Posts! What posts have influenced you on your entrepreneurial journey?

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7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business

7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business

So I am an emotional wreck this morning.

What’s happened you ask?

Mad Men. That’s what’s happened.

I am notoriously critical of season finales. They never fail to disappoint. So I was little cautious heading into last night’s Mad Men.

But, I am happy to say it was EPIC in every way. Perfect end to one of the great television shows … EVER. Pretty sure I’ll be having Mad Men withdrawals for years to come.

How fabulous is Joan Holloway?!?

My favourite character by far. She stole the finale as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it’s the fabulous shade of red hair we share or her amazing sense of style.

That aside, her fierce determination was simply inspirational.

She was the savviest person on the show, strong-minded and entrepreneurial. Bold, sassy and maybe a little complicated. She was fiercely protective of her position and family.

She handled every challenge with grace and didn’t take crap from anyone!

Whenever I’m faced with a problem in business, I ask myself “what would Joan do?”.

So here are my top 7 Mad Men Quotes to Live by in Business:

  1. “If you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.” – Don Draper
  2. “Sometimes when people get what they want, they realise how limited their goals were.” – Joan Holloway
  3. “You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.” – Don Draper
  4. “I have a life, and it only goes in one direction: forward.” – Don Draper
  5. “You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl.” – Joan Holloway
  6. “I’m in charge of thinking of things before people know they need them.” – Joan Holloway
  7. “Change isn’t good or bad, it simply is.” – Don Draper

Throwing a Mad Men party? Don’t be surprised if I rock up as Joan.

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Put your best face (logo) forward!

Branding Social Media Web Kreatology Kylie Garner

Brand. Branding. Brand strategy. Oh, my!

When you think of famous “brands” what companies come to mind? Coke? Nike? Lorna Jane? For me, these are the brands that have screamed the loudest and caught my attention. These are the brands I am most likely to buy.

So what is branding? Is it just another word for “marketing”? Is it advertising?

It’s actually pretty simple, but it pains me to see so many businesses get it wrong or completely disregard the value of a good brand. The hard truth is a bad brand will cost you businesses.

Your “brand” is who you are. Your brand is your identity, your image and how you want the world to see you. It’s your face in the mirror, without the smoke. It’s your passion for your business, on fire!

And here’s the best part, in terms of real dollars and cents – it’s your brand and not your product that separates you from your competition. It’s your brand that says your business has something special and they can only get it from you.

Think of your brand as your personality. Whatever it is, put it out there – “Boom, Baby, here I am!” People like to do business with brands they know, like and trust. They’re most loyal to the brands that make them feel most comfortable.

The heart and soul of any successful brand is the Logo.

It will be the most visible and recognisable part of your brand. And if done right, it will pack a punch.

So how do you design the most creative and memorable logo ever?

Consider all formats. Whether it’s in low resolution on the Internet or high resolution in a glossy magazine; on a business card or the side of a building; in black or white or living color – your logo should work well with any media, at any size.

Get creative! Your logo doesn’t need to be a literal description of what you do. Take florists for example. A logical choice might be to use flowers in the logo, but how many other florists do the same? Think outside the box and standout from the crowd! Do you see any coffee in Starbuck’s logo?

Invoke an emotional response. Your logo should make an emotional connection, an experience. The golden M without “McDonald’s”, the “Swoosh” without “Nike”, the Mermaid without “Starbuck’s” and many more have become the most iconic logos in the world. Each creates an emotional response without ever seeing the company name. That’s more than a relationship, that’s family. That’s success.

Now, whether you’re creating an international mega-brand or a small family business, your logo is the pivotal piece for all your marketing materials.

You’ll use it everywhere.

It will be the reason why a customer chooses you over your competitor!

So don’t let your logo be an after thought. Consider it your hardest working asset. Do your research and invest in a brand consultant that understands all aspects of brand development from the design to trademarks and brand protection.

Some companies want to wish on a star. Others want to BE one. Which one are you?