Chris Cooper: (00:10)
Every year, I read around 50 books. They’re not all new books. Many of the most valuable books that I own contain lessons that I miss or I forget after reading them once. The mentor team at Two-Brain is also full of readers. So this year I asked them to help me pick the best. I also asked them a question: what specific action did you take after reading this book? I’m mostly interested in application over information, so I don’t wanna just give you 30,000 more pages of knowledge. I wanna give you 20 great actions that you can take right away. Now, what I’d like you to do is just go to GymOwnersUnited.com and that will forward you to our free public Facebook group just for gym owners, called Gym Owners United. And I’m gonna post this episode in there. I’d like you to share your favorite book of 2022 and the number one takeaway or the number one action that you took after reading it. So after you listen to our recommendations, or right now, if there’s something that’s like, “wow, every gym owner should read this”, go to GymOwnersUnited.com or the Gym Owners United Group on Facebook. Look for this post and type in your favorite book and your top action or result from reading it for this year. We’d love to hear from you.
Chris Cooper: (01:22)
Now as you’re listening to this, I’m gonna post links below, each of these recommendations. These links are attached to an Amazon affiliate account. If you click through the link and you buy the book, we make about 50 cents, maybe up to a dollar, and we donate that money to causes that teach entrepreneurship and financial literacy to kids, through our platform Business is Good, which is really founded to do that, to teach entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy to kids. So with no further ado, here’s our list for 2022 from the team of certified mentors at Two-Brain. Russell Francis recommends “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. Russ said, “After reading this book, I set very specific goals by revenue and membership category to take us to a million dollars in revenue by the end of 2022. I created a path to get there. I have revenue goals for each product and membership, along with how many of each we need to achieve those goals.
Chris Cooper: (02:23)
The head of each department will produce a monthly report for me to track progress.” Russ is a great mentor because he’s awesome at breaking down the process from the goal backwards to the steps required to achieving it and delegating the steps to staff. He recommends “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. The next book is “Built to Sell” by John Warrillow. Kaleda Connell recommends this book. She said that “building simple systems creates a valuable business, but also makes staff and clients happy.” Our next book is “Extreme You: Stand Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat.” By Sarah Robb O’Hagan. This book was recommended by Joleen Bingham. She said, “the book pushed me to say yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone a lot more, and being confident that if I fail, I can get back up and keep pushing forward. It’s one of those books that I’ve now read several times and I’ve shifted my mindset on failure and weakness from being bad, to being part of the growth process.”
Chris Cooper: (03:25)
Back to Coop here, Sarah was the keynote speaker at our 2022 Two-Brain Summit, and so was Joleen. Both were some of our most popular speakers. And Joleen says that this book, “Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat” was key to her becoming a more comfortable, confident, and effective speaker. Next is “The Dip” by Seth Godin. This was Andrea Savard’s top recommendation for 2022. Andrea says, “In this book, Seth says, have you stopped evolving in the eyes of the people who matter? And also, the opposite of quitting is rededication.” So Andrea says, “We had three new large franchise competitors start up in the same month, and another in town copy everything that we were doing. And revenue was declining from previous years, and we were losing energy. Our action was to rebrand ourselves, innovate new programs in our market, and recommit to fight for the business in a competitive landscape.”
Chris Cooper: (04:25)
The next book on our list is “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount. This is Greg Strauch’s recommendation. It’s a really powerful one. Greg says, “You need to stop waiting around for leads and just go get them. You need to think like you’re prospecting all the time. And this book helps you adopt that attitude that you need to get more leads. It’s really powerful because what it means is that you’re constantly looking for ways to help the people that you meet. And this has been awesome for me, for entertaining the perspective of service with everybody that I meet. Instead of just thinking like, Oh, here’s one more person whose name I need to remember.” The next book on our list is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Rickard Björnekärr said, “I’m gonna be boring, but this is an annual read for me.
Chris Cooper: (05:16)
Starting with the end in mind always gives me clarity in my priorities. And this book changed my direction of life to put myself first, fix my health, open a gym, and always look for the higher win in relationships.” Rickard is one of our new rockstar mentors at Two-Brain, and he is really leading the charge in Europe, especially Germany, because he publishes a podcast on this stuff and he thinks at a very higher level, and he gives a lot of credit to this book. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Again, as I’m partway through this list now, if you wanna buy any of these books, you can just go on Amazon and grab them, go on Audible and listen to them, listen to one all the way through before you move on to the next. If you want direct links, you can click through our Amazon affiliate links in the show notes.
