Having our normal work and life routines upended due to the coronavirus feels a bit otherworldly, even for this introvert who doesn’t totally mind social distancing. (There was a name for it all along?) I’m hoping to use this disconnected time to learn some new skills and catch up on reading. Speaking of which, I’ve wanted to create content that allows me to pay forward some of my knowledge and skills for a while now. I think social distancing was the perfect nudge to get started.
In 2019 I learned a lot about running a fashion business. Recently, some of you have come to me looking for advice on how to navigate this industry, and now I’d like to start sharing with you some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. With the extra time many of us will have in the coming weeks, I thought it would be useful to put together a list of 5 books I read pre launch that changed how I told the story of my brand and how I shared the clothes with you. They have some really great insight that can be applied to not only a fashion business, but really any product or industry. I hope at least one of these books can be as helpful to you as they were for me! Enjoy.
1. The Psychology of Winning by Dr. Denis Waitley
Mindset is everything. I used to think that being successful in business had to do with how talented you naturally were, how skilled you were at something, how high your IQ was, etc. I believe all of those things play a role, but mindset will take you the distance. It’s like one of my favorite quotes from Nick Saban says, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” It’s not enough to just be good at something. You have to want to succeed and be able to work through your emotions when things get challenging. This book teaches great visualization tactics and strategies for “winning” including actionable steps you can take to start changing your thinking.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book has been around for ages and stays relevant for good reason. The principles taught in this book are timeless and applicable to any business model, selling any product, and growing any business. I’ll sum it up for you in one sentence: treat people like they are valuable, because they are! For me it was helpful in deepening my empathy in how I communicate with others. If you’re similar to me and you tend to overthink and live in your head, it’s important to learn how the person across the table from you might be thinking or feeling.
3. Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi
What’s your niche? How do you share it with others? Reading through Content, Inc. will help you answer both of those questions which are essential to attracting and retaining customers. This book seeks to flip the way entrepreneurs traditionally form their businesses-- building a product then finding an audience--and instead, encourages you to find an audience you can uniquely serve and then build the product. It’s an informative and entertaining read. Just wait until you read about some of the gaps in the market people have discovered! Regardless if you pick up the book or not, I’d strongly advise you to look for a market you love and are passionate about before building your product. You’ll save a lot of money this way!
4. Uncopyable by Steve Miller
This book gets points from me for being the most unique read in the bunch. In today’s world of the internet, everything about our businesses is front and center from our products, our content, our branding, and more. Uncopyable teaches how to build and maintain the one thing that can never be copied by the competition: your unique relationship with your customers.
5. Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller
This book was probably my favorite in the readings I did before launching my business. It teaches that people are captivated by great stories, and all great stories have the same essential components that make them so compelling. The author then breaks down those components into how you can utilize storytelling to make your business tell an attention-grabbing narrative to your customer. It’s also a great way to deep dive through the benefits of your product and what your business offers to the world. If you pick one book on this list, start here!
To wrap up, I like to give credit where credit is due and at least 3 of these books I got on suggestion of Macy McNeely. Give her a follow on Instagram (@macymcneely) for all things personal development, sales, and running a business. She’s great!
Are there other topics you’re wondering about that I can give insight on? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a DM on Instagram.
As always, you can get the latest news and updates about the collection by signing up for our emails at www.carolineanncollection.com and by following us at @carolineanncollection on Instagram. You can also shop our Scattered Sand scarf featured in this post here!