Chris Cooper: (06:03)
We donate the cents or the dollars that we make from each one through our giving platform, BusinessIsGood.com, and we finance things that teach kids entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The next book in this list is “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday. Karl Solberg says, “This is the only book that makes me take action every day. I’m on my fifth year of reading it every day.” Boy, there’s not a much better testament to a great book than one that you read for five years in a row. And so thanks Karl. Great recommendation, “The Daily Stoic”. The next book on our list is “Making Numbers Count” by Chip Heath. Oskar Johed loved this book. He said, “I’m way better now at using examples to communicate numbers and data to people who aren’t the best of friends with numbers.” So his example was that they currently have 400 members and their 10 year goal is 3000.
Chris Cooper: (06:59)
So instead of saying that he’s at 13% of that goal, he uses a clock analogy with his staff members. “So the goal is to get to one hour, and we’re currently eight minutes in. That visual representation helps the coach understand the number better.” Now speaking as Coop, again, I love this book, but I really recommend getting a hard copy instead of the audio version. Chip Heath’s books are always amazing. I’ve been writing about them for a decade, but unfortunately the narrator in the audio version of this book doesn’t really match the quality or the impact of the message. So Oskar also recommends “Nudge” by Richard Thaler and “The Elements Of Choice” by Eric Johnson. The next book on our list is “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John Maxwell. Jay Rhodes loves this book. He said, “This book teaches the mindset of making other people important. A lot of young entrepreneurs could likely benefit from this competitive jams that are looking to change their culture, et cetera.
Chris Cooper: (07:59)
And this parallels a lot of lessons that I’ve learned that have led to a lot of personal and business growth.” So back to me, Coop, what’s really interesting from this list is that it contains very few new books so far. Do you find that too? This was a bit of a relief to me because I’ve really struggled to find great new books that were published in 2022, but it’s also a reminder that new isn’t always best. So from my personal library this year, here are two that I really recommend. The first is “Who Do You Wanna Be a Hero To?” By Dan Sullivan. This was a great book in the theme of “The Pumpkin Plan”, but it was written in Dan Sullivan’s very short and concise style. And it really helped me reframe what we’re doing in our gym. So our gym is a client-centric business.
Chris Cooper: (08:47)
It always has been, but the clients in my gym are different than the clients who were in my gym five or 10 years ago. And so when we started from scratch, after we were allowed to reopen from Covid, we didn’t start with brand new clients, but we started with a brand new mission. And that led us to a different model and that led us to slightly different methods. And that all started with “Who Do You Wanna Be a Hero To?” Because that led us to determine the type of impact that we wanted to create in our community. So a great book like Dan Sullivan’s, short and concise, straight to the point, you’ll get a lot out of it. My second recommendation from this year is “The Conversion Code” by Chris Smith. Now, this book was really highly recommended by a client in our growth program before I’d even heard of it.
Chris Cooper: (09:30)
And it’s an interesting book because it’s very hard to stay updated on marketing. And when you write a book about marketing, it’s very hard to, like, stay on top of trends because if somebody’s listening to your book about marketing and the first thing that you say in your book is like “Radio ads show the top result for people between 1979 and 1982”, they’ll put the book on the shelf and not listen to anything else. So this book is interesting because it is timely. Chris Smith has to keep updating it all the time to keep it timely, but that’s what he is doing. And if you pair this book with “Fanatical Prospecting” that Greg Strauch recommended earlier, you’ll find there’s a great one-two punch here. So when somebody in our growth program highly recommends a book, I sit up and take notice. That’s what happened with “The Conversion Code.”
Chris Cooper: (10:18)
I bought it, and there’s a link to it in show notes. There’s another recommendation here called “The Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing” by Robert Kiyosaki. And Jay Rhodes and I both read this book again in 2022. Jay said “It’s a little different every time you go through it, depending on where you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey.” It’s leading him to a more gradual understanding that “my business isn’t just here to make money, but also there to provide the income to build and acquire other assets.” So that’s “Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing”. Now, any one of these books will give you a specific action that you can take to improve your business. But here’s my rule on books. I buy them when somebody recommends them, but I don’t start reading them until I take one action on the book I’ve just finished. That way I remember the lesson better, and I always get an amazing ROI on the books that I buy.
Chris Cooper: (11:12)
So instead of just building your library, instead of just reading for knowledge, force yourself to take one action on each book that you read before you start the next book. If you want direct links to these books, you can find them in our show notes. If you click the links, again, that will provide an affiliate fee of 50 cents to a buck for each book. We donate that fee to kids to learn about entrepreneurship or financial literacy through our giving platform, BusinessIsGood.com. I hope this book list helps you. I hope it helps you take action and actually create some traction in your gym and in your life. I’m Chris Cooper. If you want to add to this list, please do. Go to GymOwnersUnited.com. Find this post and comment with your favorite book from 2022. See you next time.